motherhood

Parents, Look for Signs You're Succeeding

I’ve been talking a lot on the blog lately about ways to get the support you need when you’re really doubting yourself as a parent--how to know when you need advice and when you just need encouragement, what to do with advice that doesn’t fit, and dealing with unsolicited advice from relatives and strangers.  

Today, though, I want to talk about finding that inner confidence as a parent, so that you can squash self-doubt and overwhelm all on your own.  Truth be told, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a practice. But the good news there are things you can start doing today that will help you to trust your own parenting sense and feel better about doing things your way.

Are You Looking For Advice or Encouragement? (How to Know What You Need.)

Are you the kind of mom that appreciates parenting advice from others?

Or, does that stuff annoy you every time?

Maybe it depends on the situation, the question, the messenger.


Every mom I know feels vulnerable and questions themselves at least once in a while.  (There’s nothing quite like motherhood to make even the most confident, competent woman question herself.)

3 Communication Tips for Parenting Couples to Get the Support You Need

Today, I’m going to keep this short and sweet.  

Last week, I talked to you about the role of grandparents in our lives and why it’s so important to communicate with your little ones’ grandparents about what kind of support you need.

So, today I’m taking this topic deeper by offering you a 3-minute video discussing 3 quick and simple tips for how to ask for (and get!) the support you really need from them.  


Getting the Support You Need from Your Baby's Grandparents

Grandparents Day was this past Sunday.  I don’t know if this is a thing people actually celebrate, but maybe we should be.

The role of a grandparent in a kid’s life can be such a special thing.  I know I felt a special closeness to my own grandparents. Maybe you did too.

It can also be a godsend to us parents when we need a break and a heart-warmer when we see their special bond with our littles grow.

But I also know that when you have a new baby or toddler at home, navigating that relationship as a new parent still trying to figure things out--even if you adore your parents or in-laws--can be…..well, tricky.

Top 5 Excuses Moms Say about Why They Don't Practice Self-Care

Confession time, mommas.  Sometimes self-care is really hard to be consistent with.  Even for a therapist and mom like me.

I think we all struggle with this one--at least from time to time, if not all the time.

And when we fall off the wagon with it or have struggled to implement new self-care habits in the first place, the hardest part is starting.

It’s kind of like--well, I don’t know about you, but this is definitely true for me:  Getting to the gym is the hardest part of exercising. If I can just get myself there, then I’m fine.  I’ll find something healthy to do for myself. But leaving the house? Oh, so hard.

3 Real Self-Care Tips All Moms Need to Hear

I talk about self-care a lot.  Like, A LOT, a lot. And it’s not just me.  Self-care became a buzzword years ago and it doesn’t show any signs of disappearing anytime soon.

I think this is a good thing… and a bad thing.

It’s great because we would all do better to slow down and tune into ourselves a little more often to ask, “What do I need right now?” But, it’s also kind of a bad thing because there’s so much misunderstanding about what self-care really is.  


Manage Your Task List Like a Boss Even with a New Baby at Home

Last week, I showed you how to use my Postpartum Support Matrix worksheet to help you determine where you need extra help right now and over the long term.  

This week, I’m showing you the next step:  How to manage it all and make sure everything is getting done, even if it’s not you doing every single thing.  

(And, in doing this, if you discover that it IS you doing every single thing, you’ll also discover how to pass those things off to someone else.)

One of the most common things I hear from new moms is that they suddenly feel like there are so many more things they have to do now.  The chores seem to multiply literally overnight!

But you can totally handle it like a boss. Here’s how.

How to Start Asking for Support When You Don't Even Know What to Ask For

Are you a new mom or dad that feels like you’re doing too much and can’t keep up? 

Are you so overwhelmed or exhausted that you can’t even think of what to delegate when people ask how they can help?

Or, maybe asking people for help just feels too hard, but you’d love to try to let yourself off the hook a little?

I get it.  Completely.  

For one thing, as a mom,  I’ve been there myself. For another, this is something that comes up in my therapy practice ALL the time.

That’s why I created two tools that can help. You can download both of them here.

A Conversation Around Community: Catherine O'Brien Interviews Dr. Jacqueline Schoemaker Holmes

One of the most common issues moms bring up to me is that it’s so hard to find their mom tribe.  Whether it’s online or in real life, it’s hard to figure out where we fit in or find that place where we can feel supported and not judged for our choices, fears and struggles.  

But, why is it so hard to find these mom friends?  And how do we succeed in finding them?

MMHA Month Recap: Perinatal Mood Disorders, Sharing Your Story, & Simplifying Motherhood *BONUS RESOURCES INSIDE*

Well, May has come and gone and summer is in full swing.  But, just because Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month is over doesn’t mean the conversation is over.  Maternal Mental Health is important 365 days a year.

So, we might be well into June by now, but I want to recap what we discussed in the last month and share with you some weekly tips videos I did over on my Facebook page. PLUS, TWO FREE DOWNLOADS INSIDE!

Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Michelle Peterson

Mommas, I'm so excited to share this interview with Michelle Peterson with you!

Michelle Peterson is the author of the book 'Seven Sisters for Seven Days: A Mothers' Manual for Community-Based Postpartum Care', She empowers new mothers with resources to get the care they need in the postpartum period.

Click through to watch the interview, read the transcript or learn more about Michelle.

Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Cassie Owens, LPC

Mommas, I'm so excited to share this interview with Cassie Owens, LPC with you!

Cassie is a therapist specializing in maternal mental health and the Vice President of the Georgia Chapter of Postpartum International. 

Click through to watch the interview, read the transcript or learn more about Cassie.

Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Elizabeth O'Brien

Mommas, I'm so excited to share this interview with Elizabeth O'Brien with you!

Elizabeth is a feminist, a mother of three, wife, entrepreneur, trainer, supervisor, consultant and psychotherapist specializing in Perinatal Mental Health.  She also serves as the state coordinator and President of PSI Georgia Chapter.

Click through to watch the interview, read the transcript or learn more about Desiree.

Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Jessica Porten

Jessica Porten is a mother of two from Sacramento, CA.  She is an activist and advocate for moms and maternal mental health issues.  Jessica made waves when her Facebook post about seeking help for her postpartum depression from her OBGYN went viral overnight.  She now partners with 2020Mom to provide maternal mental health resources and lobby for legislative change to improve conditions for new and expecting mothers.

Click through to watch the interview, read the transcript and learn more about Jessica.

Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Nikki Reeves

Mommas, I'm so excited to share this interview with Nikki Reeves with you! 

Today, Catherine O'Brien, LMFT interviews Nikki Reeves. Nikki is a mom to two boys, an advocate for moms everywhere, and the founder of the incredibly successful Facebook group, Maternal Mental Health Support.

Click through to watch the interview, read the transcript or learn more about Nikki.

Momma Interviews "Expert Edition" featuring Jennifer Moyer

May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, so I've relaunched my "Momma Interviews" series--This time with an extra special set of moms.  These mommas also work to support other moms and their families during the transition into new parenthood and beyond.  I'm calling it the "Expert Edition", but I think you'll find that while these women definitely are experts in their work, parenthood has a way of making a beginner out of everybody.  Even experts get surprised by the unexpected and learn new bits of wisdom while in the trenches! 

Mommas, I'm so excited to share this interview with Jennifer Moyer with you! 

Jennifer is a mental health advocate, speaker, and author of the book, A Mother's Climb Out of Darkness: A Story About Overcoming Postpartum Psychosis.

Guest Blog: 5 Tips for Healing Postpartum Depression & Anxiety from a Holistic Nutritionist

The recent coverage of celebrity mothers, like Chrissy Teigen, discussing how they came to discover that the unsettling feelings they experienced after giving birth was called postpartum depression sheds light on an interesting dialogue we need to have with women: becoming a mother is not always going to be a beautifully exciting time in a mother’s life; and that’s okay. The idea that a mother should love her new baby - or even the more seemingly inclusive sentiment that every woman has the baby blues - perpetuates the myth that women are supposed to be emotionally ready to be a mother by the time the baby comes into the world. It’s that myth that continues to fuel the stigma of maternal mental health and impedes women from getting the support that they need to develop a healthy parenting identity.

Visitors or no visitors? Managing friends and family after baby arrives

“I just had my baby 4 days ago and I feel like I haven’t been able to spend alone time with her at all. My family and friends keep calling and stopping by the house without warning. I don’t want to be mean by telling them not to come over, but I really just want time to bond with my baby right now. Is that bad? What should I do?”


If you’re reading this because you’re having a similar problem, let me just start by telling you that you’re not bad. You’re not selfish. You’re also not alone. Far from it.

When You’re a Mom & She Isn’t

Motherhood is a rite of passage.  It’s a kind of life (and a kind of love) that you can only truly understand if you’re also a mom yourself.  So, what about our friends that haven’t birthed babies or otherwise become parents to little humans? 

I often hear from moms that it feels like there’s a disconnect in the friendship once one of the two has become a mom.  And sure, sometimes relationships run their course and not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever.  BUT…  still.  Isn’t it kind of a shame sometimes?