Ep 5. – Adult Conversation with Brandy

In this episode I got to interview Brandy Ferner, who is not only a mom of two, a childbirth educator, and a doula, she is also a podcast host and now a (soon to be famous, I’m sure) published author. In this episode she shares some pieces of her postpartum and parenting journey, how she lost herself when she became a mother, and how she fought her way back from burnout and found herself again. We also talk about her book, Adult Conversation: a Novel (a darkly comedic novel about early parenthood), her podcast by the same name, and some fascinating things she learned about birth trauma when she was practicing as a birth worker.

In this episode Brandy and I talk about so many things, including:

  • Finally finding her grove in motherhood – and what got her there
  • How much she loved the newborn phase, but how she was also shocked to discover the intensity of parenting just didn’t let up after the one year mark
  • How different modern parenting is from what our own parents experienced
  • All the things that are on our plates as modern parents that our parents never experienced
  • How gender inequality can be so pervasive in parenting and how that played out in her family, and what she did about it
  • Hyper-functioning and trying to handle all the things, even when we are struggling
  • Teasing out the answer to the question: “am I broken, or is motherhood broken?”
  • How her partner responded when she told him she was at her breaking point
  • Finding her groove, and then throwing a second kid in the mix
  • The point in parenting when she started to feel like she got some autonomy back in her life
  • Her experience of a high risk second pregnancy
  • Not enjoying certain developmental phases, and making peace with that
  • The process that went into writing her book and why she wrote it
  • How her book led to her podcast
  • How much fact and how much fiction is in her novel
  • My favourite part of the book and how it fulfilled a long-standing dream/fantasy of mine
  • How she found the time to write a book when she had a 2 year old and 8 year old
  • Getting into birth work and how that softened all of her rigid parenting ideals
  • Experiencing both a natural homebirth and a highly medicalized c-section and how that helped her have a broader perspective of birth and parenting
  • How our birth wounds can unconsciously inform our parenting if we don’t get the chance to process them
  • Trading the harsh things we believe about ourselves as a result of our births and trading those beliefs with softer and more compassionate ones
  • The harms in having extreme and rigid beliefs around birth and parenting
  • What she would, and wouldn’t, say to herself if she could go back in time to when she was struggling the most

Resources from the episode