A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

It’s Working: Katherine Stone

While we wish every mom only a happy and healthy postpartum period, we are so thankful that people are finally openly talking about postpartum depression. And we have Katherine Stone to thank for it. Her own heart-wrenching experience suffering from postpartum OCD after her first baby prompted her to found the nonprofit organization Postpartum Progress. She now works to raise awareness, fight stigma and provide peer support to women with maternal mental illness.

As someone acutely aware of the challenges that come during those first few months after baby, we were curious to get her thoughts for our “It’s Working” series with Forty Weeks. “I wish I had let go a little more,” Katherine told us, of that postpartum period. “I was trying to plan and plan and plan, thinking that could somehow give me more control over what was going to happen, and that just wasn't the case.”

Below, she gives us a little more insight into her transition from postpartum back to work, and shares her best advice for balancing baby and business as a working mom.

What is one piece of advice you wish you could offer your former expectant self?

My one piece of advice is that you can read every single pregnancy book ever written and still not know exactly what is going to happen once you become a mother. Books and classes are helpful, for sure, but they can't prepare you for every eventuality or tell you exactly how you are going to feel. I wish I had let go a little more. I was trying to plan and plan and plan, thinking that could somehow give me more control over what was going to happen, and that just wasn't the case.

How did you share the news of your pregnancy with your employer? How far along in your pregnancy were you when you had the conversation?

It's been a long time, but as I recall I was probably a good solid 12 weeks before I said anything. I worked at a large corporation that had pretty good policies in general so I wasn't at all nervous about telling my boss. I just walked right into his office and told him.

How long did you take for maternity leave before heading back to work? How close was your back-to-work plan with the reality upon your return?

I was home for 4 months before I went back to work. I had planned on only being out for 3 months, but I ended up having postpartum depression and I really needed that extra month to be able to get even close to any sort of place where I could contribute. Even then I really didn't feel like myself until about a full year postpartum, but I was able to muddle through with work until that point.

Once I went back to work the hardest thing was the daily competition between being needed at work and needing to leave so I could make it in time to pick up my son at daycare. That caused me constant stress, much more than I could have ever imagined. I always wished we'd had a "Grey's Anatomy"-style on-site childcare with super flexible hours so that at least he'd have been nearby at all times and I wouldn't have had to freak out about picking him up on those days when senior management needed me for 5 o'clock meeting.

Your biggest pregnancy indulgence?

I ate a $35 tennis ball-sized hunk of imported parmigiano reggiano cheese that I stopped by to pick up at a gourmet shop on the way home from work one day. I chowed down the entire thing while driving in my car, like a rat or something. There must have been something in that cheese my body needed!

Fill in the blanks:

As a working mom, I never expected the push/pull between work demands and parenting demands would be so hard, and that having other working moms nearby to commiserate with would be one great benefit.

Want to do more to raise awareness of postpartum depression and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders? Head to Hudson River Park on June 14 at 10:30am for Postpartum Progress' 3rd annual Climb Out of the Darkness to show women with maternal mental illness that they are not alone! Not in NYC? Find other Climbs and get involved, or visit crowdrise.com/COTD2015 to donate.

Learn more about the "It's Working Project" and read more stories of parents in the workforce.

Reporting by Rebecca Gale.

Image source.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

Subscribe to get inspiration and super helpful ideas to rock your #momlife. Motherhood looks amazing on you.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

You might also like:

Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

You might also like:

When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

You might also like:


The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

You might also like:

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.