Hello Northeast Ohio Parent readers! My name is Brea Schmidt and I am a Cleveland-based writer, photographer, speaker and advocate for the fellow mom. I’m so excited to be joining the Northeast Ohio Parent bloggers and look forward to sharing some words with you that will hopefully offer you some positivity and perspective as you go through your parenting journey.
I’m the writer behind the blog The Thinking Branch, which is a community I created just under two years ago that aims to put positivity and perspective into our conversations about life and motherhood. In addition to writing, for the last six years I’ve owned the newborn, children and family photography business Photography by Brea. (All while raising my 6-, 3- and 2-year-old kiddos with my incredible husband of 10 years)
After growing up in western Pennsylvania and attending Penn State, I moved to Cleveland in 2006 to pursue my career in professional sports. After an incredible five-year experience, I took that risky leap (5 months pregnant with my first baby!) to start to pursue my dream of being an entrepreneur… and Photography by Brea was born.
After interacting with dozens of moms and getting to know them both in our conversations and through photographs… while also going through my own experience of being a mom… I started to realize how many of us struggle with the same things but rarely speak about them for fear of being judged.
In a social media world where “Pinterest perfect” is the norm and motherhood has become something that society sets a standard for instead of it being led by each individual woman’s motherly instinct… I wanted to challenge that… so I decided to use Photography by Brea’s social media pages to share some stories.
I started writing about my own experiences as a mom. And not just the perfect ones, but the tough ones. The sleepless nights. The fears. The lack of patience. The days where I just wished I had a second to myself. And I did my best to throw a positive perspective into my stories as a way to say, “Hey — we are not alone in our struggles. And let’s also not let those struggles make us lose sight of everything that is beautiful about our roles as parents.”
After realizing that my words were making a positive impact, I decided to give my blogs their own space and launched The Thinking Branch community in 2016. The Thinking Branch has allowed me to discover my passion for finding ways to connect mothers and to encourage all of us to trust our instincts and ignore the noise, pressures and judgement that exists in society and social media.
It is my life’s work to encourage, empower and connect women on our joys and our struggles… and to remind every mom that self care is a key component to hanging on to the person we are outside of our motherhood roles, while also helping us fill our own cups so we can overflow our children’s.
I’m excited to be here and look forward to connecting with all of you. In the meantime – you can join our Thinking Branch community on Facebook at facebook.com/thethinkingbranch.
(Photo by The Good Life Photography)