Brianna - The Constant Closet

Name: Brianna
Profession: PhD candidate in psychology
Background: Brianna is a PhD candidate in the final stages of her psychology training. She also runs an Instagram account where she shares tips on outfits and her passion for sustainability and second-hand.
Location: Oregon, USA
Family: Husband, 3-year-old daughter, and another child expected any day now.
Instagram: @theconstantcloset

Brianna, thank you for taking the time to talk with us in your busy schedule! Now you are pregnant with your second child – congratulations! We are living in strange times with COVID-19. Is it different this time?

Thank you! Our family is excited to welcome our son. The biggest difference between pregnancies is, of course, COVID-19. There have been some changes in prenatal checkups and a bit of adjustment in planning the birth. We are lucky to have our family close by, who can isolate and help us with this. The pregnancy itself is also a bit different! It’s incredible how each child can interact differently with a mother’s body. This pregnancy, I feel a bit more tired, but that could also be because I have a little one and less time to rest.


Any cravings you want to share?

My biggest craving is for sweets, and I have been baking more now that I am isolated at home, both cookies and cakes.

You are a working mom and currently studying for your PhD. Can you tell us about that journey – any lessons learned along the way?

I started studying in my late twenties and had been working in healthcare for a while. I knew when I started studying that I would need to combine my goals with having a family. In fact, I found out I was pregnant the first week of my PhD program! In a way, it has been more flexible to be pregnant and studying. A lot of writing and other tasks I can do from home, for example. I also have access to good childcare through my university. My field is Counseling Psychology, and my research area is emotional well-being in parent-child relationships. This has given me access to evidence-based research and strategies for handling difficult parenting situations, which has enhanced my abilities as a parent.

What are your routines to create balance in everything?

I schedule regular physical activity in my weekly routine. I have adapted my workouts now that I am nearing the end of my pregnancy, and right now I enjoy taking long walks with my daughter in the stroller and doing some home workouts. I want to be a role model for exercise and body image, especially for my daughter who watches everything I do. It’s not possible to be perfect, and I don’t try to be either.

Besides studying, you also run one of our favorite accounts @theconstantcloset. What inspired you to start that account?

Thank you! Honestly, I didn’t start the account with any grand ambitions. I have always been interested in fashion and appreciated when others posted pictures of their outfits. Looking at other accounts helped me find my own personal style, and I thought it would be fun to contribute inspiration to others. For me, it’s a hobby and an outlet for joy and creativity. Even though I sometimes engage in brand collaborations and sponsored posts now, I have always seen my account as something that should be fun and not a business. It should be something I can stop or take a break from if it no longer serves its purpose for me.

How do you find the balance between being an influencer, a student, and a mom?

I am very mindful of my priorities. My biggest and most important priority is my family’s well-being and my relationship with my husband and daughter. I am passionate about helping people as a therapist and contributing as a research student. I dedicate a lot of my time and energy to creating a meaningful professional life. My account is the icing on the cake, a fun part of my life that I am very grateful for, but it comes second to other things that are more important to me.

Regarding sustainability, we love that you often photograph yourself wearing the same clothes more than once, in different ways. What are your staple pieces during and after pregnancy?

I really love pieces that can work both during pregnancy and afterward. Your tops and dresses are perfect examples. During my first pregnancy, I made the mistake of buying clothes that were not practical after delivery, and they turned out to be a poor investment. I have tried to be more conscious this time and choose pieces that I can wear now but will still want to wear after the delivery.

What are your three parenting must-haves, whether they are items or philosophies?

My three most important philosophies are self-compassion, mindfulness, and trusting myself. I am kind to myself, which not only makes my life easier but also helps to be a good role model for my daughter. I try to be mindfully present with my daughter and really enjoy my time with her and be present as often as I can. Finally, I trust my intuition as a parent.

When it comes to items, it depends on the child’s age! For newborns, my favorites are a good bassinet, cozy clothes, blankets, and a good baby carrier. For a slightly older child: lots of books, puzzles, and activities that we can enjoy together.

What do you hope to pass on to your children as they grow older?

I hope to pass on the knowledge that they are loved and that they have the ability to find balance and fulfillment in their lives. I hope they will know that they can always rely on their parents, but also trust in their own strength and abilities.

Lastly: What advice would you give to expectant or new mothers?

This is your journey – and it will not resemble anyone else’s. You are the main character in your own story and make the choices that are right for your family. Avoid comparing yourself to others.

Read more about other mothers in the Moms We Love series here!