How Brandi Passante Balances Storage Wars And Parenting

Brandi Passante's unusual job calls for her to be away from home quite often. For her A&E reality series "Storage Wars," she has to travel to different storage facilities to bid on abandoned lockers. The gig might be lucrative, but she has to sacrifice spending time with her two children, son Cameron and daughter Payton, if she wants to stay on TV and make bank.

While chatting with "The Dad Diary" host Danny Jordan in June 2020, Brandi said that her exhausting work schedule sometimes calls for her to get home "super late at night and up at 4 a.m." When she and her ex Jarrod Schulz were still together, the couple also juggled running two second-hand stores with filming "Storage Wars" and taking care of their kids. "It was overwhelming at best," Brandi said.

Before Brandi was a reality show star and storage auction frequenter, she was a stay-at-home mom (via My Lifetime). But when Jarrod opened their first thrift store, she began working there part-time to lessen his work load. In a 2017 Facebook Live video, he made it sound like Brandi was also responsible for doing most of the parenting. "She would normally leave around two to pick up the kids, because Brandi has mom duties she has to do outside. She doesn't just have the business," he said, enraging overburdened moms everywhere. While Brandi has a lot to balance, she eventually found a way to make it all work.

How Brandi Passante assuages her 'mom guilt'

Brandi Passante discovered that parenting was actually easier for her when she began working. "I love my kids, but I felt alienated and depressed when I didn't have a career, so I think I'm a better parent because I work," she told My Lifetime in 2013. "I'm happier because of it." But this doesn't mean she doesn't experience "mom guilt" when her job causes her to miss big moments in her children's lives. During her "The Dad Diary" interview, she expressed sadness over being unable to be with Payton on her first day of kindergarten. "That was pretty tough for me," she said.

Luckily for Brandi's kids, she makes sure that they benefit from her "Storage Wars" income by arranging fun family outings like trips to Universal Studios whenever she does have some free time. "I try to overcompensate by taking them cool places and buying them a lot of s**t," she confessed. "I want to keep them humble, as well, but it's kind of hard when you're not present as often as you feel like you should be." A special opportunity to spend more time with Cameron and Payton presented itself when A&E asked the entire family to appear in the 2014 reality series "Brandi and Jarrod: Married to the Job." Brandi said inviting cameras into their home "was not an easy decision," but it was something Cameron and Payton wanted to do at the time.

Brandi Passante has a new job

Brandi Passante's kids eventually realized that they were not interested in being reality TV stars. "I don't think that they really cared for what comes with it," she said on the "Scorch's Sloppy Seconds" podcast. In fact, they dislike the spotlight so much that they asked their mom not to share photos of them on social media. "I think a lot of people think I never see my children or something because I don't put them on there, but I'm doing it out of respect to them," Brandi told Danny Jordan. She also revealed that Jarrod is no longer helping her parent Cameron and Payton, and his absence has been felt — he provided the "scary dad voice" that ensured they did as they were told.

In June, Brandi broke her kids' ban on social media photos to share an Instagram pic of them at Cameron's high school graduation. Now that they are both teenagers who can take care of themselves, their mom has enough free time to take on a second job. In July, Hammer of "The Happening Now with Hammer" podcast announced that Brandi was joining the show. During her first appearance, she talked about dive bars and listed everything she had to drink the night before. "I had a couple of dirty martinis, a couple glasses of wine, a couple of vodka sodas after that," she said. Sounds like she's enjoying the single mom life!