I’m sitting here with a blank page in front of me and I’m not sure how to say what I need to say. So I’m going to nix my usual long-winded style and just rip off the Band-Aid.
Effective immediately, I will be stepping away from One Mother to Another.
I know this statement will come as a shock to nearly everyone. Maybe most of all, me. My life is so tangled up with One Mother to Another that I’m not quite sure where OMTA ends and Melissa begins. And you wanna know something? I’ve loved it that way. The honest truth is, I’ve needed One Mother to Another far more over these past three years than it ever needed me.
OMTA gave me an identity and a purpose when I was drowning in motherhood. It fueled me creatively and kept me sane when stay-at-home motherhood wasn’t enough to fulfill me. It gave me a reason to laugh when I was covered in baby poop or standing in the aisle of the grocery store with a dozen eggs smashed at my feet. It helped me find the beauty and wonder in motherhood, even when it seemed impossibly hard. It gave me a voice when I could have so easily been drowned out by the little people I created who need me with an all-consuming ferocity. Most of all, it gave me you—this tight-knit community of strong, vibrant, kick-ass women who have inspired me every single day to be a better version of myself. It brought true, meaningful friendships into my life that I would’ve never otherwise discovered. It pulled me through three rollercoaster years of motherhood with all the ups and downs that it entailed. It helped me thrive when I would’ve just merely survived.
Now I’m stepping through the fog of new motherhood and seeing life on the other side. I’m finding myself again. I’m rediscovering my passions separate from my children. I’m out of the babyhood trenches and truly enjoying my time with my toddler and preschooler. My relationship with my husband is better than it’s ever been. I finally have friendships that I’ve waited my whole life for with people who love and prioritize me. I’ve stepped into a new role working for my church and I’m loving every minute of serving God and my community.
I guess what I’m saying is, I’m finally content right here in my real, offline life. And I don’t want to waste one precious second of it.
Right now, Chase is three and Sammy is 1 ½ years old. Very soon, Chase will be in preschool with Sam not far behind. Then comes kindergarten and grade school and all the rest that follows. The startling truth is that my children will never be more mine than they are right at this minute—soon enough, little pieces of them will belong to the rest of the world and, as the years go on, my share will keep diminishing. I know it sounds totally devastating, but it’s just the natural order of things. They can’t live in this little bubble with me forever, nor would I want that for them.
But while they’re still here with me, I feel a pressing need to make sure I don’t waste it. I need to keep my attention from being divided by the Facebook notifications and the Instagram feed. I need to stay present and engaged while they still want me to push them on the swings or show me the block tower they built. I need to give the baths and read the bedtime stories and say the prayers instead of being holed up in my room writing a blog post or answering emails. I need to just be here while they still want me here.
I have all the time in the world to work, but the clock is ticking on the time left with my kids while they’re little. I cannot mess this up. The real tragedy of my life wouldn’t be if I never finished my second book or broke 50,000 Facebook followers. It would be if I let this time get away from me and looked back someday in regret.
So…what does this mean?
Practically speaking, here’s what’s coming:
I will keep the Facebook page up but I won’t be posting to it anymore. The same will be true for the website. The mom tribe group will stay active, though I will be seeking out someone else to take over admin duties. My Instagram and Pinterest accounts will just go back to being my personal accounts, though you’re more than welcome to keep following them if you want to see what’s going on in our lives. (I really hope you do!) I will still have a personal Facebook account, though I suspect I’ll be using it even less than I do currently. I am tabling the conference for right now while I decide what my next move is professionally. I’ll continue to do book appearances and my book will still be on sale through Amazon as well as at the bookstores where it’s carried. I’ll be reachable, but probably quite a bit less so. If you want to make sure you hear about any new projects in the future, the most reliable way for me to get in touch with you is via email. So please subscribe to my newsletter and you’ll be the first to know when I’m back in action.
I do have plans for future projects, though they’re kind of fuzzy right now. When I start my next endeavor, I want it to be with much more of a focus on real life relationships and less on social media. I will always continue writing in some capacity and I think my next project will be moving in the direction of a podcast and possibly some speaking engagements. But honestly, I’m giving myself a lot of leeway on those plans coming to fruition anytime soon. Besides my husband, I doubt really anyone knows how much time and effort I’ve poured into OMTA over the past three years. It has been an all-consuming project, but not because it had to be or because anyone asked me to dedicate that kind of time to it. It’s because I truly loved it and it fed my soul. It was worth it—every single minute.
But, if I’m being honest, what I really want right this minute is to catch my breath. I want to read a book at nap time instead of answering emails. I want to go on undistracted adventures with my kids instead of fielding Facebook messages. I want to relax on the couch with my husband at night instead of writing a blog post I promised myself I’d publish immediately. I want to wake up in the morning and read my Bible instead of scheduling social media posts. I want to give myself back the gift of time. Fulfilling, unrushed, precious, never-enough-of-it time. And since I’m being honest, that’s what I want for you, too.
I really had no idea what I’d say when I started typing this and I realize it’s become a very me-focused post. I guess I had a lot more to get out about all of this than I thought. But what I really want to say is not about me—it’s about you. You who supported me when the weight of motherhood felt crushing. You who answered every first-time-mom question without impatience or judgment. You who taught me so much about myself and my children simply by being you. You who laughed with me when motherhood was hilarious and cried with me when it was heartbreaking. You who watched my firstborn change from a scrawny, helpless newborn to a precocious, willful toddler, to a perceptive, independent three-year-old. You who tracked my growing belly over nine long months and welcomed Sam with as much fanfare as we did. You who cheered me on when I tried public speaking for the first time and packed the bookstore last June to celebrate my book launch. You who made me feel important even when I hadn’t showered in four days. You who taught me that who I am is more than enough.
You will never know all the ways in which you have changed my life: how you’ve saved me from myself and helped me grow, how you’ve bolstered my confidence and taught me how to be a better mother. I promise you that none of this is lip service; I am a better person because you brought the good out of me.
So while it will never be enough, let me just say thank you. Thank you for standing in my corner, having my back and keeping me sane. Thank you for loving me exactly as I am. Thank you for making me laugh and trusting me with your secrets. Thank you for doing motherhood alongside me. And thank you for loving me enough to understand that this is what I need to do for myself and my family right now.
I love you all so very much and I could never express what I’m truly feeling even if I had another ten pages to say it. Just know that you have changed my life. I hope I’ve done the same for you.
I’ll be seeing you.