I‘ve toiled with this decision for weeks (months really). But today I woke up knowing exactly what I needed to do.
Starting today, I’m taking an extended sabbatical from The Integrated Mother blog to focus on other priorities in my work-life.
This means there will not be any new content posted. The blog and its archives will remain. The Get Your Groove Back! eClass will continue to be supported as well.
At this point, I do not have a definitive return date. It may be a few weeks, a few months, or this blog may lay dormant indefinitely. That path is not yet clear, but the choice to take a break is.
It was difficult to accept because I’m the kind of woman who doesn’t like to slow down or give in. I believe that as working moms we can be and have it all. At the same time, I believe that in life everything has its season. Right now, I’m entering a season of tremendous change and it requires that my focus be committed elsewhere.
Of course, choosing to walk away from this blog is difficult. It’s my baby. Plus, there’s the practical, business-minded person who worries about declining web stats, loss ad revenue and how it will affect a brand that I’ve been building since 2005. But none of those worries shine a light on what will be lost if I don’t focus on what matters most, and right now … as sad as it may be … The Integrated Mother is not on the top of that list.
When I started this blog in 2005, I had a single purpose – to encourage, equip and support mothers juggling work and family. Thank you for joining in, reading and commenting on the posts here. Thank you to the contributors who offered their advice, experiences and insights on this blog. Thank you to the many sponsors and corporate partners who supported The Integrated Mothers over the years. My hope is that The Integrated Mother has blessed you as much as you’ve blessed me. Thank you.
A change of season
One of the gifts The Integrated Mother has given me is a new passion for something I’ve kept dormant for years – writing. Since I was a young girl, there was a desire in my heart to write. But the practicality of life dictated that I take a path more predictable, profitable and secure. I ended up devoting more than a decade to a career in HR/Organization Development. Even when I stepped out on my own, I started a consulting business specializing in that field. But the call to write was powerful and this blog became my outlet for it.
Last year, I decided to stop talking about my desire to be a writer and just claimed it – 100%. Earlier this year, I unveiled my new business Write to Incite as one more step toward my dream to be a full-fledged, professional (and profitable) writer. I’ve been fortunate to do work that uniquely blends my HR/OD background with writing/communication. So far, I’ve worked with amazing clients on projects from employer branding via social media to non-fiction book editing. It’s been an incredible experience as I see writing transform from a childhood dream to a fruitful new career path that inspires me everyday.
In the coming months, there will be plenty to keep me busy. I will continue to contribute content to the Moms of Hue blog, where a powerful collection of mom writers convene to share their unique perspectives on motherhood. In the midst of managing the growth of my copywriting and editing business, our family is relocating back to Southern California (going home – finally!) where I have an opportunity to support my church expand in a new area. I am excited about all the incredible opportunities that lay before me, and none of it would have been possible without The Integrated Mother.
So it’s with a joyful heart that I say, “Good bye for now,” to The Integrated Mother. But this doesn’t mean I’m saying “good bye” to you! Please stay in touch with me via Twitter (@MicheleAree). I’ll be around and look forward to continuing our relationship beyond The Integrated Mother.
Thank you once again!
p.s. For this post, I chose an image of a cherry blossom tree, known as “sakura” in Japanese, which is one half of my ethnicity. I chose this image for its beauty, but also for the symbolism of it. In the Japanese culture, the cherry blossom represents the transitive nature of life. It is fleeting and ephemeral, so it’s important not to be attached to an outcome because as with all things in life, it will pass. I could think of no other image as I wrote this post.