I’m currently sitting in my basement home office wondering how to start writing this post. The hardest part is always getting started, staring at a blank page, a blinking cursor, and a full desk, knowing this has to get done, and yet not knowing how.

The OWN has been in business since September of 2014. Now, nearly 4 and a half years later, it’s time has come to an end. The reasons are quite simple, though they made the decision no less difficult, and I’ll share with you- if you care to know- what is leading to The OWN’s closure as of March 1st, 2019.

I want to spend more time at home with my 2 amazing daughters.

This is the whole of the issue. For 4 years, I’ve run two businesses, and for two of those years, I’ve done it with children. A friend once asked how I was “doing all of it”, and I offered some anecdotal answer about “one day at a time”. In reality, I’ve had the most amazing staff to help while I’ve been out with my babies. While I was at the office, my mother, sister, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law all offered their help to watch my children for free. My husband does so much around the house to help- by far more than half of his “fair share”. My sister runs errands for me often, bringing groceries or printer paper over more than once. Yes- it’s taken a full tribe of friends and family to make this all “work”, and even still, it was hectic and messy and very un-simple. The past 4 months of our newest daughter’s life, my husband and I were wondering with one another how this could possibly keep working once I was "back to work". And it became pretty apparent that we could do it. We could “make it work”. But deep in our hearts we both knew it would probably require sacrifices we didn’t want to make.
My daughters will only be this tiny once. I am selfish, and want to be with them as much as possible during these stages of firsts, discoveries, and trial and error for us all. I don’t want to miss anything, and I don’t want them to miss me anymore.

The OWN has always been largely about permission, and ironically, it’s taken me more permission than I ever imagined it would to choose to stay home to be with my children. Older, wiser women kept giving me advice about this stage, about not letting it slip through my fingers. I kept nodding as though they were left out of a secret I knew: that things are “different now”. Women work now. It’s just how it is. And although I thought being home more was simply for women who were more crafty than me, or more naturally nurturing than me, I’m starting to see that the older wiser generation has proved so once again. I find myself longing for the quiet, uncomplicated slowness of simplifying life during a very precious season.

My daughters will only be this tiny once.

I want to be able to go a few days without checking my email over my baby’s shoulder.

I want to be free to watch a movie with my oldest daughter instead of using a movie as a means for me to get some work done.

I want to be able to have our weekends to ourselves, rather than as the time between work when we all get the chores done around the house that have piled up all week.

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As a good friend once told me, "women can have it all, maybe just not all at the same time." I've decided that for me, the "all" in this season of life is slowing down, being present with my babies, and caring first and foremost for my family.

I know this isn’t a choice that’s right for every family, or mother, or even a choice that’s possible in every circumstance. I don’t know what’s right for your family, and half the time I’m not even sure I know what’s right for my own. But for this season I know in my heart that I only have so much time, mental energy, and creativity. In this season, those resources need to be spent on my husband, my kids, and my home.

Thank you for being so supportive for the past 4 and a half years. Thank you for showing me what is possible when people believe in themselves, in kindness, and in one another. Thank you for continuing to help me find the courage to step out on my own, once again, and do what’s scary and right for this season of my life. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had, and all those involved, supporting, and cheering us on have made all the difference. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Love,

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AuthorSamantha Schmeltzer