Career

Q&A: Stepping Down From The Everygirl & Future Plans

After sharing some big news earlier this week, I wanted to take the opportunity to answer some of the questions asked about my decision to take a step back from The Everygirl Media Group. After asking what questions you may have on instagram, it seems like there was some confusion as to why I decided to leave the day-to-day operations and what my plans will be moving forward. Answers can only be so long on instagram stories and are easily missed, so let’s dive a little deeper, shall we? If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section. 

Were you thinking about a step back or making a change before diagnosis? 

No. It didn’t always feel great knowing someone else (our former nanny) was with my daughter 40+ hours a week but I wanted (and needed) to work. Those feeling just come with the territory. There wasn’t a way for my position with TEG to move to part-time. Sure, it would have been nice to have even another hour or two with Margot each day but no, leaving was not something I thought about until 2020. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, we would still have our nanny, and I would have likely returned to work with breaks during harder blocks of treatment. 

Was this supported by your cofounder and team? 

Yes. A million times yes, and that made it so much easier. Alaina and the team were all very understanding since Margot’s diagnosis. There was no questioning where I needed to be, and they all did so much to make my family feel supported the last 8 months. I am and always will be eternally grateful. The TEG/TEM team is such a special group of strong, smart, women who really have each others’ backs. I care so much about everyone, our brand, and mission. The support is infinite, and knowing the site will continue to be as amazing as it’s been since I took a leave in May means the world to me. 

What went into the decision making process? Pros, cons, deciding factors? What helped you make your final decision? 

I talked everything through with my husband, close friends, and my cofounder. In the end, it was about doing what was best for my girls, myself, and our company. The people closest to me said this felt like the next step for our family, and I needed to hear that. It’s a huge life-change, but so was facing a pandemic, leukemia diagnosis, and new baby in a three month period. Any sense of normalcy was already out the window.

Had circumstances been different, I don’t think I would have been able to walk away from something that defined me for such a long time. It hasn’t fully hit me yet but I know it’s coming. I was due to go back to work in January but this pandemic isn’t over and we can’t safely have help with the girls. Finances really scared me since I was salaried and no longer have a set salary coming in. I make a lot less money blogging than at The Everygirl, but make enough to cover some basic expenses, and my husband works, so we’ll figure it out. I also still own half the company which made the decision to step down a lot easier. 

Margot’s diagnosis forced me to reevaluate my life and that with the pandemic forced me to make a big change. I don’t mean that negatively. Circumstances pushed me to do something that I think will be really good for my family in the end, but it something I wouldn’t have done otherwise. I’ll never regret more time with my girls, especially after all we’ve been through. The clock was ticking and I needed to figure something out, so a decision was made right before Christmas. 

Are you still co-owner of the Everygirl Media Group? 

Yes. I still own 50% of the company and am very invested in its success. 

Do you plan on returning to The Everygirl Media Group? 

As of now, I do not have plans to return but I’ve learned to never say never. I will remain an owner but not involved in the day-to-day, and am no longer salaried. I’m honestly not 100% sure what things will look like beyond being involved in big changes for the company and brand. The company is in great hands so I can tell you that nothing will change for our readers. 

Do you plan on working? 

I thought this was clear when I announced my decision to step back but it was one of the most-asked questions and I received a lot of comments about being a stay at home mom, so it wasn’t. I’m sorry. That’s what I get for trying to write at midnight. 

Yes, I do plan on working. For now, I’ll do what I can while the girls are napping or after bedtime, because anyone who has ever cared for a baby and toddler knows there’s no time to do anything while they’re awake. When it’s safe to have a part-timenanny, we would love to have help so we’ll both be able to work more.

Conor is a realtor here in Chicago, I have my blog, and we cofounded Anecdote with Amelia Eaton, her husband, and my mother-in-law in 2019. I wasn’t really able to be involved with Anecdote beyond a few photoshoots since I was always working on The Everygirl, but knew that going in. It’s something that I’m excited to be a part of, and it will offer a lot of flexibility and more time with the girls since it’s not full-time. 

Will you take on a bigger role at Anecdote? 

I would love to once we have some help with the girls. Will have to chat with the team, but it’s something I’d be excited about, and the flexibility is perfect for our family. 

Will you keep your personal blog? 

Yes, definitely. I’ve been blogging since 2007 and can’t imagine not having it. Most of my posts are written late at night or when the girls miraculously nap at the same time which has happened maybe a handful of times. Really looking forward to having some more time to devote to it. 

What are you most looking forward to in this new phase of your life? 

Slowing down, more time with the girls, and more flexibility. I don’t think the change will sink in until treatment and the pandemic are over, because both are all-consuming. We’ve been so isolated and haven’t had any help minus my mother-in-law coming when she’s been able to isolate since March. What we’re doing now isn’t exactly our long-term plan. The thought of having help, being able to work and spend more quality time with the girls, and even get a workout in because I’ll (hopefully) have time for such things sounds really nice.

I want to be able to sign off and take the girls to the park on a weekday because I can. I have to acknowledge again that I realize it is a privilege to have this kind of flexibility. I was reminded a few times after answering these questions in stories that some moms choose to work while others choose to stay home. Some have to work and some have to stay home. The biggest takeaway is that we should really support each other as mothers and realize that all our journeys are different. I have so much-respect for parents who are with their kids all day. It’s the hardest (unpaid) job in the world and I love my girls, but I need to work, too. 

Will you still contribute to posts and content to The Everygirl/Everymom? 

I would love to at some point when it’s a fit, and content contributions will be evaluated on an ongoing basis. The plan is to stay in contact with the team and see what makes sense. I had been talking to the team about sharing something about childhood cancer, but every time I tried to record stories, I’d start crying and it felt like too much. I haven’t been ready to talk about it, but that’s something I’d like to do this year. 

Do you see yourself starting a site for people affected by cancer? 

It’s too soon to think about that, but I have thought about doing more fundraising and maybe one day starting a nonprofit to help families in treatment. This is something I can revisit when things are back to “normal” and when we’re done with treatment. There are some amazing organizations out there, so my efforts will likely go toward helping them reach their goals. We’ll see. I’ve helped fundraise $85,000 and my next big goal is to raise 100k. 

Will you use your sociology degree? 

Sociology is the study of social life and the social causes and consequences of human behavior so one could argue that I’ve been using it but no. Ha. Everything I’m doing or plan on doing will be creative. 

What do you look forward to doing with the girls? 

It’s been a really difficult eight months, but we’ve been given the gift of time together. Margot and I are so, so close, and Conor and I are the only ones who have cared for Kate. It’s hard and I’d give just about anything to undo this diagnosis, but there have been some silver linings. So I’m grateful for that, and look forward to enjoying our lives under more “normal” circumstances. I can’t wait until we can spend time with friends. Some of my closest friends have pretty flexible schedules and children close in age to ours, so getting to spend more time with them is something I’m looking forward to. I’m just excited for some normalcy. Trips to the park and lake, picnics, aquarium, long walks, farmer’s markets, etc. 

I hope this helped answer some of your questions! If you have any questions that weren’t answered, please leave them in the comments below!