I've written this in my head 100 times over, but it just hasn't seemed to work when I try to actually write it down in a "thoughtful" way... So I'm going to stop stressing about the correctness, the tone and the messaging. Instead, I'm just going to shoot you straight (how I normally operate) because anything other than that feels wrong!
SO --- the last full size inclusive seasonal wardrobe capsule I released was in Fall of '22. Since then, I've done some private projects for clients, but no large - group oriented - meant for more than one person type of work. And there are multiple reasons for that...
When I started this business in the Fall of 2020, I emphasized how important it was for me to build community while also providing a service that helped women of all sizes build wardrobe capsules using what we had or could reasonably add to our closets to make something feel simple and easy. This was so important during a time filled with so many other unknowns, emotional and physical burnout and the decision fatigue so many of us felt.
For those of you that have been around for a long time, you'll likely remember, when this started I had 20 minute blocks of scheduling K and 2nd grades the first year and then 1st and 3rd grades the second year at the kitchen table for our boys - along with Ryan working remotely (from the same kitchen table) - plus me starting this business (usually in the wee hours of the morning) after I had recently left my full time job at the university. It was chaotic, it was messy, it was unknown and yet I found true enjoyment in having a group of women that came together to talk about something fun when frankly, not much else in life felt easy, light or simple. Many of you poured into that inclusive community in a way I couldn't have imagined - likely because our other circles that we were used to connecting with were shifting or ending - and not by our choice.
Flash forward to present day and to be honest, I've gone back and forth about where I want things to go and what my next steps are. I've got one kiddo talking non-stop about no longer being a 5th grader, and the other one talking about how next year, he'll be the oldest (biggest!) grade in the school. It seems my mind can't catch up with how fast they are growing up. I look around at a home we were barely in pre-pandemic (we were always at work/daycare/activities) - to a home we used and survived in for the past 3 solid years - to now: a house with growing boys that are no longer interested in a basement full of toys - closets full of clothes that no longer fit them - and weekly/nightly schedules that feel like we get a "break" if we have even just one night with nothing on the schedule.
Like us, you might also now have different goals, outlooks and/or priorities after spending long months simply surviving a world that just didn't feel normal most days. I suppose for that, I'm thankful. A stop to what was "normal" pre-pandemic helped us realize things we may have previously taken for granted (like a packed full baseball schedule 4 months of the year!) For me, when we were in the midst of the pandemic, it was hard to imagine or judge what life would look like after things started to get back to "normal". Back then, just getting through some of those days were the true win! I don't think I could have guessed then how much work it would be raising these boys, getting them to all their activities and practices, while still getting everything else done. Some of those to-dos have been "work" related in the past few months, but most have not. Yet my days are full and my to-do list is on-going.
When I took the leap of faith 2 and a half years ago to go into business for myself - Ryan had a job he enjoyed on the "tech" side of things with a pretty set schedule that he could turn on and off each day when the work was done. Now, he is still with the same company, but in a senior management role that has very different responsibilities as well as time commitments when it comes to his work. I couldn't be more proud of him, but I also recognize that with that shift, I (willingly) took on the additional parenting duties we previously split.
In addition to those changes, many of you know and have been following my journey with my lipedema diagnosis. Starting treatment and prioritizing my health for a chronic condition that will only get worse if I don't keep it front and center has taken much of my time. 3 of us were also diagnosed with ADHD in the past 18 months, so I've been busy building strategies and systems here at home and at school to help us be more successful in our day to day lives. And finally, I continue to do my best to move our family forward in an emotionally healthy and positive way by being the "support" to get everyone through the ups and downs - something that is the taxing and very real "unseen" work many of us do!
I wrestle almost daily with the fact that I don't want to quit on myself, my dreams, my work or my talents (Ryan also does not want me to quit) ... BUT I have felt like I'm letting my family down by not bringing in the salary I know I could by going back to a more traditional job. This struggle is definitely not unique to me or our situation. I'm simply sharing where I'm currently at.
So while I haven't dropped the ball on anything "work" related since I last released a full capsule last fall --- I am now at a crossroads it seems. I've thought long and hard about how to go about this and the only conclusion I continue coming back to is taking an official "pause" (in addition to the unofficial one that's been going on behind the scenes for the last few months) so I can rethink, rework and reimagine how to make my ideas, passion for inclusive style and fashion, and need for a creative outlet in my work something that is sustainable and reasonable for our ever-changing family needs. Having talked with many of you one on one, I know many of you will understand this, as you are currently in a similar phase of life and change too!
So I'm not saying I'm done or goodbye - not in the least! Instead, I am saying I'm officially (publicly) pausing the capsules until a future update in September 2023.
Once the boys are in (2 different) schools next fall, I plan to come back and let you all know what the new game plan is or if I've decided to reinvest my time and energy into a more "traditional" career path to help support our family. (If you've gotten this far, I'm open to any and all suggestions and leads for this potentially recareering mama ;-)
Over the next 5 months I plan to take the time and space to really think about what I can offer and provide to others (in a paid or unpaid capacity) post pandemic that does not create a cycle of burnout or a situation where I have to make choices that are counterproductive with the demands of raising our family.I also plan to put a huge focus on prioritizing our home - which includes selling most of the items in my closets (YES - multiple closets from 3-4 years worth of blogging and styling clothes adds up quickly!). So make sure to follow my closet account on Instagram @ormclosetsale to be the first to shop those sales (size 16-28 and 1x-4x). And then of course I'll also continue to support our boys by keeping them involved in all the opportunities that interest them!
SO - that's the update. The unfiltered, barely proofed (don't judge, I had to just hit publish before I got all in my head about it) update.
I will still post over on IG @onerealmomma - I'll still share links in my IG stories and highlights - and I'll continue to leave the ORMStyleGroup open for members to connect with one another! I LOVE talking with you all through DM and chats - so don't be strangers! I'll pop in from time to time to share recent finds or products that I love, but the core of my work (capsules and individual styling) is on pause for now. If you think I seem MIA, at least now you'll know why.
Thank you all for being here and your continued support. It's because of YOU that I'm able to be confident in my decision to take the time I need to make the right/next best decisions and step(s) in the coming months for myself and our family.