When I got pregnant with my first child, we ended up moving from Atlanta back to San Antonio at seven months pregnant for a number of reasons. I’d always envisioned that I’d be a working mom because I loved my career and was on a good path with a great company. But life happened, and the need to come home to San Antonio called our names. Suddenly, I found myself two babies deep, staying at home, and rediscovering a city that had changed so much after 12 years away. I loved being with my children and witnessing their every move but, if I was being honest, there were days I felt like I wanted to pull my hair out, and I knew I needed something that was going to keep my twitchy brain active.
About that time, I received an email out of the blue from a friend of a friend who had an idea for a parenting resource here in San Antonio. That friend of a friend, Lindsay, had been following a parenting website local to her hometown of New Orleans and thought something similar would do well in her new home, San Antonio. At that time, there were about 14 sites around the country in addition to New Orleans Moms Blog that were part of this City Moms Blog Network that we started looking into, all doing the same thing in their local communities. When Lindsay approached me about being involved and then about becoming her co-owner and getting this thing launched, everything inside me screamed, “YES!!” So we met, we talked, I jumped in headfirst, and so began the early days of Alamo City Moms Blog.
Lindsay and I knew that what we were starting was going to be special. We knew it was a resource San Antonio needed. We knew we wanted a wide variety of voices representing motherhood. We knew we wanted to touch on topics that would make women feel normal and like they weren’t alone. We understood the importance of finding writers from different walks of life, women who didn’t know each other previously, and really, whom we didn’t even know either. We knew we wanted to host events to let moms in San Antonio connect and meet face to face. But we had no idea how it would do and what kind of reaction we would get.
We were part of what I like to call the “early settlers” of City Moms Blog Network. We figured out how to write code to build our website. We learned everything we could about Facebook and Twitter to start our social media accounts. We reached out to local businesses about this “new thing” we were starting in hopes that they would partner with us…and lo and behold, they got on board before the site had even launched. We reached out to women whom we discovered through local blogging networks, friends, and random conversations about joining us as we embarked on this journey. We thought up new ideas that we shared with other Sister Sites. We wrote posts and created content and knew by the comments we were getting that at least our moms were reading our little ol’ blog. We winged it like the best of them and faked it half of the time since we really didn’t know what we were doing. We watched our page views start to crawl up and started realizing that maybe it was more than just our own mothers who were watching our site grow. We planned our first event, a Moms Night Out, and somehow, people came! A few months after our launch, we held another contributor call and—holy smokes!—we had a whole slew of people apply to write for Alamo City Moms Blog! It was with that second batch of contributors who joined our team that we started to see magic happen. Our team began to form a community in and amongst themselves that became an incredible support system, and the effects of that could be felt trickling out to our readers. It was working! And you all liked us! You really liked us!
At the same time that Alamo City Moms Blog was clicking, City Moms Blog Network, our parent company, was seeing the same thing happen on a national scale. Moms in cities across the U.S. were seeing what the network was doing, how platforms for moms in local communities were being created, how new Sister Sites were being launched, how positive and uplifting voices of motherhood were shared, how events were bringing together women in their cities, and how women were creating friendships, sisterhood, and bonds through their shared experiences of motherhood.
City Moms Blog suddenly went from nine sites to 33 sites to 48. Processes were formed; the business of City Moms Blog began to take shape; and a national team began to formulate. It was around Sister Site #35 that I started talking with our founder, Steph, about stepping into a role needed to grow and develop our national partnerships. I hesitated because I knew how much I already had on my plate, not only with running Alamo City Moms Blog locally, but also with my kids and family and volunteer work that I am passionate about. But I prayed. I prayed that I’d have clarity on my next step and that I’d know exactly what the right choice was. And in the end, I took the job and, once again, dove in headfirst.
Once again, I found myself loving every bit of the national role just as much as I did the local role. To know that we were building across the country what we were building right here in San Antonio was awe-inspiring and fuel to my fire. So both locally and nationally, we grew. With ACMB, we grew our team in contributors, in Mombassadors to our Neighborhood Groups, and in staff, with 45 women contributing to Alamo City Moms Blog in different capacities. And nationally, we grew City Moms Blog Network to more than 70 sites, and I was asked to step in and serve on our National Executive Team as Director of Sales. Any guesses to what I did? Yep, headfirst.
My prayers turned from finding something to do with my time to finding balance among everything I had filled my time with. I loved everything I was doing, but my to-do list was never-ending, my sleeping hours were turning into my working hours, the bags under my eyes were growing, and I was honestly exhausted. Utterly exhausted. But the world works in funny ways, doesn’t it? Those prayers I was putting out there were continuously being answered. Remember how I said our team grew? About a year and a half ago, Amanda, who had been an ACMB contributor since almost the very beginning, began stepping up into a larger role and helping me out with events. As my national role grew, Amanda’s capacity within ACMB grew as well, and I began to notice that she loved and was passionate about ACMB and what we were doing just as much as Lindsay and I were. Amanda truly became the right hand to my left, and there were times I’d call her and she’d pick up the phone with the answer to a question before I even asked it. This October, as my two roles began to reach a fever pitch in busyness and I was beginning to feel incredibly overwhelmed with all I was juggling, serendipity stepped in and took us all by the hand. During a conversation about being stressed and exhausted, Amanda made the off-hand comment: “I know you’re overwhelmed. So I’ll take over your role in ACMB, and you’ll step in full-time to City Moms Blog…uh, did I just say that???”
At that moment, I knew that was my answered prayer and that was exactly what would happen. Only someone who understood ACMB from the inside out and loved it the way Amanda does would be capable of filling this role because it’s a ton of work but so incredibly fulfilling. I knew Amanda would take on my side of leading ACMB so that it can continue to thrive and grow, and I would put my eggs in one basket for City Moms Blog Network so that it will continue to thrive and grow. I approached Lindsay with the idea, and she backed it 100%, knowing it would be the right step for all of us.
As we move into this new year, we wanted our readers, our family, here at Alamo City Moms Blog to share in our excitement about these changes. Luckily for me, Amanda and Lindsay have been generous enough to ask me to stick around as an advisor. And since I’m still on the national side, they kinda can’t get rid of me anyway! You’ll still see me around at our events or hear from me occasionally on Alamo City Moms Blog. Feel free to ask me what’s happening with ACMB because there’s no doubt I’ll be their biggest cheerleader around. I’m so excited to see what the next year will bring under Amanda and Lindsay’s co-ownership and co-leadership. Our team is stronger than ever due to our talented staff; our contributors, whose words inspire and often make me laugh out loud, cry, or fist pump in agreement; and our dedicated Mombassadors. To our partners and readers who have supported us and loved us every step of the way, I am so beyond grateful. You have followed along as we’ve shared our hearts and souls, supported our crazy ideas, attended our events and filled them with energy and fun, helped us grow, and provided valuable feedback so that we could be better for you.
As Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Bravo to the new co-owners of Alamo City Moms Blog as they build on the new. I can’t wait to see what’s to come!