Time to Say Goodbye...

Dear Readers,

15 years ago, I was a mother of two small children and was feeling very frustrated. I had a child with speech delays that needed to be tested, and was having a very difficult time trying to find where to go for help.I was also a stay at home mom trying to stay busy and find things to do with the kids. Weekly playgroups became my sanctuary. All of the moms would exchange information about activities and events, and fun things to do in the area. It was so nice to talk to someone who wasn’t under three feet tall!

And lastly, being a full time mom was proving to be more difficult than I had originally thought. It had always been my dream to stay home with my kids, and now that I was living my dream it wasn’t all that it cracked up to be. Being a goal oriented person, it was hard to see accomplishments on a daily basis, since everything I did had to be done all over again the next day. Adding to that frustration was a growing sense of a loss of myself. I now had titles. Steve’s wife; Joe and Emma’s mom. I was proud of those titles, but where did Kathy go?

All of these frustrations became the starting point for my business. I realized how important it was to have a consolidated parenting resource for families in our area, and a monthly newspaper seemed like a great idea. I had no experience in publishing or printing, so I spent a year researching and learning. I was fortunate to have my best friend’s husband be a graphic designer, and he created the logo that you see today. I remember the first time I saw The Parent Planner’s name. It was like the birth of a child.

As time went on, I was also fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with all of my advertisers. Many of whom have advertised with me since the first issue. They saw the benefit of having a publication for parents in Connecticut and supported it whole-heartedly. Calling all of my advertisers this past week and giving them the news has been difficult.

I have also been blessed to have such a terrific readership. I have heard a lot of positive feedback over the years and it has what has pulled me through some dark times. The Parent Planner was not just a source of income to me, but my identity. I was the Publisher and creator! I am so very proud of this publication and all that it has done over the years.

But now, it is time to say good bye.

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As my children have grown older I feel more and more of a disconnect with the paper. I have “moved on” from this stage of life, and I don't feel in the loop any longer. Plus, I no longer need to work from home. My children are now in high school and driving (GASP) and  getting ready to move on to college. It is time for me to let go and move on too. 

For the past year I have been searching for my replacement. Someone who had experience in sales, who knew about our publication and believed in it, and who be able to take it to the next level. Alas, I have not found this individual. In the meantime I have begun to pursue another life long dream of mine: a career in real estate. I am doing very well, but juggling the demands of that job and The Parent Planner has proved to be too much for me.

So this issue that you are holding now is our last. It is with an extremely heavy heart that I say good bye. This decision has not been easy for me, and I am hoping that all of you can understand it. It is the right decision for me and my family. The stress of trying to do both jobs has left me feeling very overwhelmed and crabby. My family needs to have the old me back! And I need to let go of this dream, appreciate the experience for what it was, and move on.

At this time I would like to thank a few people who have really helped make The Parent Planner the successful publication that it is. First of all, Steve Waddock. Thank you for creating our logo. You were there for the birth and the beginning. We could never have done this without you.

Second, Martha Hogan. Those of you who have read this paper for a long time will recognize that name. Martha worked with me for several years and was more of a partner and friend than co-worker. Until Martha had come on board I was doing everything -- the editorial, the design and lay out, the selling of ads, the distribution and the books. I was fried when I met Martha, and she took half of my work off of my plate and allowed me to concentrate on what I was good at: sales. The paper really grew when she was with me, and I am so happy to have had her help all of those years!

Sue Vining is a name many of you will also recognize, because she is Martha’s replacement. Sue had some big shoes to fill, and she has done a fantastic job. Sue has become my confidant these last few months, and sometimes has taken on the role of therapist too. She really helped me come to terms with this decision and gave me so much peace. Thank you Sue. Thank you so very much!

Gianna Stebbins is another name that will be familiar to you. She collects all of the information for our calendar, playgroups, story hours, ongoing events and other activities. She is the backbone of our paper and the reason why many of you pick it up. Thank you Gianna for all that you have done.

Our distribution is headed up my a wonderful guy named Charlie Traynor. Charlie has done a fantastic job of placing The Parent Planner everywhere it needed to be. With over 800 locations in 47 towns, Charlie and his team had a tough job. They watched each individual location to make sure that all copies were picked up and read, and found better locations when we needed to. Distribution is key to success—thank you Charlie for everything!

Our advertisers deserve a huge thank you. Advertising has been the source of how this information was brought to you, each and every month. Without our advertiser's belief in our product we never would have made it this far. Please continue to show your appreciation to our advertisers by supporting them whenever you can. This economy is tough for many small businesses. Your continued patronage will let them know how grateful you are.

A special thank you to all of you, our readers. Your suggestions and comments have been the foundation of many of our issues. Thank you for your input, your feedback, and your support. I will miss you most of all!

A very special thank you goes out to my family. My parents, Irv and Ann Herskowitz, who taught me to believe in myself and that no dream was unattainable. My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders in life, and I would never have had the courage to start my own business without their belief that I could do it. Thanks Mom and Dad. My children, Joe and Emma, who are the inspiration for this publication. I was able to be home full time and also create an income, but my kids had to learn early on that when mom was on the phone to not interrupt. They have helped me in so many ways over the years and I appreciate them so very much.

And last but not least, my husband Steve. This past year has been brutal on him, and I am so sorry for that. It has been a very hard decision to make and Steve has been right there with me, no matter what. In this day and age it is hard to find someone who will support you like that, through thick and thin, but he has. And I am so grateful to have him as my partner and friend. Thank you Steve!

So this is it. Good bye. Thank you all for everything and I wish nothing but success and happiness for all of you.