I am so thrilled to introduce you to Melissa Shannon, a licensed therapist who works with many women who are like you and me to help them feel empowered and more confident. Melissa is going to become a regular content contributor for Hyde Park Moms helping us navigate motherhood and being a woman in this world. In addition to amazing advice and content, she offers Telehealth services and group therapy programs. Get to know her and her family!
What’s your favorite thing about living in Hyde Park?
We moved back to Anderson a few years ago but you cannot beat the walkability and unique shops and restaurants in Hyde Park. Everyone is so active and friendly and there is a great energy in the community. We love Ault Park and getting Graeter’s on the square!
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Reese, 7 and twins William & Henry, 5.5
Favorite things to do with your kids around town (can be outside of HP)?
We love the Zoo, riding scooters and watching planes land at Lunken, The Banks, The Cincinnati Museum Center and taking in a Red’s game (in pre-COVID times). Cincinnati is such a family friendly city and I love raising our children here.
Do you have a favorite local store, fitness class or restaurant and why?
I love Joseph Beth Booksellers and their story times were a lifesaver when I had three kids two and under. Now that they’re a bit older we enjoy grabbing a bite and picking out books there.
We love Dewey’s and my kids ask for Skyline any chance they get. When my husband and I first got engaged we lived down the street from Mt. Lookout Square and Ichiban is still our #1 sushi spot.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I’m a licensed therapist and have my own private practice. I see clients virtually via telehealth and work with women on everything from life transitions to anxiety to personal development. It can be really hard to find a professional when you want to talk to someone and finding a therapist that is a good fit for you can be incredibly difficult. Telehealth has made it so much easier to get services and you can do a session during nap time or while the kids are enjoying screen time. Trying to find a sitter or coordinate schedules to get out for an appointment can feel like more trouble than it’s worth so virtual sessions bring therapy right to you. It’s my mission to make mental health services more accessible and smash the stigma that tends to come with talking to a therapist. I help women become more resilient so they develop resistance to emotional exhaustion and burnout. I offer private one on one sessions as well as small group sessions.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
While Cincinnati is huge it’s also really a small town in many ways. The six degrees of separation game is so very true here and just about every friend in my life is connected to another somehow. Community in motherhood is crucial because motherhood can feel isolating, not to mention it can be really hard. Having a community of women and resources to look to and lean on makes it all a little bit easier!
Tips for Balancing it all? Motherhood, career, family and social life?
Honestly, I don’t believe in work-life balance but more of a work-life integration. Instead of trying to achieve a state where your work life and your personal life coexist but thrive separately, you learn how to bring your work and personal lives closer together in more of a blended way. 2020 showed us how important flexibility is when it comes to working and parenting and I suspect it’s going to permanently change things moving forward.
I think asking for, and accepting, help is crucial since moms tend to put more and more on our plates without ever taking anything off. Women carry so much of the invisible load of managing a family and when you add a career and social life on top of that there just isn’t enough time in the day. My best tip is to remember you can do anything you want, you just can’t do it all at once. And that is okay!
What is the best advice you have received as a mom?
To trust myself. There is so much noise, so many opinions, books and judgements. You can feel really shaky as a first time mom and it’s important to remember that you are capable of so much more than you think you are.
The other helpful piece of advice was to give myself permission to not feel pressured to enjoy every single moment. It’s well meaning when passerbys tell you that you’ll miss it all one day, and you very well may, but it’s okay to acknowledge that motherhood is hard and it isn’t always fun. It doesn’t mean you love your children any less!
Tried and True kid’s products?
When the twins were born my daughter was not yet two years old so I was definitely outnumbered and didn’t have nearly enough arms when we left the house. I survived by wearing one child in my Ergo and putting the other two in the double stroller. The City Mini GT Double Stroller was the absolute best stroller. I definitely shed a little tear when I passed it on to another mom.
One thing you couldn’t live without as a Mom?
Coffee, hands down 🙂