"The show has been a part of my life for so long," she said. "There's a special place in my heart for the show, for the women, I'm really close to the women on the show. I just made the decision to step back so I can spend more time doing my things with business and my family."
"It's a win-win for me," she added. "I'm still on the show. I'm still very much a part of the show, but it's not a full-time thing. It's very engulfing when you're on it. It takes up all of your mental and physical energy."
With de Lesseps in a recurring role, Bravo has hired former model and businesswoman Kristen Taekman to replace her.
“I never in a million years thought about [doing this show],” Taekman told The New York Post.
“I’ve been in the mommy world for so long, which is why this show is so exciting to me."
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]