Ask Casey No. 5
I get lots of design questions from you guys, but it’s kinda funny because I actually get questions about a lot of other things happening in my life, like marriage, blogging, fitness, fashion…really every single category! So, I tackle your inquiries in my “Ask Casey” blog post series answering your questions every month or so.
Ask Casey No. 5
Here are a few past posts if you want to catch up…
The google form (at the bottom of the post) has helped me keep everything organized so I can slowly make my way through your inquiries. So, if you have another question today, be sure to submit it down below.
Taking Time Off
How much time and effort goes into getting ready to take time off, like a vacation or maternity leave? How many posts do you have to line up in order to disconnect but make sure your business is still performing? Are you ever able to truly disconnect?
This is such a good question and one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’ve been blogging for over seven years now and apart from two weeks at Christmas, I have never taken a posting break. We posted five days per week when Bridget was on the team and I now have a posting cadence of four days per week. I’ve never altered from this and I think a big part of my blog’s growth and success has come from being very reliable and consistent with my content.
I usually have blog posts prepared two weeks out, so with vacations, I just work a little harder before I leave so I can keep my regular posting cadence. I will say that it is really hard for me to disconnect. Even on the days I don’t have a blog post publishing, I feel a need to post on social media and stay connected over there. I love this job and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but unlike a traditional 9-5, I’m on the clock 24/7.
I’m scheduled to have the baby at the end of this month (fingers crossed she stays cozy in there until then!) and I’m planning to take off five weeks of work…the entire month of May. I won’t have any blog posts publishing during that time and it will be a very strange feeling! My guess is I’ll still pop in on Instagram because I won’t be able to help myself, but I won’t have any set schedule or expectations for myself.
I have been working overtime to prepare some content for June so I can ease back into work. I want to have at least two to three weeks of content written with photographs shot and ready ahead of time so it won’t feel as overwhelming when I sit down to start back up again. At the end of the day, The DIY Playbook is my job and it brings in a large chunk of income for our family so I can’t desert it completely for too long. However, I’m planning to give myself grace and do everything I can do now so I can enjoy those baby snuggles in the early days.
Splitting the Load
How have you and Finn dealt with pregnancy in terms of splitting up the load? I’m currently pregnant and feel bad that my husband is tackling ALL the house projects because there’s a lot he doesn’t want me to do (e.g. painting, stuff with ladders, etc.).
This has been one of the hardest things for me. As someone who likes to do everything herself, it’s really difficult for me to ask for help. But Finn has been very vocal about not wanting me to lift heavy items or do anything too dangerous while pregnant. If he spots me carrying in too many grocery bags from the car, he “T’s” me up (gives me a technical foul…apparently it’s a sports thing??). I’ve gotten T’ed up a lot over the course of this pregnancy (sorry Finn!) because I often forget that there are tasks I shouldn’t be doing. Finn insists on doing these tasks, so I don’t really feel too bad about having him help out.
I will say there is still so much that I can do. I put all of the chair rail up in the nursery by myself and then let Finn handle the painting. I installed wallpaper, tiled our laundry room, and added the wall mural to our office by myself. I still clean and organize and do all of those tasks around the house. I just leave the heavy lifting and dangerous stuff for him, and he is more than happy to help out (and I’m sure most husbands would be the same!). I say, just know your body and know your limits!
How is your hair doing during pregnancy? Mine was wonderful, I liked it so much… I hope it’s the same for you!
If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember last summer when all of my hair was falling out. Like legit…clumps of hair in the shower every day. I have fine hair to begin with and it was incredibly sad to see it coming out in chunks. My doctor said it was probably from the ups and downs of all of the hormones from two and a half years of IVF and from the stress of my miscarriages, so there was nothing I could really do about it. I decided to chop my hair in July (I cut about six inches off) and just tried my best to enjoy my new do. Then, I got pregnant in August and luckily, my hair stopped falling out!
I wouldn’t say it’s been long and luscious, but it does feel healthier and I haven’t been losing any (which is typical with pregnancy). I am a bit concerned about postpartum hair loss because I hear that’s a very real thing. I may have another summer shedding coming my way, but at least I’ll have a sweet baby to snuggle when it happens. And hats, lots of hats.
When is the kitchen renovation happening?
I am sooooo excited to announce that we’re officially starting the kitchen renovation in the fall. It will be our next big project and I cannot wait to whip this space into shape. I’ve enlisted the help of the designer Claire from Centered by Design to help me. While I love all things design and home, I am in no way qualified to draw blueprints, know where to move plumbing/electrical, and more. She is coming by to take measurements and discuss the space and I’ll have some layouts to review in the next few weeks!
I’ll then spend the summer sourcing and planning and I’m hoping my contractor will be able to start by September 1st. Of course, I’ll share every step along the way (including costs), so it will be fun to dive into those details. And there are some elements that we’ll be DIY’ing ourselves (and others we’ll be hiring out). I’m not sure who is more excited about this project…me or Finn. As the chef in our household, he has lots of ideas on how he wants to lay out his dream kitchen, so it has been fun designing this space together.
Thoughts on Motherhood
What makes you most nervous about becoming a new mom?
In the early days, I’m most nervous about the lack of sleep. I am someone who likes her sleep (at least eight to nine hours per night) and I know that will soon be a thing of the past. It will be interesting to see how I function with extreme sleep deprivation, but I’m sure we will figure it out together!
Beyond that, I’m nervous about finding balance as a working mom. I’m very fortunate that my job is flexible, but it’s also tough because it’s an all-consuming job with all of the work falling on my shoulders. I have a childcare plan (I’ll share the details in my third trimester recap blog post) that will free up time for me during the week to get Playbook work done, so that will be helpful! But I also don’t want to miss any special moments with our daughter. It will be interesting to find a groove that works well for our family. Working moms, if you have any tips…I’m all ears!
Submit Your Questions
Have a question you want answered? Use the google form below and I’ll answer it in the next Ask Casey post.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.