A Big (& Sad) Change to The DIY Playbook
I’ve written this post in my head over and over and over again, but still can’t seem to find the perfect words. So I guess I’ll just get right to the point.
As of the end of this week, I am leaving the DIY Playbook. This is a very, very, very difficult decision for me and one that has brought a lot of pain and heartache behind-the-scenes over the past few months. Because this community has grown to be such an important (and supportive!) part of my life, I want to be as honest and transparent about what led me to this difficult decision. I hope today’s post provides answers to your questions and the insight you all deserve.
A Little Background…
Over the past 6 years, the DIY Playbook has been such an amazing part of my life. It has brought me opportunities I would have never dreamed up. It has allowed me to meet such wonderful people, it has given me the chance to work side-by-side with my best friend, and it has challenged me, and in turn, taught me more than I would have ever imagined.
The DIY Playbook has been such a HUGE part of my life in the BEST way possible and honestly, I never expected it to end.
When I say that this blog has been a huge part of my life, I mean that quite literally. For the past 6 years, I have juggled two jobs. I work full-time as a high school special education teacher while tackling the never-ending to-do list of a full-time blog.
I’m a person who truly enjoys being busy and running the blog kept me extra busy (in a great way!). I loved everything about it. I was so passionate about the blog that I never minded working all day at my day job, only to transition to working all night and all weekend on the blog. And although the large to-do list felt daunting most of the time, the excitement that went along with the work (and the thought of someday turning it into a full-time career!) far outweighed the constant hustle.
The blog brought me so much happiness, even if the time it demanded meant sacrificing nights, weekends, family/friend commitments, and everything else I couldn’t do because I was juggling two full-time jobs. I made it work because I truly loved everything about it.
How Are You Going To Juggle It All?
When it came time to have our son Ben last February, people were constantly asking me how I would juggle the demands of blogging while being a mom who worked 2 jobs! And although I didn’t have a specific plan, I knew that I would continue to make it work because I was so passionate and would do what I had to do in order to run the blog.
Plus, Casey started blogging full-time a little before Ben’s due date, which made managing the blog with my teaching job A LOT more attainable for me.
Over the past year, my schedule continued to evolve. I was juggling a full-time job, blog, a baby (who needed more and more of my attention as he became mobile), a new pregnancy, a kitchen renovation, and at times, single-parenthood on nights and weekends when Matt traveled for his second job.
Although life was crazy, I continued to work my butt off to make it all happen. Fortunately, The DIY Playbook continued to grow and although my days felt overwhelming at times, I focused on the fact that this stage of life was only temporary. And remember? I actually like being busy… so what was wrong with a little busier… and a little busier… and just a little bit busier?!
I think you probably see where this is going by now. I was busier than ever and a feeling of constant pressure started creeping in at this point (duh, right?!). As obvious as it all seems now, this wasn’t so obvious when I was in the moment. Being a hard worker, an innate people pleaser, passionate about what I was doing, and pregnant with baby #2 (maybe it was just pregnancy making me feel exhausted?!), I let this draining process go on a little too long before realizing what was really happening.
The level of busy was taking a toll on my happiness, which in turn was slowly starting to impact the ones around me. From someone who is always happy and always positive in life, I realized that this increasing level of pressure/stress had become a problem.
I found myself at a crossroads. I needed to slow down, which ultimately meant that I needed to take one of the jobs off of my plate in order for me to be my best self for my number one priority in life — my family, but more specifically, my role as a mom.
The blunt realization that I had to choose between the two jobs became clear. Do I stay working as a high school teacher? Or do I leave my career to work on the blog full-time? I genuinely love both and lost lots and lots of sleep over my decision.
I gathered all the facts and Matt and I poured over what was the best career decision for our family. As we sifted through the information and discussed so many future scenarios, I slowly realized that what was best for our family now was not the same answer I had always envisioned (and hoped/planned for).
I always thought leaving teaching to work on the blog full-time was what my future held. The Playbook was doing well enough that I could supplement my teaching salary. Plus, I always envisioned having flexibility as a blogger to work alongside Casey and make my own schedule as an entrepreneur.
But as Matt and I dissected this very difficult decision, I realized that my decisions weren’t just about me anymore. I had to consider what the time commitment of the blog meant for our growing family. And even though it was a heartbreaking decision, we both decided that leaving the stability of teaching was not the best decision for our family at this time. This was a devastating realization for me.
I know this announcement and insight is a lot to digest, but I truly hope this honesty gives you a transparent look into a decision that surprised me just as much as it may have surprised you. It has definitely not been easy, but it’s what I feel is best for my soon-to-be two little ones at home.
At the end of the day, my number one priority is being the best mom that I can be. After seeing how quickly time passes with a little one at home, I need to focus on making the most of this precious time, even if that means giving up something that means so much to me. These kids deserve a mom who is present and living in the moment, not one who has them somewhere on her growing to-do list.
Saying goodbye is not easy, but please know that I won’t be far. I’m excited to tune in right alongside all of you each and every morning! It goes without saying that you are in the very best hands moving forward because I have no doubt that Casey will continue to make this an amazing place (likely even better without me!).
And I’m sure many of you are wondering if this is just a temporary absence, but it is not. That’s just not fair to the Finn family. There were a lot of logistics with separating the business (filing a new LLC, removing me from the bank accounts, separating ownership, etc.), so me coming on to post every now and again just isn’t fair to Casey and Finn. I want them to take their business to new heights and do all that they can with it!
The DIY Playbook isn’t going anywhere! Casey has SO many exciting things in store and like all of you, I can’t wait to watch them unfold. Mark my word, the DIY Playbook’s journey is just beginning and the best is yet to come. Although I’m selfishly sad I can’t be alongside my best friend as these exciting things unfold, I’m looking forward to stepping into my new (self-appointed) role as The DIY Playbook’s Biggest Fan… stalking Casey one phone call at a time, begging her to give me all the behind-the-scenes scoop!
Casey plans to share her side of the story on Friday, along with more details on what’s to come with The DIY Playbook. Also, we’re planning to do an Insta Story Q&A tomorrow afternoon to answer any of your questions about this big blog change. We’ll put a form up tonight on Insta stories, so you can head there to submit any of your questions.
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.