A Review of 2018 + What To Expect in 2019! - Studio DIY
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A Review of 2018 + What To Expect in 2019!

1/7/2019

A Review of 2018 + What To Expect in 2019

Hi you guys!!! Happy New Year, officially. I know we’ve been chatting on IG but welcome to the first blog post of the year! An annual tradition, if you’re new here. Usually I recap the blog highlights of the year but honestly, outside of our home, I wasn’t the proudest of my creative work this year. So instead, I’m going to leave that in 2018 and dive right in to my thoughts on the year today.

As you may have come to know, I tend to dub each year with some sort of title. 2015 was “The Year of Growing Pains,” 2016 was “The Year of Failure” and 2017 was “The Best Year of My Life.”

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2018 gets the title of “The Year I Realized I Was Building A Life I Didn’t Want.”

At the beginning of 2018 I made a ton of huge decisions: I hired a full-time nanny, I leased a new studio and I hired two more employees. If you recall from last year’s post, two of my big goals for 2018 were to “Ask For Help” and “Choose Convenience Without Guilt.” Well, I achieved that with all those big decisions. I built an amazing team, I got a more convenient commute and together we more than doubled our revenue in 2018. It was a big, big year at first glance.

But my mental and physical health continued to get worse, not improve. To a point that I was looking up traditional, 9-5 day jobs daily. That I was asking Jeff if he’d be willing to go back to a desk job so I could be a stay-at-home mom to Arlo because I just couldn’t do it all anymore.

So at the end of 2018, I decided to undo all of it. It was hard and painful and affected so many more people than just myself. But I wasn’t being a good boss, mom, wife or friend and nobody was benefiting from that, either. Sometimes the most necessary decisions are the hardest ones to make.

Because over a few much needed conversations in 2018, with some of the most important people in my life, I was able to see the root of my problem. I had chased a dream that wasn’t mine. And what I learned was I had already achieved my dream… but then blew right past it without so much as a glance behind me. I was focusing so much on my peers who were building bigger teams and leasing bigger offices and cultivating huge empires and trying to get there too, even though that wasn’t actually what I wanted.

I’ve always wanted to work for myself, and that is still true and hasn’t changed. But I started Studio DIY because I knew I wanted to build a career of flexibility, to accommodate my health issues and my family priorities, not to become a powerful CEO and manager of 100. I worked my butt off to make this flexible career a reality. And little did I know, I ACHIEVED MY DREAM! In 2017. At the age of 27.

That year, I became a mom. I had slimmed down my full-time team to just one. I spent most of my days at home with my family. I was still running a successful business. I was happier than I had ever been.

So why did I feel the need to toss that aside in 2018 to chase these milestones of “bigger” and “more” when I didn’t even want them in the first place?

Well, that’s one of the hardest parts of the Internet, right? You’re exposed to so much that your brain starts to confuse what you really want with what you think you’re supposed to want.

A Review of 2018 + What To Expect in 2019

So today, January 7th of 2019, I am writing from my new home “studio” (my couch), as a new full-time team of one person (Yours truly!) with a mommy and me dance class scheduled with my son for 11am tomorrow. One year forward and ten steps back and exactly how it should be.

It’s a weird contrast to make a conscious choice to take 10 steps back after having your most successful year ever. But it’s a decision I knew was necessary for the health of myself and my family. It took me dropping every ball. Literally. Every single one. Losing out on multiple HUGE deals. Deals I had put hours of work into. Making unacceptable mistakes with clients. Steering myself towards projects I didn’t want and leaving ones I did behind. Letting down employees that had put their faith in me. Losing all sight of my creativity. Putting a strain on my marriage and missing my son’s first steps. But I finally learned my lesson. Money isn’t everything and bigger isn’t always better.

This year, I’ve decided to give myself some freedom. Freedom to have less overhead so I can take on less work, live without office hours, explore and expand my creativity and cultivate relationships with people I “didn’t have time for.” And most importantly, freedom to be a mom. The way I need to be a mom right now. To work smarter and not harder, with less pressure, and hopefully be writing a year from now in a better mental and creative place.

I recognize that this is an extraordinary privilege I’ve worked towards, but also frankly, lucked into in many ways. I don’t take that for granted.

And I recognize that this comes in contrast to the women-in-business landscape right now which shouts, “Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t run a business and be a mom.” And they’re right! That’s true! Don’t let anyone tell you that! You CAN run a big business and be a great mom. Many people can and do.

I cannot. And 2018 was a humbling lesson in being ok with that. My personality is not built to manage a huge team all day, juggle dozens of projects and clients, interact with (hundreds of) thousands of people online and come home to be who I want to be with as a mother and wife and friend.

A Review of 2018 + What To Expect in 2019

Now that I’ve hit the reset button, I hope you’ll stick around as I feel out a new “normal” here on the blog and social media. I have a lot of posts I’ve been wanting to write, but couldn’t find the time before. I’ve talked a lot about how becoming a mom zapped my creativity in the ways I once knew it and I’m looking forward to having the mental space to rediscover where my creativity lies this year. I’m looking forward to having the time to dive into our home renovations so I can live in a space for the very first time that feels like me. I’m looking forward to rebuilding some of the moments I sacrificed with my family. And I’m really looking forward to sharing it all with you!

We do still have some really big things happening this year that I can’t wait to share with you, too. And yes, we’ll still have help, of course. But by the way of remote help so my focus can remain where it needs to be right now. I can’t thank all of you enough for the support you’ve shown me especially over the last year. NONE of this would be possible without you. You all have given me the gift of choosing what’s right for my mental and physical health and I am eternally grateful.

With that, in lieu of the typical goals I write out, I’m trying to be easier on myself. So my big goal this year is just this: To prioritize me, explore my creativity and be present for my growing family.

And with that, let 2019 begin. I have no idea if I just made the best or worst decision of my life but right now it feels just right. Our reader survey will be up soon and I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say over there! But for now, I’d love to hear what you’re prioritizing this year, too. Feel free to share below!

And thank you, just one more time, for being here! It means the world.

79 comments

  • Kaitlin Kirchner

    I could not love this any more!!!!! I am so happy for you and your family! It is so brave/encouraging/inspirational that you are taking this step to put THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in your life first!!! Being there to watch your son grow is so much more important for your family (and your soul) than any job ever could be!! I mean being a parent really is the most important job you could ever have! So many people don’t realize it until it’s too late. So unbelievably happy for you!!

    I have always struggled with finding a college major or a career path that I am passionate about, because I have always known that the thing I cared most about was raising a family. It is so hard to dedicate your life doing tasks that seem so mundane when you know your most important job will be done inside the walls of your own home.

    You can do anything, but you can’t do it all. You can’t give 100% of yourself to two different things and it is so important to choose which thing you give your 100% toward! And giving your 100% toward your family has to be THE most important thing there is. I cannot wait to see where this takes you and how happy you will be making this change in 2019! I will be here rooting you on every step of the way!

  • Mia

    I just want to let you know that the paragraph where you say you’re writing from home, as a team of one, with a mommy and me dance class scheduled made me tear up. I don’t comment often on the few blogs I read, but I’ve been reading your blog since 2015 and this post just warms my heart. Wishing you all the best in 2019 ❤️

  • Amanda

    I love this, and I’m glad you were able to see the forest through the trees unlike so many of us in this high-pressured world. Congratulations, all the best in 2019!

  • Korin B

    Hooray. So brave and so inspiring. I’m not going anywhere and I can’t wait to see the “new” creative-mom-more-whole-healthy-person content coming our way this year!

  • Sarah Tinken

    Thank you for your honesty in this post. It is refreshing to hear someone admit that “doing it all” isn’t always the best option. I look forward to hearing about the ways that you will thrive as a family, having to have made hard decisions for that be possible. As a mother-to-be, facing changes in my own career landscape, this post has left me feeling very encouraged, inspired and reassured.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    All the best to you guys this year!

  • Marie

    When you say you have remote help now does that mean you don’t have a full time nanny or any employees now? Or do you have like a Virtual assistant now? Also Thanks for being so honest!

  • Alexandra

    I’m so happy for you and so thankful for your honesty (always!). The cult of the “hustle” is so dangerous to so many people, and we need more people like you admitting that doing it “all” is sometimes the very wrong thing for everyone involved. You’re the best, and I look forward to following along, wherever the year takes you!

    http://www.onlylivingirlny.com

  • Heather O.

    This post may be one that has resonated with me the most out of all the blog posts I’ve read! Thank you so, so much for sharing (and putting into words what I can’t). The internet always makes me feel like I should want more, achieve more, work for more, when I’m reality, I’m really happy with what I have! Working on realizing others dreams aren’t mine and enjoying life as it comes is my goal for 2019. I hope you have a great year!

  • Sarah Krauss

    Kelly – I am so happy to read this. With tears streaming down my ugly cry face, I am so happy for you! You have truly built a following of people who simply adore and support you, and want whats best for YOU! Being this honest is certainly refreshing. Whether you have 1 or 100 DIY projects, new merch, etc. you will have the support of ME! Do you, boo boo – we will all be here for it!

    Looking forward to supporting you – in whatever way that works best for you – in 2019! Cheers, sista.

    Sarah

  • Christina Robitaille

    Thank you for being real and honest with us! So proud of the decision you made to prioritize you and your family and I can’t wait to keep following your journey! Wishing you all the happiness this year! Xoxo

  • Christine

    I love this Kelly! I’ve been thinking about my dreams, one of which is being a mama in a couple of years. Last year I made a big decision of going back to a 9-5 job because of things like saving money, having better health care, and prepping to be able to support another life. I felt like I was denying my creativity (I was freelancing as a photographer), but it just wasn’t sustainable where we live in CA. I still feel like I’m “denying my true self,” but on the flip side I know that this choice will get me to my goal! And I actually do love this new job. Who would have thought?! So thank you for sharing this!! Totally resonates with me. Needed to hear this.

  • Sam

    Go you! Major kudos for being self-aware enough to realize you weren’t happy AND having the courage to do something about it. 2019 will be a great year!

    xx
    Sam

  • Sara

    So glad you took some time off to just BE. It’s all we need to be able to re-set sometimes. Can’t wait to see what you will do with a new year just beginning.

  • Kim Stoegbauer

    Hello friend! I’m so proud of you for realizing what’s most important! I completely understand your perspective and have so much respect for you sharing it here. Babies grow up way too fast, and you can’t get that time back! With social media, we get caught up in what everyone else is doing and think we have to do that too. We don’t! We are so lucky to have the freedom to choose how much we work and what projects we work on, all while doing what we love. Enjoy every moment being a mom and don’t forget that you’ll have plenty of time to build your empire later (if you so choose)! Wishing you all the best in 2019! xo

  • Lexie B.

    I hope this year brings you happiness and peace! I love following your blog and appreciate how genuine you are in your posts❤️

  • Rita

    This is so refreshing!
    I’ve been feeling something similar where I’m doing everything I’ve wanted to and more professionally and with my passions but leaving less time for the people I absolutely love. You have inspired me to make a conscious decision of also making this year about prioritizing my sanity and them. ❤️

    Thanks so much!!! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🌈🌈🌈🌈❤️❤️❤️❤️🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🎯🎯🎯😻😻😻

  • Chiara

    Sooo brave! Happy for you!

  • Kara

    Go, Kelly! This is awesome – how great you were able to step back and really do what’s best for you and your family! My experience is that when mom and dad are happy and healthy, everything works a whole lot better…

    And, just as a note, I stayed at home with my kids for seven years, working (very) occasionally, and it was tough sometimes to see friends who I started with explode and do really big things. I always felt in my heart, though, that I wanted to be with my kids and it would all work out and was the best thing for our family’s health. I don’t regret a second I spent with them and – BAM – now they’re in school and I have more time again (not a ton, but definitely more), and, from what I hear, they’re going to one day have their own lives that don’t revolve around me. WAH. 🙂

    Here’s to a wonderful 2019!

  • Susan Bradfield

    Kelly.

    You inspire me so much. Your honesty is refreshing. I can completely resonate which how you have been feeling.

    The pressures of watching others striving for success has made me question myself and everything that I do. The simple fact is I love being a Mum and Wife. Yes I have a blog but I have practically stopped even writing through anxiety of what others may think or that I am not enough (so why bother).

    You have to do what is right for YOU. That is THE most important thing. We are all still here loving you, Jeff and beautiful Arlo and your creativity will continue to inspire.

    Enjoy 2019 and all the exciting new things it will bring.

    Susan (UK) x

  • Emma

    This is amazing! As a reader I’m not going anywhere! In fact I’m looking forward to having a blog I can read that gets why I don’t work full time and instead spend my time with my son. Congrats!

  • Ahzahdeh

    As a SAHM for the last two years, couldn’t love this more. I’m starting my own business out of my home, and it seems so daunting. I sometimes feel like it’s not good enough since I’m at home. Can’t wait to see how you do this year. Some of us will be right here with you!

  • Courtney

    Such a brave an honest post! Being a mom is the most important and hardest job out there! Good for you for knowing what is best for YOU and not being ashamed to admit it. You will only have a small window to be as present as you want to be in your child’s life! When I sent my youngest to kindergarten I was so grateful I was able to have those first five years at home with her.

  • Des Reyna

    And this is what we all love about you. Thank you for this, because in your vulnerability, so many others (me) are able to challenge themselves with these thoughts that might have not come up otherwise. People will make better decisions for them, too, because of your bravery. I’m on my couch completely dumbfounded at the thought of chasing what I don’t want. Wow. I don’t want what I’m chasing this year to be tweeked by the scroll, and now I and so many others can be conscious of it. Jeff says it all the time, and it’s pretty evident in this decision, “You are such a good, Mom”. You are best, for Arlo. You’re lucky to have each other, the 3 of you. I’m rooting, and praying for you. <3 Desirée Reyna

  • Sara

    You are such a gem! And so your whole family.
    Creativity needs to follow the evolution of the human being that generates it. And it is so good for the soul to see you all growing together. ❤️

  • Meg

    You have NO idea how much I needed to read this. I have been dealing with debilitating health issues for 2 years now, raising 2 kids, burning the candle at both ends to run my own business while simultaneously searching 9-5 desk jobs then feeling guilty for even thinking about giving up the opportunity to work for myself that I have spent almost 7 years growing. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It helps to know I am not alone and that I am not the only one taking a step backwards when the world seems to be screaming at me to keep pushing forward.

  • Orianne

    Congratulations on this big decision ! It is amazing that you were able to see what you need to do, even if it feels like going backward it is actually a big step forward. And I can’t wait to see how you content is going to evolve from here.

  • Cassie

    This is so refreshing to hear and see and gives us all a second to step back and make sure the things we are chasing after are actual what we want and are in a direction we want our lives to go. I was listening to a podcast and encouraged by this “Being influential is not about doing more, it’s about doing less better” I often feel overwhelmed with the pressure of having a child and having to back down on things I’m working for, but more money and more work won’t make my life better. I feel like you’re totally right. Some personalities and people are built to work and be a mom and some of us need less to keep ourselves mentally healthy. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  • Michelle

    You took all the words right out of my brain. xoxo

  • Holly

    This resonates with me so much! I had a company I was running and things just went way faster than i could have ever imagined and we grew bigger than I intended in such a small amount of time. It affected my marriage and took me away from my kids and it really created constant conflict in my mind. I started to hate myself… like really really hate. In my mommy I wasn’t good enough for my kids, husband, or industry. I took a leap and took a hiatus, after taking a break I stopped permanently and it was a rough change. I’m not going to lie and say things were an easy transition but I pretty much started my professional life over this past year. Now that my third baby is three I am exploring where I actually want to be and what my dream job actually is. It’s especially hard when you are a creative ( with a small bankroll!) but I’m hoping this year to start over again and maybe even find some success. You are so special Kelly and I’m sending you all the good vibes for your decision! You are going to do great and I think your customers will definitely support all your decisions <3

  • Dorothy

    Thank you so much for this post. I went through something incredibly similar this year when I decided to stop taking floral clients after my business finally started growing. I realized I was missing out on so much family time and decided to fulfill my current obligations and focus on my desk job. I’m so much happier now and I have 5 weddings left to do. Then I’m done. But i am going to savor each one that I do because i love it, but it’s not for me for what I want to work toward.
    Thank you for letting us see this. And for being honest and true and fabulous at the same time.
    You’ve brought me joy from sharing this.

  • Natalie

    You are always so transparent and real, and that’s why you have the following that you do. I can’t wait to see this next part of your journey! Also, I remember reading an article a couple years ago about how there is nothing wrong with “leaning out” of work and “leaning in” to your children, especially when they’re young. I always think about that in my own life and try to pass it along to other moms.

  • Maggie

    So glad to read that you’re going to do what you need to do. I hope the year ahead is filled with the things and people you care about, and lots of opportunity for creativity.

  • Brenda

    This is the best post I’ve ever read. You just showed up as a real wife, mother, and person accepting who they are, not what anyone tells us what we should be. This makes you more of a woman with strength and courage than you know. Every choice we make should be for the betterment of our family’s life because only then do we live in harmony with our soul and others. I tell my girls to do what works for their family, not someone else’s. There’s always tomorrow as the seasons change in your young life

  • E

    This resonates so much with me. I made a similar decision in 2017. On paper, it made no logical sense to step away – I was on a corporate fast track and made a lot of money. But I never saw my son. Two years later, quitting was the best decision I ever made. You won’t regret it. I’m really happy for you.

  • Kiley

    All the applause! I’m rooting for you and for this amazing community that you’ve grown. I walked away from a fast paced dream job once and I can’t imagine my life if I had stayed. Just because a decision isn’t easy doesn’t mean it isn’t right. Wishing you all good things in 2019!

  • Danielle

    You do you girl! And I bet we will continue to enjoy watching all the great things you share on here!
    Like many other above said, thanks for being so candid, bigger isn’t always better! Good luck in the year to come, can’t wait to hear how mommy and me dance class goes!!! 😍

  • Terrie D.

    Good for you! I am so happy for you in figuring out what it is that you really want and then making it happen. This is something I need to figure out for myself this year. 🙂 Wishing you all the best in 2019!

  • Leah Esturas Pierson

    I’m SO GLAD you have found the immense courage to back out of these commitments to allow yourself to live the life you want. It’s funny how things can just take off without us even realizing we are going down the wrong path. Happiness and “success” are not always the same thing.

  • Pat

    I could not be more blown away by your words. You are such a level head young woman and whatever path you choose I am confident will be the correct one. You go girl and make the like you want and is best for your precious family. My money will ways be on you❤️

  • Katrina

    Thanks for sharing and for your honesty. Love what you said about the internet confusing what you really want 🙌 looking forward to seeing your work and family this year.

  • Jennifer Priest

    Omg, yes.

    I was in that place 2013-2016. I’m a little bit older than you, with older kids. I’m glad for you and your fam that you’re finding this out now.

    I was building an agency with employees, corporate structure, the whole 9. But I don’t want that. My creativity died and took years to come back.

    Now it’s just me and one part-time VA. No team. Fewer sponsored posts than ever.

    It’s almost noon and I’m just now going to work.

    I’m in charge of my day. I’m more patient and calmer with my kids and family. I go to the gym. I have time for Disney days, like yesterday we went to DCA. It’s not perfect but I’m on the path. It’s an evolution.

    I say NO a lot.

    But this last year I made more money than ever. I landed dream opportunities. And I worked LESS. I traveled more than the previous 5 years combined.

    And this year my goals are more of the same.

    Reading your post, felt like hearing what’s in my own head.

    I’m so excited to see where you go this year. And that at 27 you already know what you want and how to get there ❤

    Thank you for sharing this for all the people caught up in the comparison game, working towards something they don’t really want inside.

  • Sophia

    This is so refreshing to read! There is nothing wrong with trying something out. Sometimes it’s the only way to find out if it’s right for you. No experience is wasted time, for you or for others. If anything, demonstrating that you can choose what’s best for you is a powerful action that will stick with those that witness it for a long time. I don’t think of it as a step back. It’s a side step, onto a different path.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  • Debbie

    Speaking from a “more seasoned” aka older mom, rest assured you are making the right decision. Money and Fame don’t mean much to a kid. They just want their mommy there every step they take as they grow. You can’t get those moments back if you miss them chasing a dream you don’t really want. Thanks for speaking out…inspiring many and lifting others up is a great role model for Arlo.

  • Katrina

    Wow, what a wonderful post. Very down to earth, humble, and just inspiring. Loved your work, blog, and all that you do at Studio DIY from the beginning and wishing you all the best for 2019! Keep on keeping on!

  • Amy | Delineate Your Dwelling

    Oh Kelly, I’m so sorry to hear all you guys were going through last year. I also had my most “successful” year as a blogger and it was so great… and so tiring. I lost sight of my end game because my name was being put “in the big leagues” or what I perceived to be big leagues, which is still small league comparatively. I am working on slowing down again, which is not my typical mode of operation but one that I so desperately desire and crave. Bravo for taking the steps you need to get back where you want to be. I’ll be over here supporting you all the way!

  • Becca

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Arlo is a really lucky kid. As a mom who is also building a small business, this was inspiring to read and also a good reminder of what’s important. Cheers to 2019 being your most successful ever, on a scale measured only by you and your ADORABLE family.

  • Jess

    This brought tears to my eyes ❤️ You are so brave and should be proud that you had the strength to choose what you want in life. (As am a mom of a two-year-old I can relate how it can be so hard but so rewarding!) but seriously so happy for you and your family! And we all know that you’re going to continue to create amazing things. Thank you for sharing your creativity, heart and brillance with us!

  • April Foster

    So much respect for you and this decision. Bigger is not necessarily better. ❤️

  • Jeanne

    You just made the decision I wish I had 29 years ago. Enjoy your son. Create happily!

  • Melissa

    As my dad once told me as I was deciding whether or not to pack up and move to NYC: “You can always come back.” That’s the first thing I thought of as I read this! You can always come back to a business plan. I admire you very much for doing YOU!

  • Susan

    Tearjerker 😭😭😭 I’m so happy for you and for your family, and I’m excited to see how the new year plays itself out. As a mommy of many, I can honestly say that there isn’t one bit of myself that regrets staying home and toning down the hustle to be with my babies. This time with them is so fleeting. And I LOVE being a mom and I especially love growing as a mom and days where I’m nailing it as a mom. Jeff is always saying that you’re the best mom ever. I’m sure he sees how much you truly love it, how much joy it brings you, and how natural it is for you. This is how I feel about being a mom. Some parts of the day can be rough, but the parts where the magic happens, even in the simplest moments… Those are the best kind of “paychecks” a person can ever get.

  • Katie

    Thank you SO MUCH for this. I’m also an entrepreneur who launched a second business this year and has a little guy who just turned one. It’s so refreshing hearing from someone who KNEW she got into too much success that she didn’t want. I’ve been struggling too with looking at our business and trying to decide if we really like what we’re doing? Because we’re successful — but did I get in over my head?

    My husband and I have been talking a lot about the Peter Principle: aka, rising to the level of your incompetence. Not to say you’re incompetent (absolutely not!), so maybe this is the Kelly principle — rising to the level of your unhappiness! But then knowing when to bow out.

    I really appreciate your candor here. It’s inspirational. Now maybe it’s time for me to evaluate some things.

  • Liza

    Kelly-Happy 2019!!! Your post made me happy. I was a SAHM until my youngest child of four started school and it is something I treasure and am so grateful I was able to do. So very proud of you. Best of wishes to you and your sweet family. Just remember the two things that always must be carried out? crying babies at church and new year’s resolutions/goals!!! Love you.

  • Samantha

    Thank you so much for writing this!!! It was so wonderful to see someone take a step back and say wait a minute this isn’t working for me. We see that so rarely on the internet so thank you so much for sharing!!!❤️❤️

  • Jesse

    Dude, Kelly, you’re totally doing it. You’re a dope mom and run a sick business! Just because you’re business isn’t a huge empire doesn’t mean you’re not doing the damn thing! We’re told that as women we can’t be successful in business and be attentative to our families. I see it all the time. I’m just starting out my career journey as an intern at a PR firm and none of the women higher up in the business have kids (while literally all the men do) and while for some of them I’m sure that’s a choice they made and are delighted with some have expressed their deep regret of not having kids (especially during the holiday season). That’s not a regret you’ll ever have. We’re here for your awesome business and even more awesome family! Truly and inspiration.

  • Dakota

    LIFE FREAKIN GOALS!! You’re doing it and paving the way for so many! Thanks for sharing your story 🙂

  • Nicole Maki

    I’m so proud of you for doing what is right for you and your family. You’re a great example. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Jackie

    Kelly-
    Congrats on the best decision for you and your family.
    Being a mother is a long and tedious road with huge rewards. I’m 15 years in and I’m still choosing motherhood when I can. I’m also a creative person and feel blessed to be able to support myself doing what I love. I’ve done some pretty amazing designs at times but it never compares to teaching, molding and shaping a child. I feel blessed to have found employers who support the moments when I would choose teaching art in my child’s classroom over an important meeting with a big client. Thank you for inspiring us everyday with studio diy and for being so transparent. 👏🏽🙋🏽‍♀️👍🏽

  • Rebeca

    Congratulations! I adore your honesty and your approach I feel that these days we are getting lost in this high pressure high expectations world. I loved what you said about the internet and confusing your what you actually desire with what you are suppose too.

    2018 was also a year for me to recognize the importance of mental health, we are constantly bombarded with this feeling of not doing or not being enough, whe did we stop seeing ourselves?

    This is awesome, I follow you mostly for your family content, I love seeing Arlo growing up you are amazing girl

  • Loren

    Thanks for sharing this part of your life! It is so RELATEABLE. I swear I have the same conversations with my partner about our creative jobs and should I switch to 9-5, blah blah blah. But I always come back to wanting the flexibility and freedom of being your own boss, and having more time for me and even growing a family someday.

    Best of luck! I know you can do it, not only because you already have in earlier years, but because you are intentional about what you want and need. Taking time to breathe- always leads to creativity.

    Thank you for sharing again. I love your perspective, and your journey is so inspiring.

  • Martha

    You are wise beyond your years! Best wishes for 2019!

  • Savannah

    So proud for you and your whole family! The internet has burned me out the last couple of years too. I stopped reading blogs (because I wasn’t motivated to write my own…and jealousy) and every effort I put into social media was for numbers. I’m reevaluating that for myself this year too. Happy with a sparse Instagram sounds better than pretty pictures and no joy. 🙂

  • CJ | A WELL-READ TART

    Gah, it is SO HARD not to look at others’ successes and not go, “I want to do that! When can I do that?!” I started blogging only six months ago, and while I absolutely love it for all the reasons you probably felt in 2017, I definitely see myself eyeballin’ the 2018 reasons you mentioned. I started my blog with the hopes of 1) quitting my full-time job and writing full time, and 2) catching the eye of an agent to help get my manuscript published. I don’t ever want to build an empire, though the money aspect of it is VERY tempting. Because while money isn’t everything, it certainly does help, and its lure is hard to resist. Your post reminded me to keep blogging for the reasons I started blogging–happiness, expression, creativity, connecting with people, and hopefully becoming my own boss one day (and no one else’s!) Good for you for realizing things were off in your life and for taking a huge step back, which, in my eyes, is really a huge step forward.

    Do you follow BossGirlBloggers on Insta or Twitter? I find her inspirational quotes and phrases REALLY helpful for remembering why I am doing this crazy schtick in the first place. Ell’s quotes always re-ground me and center my focus. I recommend you try following her for a bit to see if it helps you. 🙂

  • Jennifer

    I work and have 2 kids and struggle with this too. However, I also wonder how your husband feels? Does he want more time with your kids? It is normal for the mom to want to stay home with kids given normal gender roles, breastfeeding, etc. But I wonder if men feel like they want more time with kids? My personal opinion after debating these ideas in my mind is that our society is set up to have only one parent work and the other focus on home- man or woman. Both my husband and I work and have full-time help, so we are lucky enough to be able to both still work. And we have both scaled back our jobs to be there more for our kids (we do drop-off, pick-up, have flexibility to leave when we need to go to events, etc). Those are luxuries that a lot of people don’t have. And we both know that we would be more successful in our jobs if we could focus more like our other co-workers who have stay at home spouses. Those co-workers spend less time with kids but are able to be more focused on work. I think it depends on the type of job you have, but that’s what we see in our world!

  • Rebecca

    I was fortunate enough to happen upon this post (and am a firm believer in the magic of serendipity!) so I wanted to share with you how much I truly enjoyed your wonderfully transparent and life-affirming writing. So refreshing to read about a choice made because it honors your life and your commitment to your family. I am not a mother of a young child but I recently decided to retire from a very secure, relatively lucrative management position and take an appropriate 30% net income decrease since I qualified for my work pension as of October 2018. Yes, I can tell the difference financially but even more the difference I’ve found in the freedom to volunteer, dream and spend time with family. While some people were visibly shocked that I retired 15 to 20 years before many do, others were very supportive – especially my family and close friends.
    PS – I will be sharing your post with others because it is so life-affirming. And we all need that – whatever choices we make.

  • f

    Kelly, I just want to say thank you for sharing with us. Really appreciate your thoughts and rooting for good things to happen to you and your family ahead.

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  • Carlyn Porter

    This was a really sweet and honest post. I love that you took the time to recognize your priorities and shift them to fit your values. Amen to all of this!

  • Carole

    Thank you and enjoy your family, time goes by pretty quick, looking forward for more to come, really do like your site.

  • lisa@hooplapalooza

    2019=year of YOU and yours
    #gogetem #heresheisarloandjeff
    and ditto what everyone else said! :>D

  • Indya | The Small Adventurer

    It breaks my heart to know that you had such a rough 2018 considering how much happiness I KNOW you brought into other people’s lives! I am so glad you’re making decisions with you and your family’s overall happiness in mind, and I can’t wait to see the bright and bubbly Kelly again in 2019.

    I’m also super excited to hear that you’re going to explore your creativity more this year as well. It’s such a great outlet – and you are SO talented at everything you do – so I really hope you fall in love with creating all over again! Wishing you all the luck and happiness in the world ☺️💕

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  • Melina

    So proud of you for making this decision, Kelly! It’s SO easy to get caught up in more, more, more…and forget how much we’ve already achieved. You inspired me to write a blog post on this topic because it’s so so important for us ALL to remember, no matter where we’re at in our careers.

    And let me know if you ever need a part-time assistant! 😉

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  • Monica

    You are wise beyond your years!

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