When Too Much Becomes Enough: Why I Stopped Working Nights And Weekends
Welcome to our Mommy Mogul column where we cover issues of importance for moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to tgarcia@ . And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed working to build my “empire” — even if it happened to be around the clock. Yes I had hobbies and spent time with loved ones and friends, but if I was at home with nothing to do, I wanted to work. Friday nights when my husband and I ordered in was prime time for me to whip out my laptop after the end of a movie. Sunday was my favorite day to get into my pajamas after church and spend the entire day in my home office, writing and scheduling with Beverly Hills 90210 reruns (don’t judge, I own the series). These additional hours helped me to develop the things I needed to taste a little bit of success.
When I gave birth to my first son last year, I found it was easier to work on his schedule. If I was tired, I would rest when he was asleep. We were able to develop a system that worked for quite some time. Now that he’s older with more demands, I can no longer keep business as usual. As much as I have loved the hustle and bustle, something needed to give.
Did I mention I also have an infant son? The struggle is real.
I made the decision to say goodbye to working nights and weekends when I noticed my home office transform into a full ledge playroom. Obviously parents with little ones are going to have small mountains of toys around their home, but for me, this was different. My toddler wanted to spend time with me beyond our activities throughout the day (a perk to working from home), and rather play in his room or elsewhere around the home, he would sit near my feet and entertain himself until I finished what I was doing. Talk about a tearful moment!
Even though I don’t work every evening or weekend, it has become enough of a habit I knew I needed to break. As much as I thought I was getting ahead — or able to properly divide my attention — I just couldn’t do it anymore. My quest to become successful and help provide for my family was no longer going to come at the expense of quality time and much needed rest.
The ability to scale back can be very difficult for entrepreneurs and those heading down the road of self-employment.
I now close my home office door at the end of my work day and don’t return to it until the following business day. There have been times I slipped into old habits when I want to watch a show on the DVR, and my husband hogs the television in the living room. (I’ll fall asleep if I try to watch anything in bed which is why I head to my home office.) This has helped me resist the temptation to do one extra task that turns into two…and five.
Not working at night and on the weekends took has removed pressure I put on myself. I longer calculate how many hours I can squeeze in between time with my family and when I need to hit the sheets. Instead, I live a more relaxed life that doesn’t require 24/7 hustling to enjoy. Yes there might be an occasion or two when I might need a little more time to get something done — but for now, if it doesn’t fit during regular hours, it will have to wait.