I gave up being a workaholic, and it feels great!
It wasn’t an easy thing to do. My life was consumed with work. It took me being away from home, away from my children, for four weeks on a project living out of a hotel to finally make me realize I was working too much. It had taken a toll on my family, my marriage, my kids and myself. I decided to quit. I had no back up plan but I felt like it was the right thing to do. I prayed about it and really felt like things were falling into place, not the other way around. I needed to figure out what I was meant to be and what I was supposed to do. I knew it wasn’t what I was doing at the time, so I quit.
Career wise I ended up staying in the same line of work (similar position title, in a similar industry), but my life around my work completely changed. It was a change that I know could not have come with my last company.
What I’ve Learned from Quitting my Workaholic Ways
It is possible to have “Work/Life Balance”
Work Life Balance is something you hear a lot. Some people even argue there is no such thing. For me, there is. It’s talking about my kids and our weekend plans with my co-workers. Talking about my coworkers’ life outside of work as well. Only talking about work at work is not balanced. Being okay with asking to leave early or take a day off to go to appointments or school assemblies is something else I am learning in order to balance things out. Another item I have focused on is to commit to not working after hours. That was the hardest change I have made. I was so used to looking at my phone and responding to emails immediately that I have had to remind myself not to think about work until I am at work. When I am at home, I need to be present at home!
Working hours can be enforced – by me!
For my position, I really don’t need to be on call 24 hours a day, but I had been doing that for the last couple of years. We sometimes had workers on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I would take calls and emails at all times of day, any day of the week. At my new company I work set hours, Monday to Friday. I don’t work weekends and I do not answer emails once I leave the office. I am grateful I have that option.
I have time for Group Activities and Church!
We hadn’t put the children in sports when they were young, they didn’t complain or ask. Between work schedules and the cost, we were never able to so we left it at that. When I quit being a workaholic I found “extra” time I had been missing out on. I decided to sign us up for the local YMCA. In addition to the YMCA we started attending Church again. We hadn’t been attending because Sunday’s had been my chore day. I worked so much in the week and caught up on work stuff in my home office on Saturdays that I needed all day Sunday to get the laundry and cleaning done around the house.
I love to sew and cook.. and have board game tournaments!
I have been able to find my own passions and hobbies. I have discovered I love to sew and cook. I used to bake a lot when I was on maternity leave and already knew I like to bake, but I have found a new joy in cooking. Just last night the kids and I made our own pizza pockets from scratch and had lots of fun doing it. We are also getting into sewing. I say “we” because now the children are also interested in sewing and have been practicing hand sewing little felt pillows while I try to figure out how to use my sewing machine (which I have had for probably five years now). My children and I like to have board game tournaments now too. It gets pretty serious. Rules get brought out to reread, there’s cheering, there’s laughter. There are designated pee breaks. It is amazing.
It is possible to do chores in the week
Who knew? I always had Sundays as my Chore Day, but now I have been doing some chores each night during the week so my weekends are more open. This allows me to fully enjoy my weekends at home with the kids. The weekends that they are with their Dad I get extra work done around the house. This weekend is a prime example, while they were away I painted the kitchen and two bedrooms.
I can Foster
When I had quit my job and initially wondered what I was going to do, I had thought about opening up a home child care business. I love children and I grew up in that setting. My summers were spent helping my Mom with the kids she cared for in between trips to the local swimming pool. After looking over the financial aspect of things though I realized this just wasn’t an option for me being a single-income family. When the offer came in to work at my current job I took it (of course… I didn’t have any other jobs lined up!). When I started here I quickly realized what a good decision I had made. Not only was it a position that I was already familiar with and gave me room to grow, I saw how others in the company worked flexible hours to make work/life balance a little easier. After about a month in my position Fostering came back into my mind and I ran with it. Not only do I work set hours now, with no after-hours work, the company I work for is also flexible if I need to juggle my hours a bit. There was no issue at all with me leaving early for a meeting with CAS about the possibility of Fostering. Now, I am on the path to foster parenting and it has a lot to do with me switching jobs and quitting my workaholic ways.