I’ve always had pretty strict rules in my life about not working on weekends. In college and grad school I would limit myself to studying one weekend day a week, and never ever on a weekend night. As a new clinician, back in the dark days when IEPs had to be written by hand (by hand!) on NCR paper (I can feel my hand cramping up just at the memory), the expectation was that I would take paperwork home every night and on weekends to finish it. This expectation was magnified as budgets shrank and my caseload grew, and the rockin’ Tangerine clamshell computer they gave me to do paperwork seemed to solidify the expectation. But still, I mostly resisted and was able to mostly keep work at work. When I returned from maternity leave with less FTE but the same caseload, I started to lose my battle, which was a significant driving force in my choice to leave that job. The “no-work-on-weekends” flag has been boldly waving at my house since that time, but recently, life changed (again…I’m so totally tired of it doing that) and I’ve had to break my solemn vow. Break is probably too gentle of a word. Let’s go with shatter. I will readily admit, this has not been a good look on me.
I recently came across this article on Fast Company on the subject of working on weekends, in which the author writes that, “for many people, working on weekends is actually the key to making work and life work together.” This idea re-framed my thinking (a little bit, anyway), as my work on the weekends is essentially what is allowing me to be at home with my youngest 2 days a week. As much as he drives me totally bonkers, hanging out with him a couple of days a week is the very epitome of work-life balance for me. So maybe this isn’t such a black and white issue after all. Hmm…go figure.
This all makes me wonder how other people come down on this issue. Do you work at home on the weekends? Does it work for you? If you do, do you take steps to create balance and prevent burn-out? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it!