After several weeks of dealing with WordPress security issues for both myself and clients, it was great this past week to take a much needed break. We celebrated Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day with our little ones without interruption. Just us, our niños and a bit of leisure time. We took time to relax at the park for our local fiesta, took our little seven month old out for his first restaurant experience and chilled at home with some board games and a few good chapter books for the kiddos.
It was heavenly.
I got up when I wanted, stayed off social media throughout most of the week and was able to help hubby with the cooking and cleaning around the house more so he could have a break. A much needed respite for both of us.
One of my biggest regrets though, is that I don’t do this more often. As a mom who works from home, I rarely get what they call “down time”. Not that I don’t take breaks at all, but hours off is just not enough. Days and weeks are needed in order to fully “dump” the work agenda and let go of all the concerns related to work and projects. It usually takes me at least two or three days just to stop thinking about my to-do list constantly. A week is just the beginning.
Taking extended time off is non-negotiable.
I’ve never before in my life had the opportunity to take real time off from work. December 2013 was my first real break, when I took the month off from about half of my workload and focused in on family and re-organizing my business plan. I was at a crossroads in my business…overworked, underpaid and just plain tired. I was at the point of either giving up all together and getting a “real” job (I had already started submitting applications), or completely redesigning my business so that it could work for me.
I made the choice to rework.
That month off set me on fire. I couldn’t believe how much clarity came with that time away from the computer and work…and my complete re-dedication to my business.
I was also lucky to be able to take another month off from work last year for maternity after giving birth to our son (now 7 months old) last September. That time I took off work completely. I did not lift a finger for a full month…and it was the best feeling in the world. I needed that time…to recover from delivery, to focus on my health, and to take special mommy-daughter time with my six year old daughter who was feeling a somewhat left out after her brother was born.
Take the time you need.
My point in saying all this, is that you need to take time…time for yourself, time for your health, time for your family, time to develop your business, time to re-focus, time to just be. We all need that time, but I’ll be the first to admit that as a woman and mother, I struggle daily with putting myself first. I struggle with accepting the slow progress of my business, which comes second to my family and my own personal needs. It’s not easy to let go, but it ultimately is a necessary part of success.
For me, I consider time off as part of my business plan. It’s an investment…because after I’ve had a break, I come back energized and clear on exactly what my next steps are. And…I’m able to let go of some of the resentment I have about my business for constantly interrupting my life.
Because let’s be real, running a business isn’t easy.