You may be wondering about this viral TikTok trend called “quiet quitting” that’s been going around. I actually believe that people have been “quiet quitting” work for years, but because of TikTok’s fast-spreading platform, a lot more people are just now catching on.

After looking more into the trend and getting an understanding of what the phrase means, I realized that perhaps I’m actually some form of a quiet quitter myself—and I didn’t even know it.

What is quiet quitting?

As explained all over the web, quiet quitting is about employees creating work-life balance while no longer going above and beyond for their jobs. It’s about them sticking to what is in their job descriptions and not being worried about exceeding expectations—all while still keeping their jobs.

“Quiet quitters” aren’t actually quitting. In simple terms, they’re doing what is required of them and nothing further.

Related: My personal priorities have shifted since becoming a parent in unexpected ways

Now this trend has brought about many different opinions and weigh-ins, but shouldn’t we all agree that perhaps quiet quitting is actually about setting healthy work boundaries?

For a long time, I struggled with creating a work-life balance. Once I started working remotely, it became even harder to disconnect from work. I’d check my phone after hours; scrolling through emails, responding to messages, and scheduling meetings. I’d work over hours just to accomplish more. I even had one employer who’d send emails at three in the morning and my work phone would chime off those notifications with no remorse.

I was giving more of myself to work than I actually had to give, it was rolling over into my home life—and the reality was that I needed balance. 

Related: How 12 moms juggle work and childcare

Once I had my son, it became almost non-negotiable. I needed boundaries—and a clear separation between work life and home life

I used to be the employee who took on more than I could truly bear at times. I found myself carrying the workload of 2-3 other colleagues, buckling under the pressure because I was just one person. If I noticed my fellow employees slacking, I would pick up their weight—seeing it as a diligent thing to do and as something necessary for the betterment of the entire company. 

But after a while, it became almost expected of me to carry everyone else’s weight—with no consideration to how heavy the load truly was for me.

So eventually, I began doing what I have now discovered many people do: quiet quitting.

We shouldn’t be guilt-tripped into believing that we owe everything to work when there is so much more to life.

Except for me, quiet quitting isn’t about doing the bare minimum. It isn’t about slacking on my job or not contributing more when there’s an opportunity or a need for me to.

It’s about honoring my well-being enough to not run myself dry. It’s about dedicating as much time to my family and loved ones as I do to my job. It’s about knowing when I need to unplug from work and refresh. Because I believe that makes me a better employee—not feeling overworked to the point where I don’t feel valued for what I do. 

So yes, I consider myself to be a form of a “quiet quitter”. I bring my all to the table and do my best in my role, but I also set boundaries.

If I need help, I ask. If I’m concerned about a task that lies beyond duties in my job description, I discuss it. If I feel overwhelmed, I let it be known. And when work is over—I log off, close my laptop and prioritize my family.

Related: Mama, it’s time to prioritize your needs—even over your kids’

I put my all in—but I don’t wear myself thin trying to do everything and be everyone for everybody. 

I love my job. Honestly, when my shift comes to an end I sometimes wish there was more time in the day for me to spend at work. But in honor of my family, in honor of my mental health, in honor of myself, I close my laptop and I step away.

Because as much as I want to put into my work, I want to put even more into everything else life has to offer.

We deserve our work-life balance. We shouldn’t be guilt-tripped into believing that we owe everything to work when there is so much more to life.

Related: Working moms shares how their professional priorities shifted since becoming a parent

But of course, the “quiet quitting” trend has riled up clap-back and perhaps made people feel guilty for identifying as a quiet quitter. Some basically see it as employees ruining any chances of advancing in their careers. 

But I believe that my opportunities to excel in my career doesn’t have to be at the expense of my mental well being—as much as I desire to grow professionally. It doesn’t have to come with sacrificing quality time spent with my family, loved ones and community.

For some, quiet quitting is absolutely about doing the bare minimum. But for me, it’s about setting healthy work boundaries and knowing that doing so is a form of advocating for myself. 

It’s about knowing when to engage and when to disengage

Related: 8 working moms share how they find work-life balance

I don’t give my work minimum effort—I give my best. But I also know that my best doesn’t equate to my all. And in saying that, I mean that my entire life isn’t based around work. 100% of my time isn’t owed to my job. And there are so many other parts of me that exist beyond work.

So when work is done, I commit time to spend elsewhere. I give my son needed attention, dedicating time to teaching him and helping him learn and grow. I spend time with my husband to build up our marriage and our love. I visit family and friends to maintain community. And I spend time with myself to stay grounded.

It’s not about doing the bare minimum. It’s about doing what I can. Taking on more when I can.  And taking the time away from work when I can.

Related: To the mama still trying to chase her dreams

I still have a hustle mentality, but it goes beyond work. I hustle to build a home where my kids feel seen and heard and where they don’t feel like they lose quality time with their parents to work. I’ve seen firsthand people put work above everything else—and while their careers succeeded, their families suffered. I don’t want to be that person.

I’m not chasing status. I’m not chasing empty satisfaction. I’m not chasing some cliched attainment of success. I’m chasing what truly matters—balance.

I absolutely love the work that I do, but I also absolutely love my family. And I believe that they both should get the best of me. And I should get the best of me, too.