I remember a time when C was little and I was working a lot. Long hours at the office, long hours being a mom at home. I had exactly one hour every week to myself. Fridays from 4:15 to 5:15. That was my time. My time to be alone. To enjoy a cup of coffee and a read. Or my time to be with a friend and chat. Or even just my time to take a leisurely walk.
That was it. One hour a week when I was “off.” It was divine. I loved that hour. I loved that freedom. Most of the time I even shut off my phone to mark the importance of that hour with no responsibilities, deadlines, or bosses. It was all me, my dreams, my thoughts, my hopes for the future.
Today I don’t work in an office, I work for myself. Every morning I take my children to daycare and drop them off for the day. And then I’m alone. All day.
You’re jealous aren’t you?
Well, I must be doing it wrong, because it doesn’t feel like a whole day of “me time.”
Since I work for myself I don’t have business hours. Instead of splitting my time between “work hours” and “home hours” they’re all work hours. Or at least they should be until I start earning some kind of money. Until I can claim a somewhat decent income every wasted minute feels like a wasted opportunity.
I feel guilty whenever I’m not actively working on something writing or blogging related. I mean, my kids are in daycare all day so I can work, not so I can lounge around eating bonbons.
Want to know how twisted it is? I even feel guilty when I stop working to take care of housework or errands. Every moment spent away from the computer make me feel like I’m neglecting the business I’m putting my family in financial straights over.
I know that relief lies in making both a business plan and a daily schedule that I can stick to. But even before I do that, I need to figure out what my financial and professional goals are so I can step off the hamster wheel that’s going nowhere. I need to find time for my dreams as well as the house, the kids, our daily meals, and, yes, for me.
Because even though working for myself feels like the ultimate indulgence, it’s not really “me time” in the true sense of the word.