I tell people this frequently, but my most valuable and limited resource is time. I think this comes across as kind of snooty (as in, "my time is so valuable that you should feel honored that I'm granting you five minutes"), but I don't mean it to be. Let me explain.
I'm a wife and a mom. I read. I write. I'm blessed to have my immediate family living in the same state as me. I have a tight network of close friends. I have a full-time job. My days are usually packed and my weekends are almost always booked a month in advance. I know this is not unusual in today's world. People are busy. My struggle to balance those I love with things I am passionate about and a job I still need is not unique. That doesn't make it any less challenging.
When I say my time is valuable, I mean that when I'm doing something I usually have five other things I could (or should) be doing instead. The number one thing on my list is spending time with my son. If I have free time and he's awake, I want to be with him. I want to watch him discover the world and revel in the wonder that is being a kid. If I'm not with him when I could be, I have the mommy guilt. It sucks.
So my "free time" is usually in the evenings (because I already get up at 5:15 am and I REFUSE to get up any earlier), after my son has gone to sleep. I try to spend those precious hours with my husband doing things we both enjoy (like eating ice cream or watching tv), writing (b/c I have to every day or else I can't call myself a writer - I checked), or exercising (to work off the ice cream). There's always something I feel like I should be doing instead of what I am doing. It's a hard pill to swallow and I have prayed for a time-turner to magically appear under my pillow on more than one occasion. But until such time as the time-turner appears, I make compromises. Let me tell you I hate to compromise. I want it all. It's in my nature.
Day by day, I do the only thing I can - make best choices and hope they're the right ones. If anyone has discovered a way to make more hours appear (and still keep my bank account in the black), you let me know.