There's nothing that infuriates me more than to have people imply I do nothing all day. My own niece said this to me a couple of years ago, when she was trying to start her own business: "It will give you something to do."
Excuse me? In between my-then Mommy chores, which included changing diapers and encouraging a toddler to play by himself; my daily housecleaning chores; my writing time; and cooking meals, when did I ever have nothing to do?
I rarily get bored by myself. Give me access to music, a computer, and a stack of books and I'm completely happy.
I used to have a neighbor who cried when her youngest child entered school. I didn't understand that at all; I treated myself to an aqua massage, lunch, and power shopping the day my daughter entered 1st grade. And the next day, packed her off to school and wrote nonstop for several hours.
My kids are now out of school for the summer. I cherish the early morning hours before everyone is awake. I can write; read; answer emails at my leisure without hearing, "Mom...can I please use the computer?" If their grandparents want to kidnap the kids for a few days (weeks??), I gladly let them go, because that means more writing time for me.
So what does that have to do with downtime? I have to schedule it in. Don't laugh; if my hubby wants me to sit on the front porch and waste time with him, I consciously have to give myself 'permission'. Otherwise, I'm inwardly fretting about all the things I 'should' be doing.