May tends to be one of those months full of weddings and graduations and end-of-year parties. Ours definitely was. It also coincided with my having one of my busiest freelance writing months ever. Last fall I handled the 20-30 hour work weeks on top of being a full-time stay-at-home mom rather badly. I was cranky and exhausted and concluded it all by coming down with two weeks worth of not-the-swine-flu.
When I picked up a new client and their large, exciting new feature story at the end of April, I was determined that I would do better. I was going to be disciplined, happy, productive mom and not on-edge, I-AM-YELLING-AT-YOU-BUT-NOW-I’m-talking-normally-to-someone-on-the-phone-BECAUSE-AT-LEAST-THEY-DON’T-POUR-THEIR-MILK-DOWN-THEIR-DIAPER kind of mom.
And it went really, really well. The days were full, but I had great support from my own mother and siblings who played with James in the mornings while John was at preschool and I interviewed, transcribed, wrote and edited like my life depended on it. Also from Michael who, despite being in the middle of end-of-semester grading, didn’t give me a guilt trip about giving me pockets of time to work here and there when I really needed them. And who understood that once this busy period comes to an end, you will find the time to share all the thoughts you’ve that go beyond just the basic, necessary aspects of daily communication you have to have in order to function as a family.
The only hitch in my carefully laid out plans was the day before the first draft of the article was due when James discovered he could climb out of his crib. When he finally went to sleep, and I discovered I could pound out some pretty decent prose in 45 short minutes even when exhausted from working my final day of Mom’s Day Out for the year.
And then I turned the project in that night. On schedule. Ten hours early even!
You know how after you finish a big, multi-week project that required a ridiculous amount of childcare planning and discipline to stay on your production schedule, and then you CAN’T RELAX? That’s how I felt Friday. At least until dinnertime when I broke out a bottle of celebratory sauvignon blanc.
Here’s to summer!