A lesson I learned last year about being a working parent with little kids is that in the summer, there are simply fewer hours per week to work. Camp starts later; there are more outdoor activities. My usual schedule of 8-5 is more like 9:15-4:30 which is a big deal to somebody as happily rigid as I am.
Last year I was determined to still work as much as I normally did in the summer, and I was crabby most days. It made me twitch to cut back my schedule and then Steve and I would argue because he said he enjoyed having more time with the boys which just made me feel like he was judging me.
Anyway this year I am going to try to avoid that particular combination and purposefully pull back on work, which doesn't feel very effective because I'm busy right now with a handful of interesting projects. Doing those, and doing them right, has involved enough mental juggling that I know I can't go chasing new projects for now. So I'm focusing on existing clients and cool opportunities that present themselves.
Late the other night I canceled an appointment I had made to pitch a new client the next day; I was giving about 12 hours notice, and I know being inconvenient in doing so (although knew someone would take my place so it wasn't like I was standing anyone up.) I did not feel great about giving someone more work to do by backing out, but I thought about the stories I was going to pitch, which were extremely heavy. I knew how much the client paid, and thought about how I'd feel spending a lot of time this summer on a heavy topic for not enough to be worth feeling salty at my sometimes-adorable boys all summer.
I raise my hand a lot, I say yes a lot, and I think that's good--I'm glad I was able to grab a situation where I could say no one time.