Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

I’m so going to get spanked for this…

If you remember, I started the year with some nice productivity goals. My plan was to work with an eye on a very financially lucrative “Target”, but understanding that I’m only human, attempt to at least meet the “Lazy” level. In any case, under no circumstance whatsoever, should I go below “Minimum”.

So the weeks start to roll and I’m all goodie-goodie and [wink] don’t let myself indulge on non-billable activities unless I’m on some sort of track to meet the Target. But the truth is that despite all my efforts, I’m really much closer to something between Lazy and Minimum. So, at some point I realize that Target ain’t happening and I reach for the Lazy level, I hug it, and ride it as best as I can until about the time when the first trimester of pregnancy hits me hard, knocks me unconscious and throws me to hell. So I drag my wounded body to that safe Minimum level, and I hold on to it with my life.

Progress on annual productivity goals

You’d think that the arrival of the glorious second trimester would’ve given me the energy to pump it up and reach back for Target, or ok: at least Lazy, since Target seems so unachievable at that point. However, my project hits some rocky road and leaves me idle for a few weeks. Still, I manage to keep some decency and attempt to climb back to Minimum.

But that all goes out the window the minute we find out that we’re having a boy and get a crib… While my once beautiful belly button begins to show its last days as an innie, I indulge on a strong natural urge that — strangely — makes me forget all about my carefully planned and charted financial goals: I nest!


  1. On , mandarine wrote:

    Come on, give yourself a break. It’s not like you do not deserve it. Some workaholics might reach your target with unbelievable ease, but I doubt they are making people at the same time!

  2. On , Maria wrote:

    Well, and to be clear: Of course I’ve been meeting deadlines and giving people what they need when they need it.

    It’s the concept of “opportunity cost” that nags me with the awareness that if I had billed 8-hour days (like in any corporate job), I could’ve made some extra six figures this year before the baby comes and changes my life forever.

    I guess that’s the mixed blessing of freelancing… Either way, guilty or not, I’m so much happier going through pregnancy as a freelancer than as a corporate employee. Not a single doubt about that…

  3. On , Anette wrote:

    Congrats on your pregnancy!

    Didn’t even know about it until I stumbled onto your blog, funny thing about kids, once they come along, priorities often change, in my book your definately on target;)

    Take care,

  4. On , Maria wrote:

    Anette, wow!
    How good to hear from you. Thank you for your visit and your message…

  5. On , Kevin wrote:

    You were more on target than a lot of people would be, I think you’re doing a job just hang in there.