Last weekend I made a big mistake. I had a bridal shower to go to, and because I didn’t want to drive, I got a ride with a friend. Unfortunately for me, this friend happens to be a stay-at-home mom. She hasn’t worked for 5 years, and her husband travels frequently and for long periods of time for work. She spends all day, every day, with her two kids.
The shower was supposed to be 3 hours long, which with driving time, I figured would mean about a 4 hour outing. No big deal, just the afternoon. I had planned on coming home afterwards and having a nap, then going out for dinner with M, and calling it an early night, as usual. We left my house at about 12:30, and arrived just after 1PM. The shower was lots of fun, and ended quite promptly at 4PM. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law left immediately, and I didn’t think anything of it. I could have gone with them since they live close by, but I assumed (very incorrectly) that we would also be on our way soon.
I was way off: I didn’t realize that to my stay-at-home mom friend, this was her getaway, her fun time, her time to spend with adults, free of children!
She chatted exuberantly for HOURS. Other people were leaving, including another pregnant lady, not as far along as I am, who left saying she was tired out… By 6PM, I was frustrated and tired beyond belief. I had eaten all the fruit and crackers I could handle, but it was time for dinner, for real food. I was hot and tired and hungry. Once, my friend even said – I guess we should get going soon, to which I replied, “Yeah, I’m totally ready for a nap!” I thought this was pretty straightforward, but apparently not. Next thing I knew, she had struck up another conversation and there was no way I could even get a word in edgewise. I should have just put on my shoes, picked up my purse, and started saying my goodbyes. We stayed for longer.
Her husband even called to see when she would be coming home because he was hungry for dinner. After she hung up with him, she said: “See, you get to go home and rest. When I go home, I get to have my kids climbing all over me and I have to help with dinner.” No wonder she didn’t want to go home. But I couldn’t help but be angry that she couldn’t see how exhausted I was. I bit my tongue, though, because she had given me a ride and I didn’t want to seem ungrateful.
Finally, my other sister-in-law got a call from her husband (also seeing when she was going to be coming home so they could have dinner), and I jumped at the chance to see if I could get a ride home with her. Upon hearing that, my friend finally decided that we should get going, too. We made our way home, stopping at Starbucks first, and I did my best to keep my energy up during the ride home.
As soon as I walked in the door, at just after 7 PM, M greeted me and asked how I was holding up. I had been texting him for the last couple of hours, lamenting my situation. My response was that I was so tired that I could cry. And with that, I burst into tears and headed upstairs as fast as I could. I tore off my dress and climbed into bed, bawling because I was beyond exhaustion. M offered to get me food or something to drink, but all I wanted was to lie down and sleep. I was frustrated, angry and completely beat. I had not planned on being out for seven hours, and it was way too much for my pregnant body.
It was different from just a day at work because in that situation, I know what to expect. I know what time my day should start and end. But this was supposed to be a short afternoon out, followed by a nap and food. Instead, I cried myself to sleep and woke up at 9PM to have a bite to eat, and then went back to bed feeling worn out and robbed of my day.
I’ll never make that mistake again.