I spent last weekend in San Francisco visiting friends. Non-mom friends. For the first time, the distinction between “mom” friends and “non-mom” friends became important; for the first time, I realized that though I like to think I can hang out with my non-mom friends just like I used to, I’m severely disillusioned. Nope. As a 33 weeks pregnant mom of a two-year-old, I just can’t hack it anymore.
The week after moving back to southern California, a few non-mom friends happened to be in town. After exchanging emails to make dinner plans, one friend suggested a place and time.
I balked. 8:30!? As in, PM!? But that’s jammy time! I hastily wrote my friends back, and after claiming jet-lag, asked if we could push dinner up to 8:00. I really meant 5:30, but figured that might be pushing it for my friends whose lives don’t currently revolve around potty-training and early morning prenatal yoga. So 8:00 it was. The evening of our dinner arrived, and after chugging boatloads of coffee I made my way to the restaurant, praying I wouldn’t fall asleep face-first into my mocktail.*
I managed to rally, but I got lucky that time. So let’s examine last weekend, when a silly pregnant woman attempted to recapture her pre-children days.
Friday night my girlfriends and I got together at a charming little Italian restaurant. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and then lingered over wine. (Well, everyone else lingered over wine. I lingered over water.) I love these girls. I love catching up with them. I love lingering over wine when I am actually allowed to drink wine. But how does a sleep-deprived, third-trimester pregnant woman stay awake past 9:00 in a dim restaurant after eating copious amounts of carbs and cured meat? It’s damn near impossible, I tell you.
Everyone seemed a little spent after a long week, and decided to disperse after dinner rather than heading out somewhere else. Thank the good Lord – I could go to bed! Except I couldn’t. My friend’s neighbor fell asleep with her television blasting. My über-sensitivity to noise meant I didn’t actually fall asleep until around 2:30 A.M. Twas not too long ago that staying up till 2:30 was – if not the norm – not a big deal. But now, I thought I was going to die. No, really. With each passing hour I could feel what little energy I possessed seeping from my body, never to return. There’s no recovering from a 2:30 AM bedtime anymore.
I dragged myself off of my air mattress at 9:30 the next morning feeling terribly hungover, which is weird since I hadn’t had anything to drink the very night before.** It’s a sad, sad day when your body starts to feel hungover without any of the fun drinking part the night before. I slabbed on gobs and gobs of concealer to no avail. I would have to face the day not only feeling hungover, but looking it. My friends and I met up for brunch at noon.*** After devouring a massive burger, a few of us set off to window-shop. It was a beautiful day, and after popping in and out of shops we retired to a rooftop bar where my friends enjoyed margaritas, and I shoveled chips and guac into my face.
And then my eyes started drooping. It was around 4:00, and this was my second day in a row without a nap. This was a dire situation. How was I going to last through dinner? And after, when my friends would certainly head to a bar or something. Keep it together! I berated myself. You are still young!
Au contraire, my body told me.
“Are you okay?” one of my friends asked, noticing my glazed-over expression. “Are you sure you don’t mind us drinking?” another asked, mistaking my exhaustion for boredom, or perhaps annoyance.
“I’m fine!” I insisted. Truly, I did not mind my friends enjoying their beverages. It was a beautiful day! I was in great company! Life was good! I was just so. dang. tired.
After a couple of hours enjoying the gorgeous weather outdoors, we walked to dinner. (Because obviously when visiting a city like San Francisco, your trip should revolve around eating and drinking.) We settled in and my friends ordered their craft beers.
“Do you have any non-alcoholic beers?” I asked the waiter. He stared at me in disbelief. I had obviously offended him. I rephrased my question. “Um, do you have any non-alcoholic anything?”
The waiter brought me my Arnold Palmer, and that’s when I mentally checked out. I’m pretty sure we did not all sit in silence for the duration of the meal – but hell if I can remember what we talked about. I picked at my meal (duck carbonara) – lifting my fork to my mouth was simply too tasking. You know something is off when a pregnant woman boxes up the majority of her dish to go. Especially when that dish contains bacon.
After dinner the pack of us went a few doors down to a bar that was showing one of the Final Four games. My friend Jessica’s boyfriend was coming to join us. We debated what to do next. Stay at the bar and watch the game? Go to a different bar? Head to Jessica’s apartment and hang out there? “I’m up for anything!” I exclaimed, as convincingly as possible. Ultimately, the others decided to go home. Once again the gods had smiled upon me – I could go to bed. (This night at a blissfully quiet Airbnb.) It was 8:00.
As we piled into the boyfriend’s car and all headed to our respective homes/hotels, I had a thought. Maybe it’s not just me – a pregnant mom – that can’t hack it. Maybe as my friends approach and enter their 30s – balancing more demanding careers and personal relationships than in our early 20s – they can’t hack it either?
I smiled at this thought; I’m not alone! So here’s my proposal: Let’s all drop the facade. Forget the trendy restaurants, the cool bars. Let’s not even pretend we want to be there. Next time, let’s just sit around in our sweats and order take-out and go to bed at 9:00. Sound good?
*I did not actually chug boatloads of coffee. I wish I could have, but alas, caffeine is just one thing I’m supposed to have “in moderation” or whatever. On another note, if you have happened to run into me recently or plan on seeing me soon, I apologize for my crankiness.
**For you critics who read that and think, “What is she complaining about! That’s seven hours of sleep!”, factor in hourly wakings to pee. And then be thankful your bladder is still intact.
*** That’s another thing. No meal till noon? Dinner at 8:00PM? Who eats at these ridiculous hours? Certainly not pregnant women. Certainly not moms of toddlers who have probably developed a routine of eating with their children, which is about every 2-3 hours beginning at 7:30 AM if your child is a bottomless pit like mine. There is a lesson here: When spending time with non-mom friends, pack snacks.