Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Yesterday, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with decisions I have to make about contributing to my pension plan while I'm off on maternity leave. These are hefty decisions and they were taking a toll on me. Mark and I chatted for a long time and then, feeling exhausted and emotionally drained, I phoned my mother for some advice.

She wasn't home, so I left a message on her answering machine. Not even trying to hide my exhaustion, I simply said, "Hi Ma. Just calling for some advice."

Then Mark and I went out for the evening to prenatal classes. The topic of the night was Birth and Delivery. Some highlights included graphic videos and discussions about fear and pain-relieving methods that might or might not work or which might or might not leave you paralyzed. When I got home, I went straight to bed. I didn't phone my mother despite the fact that she'd phoned my cell phone once and my landline twice.

In the morning, we left for work at 6:45 as we always do. I didn't phone my Mom because I thought I was being generous and sensitive. Not everyone is awake as early as I am.

I had a staff meeting after work and after hitching a ride to a friend's house, I walked the remaining way. I didn't get home until nearly 6 p.m. By then, when I listened to the most recent phone message from my mother, she sounded a wee bit panicked as she begged, "Melissa...Mark....Please phone me back tonight!"

So I finally dialed her number. When she heard my voice, her first words were, "Is everything alright?" followed by a very quick "You SCARED me."

Apparently, "Just calling for some advice" sounded to her more like, "I'm being admitted early to the hospital due to some unforeseen complication in the pregnancy." Now that I know how that can be misunderstood, I'll have to be much clearer next time. Perhaps I'll begin every phone call with,"I'm not in labour and I'm perfectly healthy....."
She said that it would be better if I did.

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