- I have to work late at school.
- I have a bag full of grading, which is working late but at home.
- The daylight hours are short, which also means he gets fed dinner earlier in the day.
- I have a doctor or dentist appointment after work.
- There is a family birthday on a week night.
- There is a family birthday or holiday event right in the middle of the day on a weekend and I also have work or household obligations sucking up time before and after the midday event. I detest midday events, because they monopolize the entire day. Just make it in the morning or at night! (please)
- One time I had to wait for guests to arrive for a family event (not my event) and I couldn't leave the house until they arrived. They were about four hours late and it was an absolutely gorgeous Saturday in the spring. I think that it had been raining for a while before that, so I was nearly beside myself knowing that I could have left and gone to the barn and been back before they arrived. It was so difficult to hide my distress and socialize/entertain for hours afterward. The only one who understood my frustration was my Mom (and my husband). She watched me cry over enough rained out riding lessons as a kid to know exactly what was going through my mind!
- I have to clean the house (with my husband) before guests or a holiday. With both of us working and neither of being very domestic, this usually turns into a cleaning marathon ending minutes before our guests/family arrive. It's miserable, but at least it gets us to clean the house!
- Household projects or yard work, which must be completed during the daylight hours, can hog up perfectly good barn time.
- I'm too hungry to go to the barn.
During the first trimester, I would actually rush home from work with a hunger so intense that I didn't even take my coat off before I opened the refrigerator. I could down a can of soup, an entire avocado or cheese sandwich before my husband came home to see any evidence that I had made food. Other times, he would walk in and I would be stuffing my face with my "first dinner" only to have no problem a few hours late eating a "second dinner" with him. I felt very, very fortunate not to have any sickness or fatigue. I have spoken to enough women and heard enough stories at this point to know that I should thank my lucky stars, but MAN-O-MAN was I hungry.
This started to interfere with my barn time as the days got shorter. There was less and less time after work and I needed a good chunk of it to fill my stomach. My husband remembers seeing me looking kind of upset after work one day and when he asked what was wrong, I lamented that it was a beautiful day and I wanted to go ride my horse so badly, but I was too hungry to leave the kitchen. It was really distressing to me. I had never been a slave to my physical being before. As a teacher, I was used to ignoring my bodily needs to suit a bell schedule.
Of course, I was still able to get out to see Harley, but it was much easier to do on the weekend. I would bring a snack (or snacks) and take a break from trimming or grooming to eat before a ride or finishing my work. I started giving Harley his hay cubes while I took my food break. He enjoyed this deal immensely and I found myself appreciating the expression "hungry as a horse".
I started eating the baby carrots that I brought for him and he would definitely give me a look if I walked out the tack room with one in my mouth and none in my hand for him. I don't think that sort of thing was lost on my equine companion.
Sorry, Harley. I couldn't help myself!