because of an assumption on my part) and unintentionally hurt her feelings.
Fast forward several years and now I feel like I am in a similar situation. I have a young child. She has special needs. Her care can sometimes be complicated (we have 4 therapy appointments a week). She has to have medicine twice a day at a specific time (so I'm always on a schedule). Her liquids have to be thickened so she doesn't aspirate and develop an infection in her lungs. She isn't mobile so her activity level is...well...limited. I spend the vast majority of my time taking care of her or taking care of something related to taking care of her (making appointments, organizing her medical binder, on hold with insurance/doctors, researching diagnoses or assistance programs, therapy, etc...) Going out with her can be a production and going out without her requires someone I am confident and comfortable with caring for her while I'm away.
Any "extra" (hahaha!) in our bank account usually goes towards the next doctors appointment or miscellaneous bill. So, our nights of partying, going out for dinner & drinks, or checking out the latest movie is severely restricted (yes, I know we aren't the only ones having to cinch our belts). We have become homebodies...partly by choice and partly out of necessity.
But, here's the point of this story...I'm lonely. I try to remember to call friends, but when I'm free to talk (usually during the day) they're at work. When they're free to talk I'm in the middle of dinner, trying to spend time with my husband, in the middle of Rae's night time routine, or cleaning up before bed. By the time I'm finished with all that business, I'm ready for bed or it's too late to call anyone. I find myself wondering if I have now fallen victim of the aforementioned assumption. Everyone knows our life is a little hectic right now (seriously, I blog about it so there are no secrets here) and maybe they just don't want to upset me by extending an invitation that they think I won't be able to accept. I get it. But...
Years ago, this assumption was brought to my attention and it changed the way I related to my friends. I may be privy to some of their struggles in life, but I don't have the right to decide whether or not they are able join me in a particular activity. That's their choice. Making the assumption that someone else is not able to accept an invitation and deciding not to extend the invite can be hurtful. Give them the option...they'll probably appreciate that you thought of them...even if they do end up declining.