I spent the night at my dad's house, because my sister lives there and is going to watch B as I attend an all day conference in Austin. I get up about 5 am and lucky me, B gets up at that same time once he hears me stir. He has never woken up at this time, but he refuses to go back to sleep, so I prepare a bottle. I'm in a hurry, because I'm supposed to leave at 545 am (or that's my goal) not anticipating B to wake up (isn't that always the case though?).

My dad wakes about 530 and helps keep an eye on B while I finish getting ready. I get my sister up and head out about 615. Even though I'm leaving later than I anticipate, I should arrive close to 930, when it begins. The first hour of the conference is for breakfast and networking, so even if I arrive a little late, I'll be okay.I have about 45 minutes left of my 3 ½ hour drive, when I just can't take it anymore. I'm struggling since the first hour (impressed I made it THAT long) to stay awake. It's a bright and sunny morning, yet the strong sun's rays can't keep me awake. I pull over in a gas station parking lot for a 10 minute power nap.

I wake up from the sun beating down on me (I had turned off the car) and I'm sweating. I look at the clock, and it's been 20 minutes... oh, shoooot. I quickly start my car and drive off. After missing my exit and going several miles out of my way (don't know if it's because I was still half asleep 45 minutes later or just CLUE.LESS--because my lady navigator on my GPS told me the exit) I finally arrive.

Leaving the conference on the same day, I know my drive home is going to be harder than the drive here. After all, I am really exhausted from a full day and very, very little sleep. Instead of making it all but 45 minutes, I ONLY made it 45 minutes before I need my power nap. I find an outlet mall's parking lot. As though it's déjà' vu, I went to just sleep for 10 minutes, which ends up being 20, and I wake up in the heat sweating.

I quickly take off and head home, when two hours later I get an unexpected surprise. I'm pumping using my A.MAZ.ING hands free bra talking on the phone to my BFF, when I see a cop car in my rearview mirror with its lights on. Certainly, it's not after me. I pull over and tell my BFF, "I think I'm getting pulled over. I'll call you back."

The police car pulls up behind me. What the heck?!

I hang up and pull out my flanges of my pump and set them in the compartment that separates the driver and passenger seats. The cop comes to my window and does the routine, "Hi I'm Officer Derek, can I see your license and registration?"

"Can I ask what you're pulling me over for?"

"As soon as I get your information."

I hand it to him, and he says, "Is this the correct address?"


"How long ago did you move?"

Knowing I only have a month to update my license's address, I say, "About a month."

"You are only allowed 30 days to change your address, which you can do online and not wait in the line at the DMV."

"Great. Thank you for that."

"I clocked you going 82 in a 75. Is there a reason for this?"

Yeah, I'm EX.HAUST.ED. Trying to get home to see my baby who I haven't seen all day. I'm tired. I'm pumping, just trying to provide for my baby. I need to get this milk and the three other large bottles home and in the fridge before it all goes bad. I'm a single mom and the only person my son has. I haven't slept well, because my baby doesn't sleep during the night, even though he used to. And no one mentions this. They say, "Oh my baby slept through the night at six weeks or two months." Yeah well mine did too, until he didn't (at 6 ½ months old)... as though to psych me out.

Did I mention how completely EXHAUSTED I am? I need a nap. No better yet, I need to sleep... for 24 hours without interruption. Shoooot, I'll take 8 hours without interruption. Shoot, I'll take 6 hours without interruption. Actually, dang it, just give me 4 hours WITH.OUT.IN.TERR.UP.TION! I just want to get home. NOOOO, I just NNNEEEDDD to get home. I've been up since 5 am. Driving 3 ½ hours one way just to turn around and do it again that same day. Oh, and the car puts me to sleep. So imagine already being so tired, you could literally fall asleep standing up, sitting down pumping, or just about at any time if you are still for more than five minutes at a time.

So, I wasn't trying to speed, intentionally speeding, or even knowing I was speeding. I am so caught up in getting home, getting my baby, and finding my bed, a couch, chair, carpet, floor, or ground that I guess I went a few miles over the speed limit, because ALL I can think about is shower... baby... and sleep, and not necessarily in that order. Please FORGIVE me, officer.

But yet, this CLUELESS, with a CAPITAL C, mom didn't say all of this or actually any of this. The only thing that came to her mind when the officer asked if there was a reason for it was, "No."

He walked to his car, and I immediately start crying. Yes, it's the money. I don't want to pay it. Yes, it's because I just got a speeding ticket a few months ago, which is not on my record and I'm off probation. Yes, it's because I went to court this week for a guy saying a backed into him, and the jury sided with him (which the foreperson said wasn't based on evidence, character, or who they believed but on something I can NEVER control), which means my insurance will already go up.

Most importantly, it's because I'm tired. I'm EX.HAUST.ED. And can't I JUST catch a break?! Can't someone say, "You deserve a break, so I'm giving you one? Enjoy it!"

He walks back to my car and asks for my current address. Between wiping my tears, I tell him. He says, "I'm just giving you a ticket for speeding."

Great--I'll take the ticket for incorrect address INSTEAD. It's less money and will be dismissed once I change it.

He continues, "You need to show up in court."

Through my tears, "I can't do that, I don't live here."

"You can do it online too. So you need to sign here. It's not admission of guilt."

"I'm not going to sign it."

"Okay, then I'm going to arrest you and impound your car."

As I cry harder, "Are you serious? Because I won't sign a ticket?" "Yes."

Obviously, I sign it, because I'm not going to jail and impounding my car would just cost more money.

He says, "Have a good day and drive safe."

I don't respond and roll up my window--Shut the eff up (Yes I say that to myself after my window is up).

All of the reasons of my accidental speeding and I don't say a single thing but "No," what the heck was I thinking? Or what wasn't I thinking? So instead of having my breakdown in front of the officer where it definitely wouldn't have hurt, I have it with myself... and all I can think of the rest of the way home is Why didn't you say something, anything, because that would have been better than my "No" answer?

Why can't a girl just catch a break?

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Author's Bio: 

As a single mom and founder of The Single Mom Movement, Jessica Rector knows how you are stressed but know there is more for you. With targeted private coaching, programs, and a school, single moms use her proven strategies to discover their empowered self. Do you feel like no one really understands how you feel? You're not alone. Join the club at http://TheSingleMomMovement.com/community Get FREE videos to Breathe Happiness. Be Fulfilled. Live Empowered! Sign up at http://TheSingleMomMovement.com