5 Things To Stop Apologizing For TODAY
Stop Apologizing! We’ve become a society that apologizes constantly – especially moms. We apologize when the baby wakes up the older kids, when our toddler spills juice all over the table in the restaurant, because we don’t look perfect when someone ‘drops by’ the house (and the house also is not ready for a close-up). We apologize when we have to rush to the school, hair all over and a baby on our hip, to drop off the older kids lunch/project/permission slip/gym clothes, etc. We say ‘I’m sorry’ when we have to hang up the phone because our kids suddenly have 30 things they need to tell us RIGHT NOW. Some of these things do deserve an apology, but some of them don’t. The problem is, we then get into a mindset which makes us say ‘I’m sorry’ even when the situation is not our fault. Over time this creates an emotional mentality where we feel like we never do anything right – because we always have to be the one who says I’m sorry. We want to get rid of that feeling – today.
5 Things To Stop Apologizing For Today
1. Stop apologizing for the house (or you!) being a mess
Yes, the house may look like a tornado went through it, followed closely by a tsunami, but if that is simply the result of having 3 children playing and then bath time before you’ve had a chance to clean up – DON’T APOLOGIZE. You’re being a mom and you’re not perfect. Instead say – “I know, it’s pretty terrible. You want to babysit?” This approach puts the fear of teething toddlers in them and they will be afraid they really can not do better. If they think they can – awesome! You just got a new babysitter. SCORE!
If the mess really bothers you or is getting out of hand check out this awesome post on InformedSharing.com
2. Stop apologizing when it’s your husband’s turn to get up with the baby at 3am
I know, you’ve heard it before. Everyone says it. Everyone says it… because it’s true. If you are a SAHM you probably have an even harder time not uttering those words. You feel like you’re home all day, you’re not going outside the home to work, but he NEEDS his sleep because he has to WORK in the morning. STOP IT. Is he on call 24 hours a day for his job chasing and training circus monkeys? If he is, awesome, and yes, you should say you’re sorry and go get the baby. If he’s not though? Explain to him that you are chasing and training circus monkeys (or at least most days it feels like it), but you would like just 3 hours of not being on call. 3 hours. You’re not asking for much, so don’t feel guilty asking for it.
3. Stop apologizing for not wanting company
We all talk about how much we just want to get out of the house, or have someone over, so we can have an ADULT conversation. Much of the time this is actually true. Sometimes though, when you do have free time you don’t want to have to talk to ANYONE. Once you’ve explained why big kids use the potty, why it’s not nice to paint the dog (or the wall) with yogurt, why we don’t empty mommy’s purse in the pool (or the toilet!), and answered the question “Why?” three THOUSAND times, all you want to do is drive.
When you leave you will be daydreaming about the life you would have if you never went back. If you’d never had kids, a husband, or a mortgage. You will imagine how easily you could just drive until you run out of money (not far if the purse dumping incident occurred) and start over. How you could actually use the bathroom without someone banging on the door to ask ‘whatcha doin mama?’.
Within an hour (or maybe 2 depending on how long it’s been) you will miss them. You will wonder what they’re doing right now. You will worry that they miss you and you’re not there. You will go home, the glow of a refreshed, happy resolve shining from your eyes. A day or two later when you mention your brief freedom to a friend they’ll say ‘Why didn’t you CALL me?’ Resist the urge to say ‘I’m sorry, I was overwhelmed/didn’t want to bother you/forgot my phone/my phone was drying out from a swim, etc. Instead say – I didn’t want to talk, I just needed to drive. They’ll understand.
4. Stop apologizing for forgetting your name/your cousin’s birthday/a chorus concert etc.
You have to remember doctor’s appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, to check homework, buy diapers, buy a Halloween costume, that Thing One hates green beans, and Thing Two hates raspberries. It’s a lot. When you start to fill out paperwork for a doctor or the school and find yourself staring at the ‘Name’ line and realize you don’t remember how to write the letter ‘T’ or how to spell your name entirely, it’s okay. We’ve all been there. I’ve heard it goes away, and I’m inclined to believe them since the older and more self-sufficient my kids get, the more I can actually remember.
If you’re afraid you’re really losing it, try these tips by Tori Read on Lifehacker .
5. Stop apologizing for being tired
Raising a family is like running a triathlon Every. Single. Day. You fold laundry only to have to refold it when you come back from the bathroom because your toddler was ‘helping’. You have to mop up (and then refill) the dog’s water bowl 17 times a day because it’s the perfect place for Barbie/Spongebob/Crayons to go swimming. You have to make three different dinners because even though you know the books (and all of your friends) say not to, you really just can’t stomach the thought of fighting with your kids to accept the nutrition they need today. You still have to clean up the aftermath of the tornado and tsunami (see #1) and you haven’t even considered taking a shower yourself yet.
Turning circus monkeys into well-behaved children is seriously hard work and should come with combat and hazard pay. You’re allowed to be tired. So when someone says ‘You look tired’ don’t apologize or feel self-conscious, instead think ‘Yeah. Job well done, Mom!’.
If you want to feel more awake though, check out these tricks from Matthew Rogers on Lifehacker.
And here’s a bonus #6 for you. Stop apologizing for being a human – I know we all think that raising kids turns us into superheroes and in a lot of ways it does. What it doesn’t do though is turn you into the energizer bunny. You still have limits, you still have needs, you’re still you. Don’t ever apologize for being YOU.