I think my kid was about 10 months old when I dished out the first (of many) apologies to my mother. My daughter had grabbed something small and was about to push it towards her lips and internal panic (on my part) ensued. I opened my mouth, and my mother’s voice came out. As moms, we all take this silent oath not to become our mothers, but it's almost an inevitable conclusion when we realize that our mothers were, without a doubt, actually right. So, of course, along with this realization are things every new mom apologizes to her mother for, because sometimes it really does take you experiencing motherhood for yourself to appreciate all the ways your mother was amazing, and all the ways you were kind of the worst.
I had grand designs of raising my children to have a charmed life. I have few qualms with my parents' childrearing philosophies, since my brother and I turned out to be fairly evolved, functional adults. I didn't have a toxic mother or an abusive mother or an unstable mother (like many individuals do) but I did have plans of doing things differently. Maybe more, “Let me explain why cleaning up is important,” and less, “Because I said so.” I wanted to constantly make my kids feel heard and understood when they voiced their displeasure about a particular parenting choice, instead of telling them they'd be in trouble if they didn't just listen to mom. I wanted more patience and less exasperation for my kids.
Has your mom ever teased: “One day, when you’re older, you’ll understand?” I used to scoff at that. But now I’m older. With children. And I totally understand. My mother was so right about so many things and, sadly but not surprisingly, it took having a baby for me to realize that she was right and I was a pain. I am not sure if any seasoned parent knows, “best,” but they sure as hell know more than a brand new mom does. All of this, plus all the hormones and emotions that a new mother experiences that give her all the feels, are why new moms end up apologizing to their mothers for these 13 things. I mean, better late than never, right?
"I'm Sorry I Was Always So Loud"
It seems the tinier they are, the louder they wail. Sorry about that.
"I'm Sorry For The Whining"
How did you survive years of this, mom? I hit my limit at my daughter’s 18-month mark and you handled it like a champ for 18 years. Tell me your secrets, because pretty soon I am going to be dangerously close to ripping my ears off of my head.
"I'm Sorry For Crazy Messes I Always Made"
In my room, at the table and literally whenever I encountered ice cream or sand, I made a ridiculous mess that you, inevitably, had to clean up by yourself because I had already moved on to the next mess I wanted to make. I wasn’t trying to be a slob, mind you, but my own kids are now showing me it’s just something they can’t help.
"I'm Sorry For Complaining About Our Food Options"
I couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t buy sugar cereal like everybody else (or so it seemed) or let us eat out at some fast food restaurant multiple times a day, if not week, but you were right, because I can’t feed that stuff to my kids. Ok, except maybe on Christmas. And on some weekends. And on the days when I just cannot bring myself to cook anything.
"I'm Sorry For Not Listening"
Now that I have a kid who doesn’t listen sometimes, because they’re a kid, I get how frustrating this is.
"Im Sorry For Blaming You For Whatever Was Wrong In My Young Life"
I used to think it was all your fault, but I realize now it’s because you were my world. My kids scream, “I hate you, Mom!” for reminding them it’s bath time, and it hurts. At least they’re not bottling up their emotions though, right?
"I'm Sorry For Fighting With My Sibling"
I have a daughter who fights with her brother and it feels terrible to see the two most precious people in my life want to tear each other apart. I should have show my little brother more kindness, because I know how exhausting it is to referee the endless sibling squabbling.
"I'm Sorry For Being The Reason Your Coffee Always Got Cold"
And you didn’t even have a microwave to reheat it when I was a toddler, in full demand of your attention, so you just downed that cold coffee like the champ you are and never once complained. Seriously mom, you're the real MVP.
"I'm Sorry For Rolling My Eyes At Your Wisdom"
Your child-raising tactics seemed so out of touch (“Put the baby on her stomach, that’s what I did with you."), that’s only because you weren’t following the guidelines of some parenting app or newly written article or the vast opinions on some message board. You had human relatives passing along their tried and true childrearing techniques, and obviously those worked because I grew up to be a pretty amazing individual, if I do say so myself. I should have relied less on technology and more on family.
"I'm Sorry For Never Learning How To Plunge A Toilet"
I am really paying for that now. #stomachbug
"I'm Sorry For Not Taking Your Advice"
It seemed impossible to follow one of your many mantras (like sleeping when the baby sleeps) but wow, how nice it would have been to have just listened to you instead of learning the hard way. I spent the majority of my first kid's infancy absolutely sleep deprived, because I didn't sleep when my baby slept. Talk about unnecessary agony.
"I'm Sorry For Causing You All That Pain"
Now that I've been through labor and delivery myself, I'm just so sorry. I mean, I am so, so sorry. I know that nothing I say can take away the pain that you felt and yes, I know you will continue to say over and over again that it was worth it (and I know it was, because I feel the same way about my kids) but, still. I am so freakin' sorry I did that to you. So sorry. All the sorries. So. Much. Sorry.
"I'm Sorry For Giving You So Much Attitude"
Now that I’m a mom, I know that your intentions were always pure, and that even when you made a decision I didn't appreciate or agree with, you did it because it was what was best for me. Our kids may think we’re mean, and we have to ride that out, but until they become parents themselves and it clicks, they'll never know just how much we're willing to do to keep them safe. Love is setting limits. Love is doing the hard things. Love is putting your foot down. Love is what is behind every interaction a mom has with her kids. I’m sorry it took me so long to realize it.
Here’s hoping my kids have this same revelation in 20 to 30 years!