Being a mom is essentially an exercise in being so hard on yourself that you place unrealistic expectations on yourself, while simultaneously needing to extend yourself a lot of grace, kindness, and understanding on a daily basis. Wait, that's just me? Well, either way, it didn't take me long to realize there were more than a few apologies I owe myself now that I'm a mom. Things like saying sorry to myself for not living up to some ideal picture of motherhood I had in my head before my baby was placed in my arms, and apologizing to myself for being so tough on myself every day.
One of the biggest lessons I learned when my daughter was about 6-months-old was that I had to apologize and forgive myself every night in order to give every new day a fresh start. I needed to leave every single piece of baggage from the previous days behind me in order to know, deep down, that I was the mom my daughter needed and deserved. I'd never before had a role where there were about a million tasks that needed to be accomplished in a day, so I had no idea that failing to complete even one or two would make me feel like a failure. Couldn't get her to take a bottle? Failure. Couldn't get her to nap? Failure. Couldn't get out of the house without one or both of us in tears? Failure. As a new mom it was so easy for me to look past my accomplishments and only focus on my perceived shortcomings.
I was incredibly grateful for the moment when I realized that I wasn't a failure of a mom just because I failed any or all of those tasks. So while we're at it, I may as well add the following apologies to my list, too: