Parents don’t need me to tell them that parenting is full of challenges. Trust me, we know and we live it every day. Usually I’m bouncing between the struggle bus and the fast lane. However, I’d wager that many of us, on our best days, know what it feels like to be a grown-ass mom. On those days, when the sun shines down on us and the stars align, perhaps we can even recognize that there are plenty of things grown-ass moms don’t need to apologize for.
I had a fleeting moment of feeling awesome just last week, when my son’s homemade Halloween costume didn’t fall apart and he actually seemed to enjoy wearing it. However, it didn't take long for that feeling of invincibility to, you know, disappear. I noticed my son was was climbing on the counters for more candy, and all my feelings of accomplishment were shattered. Still, it’s those moments where we feel like we’ve got things under control and that maybe we could doing something extra ambitious like bake brownies or buy holiday craft supplies (let’s not get too crazy) that remind us that it’s OK to be on top of this motherhood thing. In fact, it’s more than OK. It’s awesome.
While the popular narrative (one that I, admittedly, often subscribe to) is that parenting and being a hot mess go hand-in-hand, really and truly, we’re allowed to have our successes (and revel in them, to the point that we brag because, duh), too. So, with that in mind and because well work way too hard to downplay our wins, here are a few things grown-ass moms should never feel like they need to apologize for:
Making Time For Her Family
I found myself catching up with old friends at an event the other night, and one of them asked if my partner and I were getting out more now that our son was through the baby phase. The answer? No, not really. But, I can’t say that I mind, either.
Sure, when we have reason to we’ll enlist the help of grandparents to watch our little guy for the night, but most of the time we’re pretty content with sticking to our bath and bedtime routine and hanging out as a family. I'm not (that) sorry.
Making Time For Work Or Other Responsibilities
Since my son arrived, I’ve worked outside of the home, taken a complete break from working, and I’ve worked from the home. There are perks to each, to be sure, but regardless of how it plays out for each family, moms don’t need to apologize for working or for wanting to work.
Making Time For Herself
I had a wicked cold a couple weeks ago, and I pretty much had no choice but to lay in bed all day and watch Good Girls Revolt while my partner covered parenting duties.
While being sick can be an exceptional circumstance, at the root of it is still the need to self-care, something that no mom needs to sweat over. How can we do our best with our kids if we're permanently under the weather?
Making Minor Mistakes That Don’t Matter In The Long Run
Of course some mistakes do warrant apologies, but others simply require some quick attention to Taylor Swift lyrics so that we can shake it off and move on. If I apologized for every small thing I did wrong in the parenting arena, I’d barely have time to re-fasten my son’s diaper and do the laundry I spilled all over everywhere.
Going Above And Beyond For Her Kids
So, that Halloween costume I mentioned? Yeah, I probably didn’t need to add that many sparkles to it. I probably didn’t need to laminate the various pieces. I didn’t need to put extra layers of tape and layers of foil (again, we are talking about a space robot).
However, I had fun doing it and my kid was happy so you won't hear any apologies from me when it comes to going "all out" in the name of my son's Halloween costume.
Being Super Busy
I have a few close friends with whom I keep a standing rule: we never have to apologize to one another for being busy. We’re parents. We work. We have partners and outside interests and hobbies and other friends. Being busy is simply a reality of raising kids and being a functioning member of society (or at least, attempting to be one).
Not Being Perfect
I had to bring a breakfast dish to a moms group meeting last week, and I’ll admit it: I went to three stores looking for a pre-made quiche. Ultimately, I had to bite the bullet and just get ingredients to make something myself (seriously, don’t more people care about savory egg pies?). I’ve been going to this mom’s group for almost two years and this is the first time I’ve brought a dish that I made myself (and that didn't come from a store).
I didn’t point it out to anyone in the group, but if someone else had brought it up? Well, yeah I probably would have instinctively wanted to apologize, even though logically I know I don’t really need to.
Her Kid’s Quirks
I love my kid’s quirks, as I imagine all moms do. I love how he mispronounces words and how sometimes only certain pairs of his pajamas will do and how passionately he feels about macaroni and cheese. I appreciate how cautious and curious he is in public.
However, I know that strangers take this to mean he’s a super serious kid all the time. I’m quite used to them trying to smile or entertain him (or sing Christmas carols to him only days after Halloween, which just happened) and seeing them fail miserably. I’m used to simply smiling and shrugging it off, but never blaming him or making him feel like I need to apologize for who he is (or who he's becoming). I'm not always good at avoiding apologies (or being a grown-ass mom), but I do feel pretty solid about this particular parenting department.
Ignoring Any Strangers Who Judge Her Parenting
OK, unless my attempts to parent have literally distracted me to the point of not seeing you and ramming my shopping cart into yours. In that case, I will apologize. But otherwise, I don’t think we really need to talk about this here, strangers.