I’m not sorry - a must read for all mum’s out there
If you are anything like me then you became a mum and suddenly started handing out “I’m sorry’s” like an after dinner mint at a big fat Greek wedding. Everyone gets one, not everyone wants one and some simply don’t need one.
I’m sorry my house looks like a bomb hit it I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to shower I’m sorry, I’m so tired I forgot
I’m so sorry I’m late, I’m hopeless
I’m sorry my kids are loud
I’m sorry the babies crying
I’m sorry to ask but....
I’m sorry the kids are in your way I’m sorry I’ll have to reschedule I’m sorry I look horrid today
I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you earlier I’m sorry that I needed your help
and I assure you the lost go on and on and on....
That last one was huge for me for quite some time. Us mums have an issue with asking for help and when we do we cap it and weigh up how often we are “entitled”. Oh I asked last week, I can’t possibly ask again. Here’s a question...why the fuck not? I have yet to read an article on how many times a mum is able to ask for help or time out, and if anyone decided that there is a rule around that then the me today would take to kneeing whatever genitalia existed between their legs ( not a pleasant feeling for women either FYI )
My days are like the wind and I’m sure yours are too. One day the breeze is blissfully there, warm and fresh, and the next a tornado is heading my way and I have no time to run to safety. The point being that you are going to need more help at times then others and to suggest that you have to weather a shit storm on your own because you had help a few days prior just isn’t the case. I don’t shy I away from asking anymore but I do make it very clear if whomever I have asked can’t do it, it’s beyond fine. At least I ASK and appreciating that voice inside of you screaming for relief is sometimes all you need to simmer your boiling point.
I have always been meticulous with how my home looks. Tidy, tranquil, sweet smelling and did I mention TIDY!! I am a visual merchandiser by trade so creating beautiful set ups is my ‘thing’. Enter baby person, aka Rome, and the time to have such a space flew out the window faster than the speed of light. Suddenly I’m waist deep in washing, I’m double bagging shitty nappies in hope that the smell stays contained until I get a minute to bolt to the Otto bin downstairs, I have a kitchen full of bottles, sterlisers and dirty dishes aaand breast pads and burping cloths have made their home on our couch. I would literally invite an anxiety attack with open arms by trying to keep my home the tidy haven it was, especially when we had visitors and even when it was presentable I would promptly apologise upon their arrival for the state of my space. It just became a habit. It became a habit with everything!! I’m giving this topic some TLC because it truly is an issue and one that we don’t register too at all.
The words “I’m sorry” hold a lot of power and too often we lose our own power by overusing them. We actually use apologies as a way to be polite or to validate the things we haven’t been able to get done without realising that that’s what we are doing. But who are we feeling the need to validate ourselves too?? There’s a sense of needing others to understand why we look like we haven’t showered in a week, or why we have no food to offer them because the grocery run is well overdue. And it is probably because you’ve had an Aussie shower the past 4 days and you haven’t had time to duck out for more than milk and bread. Oh and for those of who are not acquainted with the Aussie shower there are several versions noted when googled. My version however, is when you wet your nether regions and underarms with soapy water at the tap and then rinse, dry and get dressed. Not at all ideal, but I am guilty of such desperate measures more times then I’m going to admit and you know what?? I’m not sorry! I’m not sorry I look like I got smacked with the ugly stick today and I’m not sorry you are only served toast and coffee at times when you come to visit. I’m not sorry the little ones crying and interrupting our conversation, I’m not sorry to Little Miss Impatient pulling faces at how long getting my kids in car takes whilst she waits for my parking spot. I’m not sorry. I will apologise for my tardiness but I am not at all hopeless. I am running behind schedule because I have kids. No excuse you say?? You bet your spunky arse it is! The naked truth is that you wouldn’t apologise for doing what is noted in your job description and if you remove the I’m sorry from the list at the top, you’ll find that those things are part and parcel of what your role as mum entails. It is by no means limited to that and there is so much good to add but every role we take personally and
professionally has pro’s and cons. Things we love to do and the dirty work we wish we could palm off. It is what it is ladies, but under no circumstances should we feel the need to throw that S word around the way the majority of us do. Apologise by all means when you sincerely feel it’s valid, I’m not suggesting that you turn into some sort of narcistic bitch. What I am suggesting is that you check yourself in the I’m sorry arena because it is used way too broadly by mums these days to not only friends, partners and your kids! We also feel the need to apologise to complete strangers way to often for absolutely no reason and it is quite stifling to one’s self esteem when you stop and think about it. You’re a mum, prams are going to be bulky and inconvenient sometimes and your kids don’t have a mute button at café’s and restaurants. I will certainly keep my little ladies in check as best I can but lets be real people. One lady once asked me to get “that child” to keep it down on a Sunday mid morning at a café just down from our place. The thing was, my little chicky was not hurting anyone and her noise was that of happiness and laughter at a non - invasive volume. Unfortunately for this old bat, who seemed to be the only one not smiling at Rome, I was not about to apologise or squash my little girls joy with a “shoosh”. I would have truly loved to suggest that this dear lady go jump on a big stiff one and chill the fuck out, but instead I politely suggested she go somewhere else for coffee where kids weren’t welcome. Her response was “I beg your pardon” and mine right back was
“well yes you should beg for my pardon.” She sat down, shut her mouth and finished her coffee. I was later commended by the gorgeous waitress for my stance and Rome had her babycino and marshmallows in her bubble of happiness as intended and deserved. Rewind a year or so back... I would have asked Rome to pipe it down and I would have thrown that S word out and been responsible for one little girls lesson in being submissive and equally responsible for excusing an old c^&t for being.... Well an old c&*t. ( Excuse the language.. but if the shoe fits then it fits.) What I will say is that I am sorry that I was once sorry for such nonsense.
There is a time for everything, including saying that you are sorry. Whether intentional or accidental, we will all face many many moments in life when an apology is warranted and should be given, but if you are just being a mummy and your children are simply being children, then my dear friends please purse your lips and think before you speak. Do it for yourselves, for your kids and for the posse of mums out there looking on. I have instilled a habit I’m now “uninstalling” in my 4 year old and let me tell you it’s easier to teach then it is to unteach and most of what gets taught to our littlies is through the good old ‘monkey see monkey do’. So with that in the forefront of my mind these days I try to ensure it’s not ‘dickhead see dickhead do’, because we as parents need to own that. I am proud to have a savvy little lady who gives an apology when she needs to hand one out, but there are times when she says “I’m very sorry” and neither of us know why she said it. I’ll quiz her about it and sometimes she’ll just shrug and have no clue, while others require me reigning it in now and explaining to her that there was no need to feel sorry at all. So, if nothing else hit’s a nerve for you in this chapter then let this question whack a nerve or two! What are we teaching our kids when we overuse and excuse ourselves and our kids to others constantly for no good reason? Stick that in your pipe, reflect and smoke it.
There is power in an apology and there is equal power in knowing when not to apologise. In knowing when you need to put a muzzle on it ( not literally ) and when you need to stand firm and not entertain the childish behaviour of a grown grumpy bitch, so that she can own her cuntiness and perhaps work on it. There is power in knowing the importance of raising warriors that know who they are, that have manners and care for others, but that have a sound understanding of when sorry is due and when to politely tell someone to eat a dick. I’ve spent the first few years of motherhood
feeling like I was being polite and pleasant and ensuring that I had rubbed no one the wrong way, that everyone around me was aware that I was not purposely this way or that.
So, in conclusion, and like I’ve told many a girlfriend, grab your superhero cape and wear that thing everyday. It might be invisible to the rest of the world but if you know you’ve got it on then that’s all that matters. We seldom take compliments when given well deserved cuto’s and yet we are the first to be use the S word the minute something seems out of order or looks to be “wrong”. We were all far from perfect before children but, put plainly, we just had time at that point to disguise the imperfections. Being a mum forces you to be raw and real and dishevelled and messy and all those things human and gross and normal. We will have yummy mummy days where we feel smokin hot, composed and like we have everything under our control and then with the snap of our fingers we are sitting on the couch at midday in the same clothes we were in 24 hours before with an indescribable need for another coffee, a shower and sleep. It’s a yo yo life ladies so enjoy the ups, embrace the downs and no matter what your sporting underneath that cape wear it, and wear it proudly. Stand there, hands on hips in all your glory and never ever EVER say sorry for being a kick arse mum and for all the things that seemingly fall to shit while you are out raising fierce, capable and kind human beings.
Stay solemnly unapologetic my beautiful fellow mummies Angelina
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