I’m what is known as a Serial Apologist.
I am so apologetic sometimes I say ‘sorry’ to people that bump into me. How annoying is that. One day someone pointed it out to me and I knew I did it, but still couldn’t change. I don’t know why, I just think it’s a polite thing to do. Politeness, and a genuine apology can be two different things.
Mums probably don’t realise it, but we all apologise a lot for things we really shouldn’t be sorry for. Like for our hair being messy or for our kids not wearing pants (I’m guilty of both of these). Maybe we feel that by doing it, it will make us feel less embarrassed about the fact our house has been destroyed by small humans that cannot yet go to the toilet but can somehow manage to create more mess than a cyclone in under ten minutes. Seriously. Before my morning coffee.
Here is a list of things you may have apologised for at some point, that probably ring true for the general population of mums everywhere in some way or another. I’ve changed the apologies to realistic answers for you to use next time.
What you said: ‘I’m sorry, my house is such a mess.’
What you should say: ‘Come on in, the kids have destroyed my house so I gave up putting shit away a long time ago. Don’t step on the Lego, it hurts like a b*tch.’
What you said: ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I’m still in my pyjamas.’
What you should say: ‘Guess who’s still in her pyjamas at 1pm? THIS GIRL.’
What you said: To your waxing lady: ‘I’m so sorry, it’s really, really hairy.’
What you should say: ‘You really have your work cut out for you today. It’s been a long time since I’ve even had to think about doing anything down there, but I’m really hoping to get laid soon.’
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What you said: To your husband: ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t get a chance to do the dishes today, the kids were ratty as hell,’ cue husband, who looks at the children, sitting quietly watching some crappy show or another.
What you should say: ‘As you may notice, I didn’t have time to wash the dishes today, I probably won’t do them now either. It’s 6pm and I see a Shiraz with my name on it.’
What you said: To the general population giving you evils when you’re kids are screaming at the supermarket: ‘Sorry, he’s so loud.’
What you should say: ‘Hey, here’s an idea. Why don’t you be the one to explain to my toddler why his balloon is unfortunately blue and not red like he wants? Then maybe you could give him a donut? Because that will REALLY stop the tantrum.’
What you said: To the person selling stuff at the door: ‘Sorry I took so long to answer, the kids just woke up from their nap.'
What you should say: ‘If you EVER, ring my doorbell again, I will cut your face.’
As a disclaimer, I do not recommend actually replacing apologies with some of the answers I suggested. You may end up with a restraining order. But anyhow, I really feel like as mothers we say sorry way too much. Most of the time, they are other mums we are saying it to, and they totally get that you have nothing to say sorry for. We all just try to do our best and wade our way through the piles of washing, and the dishes, and maybe even the raising children part.
So this week, Super Mums, I challenge you to take an apology out of your daily life and to not feel embarrassed or upset that your house is a little bit messy or that the only food you have to offer guests is Tiny Teddies (because that is the only thing your kids will eat). Remember that we are doing our best to survive the day to day challenges of doing what is the greatest, and some may say, the hardest job in the world.
What's something that you apologise for that you shouldn't?