As I get older, I seem to care less and less about what other people think – of me, of my parenting style(s), of my fashion choices, pretty much all of it.
Somewhere in the years after I turned thirty, I stopped putting the feelings of others above my own needs. I stopped apologizing for all the stupid things I used to feel needed an apology – when really, they didn’t. Like not even a little bit.
And as women (and mothers) there are so many situations where we apologize and it simply isn’t necessary.
1. Needing Alone Time
Everyone needs a break now and them, some time to relax, regroup, and recharge. As mothers that can be difficult to do because we are “on” 24/7 and have tiny humans that depend on us around the clock. But the thing is, more than anything our kids need a happy, healthy, present mother – and in order to give them that, you must take time to take care of yourself. I like to use the analogy of the oxygen masks on airplanes. You put your own mask on first, why? Because you can’t help anyone else unless you help yourself first! Self-care is important, don’t apologize for making it a priority.
2. Your Beliefs
Standing up for what you believe in may make others angry sometimes, but never apologize for defending your personal values, morals, ethics, religious or spiritual beliefs. You have 100% permission to believe in whatever you wish as long as you don’t intentionally hurt people in order to prove a point.
3. Taking Time to Respond to a Message
Prioritizing sometimes means a delay in responding to emails, texts or phone calls. Never apologize for putting someone’s message on the back burner while you take care of more important things – like all the things that come with raising children, being a working mother, taking care of a home, connecting with your spouse, etc.
And when it comes to responses that require big decisions or that are emotional in some way, then I absolutely encourage the 24-hour rule – waiting a minimum of 24 hours to respond (minimum)! Process your all your feelings. Carefully weigh your decision. Sort through all the different scenarios before responding and make sure you are comfortable and in a good head space about it all – that goes for anything from agreeing to a play date to taking on a new responsibility, because once you push send you can’t take it back.
4. Your Past
Everyone has made mistakes, and your past is something that you can’t change. The things you have gone through made you into the amazing person that you are today. Be grateful for those lessons you have learned and move on. No apology necessary.
5. Saying “No”
It can be hard to say no to people but respecting your own limitations is a sign of self-respect. If you don’t want to do something, or you can’t give 100% to it, that is your choice and you should never apologize for saying no.
6. Having a Messy House
If you happen to pop by on a random Thursday afternoon, be prepared that my house will look like I am in the middle of losing a game of Jumanji. It will likely never look like a magazine cover – mostly because 5 minutes after I clean it my toddler destroys it again. And the truth is: I really don’t care. We actually live here and are busy making memories. Anyone who is close enough in my life to just “stop by” is going to love me enough to deal with my mess or they can leave. Besides perfection is mythical.
7. Your Children
Unless they are starting food fights in the middle of a restaurant or yelling profanities to others, never apologize for your children. Kids are supposed to behave like kids. And those times you encounter the curmudgeon who speaks up and makes you feel judged and like you need to apologize for your children, gently remind them that they were once children too.
8. Cutting Out Toxic People
It can be really hard to let go of people you truly care about. But, if they are doing more harm to you then good, sometimes it is necessary to cut them loose. Under no circumstances should you feel bad for ending a toxic relationship, no matter how long you have known them, how close you were, even if you were related. We only get one life, surround yourself with people that fill it with happiness. So go ahead and delete, unfriend, and unfollow unapologetically.
9. Telling the truth
Now, I don’t believe in going around and giving negative opinions about things people are doing, wearing, saying, etc. all in the name of “being truthful” But, if you’re asked, then absolutely tell the truth – it’s actually a sign of strength. Don’t ever apologize for being strong. Even if the truth hurts, the benefits of honesty far outweigh the initial sting of being truthful.
10. Having Feelings
So many people try to hold in their emotions and react in a way that is thought to be appropriate. But honestly, you should just express your emotions when you have them and not feel bad about it. Maybe you’re overly excited about something, or someone has made you upset and angry, or you are sad and emotional. It healthy to express those emotions and you should never apologize for having the feelings you do.
I’m sure there are more examples, but the point is we need to stop over-apologizing for ourselves and save “I’m sorry” for when we actually make a mistake. It will end up meaning more that way too!