I’m sorry… for being annoyed when your kids wouldn’t leave you alone so we could talk on the phone about what it’s like to be a mom.
Now I… wonder if I’m being punished for thinking my kids wouldn’t do the same, but know it’s just a thing kids do, even mine. And realize that it was really nice that you even tried to talk on the phone, knowing your kid would yell at you half the time and quietly spill water in an undisclosed location the rest of the time.
I’m sorry… for saying that my husband would still rub my feet every night as we sat on the couch leisurely watching tv, even if yours didn’t.
Now I… have had one foot rub post-kids—when I mentioned to my husband how funny it was that I had actually said that my husband would still rub my feet every night. I think I felt sorry for you when you tried to explain how taking care of yourself tends to come last for moms. Sigh.
I’m sorry… for the time I was snobby about you microwaving food for your kids.
Now I… know what you meant about how saving just a little time can mean the difference between sanity and screaming, and I know how time can move at the pace of molasses that yells and will take advantage of any shortcut I can imagine.
I’m sorry… for judging moms who hired babysitters to watch their kids during the day while they’re home.
Now I… have hired babysitters for so many reasons (including no reason) that it’s hard to believe I ever even once had that thought. I’ve had babysitters watch my kids so I could organize a closet, so I could go to the gym, so I could so I could go to the doctor and hear a word she said, so I could go grocery shopping, so I could take a nap (or try to), so I could have a conversation with my spouse… None of which I ever thought I’d need a sitter to be able to do. In fact, none of which it even occurred to me to think about how I would manage to do after kids.
I’m sorry… for thinking that nursing would be natural and easy and that taking a whole class about it was totally unnecessary.
Now I… am grateful that I took the breastfeeding class, that I was able to nurse both of my kids, and that lactation consultants exist. And I realize that thinking that nursing should be “natural” and easy is insulting and insensitive to women who struggle with nursing for any reason—from physical impediments to trying to even fit it into their lives.
I’m sorry… for believing that moms who stay home had a ton of time to exercise.
Now I… do my best, as I think about the body I thought I’d have when I exercised in all the spare time I would have while the baby napped for hours, and how perfect I would look while I still had a baby to carry on my slim hip, and how anyone who didn’t exercise their way to postpartum perfection was lazy or didn’t care about the way they look.
I’m sorry… for the time I looked in your car while you apologized for how disgustingly dirty it was, and actually said out loud that I wasn’t going to let my kids eat in the car.
Now I… draw the line at chocolate ice cream, and have a new understanding of what disgustingly dirty really means. And would put cotton candy in my kids’ mouths if they would just close them for five whole minutes so I could focus. I realize now that it’s really a safe driving issue, a public service that moms provide to the world—giving up a clean car in exchange for not crashing into you.
I’m sorry… for thinking that it was lame to come into and leave work early to be with your son when he got home from school.
Now I… wish I could find a job with hours that would work well with my kids’ school schedule and an understanding boss who would be flexible about the inevitable and endless changes to that schedule.
I’m sorry… for my conviction that women who did more parenting than their spouses, whose lives changed more than their husbands, must not have a spouse as evolved as mine or a marriage as equal as mine.
Now I… know how much motherhood changes a woman’s ideas about feminism and equality. How I would sometimes actually be a crazed supermom who won’t let my husband do more, and sometimes wish he could even see how deep the inequality runs.
I’m sorry… for thinking that I knew anything about being a mom because my family had lots of little kids and I used to babysit.
Now I… am annoyed when people think they know anything about being a parent because they have been a babysitter or a camp counselor or talked to a kid younger than five for more than five minutes or held a baby and felt something.