Sorry, I'm Not Sorry.

I apologize. A lot. 

I'm sorry has been my go to phrase for sometime now, and I didn't even realize I was doing it.  It took  a visit to an incredibly busy Starbucks in Brooklyn,  a side by side double stroller, and my Aunt to bring it to my attention. 

We were just waiting on line and being jostled about by strangers, some of whom were giving me and my children perhaps not the kindest of looks. With every person that bumped into my stroller or sighed as they walked around me I apologized. I couldn't even tell you how many times this occurred, as it was just second nature to me. It's something I do in restaurants, in grocery stores, the mall...Everywhere. 

Now I do believe in being courteous of other people. I was raised to be very polite and I expect the same of my children. The problem is; where is the line between being polite and overexerting yourself? When does saying you are sorry become just apologizing for unnecessary things?

That day my Aunt turned to me and said something that stuck with me. She told me that I needed to stop apologizing and that it wasn't my fault that I was standing there with a giant stroller and three children in tow. I was waiting to order coffee just like anyone else in there, if my stroller was in the way, it isn't an extravagant thing to expect people to walk around it. They were being the rude ones by sighing and rolling their eyes. 

I'm not quite sure how none of that had dawned on me before, but it felt like a complete epiphany. It was such an awakening, that I went home and actually did a search on the Internet to see if this was something that a lot of women ( or just parents in general) do.  I was actually taken aback by the number of accounts I was met with. Something I had never even realized I was doing, was as it turned out a rather large problem in our society.

I was met with such a large amount of articles on how Women apologize far too much for simple things like taking up space, giving commentary on work assignments, stating their opinions, etc. There was even advice on how to not say sorry so often and suggestions on what to say instead of  an apology. There were breakdowns of the emotional and psychological reasoning behind it and how society has aided in this becoming the norm. 

To my surprise I did not find really anything about parents doing this, so I felt compelled to write this and hopefully it falls into the lap of a parent who maybe is doing their own Internet search.  What I want to say to that parent is this:

Stop saying "I'm sorry."

Stop apologizing for the existence of your little ones. 

When you are exhausted and you have one kid in a baby carrier and another in a stroller and some shitty person walks around you on that city street and gives you a mean look, don't apologize. 

When you are in a coffee shop and sitting waiting for a friend while your kid sits there quietly playing with toys and accidentally spills a drink you owe no-one an apology ( aside from the server -who in my experience really don't care) because guess what! There are grown-ups who do the same thing!

When you are sweaty and struggling with three kids in a grocery store and someone gives you a look because one of them are wailing- Do not apologize! If people can't handle the existence of a child being a child than in my opinion, they can't handle being in public in general. 

You are entitled to the same amount of respect and space in this world as anyone else. 

Your children are entitled to the same amount of space and respect as anyone else in this world has anyone else. 

Absorb that and own it.

Parenting is hard enough without adding other peoples shitty attitude's into the mix.

There have been plenty of times as of late that I have run into that moment where I feel that "I'm sorry." bubbling up in my Larynx and I have now made the decision to stop myself.  It takes time and dedication, especially if "I'm sorry" is your normal reply. Find replacements if necessary, but make that change.

As my Aunt told me: You are at the very least in life, entitled to your own space.



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