i’m sorry

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this hamster feels me.
image: http://adamsalamon.files.wordpress.com

Well, hello.

I felt the need to begin this post (and I even wrote it and then deleted it a few times) with this: “I’m so sorry I abandoned you for so long. [Insert excuse here.] [Insert secondary excuse here, in case first excuse wasn’t good enough.] [Insert third excuse, with a mention of the baby, who, it seems, gets all the blame for every shortcoming I’ve ever had.]” Now, other bloggers have told both Maria and I that blogging consistently is difficult; life gets in the way. We’ve also both been told that the only way to maintain a consistent readership and build a larger readership is to post consistent content at consistent times. So, obviously that’s a little difficult for us thus far. And probably forever. But we will maintain optimism for a moment and stick with “thus far.”

I’m not sure why I felt the need to apologize to all of our (used to be seven, now probably hovering around four) readers. They’re not paying us. They didn’t make me pinky swear to post twice a week. They didn’t even tell me how often they’d like to read this little bloggy thing, or if they’re just reading it to be nice, or if they wish we would lighten up the huge, academic-like reading load—GEEZ, VERBOSE MUCH?! Or if they mostly just like to read what Maria writes. So I can only conclude that my need to apologize comes from some sense of self-importance that I’ve buried and tried to pretend is just me being considerate of our (somewhere between seven and four) readers’ feelings.

I’ve also connected it to a larger pattern in my life—one that seems to have grown considerably in size (think Hulk-like proportion and speed) after I became a mother. I am an apologizing monster. Just try to escape a conversation with me and not hear me say that I’m sorry for something. So I created a little list to help me pare down my apologies:

  1. Know when to apologize for the kids. I’m not always sorry when my kids are being noisy in public places. They are kids. Small kids who don’t know much about voice modulation yet. The places are public places, as in people from the public are allowed to populate them. My kids are part of the public. (See that expert line of reasoning? I know. Skillz.) Miles and Evie were laughing at the supermarket because Miles was humming this very loud, very annoying sort of drone. And I apologized for it. To random old ladies. Who probably thought it was darling. Even though I thought it was darling. Why did I do that? Nobody goes to the grocery store for some peace and quiet—if they did, the checkers would have to constantly be apologizing for the beep sound that the scanner makes. IT’S WHAT SCANNERS DO!!!
  2. Stop apologizing for things that are not my fault. My friend Jess had to recently talk me out of apologizing to our contractor because he messed up the measurements for our sink and cut too big a hole in our new countertop. I felt bad because MAN, THAT JUST SUCKS. HE’S SO NICE AND STUFF AND REALLY WANTED TO DO A GOOD JOB AND THE REASON HE DIDN’T MEASURE BETTER WAS BECAUSE HE WAS THINKING ABOUT THE KIDS AND HOW THEY NEEDED A SINK AND SO HE DIDN’T WANT TO TAKE THE SINK PHYSICALLY AWAY AND SO THEREFORE: I’m really sorry. What? I even wanted to offer to pay for half of the new sink we had to buy so he didn’t end up footing the whole bill. Scott looked at me like the contractor had made too big a hole in my head. But, even as I write this and realize the ridiculousness, I still want to tell him I’m sorry. Contractor, if you’re reading this, I sincerely apologize. Again. The rational people can’t stop me…
  3. There is not enough time to do everything. I have a very dear friend. I don’t see her very often, but I get texts from her periodically, inviting me to brunches and birthday parties. The problem is, she usually invites me a few hours before the event and I usually have to say no because… uh, yeah… the kids. Free time ain’t what she used to be, folks. The damn kids want to eat and be steered clear of electrical outlets and putting everything that was ever gross and disgusting and off the ground into their mouths. They do not do well at brunches, nor do they excel at birthday parties that do not include Lightening McQueen face tattoos and long discussions about the prevalent themes in Dora the Explorer. This particular friend is not the only one on the receiving end of this particular answer: no/excuse/excuse/profuse apology. On some level, I have accepted that saying no to some things means saying yes to my kids. I am doing it for them. And I’m doing it because I have no other choice that does not involve child protective services. (Dude, how many times have I contemplated baby cages?) But mostly I am doing it for them.
  4. You can’t please all of the people some of the time, or some of the people all of the time, or some such nonsense. Remember that little rhyme? It basically means that you’re bound to piss a few people off almost all the time? This rhyme represents at least some level of hell to people-pleasers like myself. I want all of the people to like me all of the time. But this would mean shelving so much of myself. Quieting so much of myself. Pretending, much of the time.  Blending in. I am pretty good at all of those things. Suddenly, however, I have a blog. I have a book coming out, in which I talk about all of my opinions. About God. You probably won’t agree with me on all of those opinions and perhaps you will even be offended by some of my opinions. I will want to apologize to you. I will want you to feel validated and loved and important. I will always want that—but I think I have to learn to scale back on apologizing for some of my ideas. I will have to start owning up.

So, there you go. Do other people feel this way? Do you apologize for things that you shouldn’t?

Also: I’m really, really sorry it’s been so long. See, we’ve been remodeling the kitchen and I’ve been tying up loose ends on the book and Evie’s not even ONE yet… Please forgive me. XOXO.

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17 thoughts on “i’m sorry

  1. I’m sorry you’ve had so little time to write. Hehehee see what I did there? I don’t know how bloggers do it! Especially with toddlers! I am excited to see you ladies back, though! I appreciate everything you let us read. 🙂

  2. I’m sorry to say it, but I too am a profuse apologizer. I apologize to students who don’t deserve it more often than I care to admit to myself. However, I’m not sorry that I get to read your thoughts again, and I’m super excited to read your opinions about God in your book! Yay! So thrilled for you dear friend 🙂

    • STUDENTS!!! Oh yeah, I forgot about them. Did I ever tell you about the student who wrote me an email saying, “You lied and are therefore a liar to me”? I didn’t apologize to her.

  3. I’m sorry for painting the neighbor’s house with mud daddy….I didn’t believe your apologies then I don’t…………….now! ha!

  4. I noticed the same thing, I was apologizing ALL THE TIME for EVERYTHING. I’ve learned/am learning that saying “Excuse me” (most of the time “Excuse us” ’cause of the kids) is sufficient and way more self-respecting in most situations than “I’m sorry.” I try to save the “I’m sorry”s for the really big screw-ups that really are my fault.

    I’m glad you guys are back! Now I know what that void I was feeling was all about. 😉

    And btw, I’ve blogged once since the kids started school. Told myself it was going to be everyday. Ha! Can I just copy and paste your post? 🙂

    • You’re right– “Excuse us” is better. I use that one sometimes. Perhaps more than I realized, as Miles doesn’t ever say “excuse me”–only “excuse us”– even when he’s only speaking for himself!

  5. Katie and Maria,
    Doing anything, by choice, consistently when raising a family is difficult, especially when there are so many things you HAVE to do consistently, ie: eat, sleep, survive. I treasure reading what you have to say and wish I could say it as well myself so for that reason, I’ve missed your blog. I must admit that I thought perhaps you’d cut me off for not reading it the day it arrived in my inbox! I choose to read your entries when I have a moment to savor your words. You are both wonderful writers. Never apologize for spending time with your family. Those years go by SO quickly. We raised 5 children. I went back to work after our last graduated from high school. I still don’t have time to start a blog so I’ll continue to enjoy yours. Thank you for sharing a bit of your corner of the world. Thank you for being so honest. It makes the rest of us feel we are only human.

    • Thanks for the comment, Sherry! And believe me, we’re not mad if you don’t read it RIGHT AWAY. We only get mad if you don’t immediately “like” the post after reading it. 😉

  6. Blogging regularly is sooooo difficult. I’ve never managed it, and my life is practically empty! And also, in my experience of reading blogs, nobody who blogs daily is a quality blogger. I have not yet encountered thoughtful, funny, intelligent, clever posts written by the same person on a daily basis. The people I’ve experienced who blog daily are crappy writers. And then I stop reading their blogs. So take heart! Your readers aren’t falling away! Besides, once you’re in someone’s RSS feed, it’s really more difficult to go in and delete you than it is to notice (and complain) that you aren’t posting more often.

    Your posts are great, whenever and however (in)frequently they come. Quality over quantity, my friend. There is a reason newspaper columnists are weekly and not daily. (I *might* have just made that up. I actually don’t know any hard facts about the frequency of newspaper columns.)

    Anyway, bottom line is, no apologies needed. And, both your children are great, whether singing and laughing loudly in public, or dancing their tooshies off to the end credits of Cars or the Lorax.

    • Thanks, Audra! I do feel like there are some really awesome bloggers out there who post almost daily– my favorites are amalah.com and younghouselove.com. I console myself by remembering that their blogs are their JOBS, though. That makes me feel better.

  7. I’m so glad you lovely ladies are back in action! Even though blog stuff and Web stuff are part of my job, I don’t follow many blogs regularly — but I’ve read every post you and Maria have ever put on here (and I’ve liked them all).

    About saying “I’m sorry” — I can relate. In fact, in my first several months at the magazine, I often got in trouble with my editor in chief because I would say things like, “Sorry, do you have a minute?” or “Sorry to bother you, but I have a question about …” every time I walked into her office. She hated me saying that all of the time, and I suppose I wasn’t really sorry … it’s just a habit to say so. This is something I also try to work on when I think about it.

  8. Pingback: people pleasing: a case study | [writing] between friends

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