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:
- 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!!!
- 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…
- 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.
- 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.