10 Apologies Every Parent Inevitably Has To Make


“I’m sorry my daughter told your daughter that she’s annoying and she doesn’t want to be her friend and she made her cry today,” is the kind of thing I find myself saying every so often. Of course, it would be nice to hear the other parent say something along the lines of, “And I, too, am sorry that my daughter is an annoying little brat who has no friends because she’s an irritating little know-it-all,” but I’ve yet to actually hear anyone offer me that one. Oh well. As a mother, I find that I issue apologies a lot more frequently now than I ever did before I had kids. And those apologies are not to my kids as much as they are for my kids.

That’s not to say that I spend all my time making my kids’ wrongs right; that’s their job. But I do have the overwhelming need to make sure that other parents know I am aware of my kids’ behavioral issues when they occur so that they know the situation is being handled. What I’ve come to realize in my 7 years as a mother, though, is that I don’t typically mean it when I apologize. Sure, I’m embarrassed that my kid behaved in a manner that warrants an apology but considering the fact that I have four kids that are well-behaved the vast majority of the time, I mostly feel that their behavior was probably warranted. I’m happy to admit when my kids are just being little jerks, but sometimes I find myself apologizing for behavior I’m secretly not that sorry about. I also find myself apologizing to my kids a lot, but in a very sarcastic manner.

In case you are not there yet, here are a few of the apologies you will probably make at some point in your life as a parent, but you won’t mean all of them.

I’m sorry my kid hit your kid

I am sorry that my kid hit your kid. I actually do not condone violence. On that note, my kids don’t hit at home, so I have to wonder what your kid did or said that warranted a strike from one of mine. They’re far from perfect, but we very rarely ever have to tell our kids to keep their hands to themselves – unless they are reaching for our food.

I’m sorry my kid called your kid a name

I am genuinely sorry that my kids called your kids a name, and I hate that they did that. But just know that deep down on the inside, there is this very small, very petty portion of me that feels kind of proud that my kids were able to use whatever name that they chose in the correct context. It shows me that they do listen to me when I’m speaking (I’ll accept my mother of the year award now, thanks).

I’m sorry my kid took this

My 4-year-old lives by the ‘possession is 9/10 of the law’ rule, and that drives me nuts. I’m constantly bringing things to people and telling them that I’m sorry my little klepto took it. Thankfully, she’s getting better with age. When she was smaller and less able to communicate with us, she would have taken someone’s car if she could have carried it herself. She did not like to believe anything in her hands wasn’t actually hers.

I’m sorry I forget that my kids’ understand what I say and repeat my words to those I’m saying it about

Now this one I am sorry about. It took a while for us to remember that our ‘baby’ wasn’t a baby anymore and that she was a walking, talking little Parrot happy to repeat any and everything we ever said over the course of our lives. That’s right; she loves to repeat us and she has occasionally repeated us on occasions in which we didn’t remember she was listening and that didn’t turn out so well.

I’m sorry, but you’re not going over there/doing that

Sorry, not sorry. I remember my parents never giving me an actual reason for not letting me go somewhere or do something or visit someone, and it drove me nuts. Now as an adult, I can see that it’s because they very likely knew the parents of said child, the stories that were told about said child or whatever and they were not about to let me get involved in that. Sorry – I’m the same way.

I’m sorry, but you are not leaving the house looking like that

I just had this conversation with my 7-year-old last night. One of the little girls on her cheerleading squad shows up for practice every day wearing what might as well be panties since they are so small and so tight, and we can actually see her butt cheeks coming out of them. It’s so uncomfortable that one of the parents told me at the game last weekend that they can’t even look at her because it just feels like child pornography. So when my daughter tried to put on her 4-year-old sister’s shorts last night to wear to practice and I made her take them off, this is exactly the phrase I used. Except that I said something more along the lines of, “I’m sorry, but you are not walking out of this house looking like a miniature pole dancer at 7,” to which she then asked me about pole dancers and what those are, and that made me actually sorry that I said that. Hashtag awkward.

I’m sorry you don’t know how to behave appropriately in public

I say this sometimes, but not often. I mean it, though. Our kids are usually amazing in public, but sometimes they just can’t get their stuff together. And that makes me look at them and say things like, “I’m sorry you don’t know how to behave,” because it usually means they messed up everyone’s fun.

I’m sorry we have to head out so soon, the kids have to take a nap/go to bed

Yeah, not sorry. We are sticklers for nap and bed time, but when we are at an event or gathering that we are having a great time at, we don’t leave for these things. The kids are fine and not at all annoying. If we say this, it means we are ready to bail. Unless, of course, you see our kids acting like wild animals that need to be caged; they probably really do need a nap and we probably aren’t lying.

I’m sorry we can’t make it, the kids are X, Y, Z

Let’s rephrase this one: I’m sorry we can’t make it because we don’t want to come and we are going to use our kids’ and their social calendar as our excuse because we don’t want to hurt your feelings or make it seem at all like our plans are even remotely flexible as if there could possibly be any chance we’ll show up.

I’m sorry I yelled

I am sorry I yelled. I hate losing my patience and my temper with the kids, and I really do hate myself after I lose it and yell. It doesn’t make me feel good.

Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply