Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mom's apology

I don't really know how to say what I want to say to my children.

You would think I would by now, because I have thought about it for
years and worked on it in writing more than once. I am just going to
"go with it" today. I will never get it quite right and today is,
according to at least one on-line calendar, "Forgive Mom and Dad Day."

I do know that I often wished my mother would have just once
acknowledged / apologize for how much she hurt us. I wonder how much
I am guilty of the same thing.

I love you. I wanted to be a good mother. I apologize for the times
I failed you. I don't think I ever meant to, but that doesn't feel
any better to a child. I apologize for times I was too tired, lazy,
distracted, discouraged, ignorant, and/or depressed to be a good

I know of many things I have done or times that I have hurt or
disappointed my children. Some I remember, some I have been reminded
of, and I am sure that there are far too many other times and things
of which I remain unaware.

Dear children, I apologize for them all.

Including, but not exclusively, all the times that I …

- embarrassed you in front of your friends
- inadvertently betrayed a confidence
- didn't listen
- forgot you in time-out
- lost you at the Fair or Marine World
- forgot to pick you up on time
- not enough hugs
- not enough fun together time
- spanked you when you didn't deserve it
- failed to discipline you when you did
- failed to teach you life skills
- let you think I didn't value you
- didn't get you new clothes for special occasions
- had a house too messy to have friends over
- failed to acknowledge when you did a chore well or did something extra
- failed to let you really know how very blessed I have always felt to have you

I am sure you can think of many other things for which I should
apologize, so, I'm sorry, really I am.

I love you. I feel extra-ordinarily blessed in the children that the
Lord has given me and in the mates that they have chosen (and who have
been willing to choose them even though it means getting the rest of
us) and in my grandchildren.


  1. First of all, you are a mom and by the very laws of nature, that means you are supposed to embarrass us! Geez. ;)

    Seriously though, because I know you meant your apology in the sincerest possible way, I will say, "Apology accepted." But Mom, there is no need to apologize. No one is perfect. None of us are now and we certainly weren't as kids. We didn't do our part to make your job any easier, either. We didn't work together to keep the house clean, we didn't see that you were busy with the other 7 kids and instead kept expecting you to give all of your attention to us individually.

    We do bring up a couple of those things now and then, but not because we're scarred and mad and holding it against you. I, personally, laugh at Debi getting left in time out. (You should have left her there longer. :P) And when I thought Acadia was lost after school a couple of years ago, I thought of Ruth at the fair and was oddly comforted. Ruth was fine, Cadi would be fine. Kids wander off sometimes. I have a feeling that even if we had gotten new clothes for every special occasion, I wouldn't have any of them anymore. That's not what was important. What is important is that our family was together on those occasions, and I do remember many of those times.

    We are all trying to be better than we are. I am not the mother I want to be and sometimes it's a chore to concentrate on being better. Motherhood is not easy or glamorous, and much of the time it's not even fun (though, it does have many fun moments, thankfully!). You were and are a great mom. We love you and we know you love us.

    Yes, sometimes you made me mad, sometimes I felt hurt, sometimes I thought I was disappointed. But that was your job. You taught us to make good choices, even when those choices were not popular or what we wanted to make. But we were kept safe. And you taught us to sacrifice, to not waste what we were given and to value what we have. And now I think all of your kids are making very responsible financial decisions. You taught us to do that, to be happy with what we have instead of coveting what we don't have. I could go on and on but now my comment is growing longer than your original post!

    I apologize to you for not appreciating your love, guidance, and wisdom more, for fighting with you, and for allowing you to feel like you failed us somehow.

    When I think of you, I remember talking with you in the kitchen as you made dinner about the things that happened at school that day, and you listening and caring about everything I said (now that Cadi does that to me, I realize how much of it you probably didn't really care about, but you never let on that you were tired of my endless ramblings... huh, just like right now. lol). I remember watching how you treated your friends and I've always tried to be the kind of friend to others that you were/are to your friends. I have never doubted that you have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that it is the most important part of your life, and in part because of that example, I have always strived to have the Gospel be the most important part of mine.

    You didn't fail any of us. And the mistakes you made, were character building experiences. ;) It's good for kids to experience some of that. My kids for sure are. lol

  2. Yep, my comment was longer than your post! lol

  3. I agree with Sariah.

    The thing is, as a kid sure at times I thought things weren't fair, I thought you should have done this or that better, and maybe sometimes I was right. But as an adult, I see more what you DID do right, and that no matter what, you were trying your best. That's all anyone can ask of you is to do the best you can. You loved us and we all felt that. And that's what matters the most.

    And I think you've learned a lot and you are still trying, and we appreciate that. You were and are a good Mom, proof being how cool we all turned out. Haha!

    And when we talk about me falling asleep in time out - come on, that's funny! :)

  4. Wow, Sariah, what an essay! lol

    Yeah, Mom, I think the only thing you should apologize for now is for beating yourself up so much. :)

    And you are SO not your mom!

    Yeah, that list mostly made me laugh right out loud. (even the part about me being lost) because its all part of growing up and being part of a family

  5. So, I am reading this, and thinking one benchmark for adult-hood is forgiving your parents for what you perceive as their failings! Everybody needs to move on! No perfect parents except for Heavenly Father, in my opinion.