Oh, I’m sorry!
Sorry to bother you…
Hi, uh, I’m sorry. I just wanted…
Have you ever listened to how often the women around you apologize? All day long it’s sorry this and sorry that. Amazing women, brilliant women. Helpful, caring, supportive women. And ten, fifteen, twenty times a day they’re apologizing just for living.
I used to be like that. If I ended up in the same spot as someone as we were walking or maybe someone started talking over me, I’d apologize as if I was wrong. Not only that, but I’d move out the way, or insist that they make their point even if I originally had the floor.
I was constantly minimizing myself as if my needs weren’t important, and apologizing as if my very presence were a bother.
I don’t want my daughter to be sorry. I want her to be strong, thoughtful, smart, resilient, and confident. I’m doing everything I can to make sure she’s kind, giving, and hardworking. The one thing she will not be is sorry.
My daughter deserves to be here. She has the right to take up space and to have a voice. My little girl should not feel like she owes anyone an apology because she is breathing the air that is free and available to every human being on this planet. And I’m going to make sure she knows that.
If she sees me apologizing all the time, though, as if I don’t matter, how is she going to learn that she doesn’t need to do that?
Since I’ve had Ayva, I’ve swallowed many a sorry. Or I’ve had taken it back with an “Actually, no, I’m not sorry.” Just being, you know, without apologizing, doesn’t come naturally for me. Based on many of the women in my circle, it doesn’t come natural to them, either.
But we have to try harder, Mamas. We can’t raise up another generation of girls who think they need to be sorry for asking questions, or speaking up, or just living.
I am here, just like everyone else on this planet and so are you. We have the right to this space. Our daughters have the right to this space.
It’s up to us to show them that this world is just as much theirs as anyone else’s. And for that, we have no reason to be sorry.