Friday, January 17, 2014

How to apologize to your mother

My Mom is a good sport. Here I am airing all sorts of personal stuff online and she takes it in stride. Does she read my blog? Yes. But you won't see her in the comments section - she sends me her thoughts via texts, phone calls and food.
Background image by Shawn Campbell

She's always been flexible and reliable and strong. I admire her for all those things, but most of all, I admire her for her ability to apologize. My mom is swift with an apology and great at staying calm and reassuring. (The kind of gal you'd want on your team any day.)

I am more stubborn. So, I find myself in my 30s with a bunch of overdue apologies. I suspect that I'm not alone in this.

But, if there is one thing this blog has taught me, it's how to apologize to my mother. Feel up to apologizing to yours? Here are some tips to get started:
  1. Be sincere.
  2. Be specific.
  3. Say it with love.
  4. Try and make her laugh (if possible and appropriate).
Notice that the words "only apologize for recent things" do not appear on that list. Feel free to talk about stuff in the past. Time makes things easier.

For example, with a single hard-working mom, I had a lot of leeway as a teen. Fortunately, I was an incredibly responsible gal. My mom worked a 50+ hour week with a lot of late nights. On the rare night she was at home, I didn't let her interrupt my schedule. I had a bad habit of feeling that I didn't need to answer to anyone. So...

Mom, I am sorry that I wasn't more specific about my evening plans when I was a teenager. I thought "I'm going out" was enough information. I didn't realize how disrespectful it was, and I am really lucky that you took all that in stride. I'm sure that when my son is old enough to pull this same stunt with me, I'll call you about it and we'll laugh.

So, go ahead. Apologize. Even though studies show it may not make you feel better, your Mother would probably love to hear it. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you're ready to apologize for.

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