About a year ago, I found myself in a semi-shambled state — messy bun, unwashed yoga pants, wine-stained lips, and a spit-up covered T-shirt — when my husband came home. Typically, I would have apologized for my appearance or the dishes in the sink or my clear state of intoxication, but this time was different.
This time, I was fed up. I had hit my limit of toddler tantrums and sleepless babies and denim, and for the first time ever, I didn’t apologize for any of it when my husband arrived. Instead, I owned it. I went on a feminist tangent about sexism and misogyny, and how I refused to apologize for things that didn’t actually merit legitimate apologies.
I wrote it down, and submitted it to Scary Mommy, and two months later, I was published and being hailed as a spirit animal, a hygienically challenged mother, and an asshole with anger issues. My rant was met with pitchforks and pearl-clutchers, but I stood my ground and stood firm in my affirmations.
My life has been exponentially better since that day. Finally letting it all out felt exhilarating and freeing. So much so that I decided to do it again.
That’s right. I’m back bitches, with 10 more things women and moms need to stop apologizing for. You’re welcome.
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1. Resting Mom Face
You’ve all heard of “resting bitch face,” but you probably haven’t yet been educated on “resting mom face.” Resting mom face is that look when a woman threatens to count to three, and then she gets to two without seeing the results she set out to see, so she purses her lips and scrunches her eyebrows into a semi-psychotic state.
It’s a threat, and its purpose is to strike fear in those challenging a mother’s sanity and/or determination. I make it so much that my face is stuck in a permanent state of “resting mom face.” But you know what? I’m not sorry about it because I’ve got two toddlers who aren’t complete assholes, so, there’s that.
2. Chicken Nuggets and Mac and Cheese
Like most parents, I set out on my parental journey with good nutritional intentions. Also like most parents, my good intentions were met with stronger wills and grandparents who feel great joy in pouring sugar down my kids’ throats. My kids are healthy and happy, but their diet consists greatly of chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. I splurge for the “organic” nuggets though, so that makes it okay, right? If you’re vegan and breaking into a cold, sugarless sweat while reading this, I suggest you eat a piece of beef-flavored tofu and chill the eff out, because they aren’t growing extra extremities. At least not yet.
If you’re vegan and breaking into a cold, sugarless sweat while reading this, I suggest you eat a piece of beef-flavored tofu and chill the eff out, because they aren’t growing extra extremities. At least not yet.
3. Hiding in the Bathroom When My Kids Go Ballistic
Listen, I’m not one to flee from turmoil or havoc or controversy, but when I’m constantly being harassed by two tiny humans who are conspiring together against every ounce of my sanity, I sometimes temporarily barricade myself behind the bathroom door. While I’m there, I’ll look at magazines and smell the lavender bath soap in an attempt to pretend like I’m in a spa in Bermuda, and like there aren’t two kids going ham on my house outside the door. Don’t judge me. It’s better than turning into the Hulk when they gang up on me.
4. Taking Anxiety Meds
If I were to have another child, I would name them after Zoloft. I grew up in the south, with a single military father. At the time, mental illness wasn’t considered a real thing, and feeling depressed meant that you needed to get outside more. Not anymore though. Postpartum depression basically shredded my sanity, and in a desperate moment, I sought help. I’ve been on anxiety and anti-depressant meds ever since, and it’s been fucking fabulous. So if anyone has some stigma they’d like to offer up to the mental illness discussion, I’d like to calmly request that they kiss my serene ass.
5. Screen Time
I’ve heard rumors that allowing kids to have too much screen time could potentially turn them into mindless zombies who thrive on wifi and suck up all your cellular data. I momentarily felt bad for allowing my kids to watch four hours of The Mickey Mouse Club House while I finished my work, but when my not-even-3-year-old pointed out a hexagon at a stop sign the other day, I prayed to baby Mickey Mouse and thanked him for his contributions. I now consider the Disney Channel as a part an intellectual regimen.
Look, I work — partially because I have to, and partially because I want to. I shouldn’t have to feel guilty about it either way though, so if you’re the type of person who tells working mothers that they’re abandoning their children, suck an egg. I can assure you, working outside of the home or not, we’re all fucking working.
I don’t like yelling at my kids (as I assume that most people don’t), but sometimes they strip naked and try to go number two in public places, so I feel like my extreme urgency and my high decibels are necessary. I mean, I’m not a dictator, but I also don’t want my kid to poop on your tea lights, so, um, you’re welcome?
8. Having an Opinion
I get that men feel empowered by their biceps and the weird, bulging veins running down their necks, but just because women don’t resemble hairless, mindless Yetis running around spewing political opinions and sports statistics, that doesn’t mean that our opinions are irrelevant. I love the NFL, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think their leader, Roger Goodell, is a money hungry, sexist, and cowardice fuck wad. I definitely do, and I’ve got the statistics to back me up, so, suck it. This is America, dammit. I have opinions and rights, and I shouldn’t have to apologize for them because I also have ovaries.
9. Being Assertive
Why is it that when a woman honestly and fervently states her opinion, people assume that she’s shedding the lining of her uterus? Why do women get called bitches for being assertive, when men get called bosses for doing the same thing? Um, no. We should be calling assertive women bosses, instead of bitches, and if you can’t handle that then, well, you need to grow a pair…of ovaries.
10. Not Giving a Damn About What Society Thinks I’m “Supposed” To Be
It’s 2016, y’all. Our time of existing for the sole purpose of making sandwiches and pushing out babies is long behind us. We’re allowed to live our lives the way we see fit, and we shouldn’t apologize for doing so. If someone can’t handle a woman who cusses or has tattoos or works or has her very own opinion that she developed with her very own lady brain that doesn’t align with tired and ridiculous societal expectations, that’s their problem, not ours. And if I don’t want to powder my nose or contour my face or cover up my cleavage, I’m not going to for the sake of someone else’s comfort. I’m my own person, my own entity. I have my own feelings and ideas, and honestly, I don’t really give a shit whether society thinks it’s appropriate or not.
Ladies, the world wouldn’t be here without us, so why are we still tip-toeing around it on eggshells?
We’re allowed to be here.
We’re allowed to take up space, and we don’t have to apologize for it.