I have an apology to make. To every parent I ever judged, before I became a Mummy.
I used to roll my eyes when you were late and I was bang on time. I thought: sure, it takes longer to get the car packed with a baby and all its stuff. So get ready to leave ten minutes earlier. Be more organised. It’s not that hard.
I am sorry. I didn’t know you were feeding your baby on demand, and when baby is hungry, baby is hungry. I didn’t consider you might have been attempting to problem solve on the fly. Baby vomited all over themselves just as you put them in the car? Back into the house for you. With that heavy baby capsule.
I used to judge you for being over protective and maybe a little too soft. Just leave your baby at the childcare centre and walk away. Easy, said me, who looked on and wondered why on earth it was so hard for you just to say goodbye as your baby cried in the arms of a stranger. She is a friendly stranger. And she is good at her job.
I am so sorry. I had no idea. Your little angel was crying out for their Mummy. Their Mummy.
I used to wonder why you were so worried about getting your kid home to bed right on time. Really. It is one night. Deal with it.
Again. Sorry. I had the luxury of knowing that every night I could relax with my husband and just be us, without fail. I didn’t know that you were petrified about changing baby’s daily routine, even for just one night. What if that one change meant that the next night and the night after, you would have to say goodbye to those precious baby free hours you craved. The ones where you’d finally get to really look at your partner and marvel at the beautiful person that once was your whole entire world.
I am sorry. I was pompous and naïve. And I suppose, I was a little cruel. Because you were just doing what you needed to do. And I was looking at you thinking you were doing it all wrong.
I now know that there is no wrong when it comes to parenting. We all do what we need to do to get through each day with a smile, just as we did before our beautiful babies came along.
We are Mummy and Daddy, now. How could that not have changed everything? Now when I see your child in pain, I think of my own child and my heart cries for you. Now when I see your child throwing a tantrum in the supermarket I smile and I-just-know.
Of course, if you are one of the many Mummy’s or Daddy’s reading this apology, meant just for you, you also know that I have to cut this apology short. And you know why. Because there is a small person in my house—the one that has my husband’s beautiful long lashes and my soft pink cheeks— who has just woken from his nap.
And he needs his Mummy.