This Mother’s Day All I Want to Say is… I’m Sorry

Last year, it was my first Mother’s Day as a mom. My son was six months old at the time and I was just so incredibly exhausted. I wanted to fall to my mother’s feet and say, I get it. I finally understood why Mother’s Day wasn’t just a silly Hallmark holiday — it represented so much more. The immeasurable sacrifices mothers make are forgotten for 364 days of the year as they live in the shadows of their children; but for one day a year, we stop and say Thank You, Mom. 

A year has gone by, and each day of the last year I have thought of my own mother. Both in times of hardship and success, I have thought of only her.

This mother’s day all I want to say is I’m sorry. 

I’m sorry for laughing at you when you ask questions. There was a time that I bombarded your ears with countless silly questions. You sat me on your lap and explained every tiny and unimportant detail of the world to me. You listened. You cared.

I’m sorry for spending so many mornings sleeping in while you worked. How many of your nights were spent swaddling, holding, and rocking? How many nights were lost in tooth aches, tummy aches, and high fevers? How many nights were spent staring at the clock wondering why I wasn’t home yet? You have lost count.

I’m sorry for not listening to your life lessons. You share your experiences so I don’t make the same mistakes you once did. Every time I stumble and fall, your heart shatters into a million little pieces and you are left to pick each one of them up. You simply pray that I learn from it and grow.

I’m sorry for calling you mean and heartless when you imposed a curfew. You were hurt, but you didn’t let it show. The truth was that your heart was walking outside of your body, and the mere thought of your little girl in harms way terrified you to your very core. You faced harsh words and teenage fury for the sake of my safety and well being.

I’m sorry for every time I walked away from you. You tickled and played games with my tiny baby toes, and ever so carefully massaged these feet — long ago, when these feet were too tiny to walk away. You gave these two feet enough strength to stand tall and face the world.

I’m sorry for every time I raised my voice at you. With the same lips and voice, you showered me with millions of kisses and sung lullabies until I drifted off to sleep in your arms. It was your gentle voice that soothed the tears and pain of unfriendly friends and unkind words.

I’m sorry for every time I spoke words of hate and anger. From the moment I was born, you rained your boundless love on me. You spoke only with kindness and pure love. You created a world for me where hate and anger ceased to exist.

I’m sorry for being impatient with you. You held my hand and guided me as I took my first steps and said my first words. You showed me the beautiful world of books and the wonderful things crayons and pens can create. You were never impatient — always caring and gentle.

I’m sorry for insisting on being independent. Every time I fell to the ground, you picked me up and dusted me off. You told me to keep going and keep trying. My cuts and scrapes were visible, your pain was not.

I’m sorry for thinking you were weak. You fought monsters in closets, warded off spooky nightmares, and held me close until I fell asleep by your side. When bones were broken, blood was lost, and tiny arms hooked tightly around your neck, you didn’t fall apart. Your determination and strength was unwavering. You are the bravest person I know.

I’m sorry for not telling you how much I love and appreciate you every single day. I won’t wait until Mother’s Day — I will start today.


Photo credit: Fabio Trifoni / Foter


Published by Anjali Joshi

Anjali Joshi is a science educator, author, and lifelong learner. She is mom to two curious boys who keep her on her toes!

6 thoughts on “This Mother’s Day All I Want to Say is… I’m Sorry

  1. Ugh. Drowning in a pool of my own tears after reading this, Anj. Your mother must be so proud of you. Most people like myself have these realizations when it is too late. You are wise beyond your years, young lady…

  2. Life teaches the greatest of lessons. You don’t need to apologize. Your mom is watching as you learn the beautiful pain of motherhood…

  3. Wow! I never cry when I read entries on blogs. Right on for letting the tears flow. Funny how we don’t “get it” until we, ourselves walk in our mother’s shoes. Thank you!!

  4. Oh my. I can’t stop tearing up. It’s like my life’s story was just told, very well so I might add.. the times I’d talk back and tell my mom I won’t have kids of my own too, and I did, and finally understand what a clueless difficult human being I was growing up given all her sacrifices. so I tell my mom I love her everyday now. I love this article. Thank you.

  5. This was so touching! I just came across your blog and as a Mom to a two-year-old, I can completely relate!

  6. Beautiful Anjali! Motherhood teaches us so much…..It’s like mirror to our childhood, and for a sensitive person like you, opportunity to reflect on many subtle aspects of life.

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