the one about how i'm not sorry

There's a narrative floating around Facebook called An Apology to my Firstborn Child. It's well-written, tugs on the heart strings, and relatable to many, I'm sure. But I'm going to counter it with this.

Dear Firstborn,

Sorry, I'm not sorry.

When you were born (5 years ago next Wednesday!), I was a new mama. I knew nothing about actually being a mom (unless you count the fake baby from the child development class in high school that cried until you shoved a key in its back), but I thought I did because I read lots of books, articles, magazines, and brochures on the topic. I surveyed my experienced friends and family members. I wanted advice on all the things….strollers, swaddles, sizing, sleeping, and everything in between.

You see, I had this idea that I had to know everything about motherhood before you even came into the world.

And I'm not sorry for that. Like, at all.

I took my job seriously. I was caring for another living being that didn't have four legs and fur. I didn't exactly have the best track record among the furry four-legged living beings I had previously cared for (R.I.P. Peyton the Hamster), so I was a bit worried about how good I would be with you. How would I know if that was a hungry cry or a wet diaper cry? How would I know how much you should sleep or when you should sit up or say words? I wanted to know, so I researched it all.

I'm not sorry for wanting to learn.

It's true, you were a very regular, scheduled baby. It's true, you were on a sleep schedule from an early age and I rearranged my day so that you would nap in your crib. It's true that I became the person I always made fun of…the "I'm sorry, I can't meet you then because she will need to go to sleep" person.

But I'm actually not sorry. Your amazing sleep habits allowed me to watch hours of mindless television and sew useless things like throw pillows   you in your most angelic state for hours on end.

Yeah, I took you to the zoo for the first time when you were too young to remember it and I made sure you woke up in your own home on your first Christmas morning and I was chomping at the bit to sign you up for baby gymnastics and baby art class and baby underwater basket weaving. Sure, it all sounds silly to do those things with an infant, but I was desperate to do the things that mothers do. I couldn't wait to make memories. I couldn't wait to take pictures. I just couldn't wait.

I'm not sorry for being excited.

I dressed you in a different outfit for each holiday. I even put shoes on your feet before you could actually bear weight on them. There were frivolous accessories like hair bows the size of your face.

I'm not sorry for having fun.

I worked full-time when you were born. I left you at 9 weeks old to return to my job. I dropped you off to daycare at 7 a.m. and picked you up at 4:00 p.m. (or sometimes closer to 5:00). I did this for the first 3 years of your life. By the time your little sister was 8 months old, I had resigned. It wasn't because I loved her more and you less. It wasn't because it was easier to leave you and not her.

I'm not sorry for doing what I had to do at the time.

Yes, we insist that you set a good example. In fact, we make an example out of you sometimes. You don't get away with as much as your little sister. We tried many different forms of discipline with you until we found the one that worked the best(ish).

I'm not sorry about that stuff either.

We did the best we could. We made mistakes. We still do. We always will.

And you're turning out to be a pretty amazing person, so rather than apologize, I'm going to give myself a high five.

I will say "I'm sorry" to you many times in your life. For your first broken heart. For the untimely zit on prom night. For forgetting to put on pants when your friends come over.

But I'm certainly not sorry you were first.

Love,

Mama




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