Even the Greatest Moms Make Mistakes—And Apologize For Them.

When I was a little girl, my mother taught me one of the greatest parenting lessons I’ve learned to date: even the greatest moms make mistakes—and apologize for them.

I was probably about 10 or 11. I can’t be sure, but I do have a clear memory of sitting on my bed in my room that was still very much covered in pink.

We had gotten into a fight about who knows what and I remember sitting on my bed replaying everything in my head and feeling frustrated that I wasn’t able to make sense of nearly any of it.

A few minutes later, my mom came back into my room.

She sat down and she apologized to me.

Not a quick sorry or a breezy attempt to blow things over; she sat down and had a real, honest conversation with me.

She explained to me that sometimes when she is very upset she says things without thinking it through.
She explained to me that sometimes this happens when she disagrees with my dad, too.
She explained to me her feelings and that she felt terrible for the way things had transpired.

And then she gave me time to think it all through and respond.

She gave me space to apologize for the things I said and didn’t mean…and then forgave me.
She gave me space to explain my side of the story.
She gave me space to cry—and she cried, too.

And then, she asked me for forgiveness. And she meant it.
She didn’t just assume that I would forgive her.
She didn’t just walk away without trying to repair the situation.

She came back—and then she stayed until we both felt better, understood, and validated.

Twenty years later I have a daughter of my own.

She is only three, but I already can tell there will be times that I will owe her some explanations and apologies.

But, because of what my mom did this day—and a million other times—I know that this is okay.

Sure, I’d love to be a “perfect” mom, but I know that doesn’t exist.
So instead I will focus on being a real and honest mom and pray that’s all my children truly need.

After all—that’s all I truly need—back then, and right now.