An Open Apology Letter From Pre-Kids Me


An Open Apology Letter From Pre-Kids Me

Dear Mama,

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for thinking time is linear. I didn’t know how much time distorts after having kids. Babies are so small, so fragile, so needy for so long, yet they also grow in the blink of an eye. Never has the saying, “the days are long but the years are short” rang as true as it does after having kids.

I’m sorry for judging a post-baby body. I’d always been naturally slender with zero exercise or dieting necessary (Note the past-tense). I didn’t understand all the ways a body can grow and stretch and deform while it is growing a tiny human. It doesn’t “bounce back”. I don’t want it to. Each wrinkle, roll, stretch mark, and dimple should be celebrated for the amazing biological feat it commemorates, like badges of honor.

I wasn’t capable of empathy yet.

I’m sorry for saying, “that sucks” when you were trying to unload your parenting frustrations. I thought I was providing a listening ear, but I wasn’t capable of true empathy yet. Instead of nodding my head, I should have had dinner delivered to you. Paid for a pedicure. Let you drink a hot coffee, send a housekeeper, or babysat so you could nap, even for half an hour.

I’m sorry for rolling my eyes when you posted about the holistic remedy you were using or the direct-sales company you joined. How gullible you must be, I thought. How foolish I am for not realizing that motherhood is isolating and terrifying. You’d do anything, try anything, to keep illness away from your littles & avoid watching them suffer. And that you miss being a financial contributor to your household but, due to your mom-ing responsibilities, a traditional job isn’t in the cards right now.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for posting pictures from a European vacation, an expensive dinner out, or late-night romp while scrolling right past your baby photos. Disposable income and time is a thing of the past after kids, making the former seem like impossible dreams. Or that, to you, those baby pictures are more precious than anything else in the world. I didn’t understand that feeling of unconditional and deep love when a mother gazes at her perfect creation(s); it was completely lost on a kid-less derp like me.

I’m sorry for being oblivious to the fact that feeding babies is hard. Whether you are breastfeeding and your nipples are tender & raw, or pumping around the clock, or carefully measuring out and warming formula – it’s hard. Worrying if the baby is getting enough, if they are gaining enough weight, or if they are still on their growth curve is always in the back of a parent’s mind. Also that babies eat a lot and often! It doesn’t leave a lot of flexibility in your schedule.

I Didn’t Know.

I’m sorry for being harsh if you had to cancel plans. Or couldn’t even commit to plans in the first place. I didn’t know parenting was so tenuous, trying to survive & advance each day. I didn’t know how difficult it is to trust others to watch your child. I know now that canceling plans wasn’t a failure to be a good friend, but that your children’s needs will (and should!) always trump any other plans.

I’m sorry for judging you. You never know what path a mom has to walk until you are in her shoes. What works for one family, one child, might not work for others. Babies are fickle creatures, constantly shifting, and the demands they place on you as a parent change constantly too.

From a pre-kids me, please accept my sincerest apologies. I had no idea of the true depth of motherhood. I had to learn life’s lessons first hand and now I am really apologizing to myself in present day.


A Very Humbled Pre-Kids Kristen
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Kristen Ireland
Kristen lives in Ottawa Hills, OH, with her husband (Carl), two babies under two, (Graham and Maren), and a Frenchie (CeCe). Originally from Detroit, MI, she came to Toledo by way of Chicago, IL. She teaches high school science full time, as well as being a Beautycounter consultant and Toledo Moms contributor. For fun, she enjoys spending time with family, dining out, & traveling (as much as one can these days with two tiny humans in tow!). Illness in her family, “unexplained infertility,” and the responsibility of being a mama have evoked awareness of the ingredients in everyday products & foods, and their impact on human health. Kristen is passionate about making her world a little safer, one clean swap at a time. You can follow her clean swap suggestions @SwapToSafer and shop #betterbeauty products from Beautycounter at


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