A few weeks back, my mentor had us watch Amy Schumer’s parody video about women at the top of their respective fields continuously saying, “I’m sorry,” and then we talked about why it’s just not what you want or need to say.

Well, yesterday morning I had my chances to prove that I took that advice to heart – and I blew it. I had a 9:00 meeting – which on a typical day is doable: wake up, let dogs out, eat, get a shower (hopefully while baby is still sleeping), feed baby, wash baby, dress baby, throw food at dogs, pack car, drive baby to daycare, go to work. But of course, the night before was a marathon of my husband and I trading off sleeping in the rocking chair holding baby at the perfect angle because she’s having coughing fits and waking herself up. And now it’s the morning and because I actually had a time I needed to be at work, baby is awake and still coughing like a champ with super rosy cheeks (she’s definitely not feeling well). I call my mentor to make sure the meeting is still on and she says, “Yep.” – and instead of just saying. “I don’t think I can make it, the baby is really not feeling well,” I chicken out and say, “OK, just checking. See you soon.” Meanwhile dog 1 decides to check out the entire neighborhood (because his giant yard isn’t enough) and gets caught in a live animal trap. So, after a good 45 minute search, I find and release said dog from trap (baby and dog 2 in tow) and take everyone home safely. But now there’s no time to take baby to daycare and make the meeting on time. So plans change – baby’s coming to meeting with me, there’s nothing else I can do, I put myself in this position.

I text my mentor from the parking garage to say I’m running a little late – maybe 5 or 10 minutes max and start the trek across campus looking like a Sherpa with computer bag, baby bag, stroller, etc… and the whole time I’m thinking to myself, don’t worry, everyone will understand and most importantly, DO NOT apologize. But what do I do the minute I push the stroller through the door? I blurt out, “I’m so sorry about this!” (Really?!?!? Did I just say that out loud?) And what does my mentor say? “Don’t apologize, life happens…” Why can I not get this through my thick skull? So now I’m in the meeting, trying to listen, while silently chastising myself for doing just what I had planned not to do and just what my mentor wants me to stop doing. Sometime into the meeting (because why not), baby projectile vomits everywhere – and what do I do? Yep, I apologize – AGAIN!!! Meeting ends and I take baby home because now on top of everything else, I feel like the worst mom on the planet.

Today baby is still not feeling well, so I’ve decided to stay home with her as opposed to subjecting other kids at daycare to her grossness, or her to theirs. Since she didn’t sleep well again last night, she’s napping now and I’m using this time to reflect on what happened yesterday. I really, really, really didn’t NEED to be at that meeting. My mentor and the others that where there (in full capacity – as opposed to somewhere in insane person land, like myself) wouldn’t have been mad, upset or disappointed in me for doing what I needed to do – be a mom. And while I definitely didn’t have to apologize to them, I should be apologizing to myself and my family for not recognizing that fact before it was too late and I blurted it out not once, but twice in less than an hour… It seems like such a simple thing to do – just stop saying two little words but I sure am finding it difficult, even when I’m actively thinking about it.

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