My five-year-old was in full meltdown dysfunction this morning, the kind of drama where every solution I offered was met with oscar-winning performances. I kept my cool better than I normally do, but needless to say, it wasn’t a fun morning. As we were heading out to the car, my older daughter, who exudes empathy in her sleep, said to me, “I’m sorry, Mom.”
I stopped in the middle of the driveway. I took her face in my hands and said, “Baby, I know you feel bad for me right now, and I appreciate that more than I can say. But you don’t owe me an apology for your sister’s behavior. You own your own stuff. Never apologize for someone else’s choices.”
She nodded earnestly and climbed into the car.
Julie Payne-Kirchmeier’s post rushed into my mind, and I realized that there is much work to do in teaching women to let go of the need to apologize. I am enjoying the tweets from #WLI13 of women owning their ideas and opinions. It was the Women’s Leadership Institute and my connections through Twitter that have helped me break the sorry habit. Trying to teach it to my daughter was a pretty strong reminder of that lesson.
And tonight, my youngest will approach me in her own time with a very sincere apology because, well, she needs to say she’s sorry.