Dear Moms Before Me: I’m Sorry

Being a parent is probably the most humbling thing I have ever been a part of. I said to my mom the other day, “I wish I could go back in time and punch my pre-mommy self in the face for some of the things I did (or didn’t) do.” We all did it before we had babies–said, “My kids will never do that!” or rolled our eyes at the mom with three screaming kids in the middle of Target.  Just the other day, I saw a comment on Facebook that said something to the effect of, “My kids will NEVER do that in public. They will know better.”  The comment came from a girl in her early twenties, and I had to smile and shake my head. Her time is coming, just like mine has.


So, today, I would like to issue a series of apologies to all the moms who came before me.

Moms before me, I’m sorry for…

Parking too close to other cars.

You know the feeling–you’re pushing a cart full of an infant seat and groceries through three inches of slush. You get to your car only to see that some jerk has left exactly six inches between your car and theirs. Not going to lie–when this happens to me, the only thing keeping me from opening my door right into the car next to me (as hard as I can) is knowing that it will chip my paint. So to all the moms I have done this to in the past, I am sorry.

Not holding doors open.

Getting a stroller through a door that swings out instead of in requires skill. Lots of skill. I am so grateful to those strangers who graciously hold open those doors so I can easily wheel my stroller through them. I don’t blame the ones who don’t–it’s clearly not their job–but I apologize to all those moms that I didn’t hold the door open for in the past. I can promise you that I will try my best to not miss a chance to hold a door open for an over-loaded mom again.

Giving parenting advice (when my only source of parenting was my two dogs).

Owning dogs did not give me the right to chime in on how to raise your child. While in some ways, I think dogs are harder than infants (have you ever tried to explain to your boss you can’t come in because your dog has explosive diarrhea?),  it definitely did not give me any grounds to offer advice. Being in the trenches with a baby with an ear infection is much different. There is no handbook and we’re all trying to do it right.

While we’re talking about dogs, I am sorry for rolling my eyes when you told me my dogs would take a backseat when my baby arrived.

(When I say back seat, I mean the trunk.) I thought I knew what it meant to love a child before I got pregnant, because I loved my dogs. No, I mean I really LOVED my dogs. I still love my dogs, but I actually asked the question, “Do you think we should find them new homes?” a few weeks ago when my husband, the baby, and myself were all sick and the dogs were driving me crazy. Clearly, we are not going to re-home them, but you were right, my love for my dogs is nothing like the love for my child.

Not realizing kids have minds of their own.

This goes back to the whole, “My kids will never do that!” thing. My child is only eight months old, so we are barely to the starting line of him having his own mind, and I can already see that karma isn’t messing around. I now realize that you’re letting your child scream in the middle of Hy-Vee to teach them that just because they really want that bag of cookies, doesn’t mean they get them. It’s not bad parenting; it’s the exact opposite. Kudos to you for standing your ground. I hope I have your strength.

So what about you? What things would you like to punch your pre-mama self for doing or saying?


Katie Ripke
Katie is a mama of two rambunctious, sweet, cuddly and highly energetic boys. Growing up in Mount Vernon, Iowa, she briefly left the area to attend college at the University of Northern Iowa, had a brief stint living in Chicago before settling down in Lisbon with her husband Bryan. Katie has been in the marketing field for over 10 years and is currently a marketing manager for an area health care organization. When she is not balancing life as a working mom, Katie enjoys binging on Netflix/Hulu, learning about all things boy and squeezing in a workout from time to time. Her current addictions include coffee, LaCroix, and cookies.


  1. This is awesome! I too said so many oblivious, ridiculous comments about parenting before I had kids. Being a parent has been the most humbling experience of my life. Thanks for sharing a brutally honest side of the story most mom’s are too proud to admit.

    • I honestly cringe when I think of some of the stuff I said and did before I had my son. Now my struggle is biting my tongue and letting those who come after me figure it out. Thanks for the compliment!

  2. Have you read “I used to be a good mom, before I had kids?”–great book. I’m pretty sure they even have a group on Facebook now . . .

  3. Katie,
    Congrats on being openly honest about a subject that many of us can relate to! My children have not only taught me valuable lessons including what true unconditional love is, they have also made me a better person by making better choices so they can hopefully one day model these positive behaviors.

  4. I was that person at a nice restaurant who said, “why would you ever bring kids here?” Well, now I know that it may not be the parent’s choice in restaurant. You could be celebrating with family for a birthday or big life change and don’t want to miss out because it’s at a nice restaurant. Or it could be that you, the parents, really want that to-die-for option on the menu and haven’t had it in years. Or your normally well behaved kid at restaurants suddenly decides to throw a tantrum for a reason you cannot possibly understand. I’m sorry for glaring at those parents before I had my own. BUT, that doesn’t mean I’m going to Joseph’s with my 2-year-old anytime soon- sure wouldn’t be enjoyable for me, even if the food was amazing.

  5. I love this blog! Thanks for writing it. I am guilty of all of these and then some — one being telling a friend she really needed to make time to go to the gym when she was a new mom. Yikes. Would like to go back in time and slap myself for that one. Being more sympathetic to screaming babies on airplanes, in restaurants, and everywhere… yup wish I had done that, too.

    Great entry Katie! 🙂

    • Oo, ouch. I used to not understand how one was not able to make time to go to the gym – I mean, it’s just an hour, everyone has an hour. Yeah – not so much. Should add that one to my list.

  6. I would like to slap myself multiple times from age 10 to 18 for all the stupid things I said to my own mom.

    “Why aren’t my jeans clean?”
    “Why does it take you so long to get to the car?”
    “Ugh. Do we have to eat that for dinner?”

    The second I had a child I apologized to her.

    • Haha – apologizing to my mom would take many, many blog posts. She’ll be enjoying the show as I get a dose of my own antics as the years progress!

  7. Loved it!
    My husband were married for 3 years before we had kids and that can be long or short, depending who you talk to to, but it gave us time to know each other and spend time with friends who had kids. We frequently laughed about what we didn’t know back then, I don’t think we were horrible and I had lived with my sister when she had her first so I knew a little about the newborn to 1yr old stage, but be obviously didn’t have near the knowledge/humility we have now.
    My saving grace now is to try to my hardest to be extra kind and smiley to other moms when I happen to be out without my kids.

  8. The apologies will go on long after the infant, toddler, preschooler days…trust me. Teenage years, and even longer, will leave you reeling with “how can this be happening” thoughts.

  9. Guilty of thinking that moms who did not breastfeed were selfish… Then I could not breastfeed mine, ha! Talk about karma. Funny thing, the lactation “expert” at the hospital insisted that I must be doing something wrong, that all babies latch… Two years later my second girl was born and she told me that her grandkid would not latch no matter what and she realized she was wrong. Karma hits again!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.