An Apology to My Mother this Mother’s Day


By Anjali Joshi

Last year was my first Mother’s Day as a mom. My son was six months old at the time and I was so incredibly exhausted. I wanted to fall at my mother’s feet and say, I get it. I finally understood why Mother’s Day wasn’t just a silly Hallmark holiday — it represented so much more.

The immeasurable sacrifices mothers make are forgotten for 364 days of the year as they live in the shadows of their children, but for one day a year, we stop and say Thank You, Mom.

A year has gone by, and each day of the last year I have thought of my own mother. Both in times of hardship and success, I have thought of only her. This mother’s day all I want to say is I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for laughing at you when you ask questions. There was a time when I bombarded your ears with countless silly questions. You sat me on your lap and explained every tiny and unimportant detail of the world to me. You listened. You cared.

I’m sorry for spending so many mornings sleeping in while you worked. How many of your nights were spent swaddling, holding, and rocking? How many nights were lost in toothaches, tummy aches, and high fevers? How many nights were spent staring at the clock wondering why I wasn’t home yet? You have lost count.


I’m sorry for not listening to your life lessons. You share your experiences so I don’t make the same mistakes you once did. Every time I stumble and fall, your heart shatters into a million little pieces and you are left to pick each one of them up. You simply pray that I learn from it and grow.

I’m sorry for rolling my eyes when you spoke in Hindi and wore your Sari proudly. Your Indian heritage was an important part of your identity – an identity that included more than just being a mom. You wanted to make sure our religion, culture, and customs were not going to be forgotten because we left India.

I’m sorry for calling you mean and heartless when you imposed a curfew. You were hurt, but you didn’t let it show. The truth was that your heart was walking outside of your body, and the mere thought of your little girl in harm’s way, terrified you to your very core. You faced harsh words and teenage fury for the sake of my safety and well-being.

I’m sorry for every time I walked away from you. You tickled and played games with my tiny baby toes, and ever so carefully massaged these feet — long ago, when these feet were too tiny to walk away. You gave these two feet enough strength to stand tall and face the world.

I’m sorry for every time I raised my voice at you. With the same lips and voice, you showered me with millions of kisses and sang lullabies until I drifted off to sleep in your arms. It was your gentle voice that soothed the tears and pain of unfriendly friends and unkind words.

I’m sorry for every time I spoke words of hate and anger. From the moment I was born, you rained your boundless love on me. You spoke only with kindness and pure love. You created a world for me where hate and anger ceased to exist.

Vegetarian; Bangladesh; rape

Anjali Joshi, Staff Writer

I’m sorry for being impatient with you. You held my hand and guided me as I took my first steps and said my first words. You showed me the beautiful world of books and the wonderful things crayons and pens can create. You were never impatient — always caring and gentle.

I’m sorry for insisting on being independent. Every time I fell to the ground, you picked me up and dusted me off. You told me to keep going and keep trying; my cuts and scrapes were visible, your pain was not.

I’m sorry for thinking you were weak. You fought monsters in closets, warded off spooky nightmares, and held me close until I fell asleep by your side. When bones were broken, blood was lost, and tiny arms hooked tightly around your neck, you didn’t fall apart. Your determination and strength was unwavering. You are the bravest person I know.


I’m sorry for not telling you how much I love and appreciate you every single day. I won’t wait until Mother’s Day — I will start today. An earlier version of this post appeared in The Adventures of a New Mom.

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