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What happened when I replaced ‘sorry’ with ‘thank you’

I’ve given up assuming blame or insinuating wrong doing for simply living my life and being who I am.

What happened when I replaced ‘sorry’ with ‘thank you’

I recently asked for a raise....from a friend.


I met her at a playground and told her how I watch another child (in addition to caring for my two during the week) and that I wanted to expand. She was actually looking for the type of childcare I was describing for her two-year-old and mentioned she was interested. The following week she came over. When I threw out a price, I low-balled myself. I don’t know why really, I just tend to do that sort of thing.

After a few weeks passed, I realized it wasn’t making much sense financially for me to continue to watch my friend’s little one, and I had to address it. So I texted her as much and told her I needed to charge a bit more. I explained how the number we originally agreed on wasn’t covering my time and expenses.

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I threw out the amount that I thought was worthwhile and fair, and do you know what I said next?

Thank you.

“Thank you for letting me feel open enough to be so honest.”

What I really wanted to say was ‘Sorry.’ ‘Sorry I have to bring this up.’ ‘Sorry it’s not enough.’ ‘Sorry if I’m upsetting you.’ ‘Sorry I feel I’m worth more.’

My honesty was the exact thing I wanted to apologize for, but I didn’t.

Normally I would have but I’ve been consciously replacing ‘Sorry’ with ‘Thank you.’

This switch has made me feel so empowered. At first, I was surprised that being more specific about choosing my words could have so much influence over my feelings. But then it occurred to me that it’s not just my words that changed, but the actions I take before speaking them. Rather than seeking bits of approval and reassurance in apologies, I give them to myself.

The other day a neighbor came over while I was feeling down. Clearly, she could tell because she asked me questions and encouraged me to open up. I shared with her the dilemma I was having with my son’s school and the sleep issues I was having with my toddler, and by the time she left I felt kind of bad for being such a drag.

I wanted to text her an apology, but when I switched my mentality to one of gratitude, something else shifted in me too.

I gave myself approval, rather than asking someone else to tell me ‘It’s okay.’ So I wrote, “Thank you for being so receptive to my mood earlier and for listening to me.” With these words, I not only made my friend feel appreciated for her kindness, I also helped myself feel worthy of it as well.

This change has improved all of my relationships.

The other night as I was cooking shrimp and grits, I realized I didn’t have any garlic so I texted my neighbor to see if she had an extra clove or two. About a half hour later, I needed a few ice cubes which I also didn’t have, so I texted her again. Normally I would have gone over saying I was sorry for being so needy and for interrupting her evening, but I knew she’d be happy to help me if she could. Plus, my refrigerator was broken―what’s a girl to do? Rather than being small and apologetic, I hopped over with a big smile and a happy ‘Thank you.’

It felt different and certainly more upbeat. I graciously took her garlic and ice cubes and left behind a good spirit and gratitude that wasn’t diluted with negativity. She already gave me what I needed, I figured she didn’t have to give me reassurance along with her kitchen items.

Switching from “Sorry” to “Thank you” has put me in greater alignment with myself.

My communication with others is more genuine and straightforward as a result. The other day I was talking to my grandma on the phone. She was in the middle of telling me how terrible her realtor is when I saw my two-year-old assume a squat position. I felt the words, ‘I’m so sorry’ creep onto my tongue for having to get off the phone, but instead, I said, “Ash is pooping on the floor. I must go. Thank you so much for calling me!” She replied, “Oh, you’re so welcome!”. She wouldn’t have expected an apology, anyway―but in any case, I gave her appreciation instead of an apology, and it made both of us feel better.

I’ve given up assuming blame or insinuating wrong doing for simply living my life and being who I am. I didn’t realize how insecure my persistent apologies made me feel and sound until I didn’t feel that way anymore.

There have been plenty of times I said sorry without feeling true remorse (like when I hit decline on every call that comes in during nap time) but the simple utterance of the word affects my energy output, and the position I assume in relationships. I no longer wait to be pardoned when I’ve done nothing wrong. I no longer let myself be a target for guilt or manipulation and I feel a greater sense of confidence and worth.

I state boundaries, say no and ask for help in kind, yet matter-of-fact ways.

But this isn’t just about my well-being, it goes over well for others too. They don’t feel dissed or annoyed when I decline an invitation or have to go because they’re too busy being appreciated for their invitation, company and friendship.

Of course, there are times I actually am sorry, but then, the words carry more meaning. I recently apologized to a friend for being out of touch, but it was real and healing to do so. No longer will “Sorry” be a default sentence starter, and for that. I feel more relieved and empowered than I thought one little change was capable of.

I’ve found the more I honor myself, the more others honor me, too. And the more I act with dignity and authenticity, the freer others feel to do the same.

By the way, I fully expected to not watch my friend’s sweet little girl anymore, but I got the raise instead.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for two minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills.

"You're going to be hungry," I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising, and even though I'm trying to stay calm, I'm getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight, I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but at the moment… there was nothing.

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