While I was pregnant with Charley I had my yearly evaluation with my manager at work. While discussing strengths and weaknesses, I stated that assertiveness was a weakness of mine that I constantly struggle with. She said to me that motherhood would naturally bring that out in me. Two years later, I realize how true those words are. Before becoming a mother, I was about as easygoing as could be, to a fault. I wasn't super opinionated about a whole lot and rolled with the punches, so to speak. I never wanted to ruffle any feathers and made nice with everyone.
Since becoming a mother, I really don't think twice about expressing a difference of opinion. I have stronger beliefs because it is necessary to in order to raise a child. Am I a bitch? Of course not. I would never want to set an example that treating others poorly is okay. But I have surprised myself a few times saying things that I know previously I would never have said, typically in situations where I feel the need to stand up for myself. I want my daughters to know it is important to always treat others kindly but it is necessary as a woman to be assertive and strong.
So what has changed? Well, to be honest I just don't care to be that "people pleaser" anymore. It was not selfless in any way, but rather an outlet of vulnerability. I care a whole lot less about what other people think about me. I now have another human (and a half) that I am responsible for and I can't afford to be vulnerable for them. I am their advocate, their voice, their protector, their role model, and their teacher and that is the most important role of my whole life. This is it; I get ONE chance to raise these girls into decent people and I don't want to mess it up. I will show strength and conviction for my daughters. Sure, there will be times they will see me vulnerable and that is only natural. But I aim to show them that being vulnerable is okay too as long as it is utilized to become stronger in the end.