Were you ever told you were "bossy" as a kid, then told that "bossy" definitely wasn't a compliment, but rather bad or inappropriate or off-putting? Well, I definitely was. While bossy can, sometimes, mean "rude," when you're a woman, being "bossy" usually means that you're independent, unapologetic about what you want and/or opinionated. While men are considered strong, women are left being "bossy." Thankfully, you can re-claim that word, as I have, because not only will being called "bossy" help you in life, being told you were bossy helps you be a better mom.
As a parent, I've learned you have to carefully balance bossiness and rudeness so as not to confuse your child as to what is and is not appropriate. While I want to provide stability for my child and make sure she is safe, I also want to respect her as she gets older and starts to make her own decisions. I want to keep her from harm, but I want to facilitate full body autonomy. I'm telling you, motherhood is nothing more than a carefully crafted (exhausting) balancing act. That's arguably why, as a mother, being called "bossy" is a compliment that comes in handy frequently. You're used to someone devaluing your opinions and brushing you off as being "rude," which gives you the ability to decipher between what is really rude, and what is just a woman being independent and strong and herself. You're able to establish and stick up for yourself, set a positive example for your children and, well, not really care what anyone else has to think about it.
When you become a mom, and especially a young mom, many people think (or act like they think) you lack authority, the ability to take care of your own child, and the ability to make appropriate decisions regarding your child. Being labeled "bossy" as a kid has definitely helped me make sure that I'm not continuously devalued, walked all over and that my daughter is taken care of in the way my fiancé and I wish to raise her. Some may view this as being rude, but to me, it's simply me being the best mother I can possibly be. I know that being labeled as "bossy" is not a bad thing, and is actually super helpful, and here are just a few reasons why:
You Can Set And Keep A Schedule
If you are anything like me (or my daughter, for that matter) when you were a kid, you told your parents and fiends and family members where to sit and where to go and what to do. My parents had to teach me that other people are capable of making their own decisions, especially when I started to organize activities with my peers in school and clubs and other organizations. My need to set a schedule and have other people follow it, while mildly annoying to some, helped me become a great leader. I learned that my bossiness could be a positive thing if I utilized it appropriately.
You Can Be Assertive Without Being Rude
When you are a new mom (of any age), you may not always feel like you are the most qualified person to be saying "we need to do this" or "we need to do that," but I can assure you you are. You may not be completely sure of what you should or should not do, or even how to do the things you want to do, and that can be debilitating. You seriously start to over analyze everything, and certain people will take advantage of your fear and self-doubt.
If you were one of those people that was labeled "bossy" as a child, you most likely won't let your lack of experience deter you from trying. You will take advice from others gracefully, while respectfully explaining why it is dismissed when you realize that what worked for someone else won't work for you. You won't let yourself be walked over, ignored and unheard. In fact, according to Fortune, if you look strictly at characteristics and ignore the sex of any one person exhibiting traits associated with "bossiness," someone who exhibits "bossiness without rudeness" is often seen as powerful and decisive. Be the powerful, decisive woman you know you are.
You Don't Take Any Sh*t From Anyone
When you're used to being called "bossy," don't let others tell you you are parenting incorrectly or you're "wrong" for doing something that is beneficial for you and your family. While being assertive without being rude is more about you being heard, not taking anything from anyone is more about you ignoring the rude and inappropriate comments of everyone else. Trust me, it's easier said than done, but so vital if you're going to remain mentally healthy as a parent.
Yes, of course, there are times when there's merit to what other people say or think and you should listen to what other people say about your parenting and/or your kid. However, no one should ever be forced to endure rude comments or judgement or shame, towards either themselves or their child, just because someone doesn't agree with their personal parenting style. .
You Stand By Your Beliefs And Your Decisions
As a mom, it is important that your child realizes you're capable of standing firm in your beliefs, in parenthood and every other aspect of your life. This shows your child that you don't have to let others order you around and that you should always be confident in your desires and knowledge and capabilities. If your child sees your partner walking all over you, he/she will think it is OK to either do that to their future partner or for their future partner to do that to them. If your child sees you being bossed around by a family member or a friend, he/she may think it's totally normal to do the same to their future siblings, other family members, his/her friends, or even you or your partner. This fosters rudeness rather than assertive confidence. Don't teach your child how to be rude, even if it's on accident. Stand firm in what you believe, instead.
Your Child Will Listen To You (Most Of The Time, At Least)
If you were bossy as a child, you most likely learned how to be and remain confident and assertive. I, personally, have learned that if you live your life confidently, your confident will shine through in every aspect and facet of your life, even the smaller ones. You will stand up straighter. You will hold your head up a little higher. Your voice will be a little steadier and more firm. I can't tell you how helpful all of the above are, when you're parenting.
When you're unwavering, your kid will (probably, at least the majority of the time, maybe) be more likely to hear you and actually pay attention to you and eventually listen to you. Sometimes, all it takes is a strong tone of voice. Of course, this doesn't mean your kid is going to listen to you all the freakin' time. After all, he or she is a kid and they're going to question your authority from time-to-time (or regularly). However, when you're confident and assertive they'll see you as a source of stability and, well, learn that listening to you is best.
You Are Confident In Your Abilites
Sure, confidence is something you can learn and gain throughout the years and even practice, but I firmly believe having a natural tendency towards confidence begins with being "bossy" as a kid. After all, that is when you learn that you can be assertive. That is when you learn that people will listen to you and that you, too, have a voice that matters. That is when you discover what a difference you can make by inserting your opinion. That is when you learn confidence.
It can be so difficult to remain confident in your choices when you're a parent and you're acutely aware that your choices affect someone else. If you're used to being confident because you've been labeled as "bossy" your entire life, those touch decisions will be just a little bit easier to make.
You're Setting A Positive Example
Turns out, one of the best ways to help your child learn about good character and appropriate behavior is leading by example. If you act confident and assertive in an appropriate way, your child will also learn how to do so as he/she gets older. In the end, what you say to your kid will pale in comparison to how you act around them. If you show them that being "bossy" isn't bad, your kids, regardless of their gender, will grow up confident and assertive and with an innate belief in themselves. That's priceless.