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Does being a mum make you more assertive?

1 Apr

Yesterday I did something I’ve never done before.  I confronted a driver who had stolen my parking spot.  We’ve all been there. Right?  You spot someone who you think is going to leave, so you pull over to wait for them to vacate.  And you wait.  And wait some more. Sometimes, it takes a long time to put the key in the ignition, I get that.  So – there I am.  Waiting for a good 5 minutes. And I see another car sneak up behind and put on their indicator.  I think – ‘No way.  They can’t possibly be about to steal my spot. They must have seen me’.  In vain, I wait and hope. Finally, the spot is vacated. I go to reverse. And – swoop goes the other car – right into my spot! Normally, I would grumble to myself, and move on.  Not this time.
This time I reversed, wound my window down and spoke up. ‘Did you realise I was waiting for that spot for five minutes?’, I say in a relatively direct but not abusive way. ‘But you didn’t have your indicator on,’ comes the equally firm but slightly more aggressive retort. ‘But I was sitting there waiting’. ‘But you didn’t have your indicator on,’ comes the same reply. ‘And anyway, there’s a spot right there’. Dammit.  Just as I’m getting into my flow – a car pulls smoothly out of a spot right in front of me.  Spotting an opportunity, the car space thief made a quick break for it.  I was still pi**ed off.  I felt like writing a nasty note, or something, keying the car (way over the top, I quickly realised).  However, it was a little irrational – and very unlike me.  But it’s not the first time that I’ve felt this level of slightly irrational anger, and the desire to speak up for myself.  Normally, I let things go very easily. I am the kind of person who generally goes with the flow – not super-competitive – not an angry person.  The confrontation with the car-space thief marks a new level of assertiveness for me. And, I’ve noticed that super assertiveness tends to grow in women as they grow older.  How many older women do you know who are quiet, lack confidence, have little to say?  I bet they’re in the minority.  I bet that most women of your mum’s age love a chat, are happy to express their displeasure, and are not backward in coming forward.  At least, that’s what all the older women in my life are like.  Is this just coincidence? I think not.  I think motherhood has something to do with it. It certainly brings out a bit of a lionness instinct. There is nothing I would not do to defend my child from harm. And I think that sense of self defence is starting to rub off on me.  I’m going to stick up for myself goddammit.  If I can do it for my baby, I can do it for me too.  World – watch out!