There’s been a lot of buzz around the web this year both for and against banning bossy. Brought to the public’s attention by the backing of Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO), the movement basically calls for us to stop using the word bossy when we refer to girls so that they feel comfortable being leaders. Personally, I don’t think it’s the word that’s the problem. I think peer perception of socially-acceptable preteen and teenage behavior is largely to blame. I wish that I had been a little more confident in high school to be bossy, rather than shrink back out of fear of what others thought. It was nothing to do with the word, more to do with wanting to be accepted… which is ridiculous because it is SO hard for girls to feel accepted in high school anyway.
I’m unashamedly a bit of a bossy-britches. It goes hand-in-hand with my compulsive planning – which admittedly has taken a bit of a dive since having CJ three months ago. In the classroom, this was fantastic. There’s always a time and a place for student-led inquiry but a teacher has to firmly guide this to ensure that students meet the curriculum guidelines. It’s also come in handy lately for coordinating all six mums in my antenatal coffee coup – sometimes it feels a little bossy going “Alright, let’s actually just get this sorted – when are we going to meet up?” but I really like getting out of the house with people who understand if CJ has a meltdown.
I don’t want to be this person all the time though, and that’s where I find myself at a bit of a loss at the moment. There are a few of our friends who have said that they would love to meet/see CJ and that is great. Given that they have far busier lives than we do (oh, I remember those careless child-free days, it was a different kind of busy anyway) I usually say something along the lines of “That’s great. Let us know when works in with you!”. And then they don’t. Ever. Not wanting to appear to be demanding, I’m at a loss of what to do. They’ve said that they’d like to come, I’ve said great – am I meant to then start asking “So I notice you haven’t given us a time that you’d like to catch up. When would you like to catch up?” I guess a small part of me fears that the initial interest was actually just politeness, that they’re not really interested in maintaining a friendship now that my life is different and that I’ll be hassling them.
I’m sure that I am completely over-thinking the issue and that most other mums don’t struggle with this. Is it because I know I’m bossy that I think this is a problem? Have things really not changed that much since high school? It’s food for thought.