I've decided to quit qualifying what I say. It's sort of instinctual, something girls are taught mostly. As a reference librarian, I find most of the time when I hear "can I ask a stupid question" it's from a girl. The other morning I read something on a blog about confidence and girls and then I was commenting on a Facebook post about motherhood and I realized that I wanted to qualify my statements with "of course I love my kids." That's when I realized I don't want to do that anymore. I was chosen by the associate dean as a representative of my rank to help with a project. My first instinct was to think that she had made a mistake and then to say "well I don't know why she chose me." But the truth is I know why she chose me. Out of the all the instructors I tend to be less emotional, more rationale, and pretty level-headed. So I can definitely see why I was chosen. All of these things together made me realize how much I qualify my statements or opinions.
"Of course I love my kids," "maybe it's just me," "I have a maybe dumb question"
Anyone who knows me knows I love my kids and I shouldn't feel like I have to end any statement, even one in which I am complaining about them, with how much I love them. I see that on blogs all the time. Moms complain or talk about how hard mothering can be, and it is, but then always end the post with something sappy about how much they love them (I'm guilty of this as well). I rarely see daddy blogs do this. Kids are hard work and it's not a bad thing to feel overwhelmed with them. We get overwhelmed with paid work and most people will complain about it from time to time. And last I checked more money went out of my wallet than in because I have children.
It's funny because after I made this decision I was writing up a presentation proposal with a co-worker and she asked my opinion on something. I started to say "No offense but" then I stopped myself. I explained to her how I am not qualifying my statements anymore and then said "So I guess what I mean is I don't care if I offend you?" She laughed but said it was a good goal. The thing is if I want my kids to model good and confident behavior I need to start exhibiting it. And this is just one way I want them to see that their opinions matter, no qualifications necessary.