Like TV-show-creator extraordinaire Shonda Rhimes, I have three daughters. Unlike her, I didn't develop two of the most impactful shows of our generation: Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. No matter. I still completely relate to her take on raising girls...to a point.
Consider Rhimes' recent comments in Good Housekeeping's Awesome Women Awards issue. When asked about her girls, Beckett, 2½, Emerson, 4½, and Harper, 14, the award-winning writer and producer said, "They couldn't be more different from one another, but they're all stubborn—and I mean that in the best way." She went on to add, "No one will ever take advantage of them. They will always go their own way because they have decided they're going to."
Rhimes continued, "It's so much better than having a nice, pliable child who can be easily manipulated. I don't want to have a nice girl. I'd rather have a stubborn girl."
I hear what Rhimes is saying; I do. But I think there has to be a balance between standing up for yourself and being a nice girl. When it comes to my kids, I always say never be doormats, but don't be the reason another child goes home crying.
That being said, you can guide your children, but you can't change their personalities. And my girls are definitely stubborn. They want what they want. (Um, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, to be honest.) Sometimes when one of my daughters is pushing me over the edge, I'll kind of pause, and look at her, and think, "She's a mini-me."
I'm guessing Rhimes could say the same thing about her girls. She couldn't possibly have achieved that level of success without standing up for herself. And as she even admits, not everyone is going to like you when you go after what you want. That's the "not being a doormat" part. Let's just hope Rhimes didn't make too many people cry along her path to stardom!
What do you think?
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.