I would like to share a small, everyday story that meant a lot to me.
Since I lived in different countries and cultures from my childhood, I got used to adapting to expectations rather than standing up for myself. Now, as a mother I try to set my kids an example which sometimes pushes me out of my comfort zone... Anyway, here goes the story: Once I was shopping at a market in Budapest with my two small kids. The little one (he was probably 2-3 years old at that time) was looking at the goods, which were stored behind a glass, and he climbed on the little shelf that was there for the customers to put their bags on. There was a queue of 3-4 people, and a lady behind us exploded with aggression, scolding me for letting my kid to step on that shelf. My natural reaction would have been to obey her, take my son off the shelf and say sorry, but in the fraction of a second I changed my mind, and told her calmly: "I can tell you what I always tell my kids: ask for what you would like, and do it nicely". My heart was beating in my throat... people standing around started to support me, saying that they didn't mind the kid standing on the shelf, and the lady should be bothering about her own business. Even if it was such a tiny incident, I felt like a hero for expressing my own opinion, and I did it for my kids.