I recently took a ballet class.
I took dance all growing up, I had my own studio before I had children, and I helped run a dance studio when I only had a few kids. I have always loved dancing and I thought it would be a fun skill to brush up on. I scoured the internet looking for adult ballet classes.
I thought, (huge emphasis on thought) that I had found the perfect class. They had pictures posted of other cool moms, like myself, wearing regular work out clothes and they looked like they were about my same age. So, I left the pool early, which is impressive that I would even do that, and hightailed it over to the class.
Well, it turns out I was duped because it was the ADVANCED adult ballet class. There were three girls in the class and then me. One of them was probably still in High School and was just there to get some extra practicing in, and the other two were young twenty year olds who had never had kids. They were all in their leotards, tights, and ballet shoes.
What a fun surprise when I show up in my leggings, tank top, and socks for crying out loud! Then as another fun bonus the teacher, who actually was truly kind and amazing, had a very thick accent shouting out French ballet commands. He would shout out what we were supposed to do and the other girls just nodded at him and then they would proceed to do it. I stood there dumbfounded, doing my best to mimic whatever the girls were doing.
Also, we had to do some jumping around. Mind you, none of these ladies have had children, so they are unaware of some changes your body goes through after giving birth. One of the fun changes about my body is that if I start jumping around a little toot might escape, and lo and behold a little toot did escape. At first I was relieved that it was silent, but then mortified as the toxic fumes floated up to me.
Everyone knew it was me.
The teacher then proceeded to run to the door and crack it open and asked if anyone needed to go potty? Uh no, I’m fine now. I apparently just got it all out.
Several times throughout the class I wanted to leave. I tried to find an excuse and get the heck out of there. At one point I almost started crying because I felt so embarrassed that I was in this class making a fool out of myself. But I stayed, I stayed through the whole hour and half class and made a complete fool out of myself.
I went home and told my family. Everyone has had a good giggle about the class, especially the tooting part, but that night when we said our family prayers one of my kids said that he was proud of me for trying new and hard things. I was stunned. I hadn’t even thought what my kids would think about it.
We tell our kids all the time to try hard things. Take a risk, better yourself, try something where you might fail, but do we follow our own advice? That day I did. I went to something that was beyond me, it was hard, and I felt like an idiot the WHOLE time, but I finished it. That class probably isn’t the right fit for me so I started to research and found some videos on YouTube I could do and after looking more I found a beginner class that is closer to me and starts at a more convenient time.
It can be so easy to push our kids to become better and forget about making ourself better at the same time. We can encourage them and tell them why pushing themselves will be better for them, but if you want to make a bigger impact, show them.
So if you want your kids to do hard things, then you need to show them how to do hard things. Mark Twain says, “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” So be that good example of what you want your kids to be or do.
One of the hard things we did together as a family was a triathlon. It was fun to do this with the kids. They got to experience doing something really hard with a huge support group!