Last week I missed my dance class….and I was ticked. That evening was sheer chaos — running around trying to find my kids’ clothes for School Picture Day the next day and no one was helping me out. Everyone just seemed especially “naughty”, arguing and bothering each other to no end. I was upset I missed the class because it is the one thing I had set for myself that is completely for me.
The apologies came one by one, little heads hung saying their sorries and giving kisses. After calming down, I went into the kitchen and glanced at the array of kids artwork plastered all over the fridge. I couldn’t help but notice all the little drawings of me smiling and dancing. Then I remembered that the very people I got upset with are the same people that support me endlessly. And along with my husband, they are consistently my own personal cheering squad. Yes, if my fridge could talk, it would tell a very vivid story.
Giving yourself permission to do the things that energize you is a monumental first step, but having emotional support from your family is the icing on the cake. My kids readily share their pride and encouragement with me (and even with people we meet on our daily errands). But my husband Jeff – as reserved in nature as he is – is also a key support system. When I decided to become an entrepreneur – another outlet for expresing myself – he actively helped me figure out how we could make it work. When I come home from dance class, Jeff is always the one at the door waiting to hear how it went….and we have a hoot!
My husband decided to join a dance class this year too – a little hip hop for daddy! While I can’t say it was his “passion for dance” that led him in that direction, he did it because his little girls wanted him to. They wanted us to dance together as a family and we thought, “why not, it’ll be cool”. Every weekend we all gather in the living room and we each take turns demonstrating what we did the past week in our classes. It’s what we look forward to.
It’s pretty clear, at least in our family, that having a supportive spouse is good for each of us on a couple-level, and beneficial to the family as a whole. Hardly rocket science, I know, but it sadly seems more theory than practice. We have friends that live nearby who really seem to get this concept. In fact, when I asked Jeff to name a couple in our circle of friends who seem to be in tune with one another, Meredith and Derek were the first ones that came to his mind. They are very family-oriented but are also each others’ best friend. Married for 16 years with two children, they giggle like teenagers when they know they’ve carved out time to chill out and play video games together. Just the two of them. When I asked Meredith about why she thinks the two of them are so “in sync” with each other, this is what she said,
The more I think about it, the more it occurs to me that it is all about respect. He respects my opinions, he respects my choices….and I respect everything he does and the decisions he makes (even if I don’t always agree). To say something that would make each other feel “less than” would never occur to us because there is just too much respect. I think that is what makes us “in sync”….we are definitely each other’s cheering section and priority.
How cool is that?! When I look at what drives me, the groundwork is definitely rooted from within. However, the support, encouragement and respect my family gives me both fuel my fire and pave the road ahead for me. My hope is that Jeff and I are also being good role models to our kids of both the value of engaging in the things that energize you and the importance of supporting your family emotionally. We think it will serve them well into adulthood.
Lessons Learned: Yes, there are days that I feel like running away with the circus as crazy as it gets around here, but all I need to do is look at my fridge – and it always reminds me otherwise!