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Taking Pride

[Read a similar post on: Meaningful, Fun, Celebration]

I’ve been thinking about taking pride in the small stuff. Not waiting until a big accomplishment, but noticing the small wins along the way. 

For our kids who are struggling with a subject in school, particularly in reading, it can feel like until everything is right, nothing is right. It’s very hard to notice the good when part of your life feels hard. 

And.. It can feel downright unnatural to brag about something other people can do with ease

This reminds me of the other day, when my husband took on all of the evening household labor.  

My husband was cleaning up the whole house, (a big reason why I am able to have a professional life that I love and value is because he does that often) and this particular night, it was a total mess. 

He had made dinner early, so that we could have dinner with the baby before we put her to bed. So, everything from cooking dinner was out. Then, of course, the baby proceeded to smush everything around and make a mess of her whole dinner (some maybe got into her mouth). All of our work stuff was still out because we didn’t quite finish working before we picked up the baby from daycare. 

So, to recap, my stuff was all over my desk, and his stuff was still on the table, the baby was home and we dumped all of her daycare stuff, the baby messed up her tray and threw some food (how do we get babies to stop doing this?). After dinner, as I did bedtime, he cleaned up the dinner prep, our workstations, the baby’s play area, the baby’s daycare stuff, and all of the food that was flung around the table. 

At the end of that process he said, “That was a big cleanup, and I did it.” My first instinct was to get defensive and dismissive. I almost told him- “yea, you just put away some food.. What’s the big deal? I do this too.” 

Instead, I took a beat, and looked at him and acknowledged his good work. I noticed the pride in his eyes for something relatively mundane. Seeing my look, he said, “I’m trying to do what you’re teaching, which is to take pride in what I’m doing and in things that are hard.” 

First of all, this felt great to hear! 

Yes, my love, we can do hard things! He’s listening to my work! My goal with my work is to embody what I teach others and here’s my wonderful life partner being impacted by this. Good stuff. 

Also, his point stands. Sometimes you’ve got to take pride in a thing you do, no matter how small.

It’s easy to take pride in a huge accomplishment. It’s much harder to take pride in something small, mundane, and easy to do. 

Yet, it’s the accumulation of pride that allows us to build up our sense of resilience. 

My husband took a moment to notice his big cleanup. And, instead of dismissing this, I leaned into his pride as well.

For our kids, especially those struggling in school, how can we allow them to take pride in what they’re doing? What might you be able to notice that they’re doing on their own, to get that pride party started for them?

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