Courtesy of Liza Wyles

10 Ways Being Into Dance Growing Up Makes Your Mom Skills So On Pointe

Ad failed to load

When I was a kid, there were two times a year my mom let me stay up late: New Year’s Eve, and when “The Nutcracker” was on PBS. I loved dance. I took ballet, tap, and jazz lessons for 12 years, until I went away for college. Being into dance growing up helped define who I am now, decades later. It didn’t matter that I was short, chubby, and didn’t have great turnout. Dance was an escape that provided comfort even during times when (like all kids and teens) I hated my body.

I was lucky that my dance instructors weren’t critical about our appearances. They never spoke about body type. They only cared that we paid attention, stayed neat (Hair up! No VPL!), and put in 100%. The discipline that comes from learning dance served me into adulthood. Dancing was proof that practice was the only way to improve. As frustrating as it is to fumble in the early stages of learning skill, that feeling you get when you finally nail a pirouette is exhilarating.

Of course, I would love if my own kids were into dance, but it’s too early to tell what they may be passionate about. My daughter, at age 8, has been taking dance classes since she was 5, albeit under no pressure from me (I swear). She tried it, liked it, and wants to stick with it. I watch her and she is just having the best time. That totally delights me now, but I know I will just have to deal with the fact that she may move on to something else if her interests shift.

Ad failed to load

And it's not shocking to me that my daughter took to it so easily: Dance is for everyone. Moving wordlessly to music, performing to my reflection in the mirror, is still one of my favorite things to do. Of course my kids find that hysterical. And here are a few more ways being into dance growing up has positively impacted my parenting:

Ad failed to load

Crawl, Cruise, Walk, Moonwalk


Yes, it’s a milestone. Add it to the baby book.

I’m Up For A Dance Party Whenever


My kids have loved bopping to music since they were infants, and I can't help joining them.

The "Just Dance" Video Game Doesn’t Count As Screen Time


It’s a workout we can do together (as long as I get to hold the wand; don't be insane).

Ad failed to load

I Don’t Mind Standing For Two Hours Watching A Performance


My kindergartner and 3rd grader perform in the school-wide themed dance festival at the end of the year. So yes, I happily stand in the sun on the concrete yard for hours watching them in their crepe-paper bows and ties, busting their moves. Last year, the theme was '80s music so I actually stayed and watched the upper grades — starring kids who weren’t even mine — dance. I don't even love kids that much, you guys. Just dance.

Chaperoning School Dances Isn’t A Chore


My kids aren’t old enough for school dances, but when they are, I can not wait to stand guard at the snack table and embarrass them, like my mother did to me.

Tailoring Recital Costumes Is Preferable To Any Other Household Task


I can’t sew, but I'll make an exception when it comes to getting my child’s show costumes ready (though I am no Dance Mom). My daughter is really into dance, and I'm psyched to support her (even if it takes me half an hour to thread the f*cking needle).

Ad failed to load

I Can Whip Hair Into A Bun In No Time


I’m never without ponytail holders and bobby pins.

I’m A Staunch Believer In Arts Education


Arts programs, especially in public schools like the ones my kids attend, are always in jeopardy of being cut and that makes me crazy. But at least we are finding ways to incorporate arts education into traditional learning. Recently, one of my daughter’s reading passages was on prima ballerina Misty Copeland. Hey, I'll take progress where I can get it.

I Understand When They Can’t Sit Still


When my kids are moving, their thoughts seem to flow more freely. I notice how they pace and twirl when they tell me about their days, and how they tend to bounce out of their seat and stand when doing homework. I get it. When I was in dance class, my mind never got stuck on a worry. There was flow. Children think better when they move.

Ad failed to load

I Sort of Know French


Ballet steps count, right?

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

Khloe Kardashian, We Promise It's Totally Normal To Forget What Day It Is

Ah, new parenthood. It's a time filled with around-the-clock feedings, endless diaper changes, burping, spitting up, more feedings, rocking — not to mention celebrating when you survive another day and you remembered to take a shower. (Personal hygie…
By Michelle Stein

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

9 Things Your Baby Can Tell You About Your Marriage

Baby's can't do all that much, if we're being honest. Like, I don't want to be mean, but they're terrifically inept at just about everything. My kids needed help pooping when they were newborns. Pooping. I literally had to fold them in half to get th…
By Jamie Kenney

Before Your Shopping Spree, Here's What To Consider When Buying Maternity Jeans

When I first became pregnant, I was blessed with bloating from hell — I felt like I already looked like I was four months pregnant some days, and I was only 10 weeks. I immediately went and bought maternity leggings because my pants were cutting int…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Surprising Benefits To Adopting A Dog When You Have A Newborn — Yes, Really

When you have a newborn baby, trying to balance night feedings, diaper changes, and your own desperate need for sleep become a never-ending battle. Why on earth would you add another creature to the equation? Well, surprisingly, there are actually be…
By Lindsay E. Mack

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills