My kids are homeschooling, and dd1's "thing" is spiders, especially tarantulas. I'm fairly seriously arachnaphobic. I've reached a point where I can handle the really tiny spiders that turn up around the house sometimes, and I can have a spider (garden spider size) in the same room as me without freaking out, as long as I know exactly where it is, or see it vanish under something. But, even being in the same room as a tarantula - even if in a fully enclosed glass case - makes me wiggy.
So, we had a guy come to our homelearning meetup recently with part of his collection of small animals. He has reptiles, amphibians, mammals, insects, arachnids, birds, and a couple that fit none of those categories (eg. a hermit crab). The kids each got to request an animal that the particularly wanted to see. DD1 requested a goliath bird-eating tarantula, or, if it wasn't available (it was listed as "sometimes" available), then she wanted a Mexican red-legged tarantula. He brought the latter.
So, dd1 got to pet it and look at it up close, and let it crawl on her shirt. I got in pretty close so that I could get a good picture, because I knew this was just huge for her. She's seen tarantulas in cases several times, and touched some molts, but this was her first chance to actually touch a living one.
I kept it cool - dd1 knows I'm freaked out by tarantulas, but I try not to let it interfere with her life, but I was pretty freaked out by being that close to an actual tarantula. If I didn't have kids, it wouldn't have happened in a million, billion years!
It got me thinking about how often I have to push outside my comfort zone for my kids - from getting up in front of groups for parent/tot activities, to just general social interactions, to volunteering with our homelearning co-op, to actually sitting and reading to a group of Cub Scouts at one of ds1's meetings, to seeing doctors when the kids need one, even though I hate being there, etc. I know that not everyone has my social phobias, so a lot of things that I find really tough wouldn't be as hard for some others (and probably even harder for yet another group!). But, everyone has a comfort zone, and I'm sure every parent has to push outside it sometimes.
What do you all do that pushes your comfort zones?