It’s easy to say “learn to see the humor in life”, but it’s essential advice for a mom. Between the mistakes you, your spouse, and the grandparents will make and the crazy predicaments that your children will get into, you must laugh. Why do I insist on the necessity of humor as a mom? Because I have seen many mothers take themselves and their children too seriously and inevitably they seem to be more stressed out and unable to let go of past events.
In some of my pre-parenting spare moments my husband and I would occasionally watch America’s Funniest Home Videos. Okay, sometimes the kid mistakes were cute, but I always wondered how any sane parent could stand there with a video camera watching the chaos ensue. I watched everything from a toddler trying to pour milk onto her cereal and the whole gallon ending up on the floor, to the child trying to get rid of his soup by dumping it in the VCR. Then there were the parenting goof ups where diaper changes and how-to lessons turned bad in a matter of moments. It just made me swear to myself that I would not stand by and video tape this kind of behavior.
Fast forward to my post parent days. I’m not saying that I’ve video taped anything like this, but what I have realized is that the ability to laugh at events and mistakes is vital to family health and happiness. Children will make messes, say ridiculous and embarrassing things, and generally reach the daily goal of being unpredictable. Then there are the parenting errors that we make where we must take ourselves lightly.
My mother told me “parenting is a big guilt trip, just forgive yourself for your mistakes and move on”. I have to agree. When you start to make mistakes, you have two choices: learn and laugh or beat yourself over the head and tell no one. I’ve settled on the first of these two. It helps to share these stories with other moms so that we don’t feel so bad about being normal parents with normal kids. So when faced with unexpected circumstances or your own shortcomings, don’t get angry or anxious; instead decide to call up a friend and have a good laugh.
Feel free to share any stories about your children, yourself as a child, or parenting mishaps.