I like to think I have a better than average sense of humor. I can make people laugh. I can lighten a mood with a joke. I can pinpoint the absurdity of a situation in an entertaining way. I think I’m funny most days.
One of the best things about being a mom and having mom friends is exchanging stories about the funny things our kids have done. I tell them about Lillian singing Pat-a-Cake in a funny voice or Levi’s new maniacal, evil menace kind of giggle. They, in turn, tell me about their kids running around naked, or the silly questions they asked at dinner, etc. It’s a great way to share and joke and laugh and find the bright spots in our days.
I was thinking about the bond that us parents have with one another, and how humor is such a big part of that. I’m the type where if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry, so I need all the humor I can get. But as much as I need the laughs, I’ve realized that what really bonds me to other moms is the brokenness.
When I make a mom laugh with a story, I don’t necessarily feel a bond with her. I feel good about myself for making her laugh and easing her emotional burdens for a moment, but that isn’t what my strongest relationships are built upon.
My friendships grow stronger when I am confessing that I totally lost it with my kids. I feel closer to someone when I tell them I don’t have a clue what I’m doing or how I’m going to survive the toddler years and they adamantly agree with me. I forge an unbreakable bond with a fellow mom when I am honest, transparent, and utterly broken.
This parenting thing is so difficult because every day is an unknown. Will my kids be happy or sad? Will they listen to me or freak out in the grocery store? Will this be the dreaded night when Levi learns to climb out of his crib and my world as I know it is over?
So many questions and so many negative feelings to deal with. I’ve found the best way to sort through them all is to talk them out with another parent. In those conversations I’ve learned that I’m not crazy, that my fears are not always unfounded, and that I’m not the only one who’s struggling.
In these coffee date therapy sessions, I’ve been able to listen, to encourage, and to let another mom know that I am right there with her in the battle that is raising children.
Humor is good. Laughter is great. But I don’t just want to make people laugh. I want to feel close to them. I want to have a bond with them, and moms bond over brokenness.