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You Gotta Laugh or You’ll Cry

Parenting is full of situations that can bring you to your knees in a fit of tears. Sometimes it's easier to find the humor and laugh instead.

Parenting is full of situations that can bring you to your knees in a fit of tears. Sometimes it's easier to find the humor and laugh instead. There are moments in my day, week, year where I am faced with something difficult, annoying, or infuriating. Something that gets under my skin and makes me want to rip my hair out until I resemble The Rock.

It’s called being a mom and it’s a part of this parenting gig you just can’t away from.

It starts the first time your kid poops on you and it ends… well, according to my 73-year-old mother, it never ends. I’m a mom now and sometimes my kids, my husband, my life presents me with situations which are undesirable.

I don’t know how we’re going to pay all of our bills and my husband’s schooling, for example. I don’t know how to get my kid to eat broccoli. My son is only about two inches away from climbing out of his crib which means, in two inches, my world will be over.

So what do I do?

Well, I could cry about it. Heck, on a lot of days I do cry about it. Big, fat tears. And while crying is highly therapeutic and few things feel better than just letting it all out and replacing the fluid you lost sobbing with wine, I’m a much bigger fan of finding something funny in the situation and giggling, howling, chuckling, chortling, snorting, laughing or whatever else you wanna call it.

When my son runs into the kitchen stark naked after bath time and pees all over my freshly mopped floor, I could get upset and shoo him away before he starts to splash in it or…

I could laugh at his jazzercise moves as he happily squeals and does gleeful squats in his birthday suit.

When my daughter has been quiet for way too long and I find her sitting in her bed, surrounded by Hershey’s Kisses wrappers from my evidently not so hidden stash, and her face is smeared with chocolate, I could get upset and sigh and consider myself to be the worst mother ever for somehow letting the whole event happen or…

I could laugh at how sheepish and apologetic she is, how cute she is while picking up the all the tin foil pieces, and be grateful I don’t have to make her dinner after all.

When my husband neglects to put his plate in the dishwasher for the 600th time, leaving it on the coffee table where my toddlers will inevitably find it, I could cry at the over-dramatic idea that he doesn’t love me, doesn’t care about me or…

I could laugh because my son is now using it as a drum and my daughter is dancing to the impromptu musical number.

If you’re a parent, you have to laugh. You have to find ways to laugh at your kids’ antics, your partner’s shenanigans, and yourself. This parenting gig is the hardest thing in the world and if you’re not finding the honor in it you’re going to bury yourself in remorse and regret and failure and frustration.

So what if you burned dinner? Look at the recipe and laugh at the fact you actually thought your kids were going to eat something with broccoli AND brown rice.

So what if your partner’s snoring woke up the sleeping toddler next to you at 5 a.m. and now you’re both up before dawn? Look at your kid’s bed head and have a good guffaw at how impressively it stands up.

Toothpaste on the walls, macaroni on the floor, a little one covered in your make-up head-to-toe, you gotta laugh about it. Don’t let mommy guilt or Pinterest or bloggers who poop rainbows get in your head and make you cry. Just laugh.

It’s the best therapy there is.

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© 2014 Toni Hammer, as first published on Scary Mommy

3 thoughts on “You Gotta Laugh or You’ll Cry

  1. sunrisecountystories

    My son is grown. (With pride I will add that he is doing quite well!) When he was a little one, I rarely saw the humor in his antics. Now, as I look back, those episodes WERE often hysterically funny. IF I could live those years again, I would do so with less of a frown. Thank you Toni for touching on a touching topic~

  2. Perfection Pending

    I love this. I’m not perfect at laughing at this crazy parenting gig, but I’m definitely getting better the longer I’m a parent. I hope I’ll just remember the happy when I’m old and wrinkly.

  3. Emily

    Thank u. Been feeling so down lately. Motherhood is so hard and I feel like such a failure. I need to just laugh and move on.

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