Recently I had an epiphany – we moms really need to laugh a bit more.
It came to me about a month ago when I took my son to see the movie Mr. Peabody and Sherman. It’s about the 1950’s cartoon dog who is the smartest being in the world. In this movie, Mr. Peabody adopted an orphaned infant boy and named him Sherman.
Due to several hazardous choices by Sherman when he first begins attending school, Mr. Peabody found himself traveling back in time to mend fences with notable historical figures. He visited King Tut, Leonardo DaVinci, and Marie Antoinette, to name a few – to keep history, well, history.
While I don’t have a time travel machine to take care of my mistakes, there is one tool I try to keep on hand all the time.
It’s a must, a non-negotiable. And we did a lot of it during the movie.
Do moms need to laugh more?
Laughter is a proven scientific method of reducing stress, too. Preventive care specialists at universities in the United States have been studying the human body’s response to laughter. Studies show that laughing frequently optimizes many of the functions of various body systems, much like exercise. These studies show that laughing enhances mood, decreases stress hormones, and enhances immune activity.
For a single mother who juggles her needs, her children, and her work, plus all the other demands in her day, it is an excellent free commodity to cling to.
When they catch it from her, it’s also something her children will remember how they feel around their mother and create good memories for them.
Think about it. Comedians talk about the silliness of society and mock it regularly. Audiences laugh. I bet you remember a moment right now about a comedian who made you slap your thigh when you laughed out loud.
The life of a single mother is severe enough. It’s heavy. Why not inject or focus on the comedic moments in your day?
Laugh with your children.
My son is used to the fact that sometimes after I sweep or mop floors, I put on Pharrell William’s “Happy” song and video on YouTube and start dancing in the dining room. When I first started doing this, I wondered how to interpret his reaction. His facial expressions ranged from shock to amusement, and then he began to bust his moves. He’s such a fun kid, so we had a ball.
I want the memories of him knowing his mom can laugh to be etched on his heart.
Try laughing at yourself.
As a recovering perfectionist, I am embracing the fact that not only do I make mistakes, but I give myself grace from making them. A sweet friend of mine reminded me that kindness goes very far a long time ago.
Can you be as kind to yourself as you are to others? Can you laugh at your humanness with grace as your best friend?
Laugh at single motherhood.
Good grief – when did life get so intense?
My son and I lived in Charleston, South Carolina, seven years ago, before moving back home to South Florida. While there, Liam decided to stuff a roll of toilet paper down the toilet and flush it. The water seeped out of the toilet bowl, onto the bathroom tile, onto the hallway rug, and through the second floor down onto the first floor. My baby grand piano sat perfectly below the trickle of water that came from the ceiling. The water drops hit the piano keys, and a little music began to play.
At this point, my son came downstairs with only his Spiderman light-up t-shirt on, jumping up and down screaming. Every time he jumped, the t-shirt lit up, and the music from the piano from the falling water drops played almost in synch with the t-shirt light show.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Upon reflection, I think I did both.
Looking back, I’m glad I laughed. It’s a great thing – moms knowing they need to laugh more. I believe it is a good thing to remember to find the humor in the situation as much as possible. Cliché notwithstanding, life is short.