Thursday, June 24, 2010

Go ahead and LAUGH!

In an ideal world our children would be perfect. They would never say embarrassing things to Dad's boss on the phone, they would behave perfectly, and they wouldn't dream of being selfish, throwing tantrums, or picking on their sibling.

However, I have to state, in MY family, those inopportune times often have led to some of the BEST memories. From my Uncle Steve who refused to eat broccoli as a child because his knee was sore to the AWFULLY fated 27 hour driving trip of my new step-sister and I in the car that after her picking on me for 24 hours almost straight led to me whining to my mother (at 14 and completely intentionally) "MOM, she's breathing my air!" these are the moments that cause gales of laughter at family reunions and are also some of the best ice breakers in my repertoire of meeting new people.

So why do we, as parents, get so caught up in these moments of frustration? If we were casually observing another family we would have great difficulty trying to keep a straight face and, at times, not to bust out laughing. Why do we let these pure gems of amusement drive us crazy?

About 6 weeks ago I re-read the old maxim "Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone." and thought about how that could apply more in my OWN life. My brand of craziness in my household is unique (as are all of ours!) but between post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury in my spouse and a son who is exceptionally bright as well as exceedingly precocious there are MANY moments I would like to tear my hair out.

(Fortunately, I have lovely long dark strawberry blonde locks (from Lady Clairol) that I'm just not willing to sacrifice to their insanity so I am not - quite yet - bald.)

So I thought - just MAYBE I could try to laugh about the things I'm going to laugh about later anyway NOW. I could try it. I could make an attempt to find the amusement when my son comes back from playing with a friend covered in mud while I'm on a road trip. I could find a smile when my husband forgets to pick up the groceries and give him a hug and let him know that it's okay. I can laugh when the puppy decides to dig ANOTHER hole in my yard and consider planting flowers in it.

I can LAUGH about it NOW. (okay - maybe not out loud when it's a discipline issue - but I can laugh inside and bust a gut later when I can get to somewhere else.)

Guess what happened? I'm a LOT less crazy as a Mom. Here's a small list of VERY real side effects that have occurred due to this new maxim:

I'm a much better Mom - because the small stuff that really doesn't matter, doesn't matter!

My blood pressure went down - nope - not joking - my blood pressure went from borderline hypertension to normal - in 4 weeks - no diet change except...)

I binge eat a LOT less. (which since I have mastered this better has led to an 8 pound weight loss - in under 4 weeks)

We get to do MUCH more fun stuff as a family because I'm seizing moments that passed us by before because I was so wrapped up in "stuff".

Bottom line - think about it - give it a TRY. Another mom and I were talking about this last night and it was breaking a barrier for her with something she's really struggled with (and the reason I decided to write this post). It's the cheapest parenting advice EVER - it doesn't even require duct tape! :) lol If someone had told me 7 weeks ago that for FREE and a little brain power I could do this and have these kinds of results on my life I would have laughed and told them to go get a life!!!! I would have laughed at their suggestion but not had the courage to laugh at myself, my family, and the very things that make us unique and interesting.

And if you have the courage to try this rather odd parenting method, let me know how it works!! (seriously - I'd REALLY like to know!)

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