When you are a parent, there is one thing you should never leave home without.
Just kidding. I shouldn’t be one who perpetuates the drinking culture and the wine obsession amongst parents and specifically mothers; so, I renege my initial comment and half-apologize to those I have offended.
Oh, crap, I probably insulted you again with my non-sincere mea culpa.
Enough with this nonsense.
It is time that I divulge to you what the one thing is that you must always have in your back pocket if you are one of the lucky ones who still fits into her skinny jeans. And, if you are not, well, then you may want to keep this on your person in whatever form is most comfortable to you.
It is HUMOR.
Could you have guessed that? Maybe you felt it coming.
It sure is entirely possible since I haven’t been too subtle with my attempts at farce.
In fact, on occasion, my jokes get me in trouble.
Sometimes people think I can be crass or inappropriate.
Sometimes my wittiness involves a curse word or two (never in front of my children ’cause I’m not that carefree), but, here’s the thing — humor makes life easier and less maddening.
There is so much about the journey you take as an individual, coupled with a marriage to someone you find equally endearing and frustrating, and parenting children in a way that ensures they turn out “well-rounded” that is extremely challenging. Not only is this kind of life grinding, but it is confusing, draining, exciting, and growth-provoking at the same time.
And while you are on such a strenuous adventure, you will typically encounter many people who will judge every relationship you have and child-rearing decision that you make, while also critiquing your choice of clothes, your weight, the number of wrinkles on your forehead, and the “too yellow” shade of blonde that is currently your hair.
Onlookers, without invitation, will regularly ascertain and occasionally assert (either quietly while you are within ear-shot or loud enough that they must have intended for you to hear) what it is they think about you. They will also remark on the disgusting interior of your van, your children’s mix-matched clothes and spaghetti-sauce covered faces, and even your poor, hasty reactions to your child’s innocent mistake.
And, when complete strangers and acquaintances are not causing you to melt into a pile of self-loathing mush by way of their critical glances, you are typically running a negative commentary directed toward yourself in your own damn head.
Does this sound right for you or is it just me?
Even if it’s just me, the fact is, humor aids me in finding the desire and energy to get my butt out of bed each day, with a smile on my face and ready to take on whatever the day, or my children, throw at me — literally and figuratively.
Uh oh, did I just admit my children throw things? Now you are going to go ahead and conclude that I must be a bad parent who hasn’t taught her children manners, right?
But one significant “manner” I have taught my kids is having a jovial nature.
And I will assert to anyone who is willing to listen that light-hearted banter and antics should be included in the “good manners” you teach your child to exhibit throughout their life.
In my home, when life or the people in it, including me, get too unnecessarily serious, it’s considered appropriate etiquette (and maybe even thoughtful) to launch a squish-ball in my direction to remind me to focus on what and who is paramount in my life.
I have taught my children that it is more than okay to find a reason to laugh when no one else is, and I will never apologize for that.
Humor is both arming and disarming.
If you arm yourself with humor, you make yourself untouchable by negativity while at the same time possessing the unique ability to disarm others and enable them to be in a place of finding joy.
When you leave the house today, don’t grab your flask; grab your humor, though I really do hope you make the conscious choice never to take it off.