Ever have a day when you feel like if you don’t laugh, you’ll break down and cry?
“It’s a role you’re trapped in for the rest of your life,” said Laurie Kilmartin, comedienne and author of Sh*tty Mom, about becoming a mother. “So if you can approach it with some humor and let go of a few things, then you’ll do a better job, and you’ll enjoy your life more,”
Motherhood is definitely one of the hardest and most important jobs you’ll ever have, but there are ways you can learn to take a step back, not take it so seriously and maybe even find some ways to laugh about it.
1. Take a break
“You really need to be like an escape artist,” said Kilmartin, who maintained finding five minutes here and there to do something for yourself can help you get back some of your sanity.
Give yourself permission to put Sesame Street on while you read a book or check your Facebook newsfeed. “It’s ok to check out for five minutes and return to your former self,” she said.
If you’re feeling stuck by the day to day minutia of motherhood, it may seem that no one else understands what you’re going through. Yet surrounding yourself with other moms or close friends who can help you laugh at your everyday frustrations can help.
Plan a girl’s night out, read a blog or laugh with your partner about something funny your kid did. “You’ll realize that it’s not just you and that laughing about it is ok,” said Nicole Knepper, a licensed clinical professional counselor and author of Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind.
3. Take off your blinders
Did your toddler just throw a tantrum for the third time today? If you can try to see the world through your child’s eyes and realize that everything is a learning experience for him or her, bad behavior might not seem so annoying. “Sometimes we try to turn them into little adults, but they don’t have that perspective. So if we try to think the way they think, it is a little funny and amusing,” Knepper said.
4. This too shall pass
If you recognize that every phase, behavior and habit your kid has is temporary, you’ll be able to see the brighter side. “Find some humor in the fact that your kid isn’t going to be taking his pacifier with him to the first grade,” Knepper said.
5. Let go
Seventeen percent of moms admit to hovering too much, according to a recent study from Crowd Science. Sure, you want to raise an honest, kind, self-sufficient adult, but if you let your child be his or her own person, you’ll be able to relax. “You really have no control,” said Kilmartin, who tries to give her son space and be his own person. “As long as I don’t screw up too badly, he’s going to be fine.”
Julie Revelant is a freelance writer and copywriter specializing in parenting, health, healthcare, nutrition, food and women's issues. She’s also a mom of two. Learn more about Julie at revelantwriting.com.