By Sherri L Dodd
Children – the little buggers can drain your energy, break your valuables and absolutely send you to the moon sometimes. The range of trouble can go from babies with their high decibel crying to toddlers with their never-ending, cluttering curiosity to your preschooler with his gripes and whines and on to your grade-schooler with her indignant attitudes. I have not yet the privilege of the higher ages yet, but I hear it escalates to over-sensitivity and highly dramatic meltdowns. With all this chaos, you have to wonder sometimes why we make the commitment to enter into motherhood. While the answer is not always immediately clear, we all know and can relate to the flipside of parenthood that offers a heapin’ helpin’ of good ‘ole fun and laughter!
Take the innocent observations of a child. One story that comes to mind involves our two cats and my grade-schooler. While our male cat stays inside, the female bolts out the door any time she gets the slightest chance, regardless of who’s in her way and how many groceries might come tumbling down from her intrusion. By day’s end, she returns after her fill of outside adventure. One night, my six-year-old noticed a change to the usual ritual. Amazed, he yelled through the house that I “come look”. Upon my entrance to the room, he says “Look! Soccer is so glad to see Tasha that he is even hugging her with his legs.” Yes, kitty may have been attempting fruitless amour but the lessons he taught my son on that particular night were nothing but heartfelt and loving.
Another story comes to mind from a friend. She was telling her preschooler about the day he was born. With great emphasis and plenty of body language she exclaimed that she struggled and struggled for hours, but then gave a mighty push and out came his head. Then, after catching her breath she pushed one final time and out came the rest of his body. Puzzled the little guy paused a moment and then inquisitively asked “…and then you put my head on my body?” Just ask any mom and there will be many examples of the never-ending humor that moms are privy to during any given day.
The truth is this joviality is more than just fun, it is downright healthy. Studies have shown that laughter is, indeed, the best medicine. Let’s starts with the famous quote from Voltaire “The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while nature heals the disease.” Wellness centers across the U.S. have determined that humor and/or laughter lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, reduces muscle tension, fosters immediate relaxation, decreases stress hormones, elevates your mood and, quite frankly, just makes you feel good! And, for extra measure, it exercises your body. Not only does your body go into an isometric contraction with a good chuckle, but the contraction also centralizes around your abdominal area. Sounds like another great reason for us mommies to partake in the joys of a hearty guffaw!
With all these reasons to take in a comedy or two, not to mention finding the light-hearted side of most any situation, laughter is a sure bet for easing the tensions of motherhood. And coming full circle, it is also one of the good reasons to become a mother in the first place.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sherri Dodd is the creator and author of Mom Looks Great – The Fitness Program for Moms. She is also an ACE-certified Personal Trainer and a Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant with over fifteen years of exercise experience. She is dedicated to a life of fitness as well as encouraging others to establish healthy habits and a better quality of life.