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Moms: New Years Resolution: Laugh More With Friends

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Dr. Meg Meeker

It is hard to laugh without feeling pleasure or enjoyment. Believe it or not, many mothers subconsciously refuse to let themselves feel pleasure. This sounds peculiar, but it is true. Mothers who sacrifice, protect, and martyr themselves take themselves and their behavior extremely seriously. And when life is serious, there is little room for joy because joy doesn’t feel serious. It feels fun and light and brings with it a sense of vulnerability. Think about it for a moment. Have you ever been with a friend who fights laughter? Most of us have. Perhaps you are one of those mothers.These are women who are afraid to let go of serious thoughts and feelings for even a moment because doing so doesn’t feel safe. Laughing makes us feel out of control for a moment (even if we don’t laugh uncontrollably).

Each of us mothers needs a friend who can bring humor into our lives, so that we can allow ourselves to open just a little—long enough to let our guard down and begin to let joy in. And we need joy. So many women wake up with heaviness in their chest. Perhaps it is unresolved sadness or present anger with a husband who is aloof, cold, or unfaithful. Maybe it is simply the heaviness erupting from a deep sense of dread for the day. If life feels dark and worry consumes you, laughter threatens you to leave the darkness for a moment and if you do this you are afraid that if you do this, you will lose charge over it. Humor is the antithesis of worry.

Friends who love us know that motherhood is about transitioning- and adjusting, constantly, to those changes. We must become masters of change because that is what life demands of us. Our children come into our lives and then they wander away. So we surrender to the fight of change and the best way to do that is laughter. That’s what good friends do for us- they usher in timely, sensitive humor in order to pull us out of our hurt just a bit and make life more bearable. And in so doing, the changes lose their sting.

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