Even at the best of times, life is unpredictable. Sometimes bad things happen. Someone cuts you off in traffic or takes your parking space. If you’re a mom, then it might feel like bad things happen all the time. There’s a reason for this, it’s because they are.
As a mom, not-so-great things happen All. The. Time. We stand on the front lines for everything from poop disasters, to lost shoes, to little people breaking our stuff. For many things, especially matters of safety, it’s important to take the situation seriously to avoid future problems. You have to make sure rules are understood, like not playing with mommy’s sharp scissors or pushing buttons on something that’s supposed to be off limits.
But, for everything else, it’s so much better to just laugh it off. If someone takes your parking space, laugh it off. If your kid has to wear mismatched socks because he hid all the matching ones, laugh it off. Spill something on your shirt? Laugh it off.
Not taking everything seriously is also setting a good example for your kiddos. Chances are, if they see you laughing off the little things, then they are more likely to do so themselves. If you can stay calm even with the tough things, they learn that they can too.
Choosing when to take things seriously
But wait, doesn’t laughing some things off but not others send a mixed signal? This is where it’s important to always state if something is a little oopsie or a big problem when it happens. Kids don’t know what’s a big deal and what isn’t. If you react the same way to everything, then they’ll assume everything is a big deal. The next time something bad happens, take two seconds to decide if it’s the kind of bad where you need to address a danger or any other big deal. I’m a stickler for things not being destroyed on purpose or wasted, many moms aren’t.
But, if it’s clearly an accident, then chances are, it’s better to laugh it off. Mistakes happen and kids need to know it’s okay to make honest mistakes. If it’s no big deal, laugh it off. While you’re at it, give yourself permission to make mistakes as well, it’s all part of learning.
When the frittata hit the floor
One of my favorite meals is frittata. Yummy veggies in a luscious egg base and topped with cheese is perfection. One day I was making my signature frittata and it was beautiful. I’d cooked down the mushrooms and onions to the perfect stage of caramelized goodness and broiled the cheese until it was bubbly and crisp at the edges. It was glorious. The last step was to flip the pan upside down onto a cutting board so it could be served. The pan was heavy and the cutting board unwieldy. The next thing I knew, my beautiful frittata was on the floor.
Dinner was ruined. I could have gotten really angry about it. I’d worked for the better part of an hour slicing veggies and sauteeing them with love and care. And all that time was wasted. All I could do is sit next to it and laugh. Being mad at the frittata wouldn’t make it edible or clean up the mess. We grabbed a cheap pizza and moved on.