Humour and Sanity

The role of humour in the maintenance of parental sanity is not to be underestimated. The ability to laugh at oneself and one’s situation can go a long way toward keeping a marriage and a family functioning smoothly.

My husband and I sometimes joke around by giving our daughter a pretend “voice” when her fussing or crying gets particularly loud or persistent and she is struggling to settle. It is amazing how quickly a bit of shared silliness can diffuse an otherwise stressful situation:

“Mommeee!! I want to be held at an angle of exactly 45 degrees… And only for two minutes. Nooooo!!! That was 40 degrees and exceeded the specified time frame… I don’t want that position, I want ALL the positions!!”

We are going through the anticipated six week growth spurt, complete with marathon frequent feeding sessions, lack of sleep and extreme fussiness. I am so thankful that I was forewarned. It makes this phase so much easier to cope with because I know that it is truly just a short phase of a few days and it will be over before we know it.

Up until now I have been the sole zombie/mombie of the house. I tried to put my almond milk in the cupboard instead of the fridge this morning, and hard boiled my eggs for double the time (they are REALLY cooked now). I frequently cannot remember whether or not I’ve added detergent to the washing machine, and trying to do simple calculations in my head is literally impossible. Today my husband earned his parental zombie badge as well by not being able to process a request to pass me the waterproof change mat. He stared at my water bottle with a look of confusion for a looooong time. He knew I had asked for something with the word “water” in it, but couldn’t process the words and connect them to the waterproof change mat sitting beside my water bottle on the table. We both had a good laugh about this. He may not have had to get up with Willow to feed her every hour but he certainly heard her letting me know that it was time to eat, and his brain function is also suffering from the interrupted sleep. Thankfully it is the weekend and he does not have to work until Monday. Small mercies!

The “bless in the mess”? I am, once again, reminded that my parenting partner is amazing and that we are in this together. We both recognize that Willow is dealing with some huge changes in her body right now, and that this too shall pass. We can find some humour in our situation and can still enjoy our time together as a family.

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