If there is one thing that’s required in life, it’s having a good old giggle with friends and family.
Laughing is fun, healthy, and it makes us happy.
In the world of stepparenting, we can get so hung up on this complex role that we are often guilty of taking ourselves too seriously.
We want to get it right first time. We are out to impress our partners, our stepchildren, the ex and we want to show our friends and family that we are capable – that we’ve got this!
There are a lot of factors that can cause frustration to stepparents; things that likely wouldn’t bother us in first family scenarios. Parenting, in general, isn’t easy but stepparenting comes with a different set of dynamics that at times, can leave you feeling like the black sheep in the family or tightly coiled like a spring.
It’s easy to feel bothered by things that your stepchildren have said or done that you may take to heart because the bonding process is still taking form.
You may have experienced conversations between your spouse and their ex that bordered on the unnecessary, turning the mood grey in that split second. At the time, you probably concentrated on the fact that the call was even made instead of making light of the content itself and laughing at how silly it all was.
Many stepparents admit to subconsciously getting so caught up in waiting for negativity to hit them that they likely missed opportunities to laugh … a lot more often.
Granted there will be days when laughing is just not an option.
It’s tough, but if you don’t laugh, you cry, right?
Do you recall an incident in your life when something bad happened, but once the storm had passed, whether it was weeks or even months later, you were able to reflect and laugh about it?
Whilst a lot of things do permit us to feel annoyed or sad, it is definitely worth trying to actively seek out humour amidst difficulties and laugh at the absurdities of it. If the children are annoying you then try putting a humorous spin on it by making a joke with them and your spouse about it because laughter not only lowers tensions but it can also help to reconnect people. It may be really hard to do in the moment yet it will help maintain a light-hearted mood in the home, even if it is driving you mad.
To help you, try these:
- Find a daily mantra – try to start the day on a positive note and remind yourself of a mantra you like that can help you remain joyful. Getting into the habit of doing this isn’t easy but if you can train your mindset you will feel a lot more relaxed in general and therefore more open to seeking out humour.
- Create inside jokes – Perhaps you have a little code name that makes you chuckle every time it’s mentioned? Being able to mock or laugh at the silliness of any drama can really help offload any burden you may be feeling.
- Seek out funny – Read a funny article/book or sit back and watch a movie that makes your sides ache.
- Shake it off – literally! Go off and get some exercise, as it will help release negative energy and put you in a more peaceful state of mind to lessen the chances of becoming worked up.
- Give yourself a break – Made a mistake? Laugh at yourself! Not giving yourself leeway will only have a knock effect on your general happiness and wellbeing.
- Turn every negative into a positive – I believe that we can learn something positive from every negative thing that happens, so try to counterbalance stressors with positivity.
- Surround yourself with laughter – Make a point of seeing more of those quick-witted family members or friends that always manage to get a smile out of you no matter how down you feel.
Life can be tough at times but it is still there to be enjoyed. Laughing relaxes you – it heals, easing those feelings of anger or sadness that you are feeling.
You’ve heard that saying, ‘laughter is the best medicine’, right? Run with it, it really is.
Corinne Foote is the Founder and Editor of Stepparent Magazine and also a certified stepfamily coach.