Sometimes laughing keeps you from crying — or screaming!

This is a post I wrote back in 2013, when my son was a few months old and my daughter was a preschooler. I recently shared this story with my son. We laughed about it as a memory. So, I had to share it with you guys. Though I am past the phase of tiny babies and their messes, I still stand by the importance of keeping a sense of humor in motherhood. It gets crazy!

Motherhood is a constant learning process that requires flexibility and a sense of humor. And just when you think you have it all figured out, your children like to remind you that you certainly don’t.

For example, a couple of weeks ago I had some time with just my baby boy while his big sister was with my parents. I decided to go shopping for some clothes I needed. Shopping with a baby is easier than shopping with a preschooler. He sits in his carseat in his stroller and dozes. She wants to look at and talk about everything. 

Sure enough, he fell asleep on our way to the first store. He woke up just as I was leaving the store. He needed to eat. I decided I was a capable and experienced at motherhood. I was going to be brave and feed him in the dressing room at the next store. It was too hot to sit in the car, and I really didn’t want to go back home, yet. I still needed a few things.

I picked a couple pairs of capris and hit the dressing room. Unfortunately, the large dressing rooms were taken, so I squeezed us and our stroller into a small one with a tiny bench. I was silently applauding myself for my flexibility and making due instead of freaking out. 

I got us settled and started nursing him. He was fussy. I put him on my shoulder to burp him thinking that could be the problem. What a good mom I was to know these things!

Things take a turn

And that’s when I felt the wetness on his back. The dressing room was warm. I wondered if it was sweat. I took a peek. Nope. Not sweat. It was a massive diaper blowout. 

He’s my second baby. I’m not new to diaper blowouts. But, holy moly! The little guy had been going through a growth spurt which means lots of eating and then, usually, a giant diaper. Our shopping trip was his choice for making the giant diaper.

I was determined not to be ruffled. I whipped out the changing table pad. It just barely fit on the tiny bench. I got to work. I opened up my wipe container and realized it was almost empty. OK. I could handle this. I wasn’t going to freak out. 

With sweat running down my back, I took care of his diaper. Bless my husband’s Aunt Shirley for having sent us diaper bags to put dirty diapers in. I used one for the diaper and wipes and another for his outfit. It was bad.

I got creative with my wipes I had and used every single square inch of those wipes and then pulled out some Wet Ones that I keep in the diaper bag for his big sister and cleaned off my hands and the changing table pad. 

Fortunately I carry a clean onesie with us, so I got the little guy all changed and settled in. I stuck him back in his seat and got everything put away. Then I sat for on the bench for a short breather. I was sweating and felt like I’d been running a marathon after all the work I’d just done dealing with that massive blowout. And then I started giggling.

Keeping a sense of humor

When I was new to motherhood, almost four years ago, I’m pretty darn sure I wouldn’t have giggled. But, I did. I’ve been a mom long enough to learn that a sense of humor is a must. Because sometimes when crap happens (yeah, pun intended! I couldn’t resist!), you have to learn to laugh when you really feel like crying and giving up. 

I had a professor in college whose philosophy was, “If you’re going to laugh about it later, then laugh at it now.” I’ve learned that and managed to do that a few times in my life, especially in motherhood.

Part of me that wanted to give up, throw in the towel and head straight home wondering why I even bothered to leave the house in the first place. But, a bigger part of me thought, “Man! This is a story I’m going to tell. This is a blog post I’m going to write. And it really is kind of funny!” I survived. So did my son.

I pulled him back out of his seat and finished nursing him. He was still a bit fussy, so I hurried through trying on capris. I found a pair I liked. We left the dressing room probably a good half hour since going in (all the while I was hoping and praying there were no security cameras watching us!). I even managed to peruse the children’s department and pick up a couple of things my daughter needed.

My shopping trip definitely went differently than I had planned. But, life and motherhood seldom go according to plan. In the end, my son and I were both fine and I even left my shopping trip having gotten what I set out to get — plus a good giggle and story to tell.

About the Author: Stacey A. Shannon

Stacey A. Shannon is a freelance journalist and blogger who has been published internationally. She's also a Christian, a wife and a mom of two school-aged children. She started Families with Grace in 2019 to encourage Christian moms as they create homes filled with grace, love and faith.

Be sure to get the FREE family devotion book, "Finding Grace at Home: 7 Days of 5 Minute Devotions for Families." It's a great way to help your family draw closer to each other and to God.

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