The Human Equation

Serial killers, self-reliance, and everything in between

Need a Little Laughter This Mother’s Day? Here’s Your Gift!

A tribute to Mom's sense of humor for Mother's Day.

The first thing I should tell you is that I’m a mother of four and I love it.  Ninety-nine percent of the time I feel like I’ve won the lottery without even having to buy a lottery ticket.  Being a mom makes my career more fulfilling, my life happier, and my household a lot more fun.

And then there are those other days.  I’ve rocked a sick child so long I started getting sea sick from the motion of the rocking chair.  I’ve made school lunches until I felt like Bill Murray stuck in the movie Ground Hog Day.  I’ve dropped off forgotten lacrosse sticks/basketball jerseys/ soccer cleats, wondering what good an advanced degree is if I can’t even get my kids to remember their own stuff.

If you’ve ever experienced even one of “those days,” then you know how important it is for us Moms to keep our sense of humor.  In that vein, I dedicate these hilarious research studies to all the moms out there who have ever felt disheartened, worn out or boring.  Trust me; the tedium of some of these studies will make folding clothes seem as much fun as Mardi Gras.

Study #1:  “The Role of Auditory Cues in Modulating the Perception of Electric Toothbrushes.” Having a hard time getting your child to brush her teeth?  Believe it or not, the culprit could be the sound of her electric toothbrush.  Yes, it’s true; not all electric toothbrushes are the same.  In fact, this enlightening study reported in the Journal of Dental Research found some electric teeth brushes emit more pleasant sounds than others and that these sounds influenced how much the erstwhile toothbrush was enjoyed during actual teeth cleaning.

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Takeaway: If you’re considering electrifying your child’s tooth cleaning, take her with you to purchase it and have her try out several toothbrushes, standing the in the aisle making stereotypical brushing movements with each toothbrush and rating the pleasantness of their sound.

Study #2:  “Why Do Women Swear? An Exploration of Reasons for and Perceived Efficacy of Swearing in Dutch Female Students.” This earth shattering study found that swearing is surprisingly common among women (at least Dutch college students).  Researchers found that swearing tends to happen most often in response to negative emotions (like the pain of a stumped toe or the frustration over the car in front of you failing to give you a turn signal).

Takeaway: While most women understood that swearing wasn’t a particularly fruitful coping strategy, the good news is that the amount of swearing you do has no relationship to life satisfaction (and you’re too old for your own mother to wash your mouth out with soap).

Study #3.  “Beer Consumption and the ‘Beer Belly’: Scientific Basis or Common Belief?” The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition has some good news.  Despite the common belief that beer guzzling leads to a beer gut, this groundbreaking study concluded that “there is no site-specific effect of beer on the abdomen.”

Takeaway: Depending on the girth and drinking habits of your significant other, you may or may not want to share these findings.  In addition, while beer doesn’t go directly to your middle, drink enough of it and you’ll get fat all over.

Last but not least, if your husband is a last-minute present buyer and you’re a fervent believer in the Girl Scout “Be Prepared” Motto, consider telling him about the latest in lingerie – the bra mask.  Developed by Elena Bodnar and her colleagues at the University of Chicago, in just seconds you can convert each bra cup into a protective face mask.  Just think; in seconds, you will not only save your own life in an emergency, you can save the life of one other person of your choosing.

Two breasts instead of one; it’s just another thing to appreciate about us women on Mother’s Day.  Have a Happy one.

Joni E. Johnston, Psy.D, is the author of Complete Idiot's Guide to Psychology.

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