I am not saying that I made - or didn't make - any of these blunders, but I will say that I learned from them. What I learned more than anything is that you might as well laugh, sometimes after a good long cry.

5. The cat doesn't necessarily die

If you have a cat. If you dry clothes and you are neglectful in taking them out of the dryer, folding them, then putting them away. If your kids play out in the snow and come in with wet mittens and socks and you toss them in with the dry clothes, which you have neglected to take out of the dryer, to expedite the drying of them so that they can get back out and play and you hear a loud thump-thump-thump and suddenly remember that the cat likes to crawl into the warm clothes to sleep, you should probably stop the dryer quickly and remove the cat.

4. The fire department needed the practice

You want to surprise your husband by grilling his dinner because it's his favorite. You get the steaks on the gas grill, which you rarely do because grilling is "man's work." It suddenly begins to sprinkle outside which turns into a downpour. With the help of your son, you lug the gas grill into the kitchen, beaming with the brilliance of the idea, and continue grilling. You do not turn on any sort of exhaust fan and set off all of the smoke alarms in the house, nearly asphyxiating your children. Remember that the fire department needs routine practice anyway.

3. You learn who your friends really are

If you have your friends over for a dinner party and take a huge bite out of your meager food budget to prepare real New York-Style baked cheesecake. You don't realize you forgot to add the sugar until you see people wince as they say, "Mmmm ... this is so yummy, but I'm on a diet right now." This helps you to weed out your real friends.

2. You show your children fireworks for no special occasion

Being fiercely independent, I like to do things myself. When I needed my brakes changed, I had a mechanic friend of mine change one side as I watched and I changed the other side as he watched. He must have looked away for just a second because a tiny little cotter pin got left off of the reassembly. While driving my kids to church activities, I heard a thump and saw the wheel roll across the field in the rearview mirror. Sparks began to fly as the rotor began a torrid love-hate relationship with the pavement.

Last, but not least, the number one reason to laugh at your mistakes:

1. You put mother (ill) at ease about your relationship with your husband

Putting Valentine's Day cards in the wrong envelopes. Yeah, I probably don't need to say any more about this one.

The best reason, however, to laugh at your own mistakes is that it puts yourself and others at ease. They won't feel as bad as they would if they were laughing and you were crying. Win-win.

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