I feel very blessed to have two wonderful, healthy children who keep me completely grounded, sane and throw up on my shoes just before I go to an awards show just so I know to keep it real.

I don’t recall exactly where I first read this, so do let me know via the comments if you know the original source. Basically, the idea is that parenting without a sense of humor is like trying to be an accountant when you’re terrible at math. I mean, you could probably do it, but you’d be slow, ineffective, and frustrated all the time. And that’s not to say that parenting is not without its frustrations. You just have to be willing to laugh it off, like how Reese Witherspoon teaches us.

Parenting is hard. It doesn’t exactly come with a user manual, and it can feel like every decision you make is wrong. You’re exhausted all the time, and just when you think you’ve figured things out, everything changes. Some people tell you that it gets easier, but that’s not completely true. Old challenges make way for new ones.

The lack of high chairs and change tables in restaurants is less of a concern for me now, for instance. Now, I just get frustrated when she refuses to eat, or if she takes forever to eat, or if she starts terrorizing the other patrons. She keeps me humble.

You see, sometimes this whole parenthood thing gets flipped on its head. I think that I’m responsible for raising this little child, preparing her for the world ahead. But really, she’s teaching me just as much as I am teaching her. She’s teaching me humility and patience. I’m learning more about what is really important and what is less important.

I’m not sure I quite agree with Reese Witherspoon in that our children help to keep us sane, but they most certainly keep us grounded. We’re all flawed humans, and we all have to keep it real. Unlike Reese, I don’t attend too many awards shows — I mostly work from home — but I totally get what she’s saying. We’re always in a rush to impress everyone else and, well, things don’t always go according to plan.

And you know what? That’s okay. We just have to learn to laugh it off and move on with our lives. Our children are remarkably skilled at living in a moment, a skill we could all benefit from learning.

If you’re interested in more from Reese Witherspoon, check out her new book, Whiskey in a Tea Cup. She talks about “what growing up in the south taught [her] about life, love, and baking biscuits,” including family recipes, childhood anecdotes, party playlists, and more.

Image credit: @reesewitherspoon on Instagram