I'm a big believer that parenting is the most important job a person can take on. Making money is an essential part of life, no question about it, and our careers are a significant part of our pride and identity — but in my opinion, nothing can replace the importance of family.

Being a parent happens to also be one of the most difficult jobs out there, because not only are the challenges huge, but the consequences of our actions (or inactions) are a constant source of anxiety. Parenting also does not offer us the rewards of a professional career, which include an income, a 401k plan, health insurance, and the respect of our colleagues and peers. Add to this the fact that we're on duty 24 hours a day for at least 18 years, and it might make you wonder, "How did I get myself into this?"

Of course, we know exactly how we got ourselves into this, and we wouldn't trade it for anything. That's because only after you've walked the walk can you understand the enormous rewards of parenting. They simply cannot be quantified or adequately described.

That, however, doesn't make it any easier when you're in the thick of it. Parenting challenges us in ways that we never imagined, and while I think that greater challenges bring us greater rewards, there are times when every parent feels like they are losing their mind.

It is therefore vital to keep a healthy perspective on things, and to have a sense of humor whenever possible. In fact, in January we celebrate "Someday We'll Laugh About This" week, promoting the importance of finding humor during the daily travails of parenting. The take home message, however, is that laughing is important every day of the year, and to not limit it to just one week of the year.

Here are 10 good reasons why it's important to laugh.

1. It's good for you.

Intuitively we all know this, but science backs this up. Laughing helps to lower blood pressure and increases vascular flow.

2. It makes you feel good.

What person doesn't know this? Laughter encourages the release of endorphins, the "feel good" compounds, in the brain.

3. It makes us more enjoyable to be around.

This will help to improve your social life, because people gravitate to people who laugh and make them laugh.

4. It helps you connect with your kids.

Children (and adults) enjoy being around people who are happy and pleasant — people who laugh.

5. It helps you connect with your spouse.

One of the key qualities that makes a person attractive is being personable with a good sense of humor.

6. It is a good physical release.

The benefits are similar to exercise, giving the muscle of our back, legs, face, stomach, and lungs a workout.

7. It is a good distraction.

What parent hasn't been stressed or anxious? Laughter helps to reduce stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

8. It might make you more creative.

Laughing involves multiple parts of the brain in a similar fashion as creativity.

9. It might make you smarter.

A study at Johns Hopkins found that laughter increases memory and learning.

10. It helps you to sleep.

What parent can't appreciate that? Laughing relaxes us and helps us unwind in order to fall asleep, and for every parent, sleep ranks up there with sex and food.

11. It will confuse your kids.

Try laughing when you actually feel like yelling. Getting crazy and acting silly can distrupt whatever it was that your children were fighting about and make them forget about the entire thing. Plus, it will create fun memories with that crazy mom of theirs.

Everyone appreciates laughter and the benefits of it, but in the daily grind of parenting and making a living, it's easy to forget how or why we laugh. This is a disservice to ourselves and our families, so make sure to find the humor in things and laugh as much as you can.