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Married with kids? Roseanne Barr prescribes laughter

NEW YORK (Reuters) - After five children and three husbands, comedian and TV star Roseanne Barr has one tip for married women with young kids -- laugh.

Actress Roseanne Barr and her son Buck Thomas arrive at the world premiere of "Superman Returns" at the Mann Village theatre in Los Angeles June 21, 2006. After five children and three husbands, comedian and TV star Roseanne Barr has one tip for married women with young kids -- laugh. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Barr, 54, who now also boasts three grandchildren, said the pressures on women from the never-ending job of motherhood can be overwhelming, and a sense of humor is the best antidote.

“Laughter is like the last line of defense against craziness, and you can really go crazy being a mom,” Barr told Reuters in a recent interview.

Barr, hosting the comedienne-contest show “Funniest Mom in America,” which returns for a third season April 10, said the greatest challenge facing women with children was the responsibility.

“You are never again going to be ‘I’ again. It will always be ‘we,’” she said.

“It is great if you have a father or husband who takes on 50 percent of the load -- but then you are way ahead of most women on Earth. My kids have good dads, and they have been involved in 50 percent in everything. Otherwise I would have killed them,” said Barr, who is now single again.

Barr, born in Salt Lake City to a working-class family, said she learned about motherhood the hard way -- becoming pregnant as a teenager and giving up her daughter for adoption.

She went on to marry three times, had another daughter and three sons, but could never forget the daughter she left.

“I went back to find her. I waited until she was 18. We worked it all out, and our relationship now is great, and with her adoptive mother and father I have a wonderful relationship too,” she said.

“I was 18 at the time. You’re always going to regret that.”

Barr said she spent long hours working while her children were small, building her career from stand-up comic to television star with her own sitcom, the ABC hit “Roseanne.” And she acknowledges she could have spent more time at home as her kids grew up.

She believes this is one of the reasons why her second daughter ended up with an alcohol problem at one time.

“A lot of it had to do with my fame and a great change in class. We were poor and then we were rich... and the fact that I was gone so much. I just wasn’t there,” Barr said.

“You have some guilt, as you know you did things wrong and have to make them right. They never stop being your kids and always need your help. My mom is 72 and says it never ends.”