Guest Blogger: Claudia Hufham
I didn’t grow up thinking “I can’t wait to be a Mom!”, I actually never thought about it much. In my day…ha that sounds so old, maybe I should say; the way I grew up, you went to school, got married, had kids and lived happily ever after. Well, it ended up that MY happily ever after was very different than the books that I read.
My happily ever after didn’t depend on anyone making me happy. It was all me and is a work in progress. Now, I am not saying that I have always been happy. I’ve spent a lot of times in my life wondering if I had it in me to get out of bed, but my children are my happily ever after and my reason to get out of bed.
When I think back on raising my kids, I often believe it was a miracle that we all came out of it alive! I suppose all moms wish that their kids came with two things: 1.An instruction manual 2.A 55-gallon drum of Amoxicillin. Both would have come in very handy! But alas, I had no manual or drum, so it was a jump in with both feet situation and hope for the best.
Being a Mom is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Even now, my kids are 29 and 24 and never do I stop worrying about them. I had no idea what it felt like to love another person so much that you do anything to help them and/or make them happy.
I’ve had people tell me over the years, what great kids I have. I never take full credit for that. My standard answer is “They came into the world good and I was lucky enough not to screw them up!” In my mind that is the truth! But I do know that my job as a mom was to guide them and love them and hope that they make good decisions on who their friends are and what choices they made. I knew that, because that’s what my mother and grandmother did. I learned that by watching them.
I am blessed with a family that helped me every step of the way. The whole “it takes a village” is so true in my case. I was a single Mom and my parents were right there helping me. Keeping them while I worked, picking them up from school, feeding them and loving them, I could not have raised my kids without them! Well, I suppose if I had no other option I surely could have but thank goodness I did not have to. I realize that not everyone has a family they can count on or that is close by. But I believe that at any stage of life, we all need to surround ourselves with people who can support us and help us.
I believe that Motherhood shows us how strong and resilient we really are. We go from caring mostly about ourselves to caring about another human, instantly. Without giving it a thought, we make sacrifices and decisions about a plethora of things on a daily basis and it seems like five minutes ago we couldn’t decide what shoes to wear with that fabulous outfit when going out on a Friday night!
A Turtle Tattoo
Being a Mom definitely has a learning curve, but I have learned so much throughout the process. I grew up with only sisters, so I realized after having my son that I had a lot to learn about the male species! I quickly realized that boys just think differently than girls do. From the start.
When my son, Keegan, was about five, he went to play with a friend after school one day. After a few hours, I went over to pick him up and his friend’s mom came outside to greet me. The boys were still playing in the yard, oblivious to the fact that I had arrived. As I walked up to the other mom, she asked: “Can I ask you a question?” I said “Sure”, but in my mind was thinking ‘uh-oh’. The mom looked me in the eye and asked, “Is that tattoo on Keegan’s arm real?” Wait what? Keegan was five! What tattoo? Then it hit me, a couple of days prior he had gotten one of those press on tattoos from a vending machine and we happily put it on the lower part of his left arm, where he could admire it. It was of a turtle.
I emphatically said “NO! He is five” and she proceeded to tell me that Keegan told her that his dad had taken him to the tattoo parlor and a guy name Stone…Stone Cipher had done his tattoo. Now, his dad was capable of doing a lot of things, but never, ever, ever would he even entertain the idea of tattooing his five-year-old son. Listening to this story, that my son had clearly made up, was blowing my mind! This mom was probably trying to figure out if she should call social services on me! The tattoo artist, Stone Cipher, was actually my daughter’s eye doctor, Dr. Stonecipher! But in the story that really did sound like a name a tattoo artist would have. We had a good laugh over this little boy being so creative and having such an imagination. I was laughing about it on the surface, but I was actually in a total panic in my head. Had my son become a liar? At what age does it stop being a “great imagination” and become a lie?
Calling for Backup
When we got home I immediately called my sister, who has her master’s in early childhood education, and asked her what the heck I should do. Was this even a problem? In my head, my sweet little boy was going to grow up to be a pathological liar! What have I done? Did I do this to him? She assured me that he was going to be fine and not to worry. She also was amazed by the creativity of the tattoo story.
I am proud to say that my son, who is now 24, is a police officer and did not, in fact, grow up to be a liar!
Rolling the Dice
The fact is, being a Mom is a crapshoot. You do what you think is right at the time with the information you have and hope for the best. You teach them or even better SHOW them manners, how to be a good person, right from wrong and hope that the lessons stick. Sort of like throwing spaghetti against a wall. But at the end of the day, the only thing my kids REALLY needed from me (besides food and water) was to know that no matter what, I love them. That love, all day, every day (even when it’s really hard) is the best thing I ever did for my kids. Now I just need to learn to love myself all day every day…not sure why that is so much harder.
About The Author
Claudia Hufham is a blogger, mom to two grown kids and a Boxer/American Bulldog, who found herself looking for a new career at age 59. In her quest to reinvent herself and save her sanity, she started a blog. Her humor and down to earth story telling of her life lessons have led her to be featured on sites like Feedspot.com. You can read more from Claudia at Claudiareinvented. You can follow Claudia on her Instagram and FaceBook Page as well.