Gifts for Dad ➔

8 days and counting! When I discovered at 46 I was going to be a grandma, it took a split second to get over the feeling of “old” and moved directly into pure joy. Our bouncing baby boy is almost 10-months-old and mommy and daddy are taking their vows; I’ve got 8 days to swallow the “mother in law pill!”

Mother-in-law and grandma? I just received my 30-year class reunion invite! Who is this woman in the mirror? I’ve got a 7-year-old and I have high school classmates still having babies for crying out loud! Isn’t the mother-in-law wrinkled, her hair in a bun, a rolling pin in hand, and screaming about the mistreatment of her little boy?

Stop the bus! (SCREECH!) I’m not taking this trip!

I’m proud to announce I’m going to be a mother-in-law! A new title, a new badge!

Is there a manual for this? Do I have to put my hand on the Bible and declare “I do solemnly swear to be the best mama-in-law I can be. I promise not to be too overbearing. I won’t complain about your cooking. I won’t tell you how to dress my grandchildren, I won’t tell my son mama knows better and I promise I will not throw boots at the back of your head!”

So are there subjects I do need to address? Does the daughter-in-law have in her possession a manual as well? Please turn to page 237 of your daughter-in-law guide. When my grown son is sick and whining, because you know that men are always soooo much sicker than we are. Ummm, Ya! The manual states “He’s all yours now!” He’s spent too much money on his new set of golf clubs because he just had to have them? You know, because he’s hangin’ with the big boys now. Ya, you guessed it! That book says, “He’s all yours now!” He’s left the toilet seat up again and his clothes are right where he left them on the bathroom floor? Sorry honey, he’s all yours now!

Is there any advice I can offer you, maybe both of you? No! I’m not afraid to admit I’ve been down that road twice so I feel like I’m not really qualified to offer relationship tips. Ok, I’m going to think positive and declare that maybe I’m overqualified!

Forget all of that, I’ve changed my mind and I’m going to anyway. Do I have recommendations to my soon to be daughter-in-law and my son? I sure do! Don’t let your partner walk all over you, you’re not a doormat. Don’t forget to have fun. Just because you’re grown-ups now doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life. Money troubles? There’s always that, no matter who you are. Figure it out together. Independence? You can still have that, in fact, I think it’s important. Don’t smother each other, it’s crucial to still have your own identity and healthy to be able to do your own thing. Lean on each other, be supportive, and always have an open mind.

I’m happy for my son and his little family. I’m proud to announce I will soon have another daughter and she couldn’t be a better fit into our group of crazies if I’d have picked her for my son all by myself. She’s a hard working hippie child that doesn’t mind sharing her opinion, an old soul with an open mind, and a believer in the fair treatment of all. Now that I think about it, describing her is almost like describing my own children.

One last thing! Sweetie, he’s all yours now!

Cynthia Smith Huhman

I am a mother of 5 children, with a difference of 20+ years from the oldest to the youngest. I’m a new grandma to a beautiful baby boy! I have worked in the broadcast business for 9 years; I’m putting myself through college, studying marketing and leadership, and I’m a self-proclaimed big mouth for Tourette syndrome and developmentally disabled. Previously divorced; I now co-parent with my significant other of 12+ years, in 2 separate homes. Unconventional, but with a combined total of 8 kids… his, hers, and little ours it works for us! I live for my coffee & vanilla chai. I love to teach my daughter new crafts & inspiring her creativity. I enjoy my gardening, cooking, wandering around the hills with my camera, and writing. You can also find me at my new blog My motto: Pick yourself up and keep on moving!

Oh, How I’ll Miss Little You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child standing in leaves, looking up, color photo

Oh, my sweet little child, I wish you could stay this little forever. I wish these days would never end. They are busy, loud, and chaotic—but, oh, how I love them! They make my life feel whole. Complete. I don’t know what I will do when these days are gone. I will miss your sweet little face looking up at me. The innocence in your eyes. Your sweet little grin. I will miss how your face lights up when you see me. How your little arms manage to give me the biggest hugs. How I can make everything better with...

Keep Reading

Find the People Who Will Root for You

In: Friendship, Kids, Motherhood
Empty sports field, color photo

My son participated in tryouts out for a new travel soccer team at the end of a recreational fall soccer season one chilly evening in November. He has been playing recreational soccer since he was three years old when we started with the local club. He has been asking about joining a travel team since kindergarten. In recent seasons, I watched him struggle in the recreational league. I watched him wanting a little bit more in the sport as he developed his passion—he was ready to grow.  We knew he loved soccer, and it was something he had always wanted...

Keep Reading

There’s Just Something about a 4-Year-Old

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
4 year old girl smiling outside

There’s just something about a 4-year-old. The way their bubbly laughs and sweet little faces still have some traces of babyhood while they’re transforming into more and more of their own unique person right before your eyes.  The way they ask questions about everything under the sun, listen wide-eyed to your clumsy answers, and believe every single word you say. It’s so innocent (and scary) the way they believe absolutely anything you tell them—just because you’re “mommy.”  The way their still-a-little-chubby hand finds yours. And the way they still come running to you for a hug and kiss when they’re hurt. Or...

Keep Reading

No Man in a Girl’s Life Holds More Influence than Her Dad

In: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood
Father and daughter on amusement ride, color photo

As I sat outside Walmart watching my husband of nearly 16 years walk in with my 9-year-old daughter to buy me a box of tampons, I realized how blessed I am.  This is real life. Not only does he not care about running into the store and picking up these items, he asks our girls if they want to join him, and they use this time to talk. They talk about real-life—about growing up, changing bodies, what tampons are even for, how they can wait years and years before they need to start dating, how he will be waiting outside...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Raise Your Babies to Be Little Forever, but I Thought I’d Have More Time

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Little boy peeking over wooden fence, color photo

I can see the yellow blur of the school bus passing in front of my window. Soon my little boy will excitedly burst through the front door with his picture of a giraffe from art class. His big brown eyes will meet mine as I get a toothless “I missed you, Mom” grin. He will tell me everything he had on his tray for lunch, recount the whole soccer game at recess, and share all about that hilarious thing his friend said on the bus. He will then sit on my lap as he takes each school paper out of...

Keep Reading

My Little Girl Has Big, Brave Dreams

In: Kids, Motherhood
School paper with little girl's handwriting, color photo

My 6-year-old daughter wants to be a soldier.   When we heard from the ultrasound tech that we were having another girl, that was not exactly the career path that popped into our heads.   There’s something absolutely terrifying knowing your child wants to do something big like this. I’m sure I’d be petrified if I had a son with the same ambition, but there’s something extra scary about it being your little girl. There’s something weighty about raising a daughter who wants to be a soldier. But honestly, it’s not a surprise at all. RELATED: God Has Filled Your...

Keep Reading

As My Children Grow, I Miss It All—Even the Sick Days

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler on mom's shoulder

I whisk my daughter through the doors of urgent care and cradle her head as I stand behind three other mamas clinging to their babies. We’re each rocking in different ways but moving nonetheless. The silent, comforting rhythm of motherhood. I see sad, sick eyes from the babies with their heads nestled into the necks of their mama. I’m tired from the sleepless night, and I shift from foot to foot. There is hushing and humming and back-patting. A pacifier drops to the floor. All of a sudden my daughter feels heavy. A vague sinking feeling comes over me, like...

Keep Reading

Life with Autism Is Full of Ticking Time Bombs

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother, father, teen daughter, color photo

Many of us who live with autism are familiar with the comings and goings of the ticking time bomb—one that disappears for periods of time, so much so that we might forget about it. Then, suddenly, this bomb drops at our doorstep in the form of a returning or new obstacle, so intense that it causes us to pause our lives, alter our plans, maybe even change our current paths. For our family, the new challenge has been sudden, piercing, sporadic screams. Not constant, not even often, thankfully, but jolting nonetheless. So here we were, in the midst of our...

Keep Reading

Youth Sports Build Strong Kids

In: Kids
Young girl with gymnastics medal, color photo

My kids are heavily involved in sports. My son plays for an elite basketball team and my daughter competes on an Xcel gymnastics team. It takes up a lot of our time and a lot of our money. Even though prioritizing youth sports seems to be an American norm, we still sometimes receive criticism and judgment as to why we would spend so much of our time and resources on it. (“Don’t you know the chances of your child going pro is less than 1%?”) As I sat at my daughter’s gymnastics meet, listening to the parents cheer so excitedly...

Keep Reading

Don’t Let Anyone Rush You, Mama

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother with two kids at home relaxing

From the moment our children are born, other people make it challenging to stay in the present moment—they start asking questions that look forward instead of at the now we are in. Can you believe how big she’s getting, where did your newborn go? Oh my goodness, he’ll be walking any day now! Are you thinking about preschool? What will you do when they’re both in school? What will you do when your baby goes to college? While these questions may come with good intentions, they’re not helpful at all. We moms need to be allowed to be fully in...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections