I used to have a secret desire to be Mary Poppins. Well, I at least wanted to be Julie Andrews so I could pretend to be Mary Poppins before flitting off to put on a habit and use my incredible voice to bring seven children back to childhood before wooing their military father.

But, now that I have my own child and have no need to raise someone else’s, I’ve decided I’d like to try my hand at being Claire Huxtable. I know, Claire Huxtable and Mary Poppins are worlds apart but hear me out.

Who didn’t watch The Cosby Show every Thursday and absolutely love Claire? OK, Rudy won our hearts first, but we had affection for the mom, as well.  (“A wife of noble character, who can find?” Proverbs 31:10)

Claire was married to her best friend, a man who made her laugh and completely respected her. He trusted her and treated her as his absolute equal in everything even when she was talking to the ceiling as if it were a kid in the first episode. (“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:11,12)

She was not only a great mom in the home, but a great mom who provided for her family. Claire had a career she loved and she was good at it. She set an example for her daughters that there was nothing that they could not achieve, and encouraged them to pursue their own educational and career goals. But, she balanced the two. She didn’t give so much attention to her career that she ignored her children. (“She selects wool and flax and works with her eager hands…She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family…She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard…She sees that her trading is profitable and her lamp does not go out at night…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.” Proverbs 31:13, 15, 16, 18, 24)

Did I mention that Claire Huxtable was beautiful and always looked great? She was always prefectly coiffed and stylishly and appropriately dressed.  She was smart and witty. She made sure her kids had good manners and knew the value of education. She never worried out loud because she knew everything was going to be OK as long as she was good to her family and raised her children the best way she knew how. (“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she laughs at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:25-27)

Because she was such an awesome wife and mother, her husband and children had nothing but respect and admiration for her. It didn’t come from fear or obligation, but from genuine love for the strong woman who was Claire Huxtable. (“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:28)

Yes, I am well aware that Claire Huxtable, and Cliff, and Theo, and all people who participated in the little Harvey Weewax skit are fictional. But wouldn’t it be great to aspire to that? To use all the gifts and talents God has given you, to set a good example for your kids, to earn the respect of your husband and children by making good decisions and having strength of character – AND teaching your kids to do the same? Wouldn’t it be great to do that without expecting perfection from yourself or anyone else in your house, and by figuring out the best solution when things go wrong instead of panicking, screaming, or having a pity party?

June Cleaver was mousy. Roseanne was ill-mannered and obnoxious. Claire Huxtable? Now that’s a mom!

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