4 Things I Learned About Being a Mom from Clair HuxtableDanielle Hampton

Clair Huxtable is one of my most favorite television Moms for a few specific reasons, including but not limited to her amazing sense of style. I mean, have you seen some of her sweaters? This lady knew how to accessorize the hell out of a pants suit and her earrings choice was always spot on. A lot of my memories growing up involve playing sick from school and being very excited when I was able to catch daytime reruns of The Cosby Show (or Small Wonder but that’s another post for another day) while eating leftover pizza and demanding more juice (NOW, MOM!) from my spot on the couch. Oh, 4th grade. Oh, the days of yore when sick days involved putting your feet up and watching television for twelve hours straight. Those were the days! But back to Clair. So much amazing family/wife/Mom/woman knowledge can be gained from watching just a few episodes of The Cosby Show and I thought she was the perfect Television Mama to discuss next (see Peg Bundy’s post here).

So, here are some things I learned from the ever fashionable, always fabulous Clair Huxtable.

1) It’s okay to not be able to do it all. Most of the time Clair did do it all and with style. She was a mom, a wife, and a successful lawyer. And she managed to always have a spotless home, pack lunches and cook dinner nightly! Now that I’m a Mom myself, and a stay-at-home Mom at that, I think it’s insane that Clair was able to do all of that so well. However, Mrs. Huxtable was definitely not one to shy away from admitting that she was fed up, tired and just didn’t feel appreciated. She kept it real and in turn inspired other 1980s mothers and wives to keep it real too.

2) If you decide to get married, marry your best friend. Clair and Cliff. You have gotta love them. Bill Cosby/Heathcliff Huxtable is one funny man and their entire marriage has a strong base in laughter and fun. An episode doesn’t go by where Cliff isn’t being ridiculous and Clair isn’t acting exasperated. They’re the original Modern Family. At the end of the day though, all of that funny stuff boils down to a whole lot of love and the lesson is obvious – marrying someone you can grow old with, laughing all the way ’til the end, is the best thing you can do.

3) And speaking of best friends, Clair teaches us you shouldn’t be your kid’s BFF. Now, I am all for being close with my son and as much as I’d want to be his best friend forever and ever, I know that being a parent should come first. And with that role comes the necessity to be able to guide kids on the right path as a mentor, teacher, friend… but not best friend. Clair walked that fine line well and in so many episodes you see her reacting to her kids in such a way that they felt like they could trust her and knew she’d be there for them as a Mom. She was assertive and absolutely didn’t take any sort of B.S. from her children. Mom first, friend second. I like her style.

4) It’s alright to go against the norm. Back in the ’80s, Clair was a career-woman, balancing all aspects of motherhood with her very busy professional life as a partner at a law firm. Although this is awesome and not abnormal now, twenty-five years ago it was! How totally fantastic to have not just a strong female as a role model for so many women but a strong, African American female to boot! Clair is rad and told women everywhere that it was okay to follow your passions and dreams, to be your own woman and to just do it. Okay, that was Nike but Clair basically said the same thing.

All in all, Clair is a bad-ass. Can I get an AMEN?!

What TV Mom shall I discuss next? I’d love to hear your input below!

 image via IMDB


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  1. Ummm I regulary use Claire’s famous “Let the re-cord show” line in my house!

  2. AMEN!

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  4. I love Clair! I love that she’s a mom first too. I try to be an adult and have a relationship with my husband and put being a mom in a separate category. She never lost her identity as a woman in being a mother and I hope I can emmulate that. Great article!

  5. Lorelai Gilmore! She was totally her daughter, Rory’s, best friend but somehow was still a pretty great mom. How did she do it??

  6. Roseanne shoould definitely be next! Perfect combination of mom, friend, companion, defender & smartass!

  7. btw…I’d love to see a post about Mona Robinson, Lorelei Gilmore, and/or Elyse Keaton

  8. Clair Huxtable was THE tv mom! That’s why in the first episode of Blossom, when Blossom feels she needs a mother figure to talk to, she has a dream that Clair Huxtable is her mom. She’s the go-to mom! :o)

  9. I’m so glad someone decided to give Clair the recognition she deserves. I think your next piece should be about how many reality TV mom’s will never be Clair Huxtable and may even be setting up a new generation for failure instead of a life of self-respect and strength.

  10. I loved Claire, even when the show was out, yes I was 5-10 years old. But I could tell that that was the type of mom I wanted to be.

  11. Quite frankly, Claire intimidates the hell out of me! The prospect of working with children at all is daunting, let alone working as a lawyer with children.

    I know you love My So Called Life like I do… How about Patty?

  12. Sophia from Golden Girls would be a great one! She was so full of wisdom and sarcasm, definately my favorite

  13. Man, The Cosby Show was/still is just amazing. I’ve been re-watching the whole series (thanks Netflix!) and have found that, unlike so many things I loved as a child, this show holds up. Best. Ever.

  14. Clair is amazing!!!!so avant garde…i have to say she couldnt of done it without her funny husband/best friend the lesson to all .. laughter and good sense of humor is the way to embrace life…

  15. I could not agree more with you! Amen! :)

  16. Clair is amazing. I’ve been keeping an eye on Elyse Keaton’s mom/wife/architect/political activist activities since Family Ties has been available on Netflix streaming. She’s pretty rad.

  17. I think you should post about Jill Taylor from Home Improvement. Always loved the humor, compassion, iintelligence and strength in her character.

  18. I love Clair Huxtable. I loved her then, but I think I admire her more now. She is fabulous and smart and confident. Awesome TV mom.

  19. Absolutely, 100% true! I am in the middle of re-watching all the Cosby episodes and Clair is a wonderful mother/wife/woman. But if you need an idea for who to do next, you need to look to Amy Matthews from Boy Meets World. Sure she disappears from time to time when the writers feel they could do without her, but when she is around she is brilliant! I aspire to be the mother that she is and have the marriage she does someday. In fact, I think I may just turn on Boy Meets World and let Amy parent my kids, ahhahahaha! Kidding…kind of!

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