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Surrendering to Motherhood

Jennifer Huffman's Surrendering to Motherhood: When momortunity knocks

After 27 years of mom experience, I find that old habits die hard.

Like giving advice.

I’ve spent almost 30 years educating, coaching, and cajoling small and large humans about a wide variety of topics from the most mundane to life or death. 

Now that the Huffman daughters are semi-adults, they don’t need as much ‘momming’ as before.

As a result, I find myself with advice to spare.

And I’m ready to give it.

The good news is that you never know when a mom-opportunity (momortunity) will present itself.

For example, last Friday night I was talking to one of my skater friends. I’m guessing he’s a 20-something, not married, no kids.

My knee is messed up, he said. I fell last month and now I can’t do jumps. 

My ears perked up. Momortunity!

Have you seen a doctor? I asked him. 

Naw, he said. I probably needs surgery and I don’t have the money.

Welllll, you never know, I said, warming up my mom advice muscles. 

Maybe you just need some physical therapy? Or some KT Tape?

Do you have health insurance? Because OLE Health has affordable rates. Have you thought about signing up for Covered California? More affordable rates. I can totally show you the Covered California website. Gimme your phone.

Yeah, my mom said the same thing, he said sheepishly.

Right?! Us moms think alike. Can’t help ourselves.

Another night another 20-something skater that I had literally just met was waiting for a ride.

I don’t even know this guy, but he said he’d give me a ride home, she said glibly.

Ooooh, I said, my mom antenna going up.

Ummm, is that such a good idea? I said before I could stop myself.

Do I need to walk you to his car and check him out, take a photo of his license plate, get his driver’s license number? BECAUSE I CAN.

Again, mom instincts. We can’t help it.

I know I’m not the only mom who can’t help momming.

A friend’s daughter is about to leave Napa for The Big City. Her mom is helping her move, so she’s totally covered for any and all Mom-advice. Yet when we were hanging out the other night I was itching to get in on the action.

Have you thought about this? I wanted to ask her. Or that? Because if you do it this way, you’ll probably avoid the following hassles and potential pitfalls: X, X and X. Also: I should definitely mention health insurance and regular dental checkups.

I had to restrain myself. I am not her mom. Her mom is literally standing next to her. I should just nod and make encouraging comments. She does not need two moms ganging up on her.

This week a new colleague started at the Register.

Did she find a place to live? I asked.

Yes, but no, she said. Apparently, she’d fallen victim to an internet housing scam and “rented” a house before moving to Napa only to arrive in town and find the house already occupied, by other people!

OMG, I said. Did she need help finding a new place? Would she get her money back? What’s her Plan B.

Answer: none of my business.

I even find myself trying to mom people that are old enough to be my own mom. Or dad.

When I heard that Kevin Courtney got poison oak (again!) after pruning in his garden, I wanted to drive over to the Courtney Casa De Leisure and shake him.

How many times over the years did he come to work, complaining about poison oak? Didn’t I always say, “Stay out of the bushes! You will get poison oak!”

Did he listen to me? NO. And look what happened.

It just shows you’re never too old to need a mom.

This Napa kitten is lucky to be alive. She was discovered hiding inside the engine compartment of a car that had just driven about 30 miles from Vacaville to Napa. A woman passing by helped rescue the kitten and ended up taking her home. Her name is Lemon.

Surrendering to Motherhood appears every other Monday. Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @NVRHuffman.

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.

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