Do you remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure Stories”? They were books that allowed you to choose the outcome of a mystery, adventure, or a love story. Very soon into the book it would say something like, Go check out the spooky barn? Turn to page 8. or Mind your own business and stay with the group Turn to page 15. Even if you thought you were picking the wisest choice, sometimes the story didn’t go as you planned. Sometimes helping out a friend, lead to a dark twist in the story, and sometimes telling a white lie would get you out of an impossible predicament. For me, I would read over and over and over again until I got my happy ending. Every time I turned the page to disasters or dead ends, I became flustered and annoyed. Other times, yes, I would cheat by flipping through and skimming to find the best outcome.
Mom life is like one of these stories. After every twist and turn, you find yourself screaming toward heaven. “So help me! I will figure this mom thing out and I will be VINDICATED!” Every decision you make is a pivotal piece in what the day shall bring. When your children are fighting do you: Intervene and try to solve the problem, or ignore it and hope they will solve it on their own? Each decision could make the situation go either way. Sure, you can intervene. It is your duty. They’re going to come and ask you to intervene anyway. They always do. No reason to ignore it, because if you let it alone, rest assured, your children will reach volumes that are sure to explode your ear canals. But, they should learn, right? You don’t have the energy to get into every single conflict they have? What kind of adults will they turn into? And planning dinner can be a challenge as well. The kids ask you for pizza, but you haven’t had a healthy meal in weeks. Do you get pizza anyway or tell them no, and prepare a healthy meal? This kind of decision sets the tone for the rest of the night. Are you going to tuck in full, happy kids that sing your praises or are you going to be stuck at a table, watching the clock well into the late night hours with hungry, stubborn kids that refuse to eat?
Yes, our days can hinge on the roll of a dice, so to speak. Instead of Dungeons and Dragons, our game shall be called: Medieval Moms.
You’re passing through a sea of pain-rendering relics, whose purpose is to halt your journey towards the coffee pot. Yes, the Toys of Doom are everywhere, and you must be cautious. You only have a few, precious minutes before the children awaken from their zombie sleep. Roll 8 and you shall taste the victory of perfectly roasted Arabica goodness. Roll doubles and the children shall descend upon you, with unimaginable banshee shrieks that can paralyze your very soul. They are ecstatic for the banquet at Fun Fun Kingdom, but you failed to switch the baby seats into your other chariot. Do you take on their icy wrath or use your magic wand to bring forth sugary treats to distract them?
Meanwhile, after escaping the nefarious Quicksand of Mom Guilt and conquering the mysterious Hide-and-Seek Forest, player 2 is at the Bridge of Infinitude, where she is trapped to endure the inexplicable riddles of the gatekeeper. “Why can’t I have it, mommy? When will you be 100 years old? Why is the kitchen messy? Why can’t I play outside in the lightning? Why can’t I have it mommy? When is daddy coming home? Are sharks bad guys? Can I stay up late? Why can’t I have it mommy?”
“You asked me that already!!!”
“Foolish matriarch! I have the attention span of a squirrel. My questions shall never cease. Bwa ha ha ha!”
Just beyond the bridge lies the Hot Springs of Quiescence, where she longs to bask in the healing waters in solitude and peace.
So…what is our reward for this quest through motherhood? It may seem far off in the future and we can feel so lost. In reality, our reward is visible every day. The daily conflicts make it hard for us to see the little things that reveal how we are great mothers. It looks like failure to teach patience when your children are calling you constantly and asking the same questions day after day, but who taught them how to speak? You may feel like you don’t nurture your kids enough, but when you see your son bring his sister a stuffed toy after she scrapes her knee, think about how they learned that. You may not know what to do in every situation, and you might even choose the wrong page to turn, but rest in the fact that this journey is teaching you how to have the endurance to raise happy kids and how to love unconditionally.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT
“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5