Decisions, decisions! Ask my kids. Deciding on which restaurant to eat at is one of my LEAST favorite things… and is a ‘bad-mood’ waiting to happen. Sound bite: “Don’t even ask me to decide where to go out to eat, for goodness sakes. I am in charge of feeding you 99% of the time. There are five of you (including my husband). Do I have to figure this one out, too? The five of you put your little heads together, and decide! (Just not Mexican)”
It’s daunting and amazing, isn’t it? Parenting is a 20-plus year perpetual sequence of decision-making— a non-stop barrage of multiple choices. And no, not A versus B— it is never that simple. It’s A through Z, the whole cruel alphabet. And every door you open has some kind of drawback. I often say, “Choose your poison,” and then my good friend will add (to make me laugh of course,) “Good luck with that… Let me know how that turns out!”
There are days that are so hectic, I will have no clue until the day is over and done that I’ve literally made decision after decision all day long. Big ones… little ones… in-between ones. The spectrum spans from trivial to life changing. Everything from running a business, deciding who to call first, which emails are the most important, what invoice to pay and on and on… to running a family.
What college should we visit? Then what weekend could we go? What do I do with my other kids when we go? Should I go to the doctor today, or wait to see if I get worse tomorrow? Should I pay that school fee, or wait until I get paid… but then will it be late?! Should I let the dog out before I go? Should I get rid of the dog? Should I run by the bank, or just hope the cash I have is enough? Should I schedule a doctor appointment today, or just spend the afternoon with my kids? Should I go to my daughter’s game, or my son’s game? Do we have time to take Johnny home, too? “Mom, when are we going to buy jeans that aren’t ‘floods’?” You get the picture. It’s really a miracle and by God’s grace that I am not a speeding, scowling mom on a broomstick 24/7.
Regardless, deciding and deciding some more all the time, has it’s own version of stress, pressure and anxiety over wanting to make the ‘best’ choice in numerous categories. I often smirk when I hear the phrase, “It takes a village.” I sure wish I had a village of people around me to help me decide and choose. I don’t know what village they are referring to, because in my mom-world – I am the village.
When I first entertained the idea of what is now E-Mealz, one of my many hesitations was the notion that I would be deciding for people what they would be eating. Seemed a little weird. It still seems a little weird to a lot of people— of course until they try it! ‘Weird’ quickly turns to ‘Halleluiah’!!!!
I soon discovered that the success of E-Mealz was largely due to the fact that we were removing this very thing— decision-making-pain. If there is one less decision stressor that can be removed from an already overloaded brain, then bring it. Some may say that is taking the easy way out. I say, “What do I have to prove?” Why try to be Superwoman? Have you seen her figure anyway? I can’t compete!
Fact: Unnecessary pain is stupid pain. Dinner-decision-making-pain is now shifted, permanently, into my ‘stupid-pain column’ because it is unnecessary for me to have to deal with it anymore. The dinner decision is done for me. No more guesswork. I don’t have to decide what to buy, nor what to fix. I am so ‘done’ with stressing over whether or not my kids are going to just rave about every meal I fix. A good, warm meal on the table at night that is as stress-free as humanly possible is almost too good to be true. Less stress and pain spent on planning, buying, and fixing just means more energy and focus on what really matters— my family.
Ironically, I never predicted that the biggest gift of E-Mealz would be to my very own self. Yes, I cooked for years, sadly, without E-Mealz— but How? I now say! I can’t tell you how many times we hear, “I don’t know how I did it before without E-Mealz!” True that! Now that I am on the other side of the life of a Mom in dinner-decision-making-pain, I will never go back! There are so many decisions I will never escape. Life is full of enough stress and pain that I will have to face, dead on.
Like I mentioned in my Part One post on this subject, “… my chest would tighten the moment the automatic doors slid open as I stepped one foot into a grocery store. The average supermarket has over 30,000 items to choose from!” So why borrow more hardship? On this one, I gladly lay down and relinquish my Super-Mom cape. And in the “grocery store” of my life, I have slain the Goliath of what plagued me (and the rest of the human race) every single day— come rain, shine, sickness or health… “Mom, what’s for dinner?”
I have been set free.