The Ants Go Marching

As an older woman whose children have all reached adulthood and live on their own, I am often reminded of how difficult it is being a Mom. As I read some of my younger friend’s Facebook posts, I wish I could make their journey easier, but in all honesty, even the best of parents experience their times of frustration and agony. I was far from a perfect Mom and there were days when I just wanted to throw in the towel or lock myself in the bathroom and throw a temper tantrum, kicking and screaming like a toddler (oh wait, I really did that!).

But despite all the frustrations, I would not change being a parent to my four children for anything. As a matter of fact, I was cleaning out some old files the other day and found an article I had written and promptly filed away. So I am going to share it with you now.

Okay, I admit it! There are days when I wonder why I ever wanted to be a mom. Take yesterday for instance. When I arrived home from work my children met me at the door with, “Mom, there are ants all over the kitchen!” Sure enough, when I walked inants in a lineto the kitchen the ants were in a neat little line all the way from the window to the sink.

Could it be because someone dumped pears in the garbage disposal side of the sink and left them there? Or maybe it was because of the sugar spilled during breakfast. Then again, perhaps it was because of the syrup left on the waffle plate from the after-school snack.

My first thought was to turn around and head back to work. But, of course, being the wonderful mom that I am, I didn’t. Instead I changed my clothes, cleaned up the mess, and gave them the standard lecture on not leaving food particles for clever little ants to eat.

I sat back and wondered, “Why did I ever want children?” I mean—let’s face it—they are a lot of work. And I have four of them. Along with other mothers, I have found that there are unwritten rules about children that no one tells you ahead of time Here is a sample list:

  • When you mop the floor, they will spill orange juice or milk on it right away.
  • After you finish cleaning the bathroom, your youngest will brush his teeth “without help please, Mom!”
  • When you finish the last load of laundry, your teen will clean her room—including the clothes on the floor.
  • When you finally have a relaxing, somewhat free evening before your son’s concert, he will suddenly remember he is supposed to have a white shirt and black pants for the concert—and no, the ones he has do not fit anymore.

And the list goes on. . . .

But then I think about all the rewards and joys of being a mom. I recognize that God has blessed me with four precious lives and realize that most moments far outweigh the little, annoying things. I think of things like:

  • Wet, sloppy kisses and hugs from my little one
  • Snuggling together and listening to nightly prayers
  • Hearing my daughter’s first solo and realizing she is growing into a lovely, talented young lady
  • Seeing the smiling grin of my youngest child as he reaches the sink by himself
  • Watching the boys fishing for tadpoles in the creek

And the list goes on  . . . .

And so the outcome is, I really do want to be a mom. At the end of the day, as I walked past my son’s room, I heard my four-year-old quietly singing, “The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah.” I grinned to myself and quietly turned out the lights.

Matthew 18:1-3 (ESV) At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.



2 thoughts on “The Ants Go Marching

  1. Children are a blessing and a gift to us from God. Indeed they are a challenge; however, with each challenge comes the opportunity for growth. While we experience frustration in the heat of the moment we learn and continue to march on.


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