Application For Motherhood
by Darlene D. Stern
If I had to apply for motherhood, I would never have gotten the job. I would never have been asked to come in for an interview for the position, and my application would have hit the circular file immediately upon receipt. No one in his or her right mind would have deemed me capable for this job. I had absolutely no experience or training in this field and no knowledge of what the requirements were.
Furthermore, had I investigated the job description, I would have found the following requisite components for this position:
- Functions coherently with little or no sleep for extended periods of time.
- Efficiently copes with disorder and disarray
- Talent for dealing with more than one person talking at a time, often on different topics and at varying decibel levels, and is able to resolve each issue in a timely manner to the satisfaction of all parties involved
- Skilled at multi-tasking to the ultimate extreme
- Flair for attention to minute details
- Capacity to avert disaster at (or before) a moment’s noticeCreative financial aptitude
- Expertise in successful mediation with individuals on every level of the intelligence scale
- Creative wardrobe design
- Triage medical experience
- Quick change artist
Even though I couldn’t believe I fit the bill, the benefits package for the position was so irresistible that once I entertained the thought of motherhood, I was sucked in.
It sort of began when I got all that attention the first time I was pregnant. I was allowed to be self-centered and self-serving on every level–probably because it would be the very last time in my life that would ever happen again! I was pampered, coddled, showered with blessings and, for the first time in my life, not worried about gaining weight. I could go out to buy new clothes without a guilty conscience, as my wardrobe no longer fit my newly rounding figure. I could be crabby and no one would be offended; I could be spacey and those around me just smiled knowingly; I even had a good excuse for taking off work.
Those were just the short-term benefits. Long-term benefits were even more lucrative, once I got past the excruciating pain of the first day on the job. The smell of a newborn babe is enthralling beyond description; it drew me in and captivated every fragment of my attention. There was no question I wanted to serve every whim of this completely helpless hand-sized parcel to the total exclusion of everyone and everything else on earth. The tiniest reaction from this child evoked such passionate emotion that I wanted to shout to the world. I continually encouraged my offspring to strive for greater accomplishments, like smiling or walking or talking. After I’d been on the job awhile, I would rather have occasionally reversed some of those accomplishments–with the exception of smiling.
Even though the job description for motherhood was far beyond my knowledge, talent and abilities, God chose to give me a shot at the position–not just once, but nine times! His business plan certainly was far different from the one I would have drawn up or the status quo for that era! Whenever I thought I had the task mastered, He gave me a new little handful to sharpen my skills.
I learned that yellow, red, green, brown, black or white–not all these colors in a diaper are precious in a mother’s sight, but every child is. I found out that no matter how much I would diligently strive to raise them all the same, each one had an inherent personality that needed to be molded; each one had to be trained up in the way that he would go. Mostly, I discovered that if I relied on the Lord to direct the outcome of this challenge of motherhood, everything would be all right. He was the most valuable consultant I could ever have had. In relying on His help, I found new meaning for, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Over and over again, God demonstrated that I was capable of meeting the challenges of motherhood. If I was unable to see the fruit of my labors, He would send someone to point out the positive results of my diligence. Even today, when I least expect it–and most of my children are grown–the Lord will send someone to testify that I have successfully completed the task set before me. I may not have fit the qualifications of the motherhood job opening, but the Lord thought I fit the bill. I guess He was right!
Darlene Stern has been a stay-at-home mom for nearly 30 years. Together, Darlene and her husband David have shared in raising nine children, a herd of dairy goats, and all the homegrown food they could eat. In the process, the Lord has granted Darlene plenty of experiences to write about in order to encourage others that nothing is impossible when God is involved.