Recently the kids borrowed a book titled from the library, and money is defined as “what you exchange with time and skills.”
Money = what you exchange with time and skills. How fitting is this description!
As a working mum, I sacrificed the bulk of my day times, for 5 days a week, working hard in the office. Not physically toiling, but the drain of brain cells, and the eyes barely able to maintain opened, every work day, is no exaggeration. Every week day, all I want to do when I reached home in the evening, is to quickly pack the kids to bed, shower, and hit for the beds. For everything else, can we leave these for the weekends?
I was engineering trained, but had been working in non-engineering fields since graduation. For the past 9.5 years in the same company, I gained much experience in my work, and was able to put these knowledge and skills efficiently in my work.
So, yes, I gained money through the exchange of my time and skills, but that was about it. There was no love nor passion in what I do, and I was finding it harder and harder to explain to my kids on what I do.
How do you tell your kids what you do, when you don’t actually believe in what you do?
How do you encourage your kids to be serious in their learning, when you were an all As student but ended up disillusioned and passionless in your work?
Since young, our parents and uncles and aunts liked to tell us to “study hard, so that next time can have a good job”. But “good job” in those days meant an office job, as compared to manual work. For our parents’ generation, the baby-boomers generation, pushing their children to tertiary education was their goal and pride. Once your child has the paper qualifications, his/her future is secured.
But for the majority of us born in late 70s to 80s, 99.99% of us do not become doctors or lawyers. With the paper qualifications which our parents painstakingly acquired for us, we became office workers. Our parents were satisfied, because we did not have to take on the manual work like what they had suffered in those days. We bring money home. We formed our own families. We pushed our children to take up many enrichment courses for fear that they fall behind their peers. We spend what we earned so as to keep up the societal norms. We did not realise that we were already in the rat chase, constantly chasing after that piece of cheese.
In this pursuit, how do you respond to your child when they ask you “why need to study hard?”
“So that you become a useful person” is the kind of response that I would like to tell Baby1 and Baby2.
“Like mummy and papa” is what I would like to add too.
In order to nurture and inspire our kids, let us parents lead by example by leading fulfilling lives ourselves. Of course, the ideal situation is a job which you love and which pays a lot. To achieve the latter, you’d better be good in what you do!