Friday, September 20, 2013

Can Love Of Work Become Work Of Love?

The other day my little boy came home from school and asked me why I didn't work. He said a boy at school had asked him what I worked at and he had told them 'nothing'!

I explained to him that I don't work outside the home at the current time but that I do work every day. I may be on a career break from my job but that didn't mean that I was doing nothing. I told him that cooking, cleaning, taking care of him, his Dad, his Granny and our cats all qualifies as work.  He looked so sad and turned away from me. I had to coax him to tell me why my answer had upset him so.

It transpires that he was disappointed to find that I thought of looking after him as being work.  I think he has a point. I love looking after him and my family so maybe I should 't be thinking of what I do for them in this way.  After all if you are doing something you love, can it be classified as work?  I think it was Confucius who first realised this thousands of years ago. And here I am, having to be reminded of this by my five year old (sorry, five and three quarters!) son.

'Speaking' of work, I then asked him if he had any thoughts of what he would like to work at when he is a grown up.He used to say he wanted to be a doctor so he could fix people and make them better. Indeed, any time we had a doctor visit, he insisted on going all dressed up in his doctors outfit, carrying his bag of equipment. Apparently he no longer wants to be a doctor or a vet as he heard that in training you have to look at dead bodies and brains and things and anyway he wouldn't like to have to to blood tests!

The other thing that he often talked about being was a bin man.  That idea is also out the window as he thinks it would be too hard to be working out in rain and snow and sun.

He put on his thinking face and then said he had a great idea.  He wouldn't work at all, he would do something he loves too and still make money.  When I asked him what the idea was, I could hardly contain my giggles.  He said he will just keep doing runs and walks and a bit of playing and get people to sponsor him.  He would go round all the neighbours and relatives and get them to sponsor him to do these things all the time. Then he would be doing something he loves and make money too. The poor child was so so disappointed when I explained to him, that people usually got sponsored to donate the money to charity and that he would have to give it all away.

Whatever happens in his future, I sincerely hope that he will have a love for whatever 'work' he does and so the work will become the work of love.

What about you? Do you love your work, whatever it may be?


  1. Thanks for sharing! It's amazing how kids can make us rethink this. I significantly cut back my writing and editing work (which I do love) to stay home with our daughter and take care of the home. When people make annoying comments like "what do you do all day?" I am quick to remind them that raising a child and maintaining a household is a JOB, but your son has a good point. Being a mom is unlike any other "job". You don't do it because of the paycheck. We do it because we truly do love it.

  2. Your little boy is growing up so fast! And he's such a deep thinker. There is truth to the old saying, 'Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." Unfortunately some get stuck in jobs that just support them. I think with your guidance, Claire, your boy will find what he loves and 'never work a day in his life'!

  3. This is such a great post. I stayed at home with my three kids and I wouldn't have swapped my 'work' for the world. My lot are all grown up now and I'm incredibly proud of the attitude that they all have to life. They simply won't settle for something that they don't find fulfilling or that doesn't make them feel good. That might mean that, like their old maw and paw, they're never financially rich but I strongly believe that their lives will, in general, be so much the richer for it. As for me, I'm very different from you in the sense that I've done most things, like learn to drive, get married, have kids etc at a young age - but I'm very like you (though a tad older with the big 5 0 looming closer) in the sense that I'm loving discovering new things and new directions in my mid-life! Yoga is next on my list! Thanks again for a great post (and I think your little boy will have a brilliant approach to life!)

  4. I DO love my job! I love it so much, it's taken up a large portion of my life, quitting my job in administration and becoming a daycare provider in my home. So much that I've neglected my blog, which you are kind enough to visit and comment on. I promise to write an update ASAP, and thanks for YOUR blog - I enjoy it!


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