Since retiral from paid work, I now find myself thinking of my other job – that as a mother and grandmother.
A little boy, whose dad and mum work hard says to his friend: “I am really worried. Dad slaves away at his job so I’ll never want for anything. Mum works hard every day, washing and ironing, cleaning up after me, taking care of me when I get sick. They spend every day of their lives working just on my behalf. I am worried.”
His friend asks: “What have you got to be worried about?”
He replies: “I’m afraid they might try to escape!”
Why would anyone want to escape from working towards the greatest goal in life, that is seeing your children grow up to be good and responsible adults. Of course it is a hard job, and sometimes the rewards are not what you might feel are correct.
It is the love of family that makes us not want to escape. Obligation can pour a glass of milk, but quite often love will add a little chocolate. From an essay by a 12-year-old girl, asked to write about a missionary: “Mother Teresa? The person I think is a missionary and a good one, is my mother. My mum’s mission is to be a mother to me and my family. My mum has never been selfish and put herself before her family. I have never been starved or been without endless love. Just like the famous missionaries, my mother has needed a lot of courage.
“She could easily have gone off to bingo and left me, but she didn’t. She made the supreme sacrifice of thinking about me before herself. I am very lucky to have a missionary mother.”
Money, of course, can build a charming house, but only love can furnish it with a feeling of love.
One of my regular night time prayers is this: ‘Father, help me to be a good wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. If I can achieve this, then my working life, paid or unpaid, will have been worthwhile’.
St Margaret’s Church