I spend much of my life at the moment striving. I strive to work, to earn money to save for one of those huge deposits for a mortgage that you need these days. I strive to put a hefty chunk of these earnings aside each month, because I’m self-employed and one day I’d like not to have to work 70 hour weeks. I strive to do all this while being a good mum and showing my daughter what’s important in life.
Funny how that first paragraph was mainly about earning and money and striving for a financial balance. Because, to us, what’s important is NOT money.
The reason I work my backside off is NOT to give my child the latest in designer clothes. It’s NOT because I want a six bedroom house with a huge garden. It’s NOT because I covet a new handbag or shoes (although, if you’re offering, I wouldn’t say no).
I do it so that our future financial stability isn’t entirely resting on my husband’s teacher shoulders. I do it so that one day I can take my foot off the peddle a little and step back.
Step back and continue to show my daughter that the very best things in life aren’t worth thousands of pounds. The very best things are worth working hard for and enjoying. When we finally get that house it won’t be a grand one. It’ll be one that needs some work. It’ll be a hard work house. Borne from hard work. And put together with love.
Just like all the things I treasured in my home as a child, the things I want my daughter to appreciate won’t be the most expensive.
I want her to remember her mother’s Picasso print at the top of the stairs, given as a 21st birthday present before her mum got old.
I want her to remember the freaky painting in the bathroom, that once hung in an art exhibition in the 1960s and was painted by a great grandmother named Suntan who she never met.
I want her to look back at the art on the walls of her home that was created by people related to her. That was created with hard work, creativity and imagination. These are all things worth a million plasma TVs and posh cushions.
And you know what? I think she’s already halfway there to learning this truth.
When she drew her first ever face earlier she whooped with delight. I might have to put it on the wall, next to the other art, just to prove to her how much it means to me. It didn’t cost a thing (apart from the price of the crayon) but that’s not the point.
What do you mean it’s not a face?! It is so.
Creativity, hard work and imagination. Worth more than anything.