Work That Is Not Measured By Money

11.5.2014

I´m a mother who’s home with her 1,5 year old child at the same time when her older child is in daycare.

I´m a woman who´s not appreciated by very many decision maker because of that choice.

I´m a person who decision makers are concerned about. Because I don´t make money.

child-learning-to-go-stairs-with-mother

Liilia is now learning to walk the stairs. It´s slow, but the more time I have for teaching her she has for practicing, the sooner she will learn this new skill.

child-and-mother-holding-hands

When I hold Liilia´s hand while she´s practising, I feel that I do the most important work in the world. Everything else can wait because now she needs me the most.

The Finnish government would like to see Finnish mothers going back to work sooner than they now do. The government would also like to see women becoming entrepreneurs more often than now. And they would like to see more innovative and international companies to be established in Finland.

mother-and-child-walking-outdoors

We usually combine our grocery trip with a small trip to the forest. I want my children to get used to outdoor life when they’re young, because in that way they’ll probably enjoy nature also when they’re grown-ups. And that helps them to be well and healthy.

mother-and-child-in-forest-on-the-way-to-grocery-store

I believe that if you can spark interest in your children towards life by your example, it carries through their life.

mother-and-child-looking-at-spring-flowers

Children are naturally interested in all new things. It takes time to explain and teach them. The more time you have for teaching, the wiser they’ll become.

If I keep my ears and eyes open I can feel the pressure on my shoulders. She should already make money and go to work. I hear that sentence in my head, even though nobody is saying it out loud. It´s incredible how strongly the value of human life is connected to making money in our culture.

I want to scream out loud that ALL THINGS IN LIFE ARE NOT ABOUT THE MONEY. I get that it’s challenging for national economy when the amount of old people is increasing while the amount of working age people is decreasing.

But if we only focus on money, and do not see the people and humanity behind it, the future will not be bright.  Neither to my home country nor its people. If we only focus on money and let it lead our decisions, people´s ability to work, their physical and mental health and wellbeing grows weaker earlier than it should. And then the retirement age lift will not succeed no matter how eagerly the government would like to see us working longer.

small-child-learning-to-be-in-grocery-store

I let Liilia to walk in a grocery every time it´s possible. That way Liilia learns manners and how to act in different circumstances.  I do it too because many pensioners are delighted when they see a small child walking and wondering about this and that. Many have said how sad they are because people are so busy nowadays. They appreciate it a lot when we have time to talk with them.

small-child-in-grocery-store

This kind of grocery shopping needs a lot of patience from the parent. However, I´ve noticed that in the long run it makes things easier with the children.

I also understand the concern. I can imagine how different my life can look compared to what it actually is when viewed from a distance. Forenoons outside playing with children, afternoons inside doing housework. Sounds relaxing? Too relaxing maybe. Maybe she has no plans to go to work but to just live on social security.

However, outsiders don´t know how much I actually work. They don´t know that besides taking care of children and home 24/7  I work for my business idea whenever it´s possible. When the children are sleeping, when I’m pushing the baby carriage or when I´m doing laundry.

I work a lot. Most of my work can’t just be measured by money. Or it doesn’t make any money. Yet.

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finnish-xylitol-herra-hakkarainen

It´s Mother´s Day today. What do I wish for us?

I wish broad-mindedness from decision makers. Wisdom to see genuinely the value of work that mothers do. Work that is not measured by money but that may, in the future, save a lot of money in things like public healthcare and social work. My mother friend put it well: Do they really think that we´re home just because of ourselves? I wish that decision makers would see that.

I wish that all working moms, stay-at-home moms and all in between learn to resist the pressure. I wish mothers would learn to close their eyes and ears from the criticism they don’t deserve. I wish they would make decisions that work the best for their family and don´t feel guilty about it. And I wish they would learn to enjoy wholeheartedly of their lives as mothers and women.

mother-teaching-her-child

Children learn new things according to their natural rhythm. You can encourage and support them but you can´t speed up the process significantly. It´s not wise either. If you put too much pressure on your child it´s likely that it will backfire on you later in one way or another.

child-learning-to-go-stairs-with-her-mom

Last steps and our 2 hour forest and grocery trip is over. For Liilia it was good excercise. I was able to get some fresh air and managed to think through some work stuff in my head. When Liilia takes her afternoon nap, I´ll open the computer and continue my work.

I wish the same to myself. If I can do it, I can maybe say some day that my marriage have survived the rough years with small children and me, my husband and our children feel well and balanced.

If I can do it, I may also be a female entrepreneur some day. The one who has an innovative and international company. I may be a person who is suddenly high on many decision makers list. I´m not employed, I´m employer.

And it´s because I´ve actively searched to find ways that makes it possible for me to take care of our children more at home. And to develop my business idea while I´m changing diapers.

So, all you fabulous mothers out there. Dream big, make use of the years with small children to make your and your family´s life better and have courage to work for your business ideas. I know many of you have them!

Happy Mother´s Day!

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