Work = money
I wish the statement had become more true to me by the number of times that it was repeated to me: Well, if you do not have enough money, maybe you should work more. I know it is a reasonable statement. It is how things are done by a good amount of people. You work, you get money.
Yes, work does equal money. It’s the basis of capitalism and it is how things are done by a good amount of people.
But what underlies that statement is the glaring injustice of some human activities being categorized as “worth paying” while other activities (and guess who does most of them, we all know the story) are being taken for granted.
Some work we do as humans isn’t paid because there is no employer (parenting for example). Work that is paid is something that someone else is willing to pay you to do, so they don’t have to do it. No one is going to pay (employ) you to raise your own kids. That is a responsibility that you took on and is yours to deal with.
Sure, there is more gainful work than making a paper robot with a five-year-old. Only, this five-year-old happens to be my daughter. By making a paper robot I do a lot more than just cutting and glueing some shapes together. I am building a relationship. One that is going to last a lifetime. One that is going to decide about a good deal of both my and her future relations with our selves and others. (Ask any psychologist about what makes the majority of problems that people come to them about — my bet is, that a high percentage evolves around childhood issues of traumatization, early bonding and security issues.)
I am also preparing a human being for life in a world that generations before her messed up and continue to mess up. What else could I do than give her all the love, respect and skills I have to share and provide her with a sense of basic trust, the ability to reason and observe, the inner strength and integrity to stand up for who she is? This is my task now, my responsibility. It may be shared, but it can not be outsourced.
And all that is great and wonderful, and you should as a parent do all those things. But that still doesn’t mean someone is going to give you money they earned at some point to do your job as a parent.