Once in a while, take your children to your workplace and let them see how you hustle to bring food to the table. This will help them understand that money does not fall into your pocket from the sky; you work hard to earn it. This will make them think twice before they demand for this and that, just because you’re their parents and you must provide for them. Yes, they’re entitled to your wealth, but that entitlement must be under control.
One day, I was on night duty (8pm to 8am) and my daughter was a bit sick, so I decided to take her with me. After she had been seen by the paediatrician, I took her to my department and she stayed in the doctor’s on-call room.
She said to me, “Ummee, this room is so cozy. The bed is perfectly comfortable. The AC is on point. So, this is how you used to enjoy?!”
In her juvenile mind, she thought I would sleep in that room all night. But she was shocked to discover that I didn’t even step into the room except for salah. Even the food I kept there to be eaten for dinner became cold. She heard the phones ringing and bleeps going off every now and then. She heard footsteps and voices of the staff and patients, showing activity throughout the night.
When we got back home the next day, she was tired, even though she didn’t do anything. I explained to her that she had seen only a tip of the iceberg.
Even on quiet nights when there were no patients, I still feel tired because of the anxiety that comes with being on call. I can’t have a sound sleep while at work. I keep checking my bleep and cellphone every hour, to be sure I haven’t missed a call. I check on my patients on the ward and nurses on the floor to be sure that everyone is fine. I prepare my report to be presented at the morning meeting. I might also want to study for upcoming exams and so on…
A child as young as 7 years should be able to understand these things. Start telling them about the job you get paid for, so that next time they see you buying ice-cream, they will appreciate your effort and sacrifices.
And please, remember to keep your income clean and legitimate. Your kids are watching!
© Doctor KT