“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Mother Theresa
I love this quote; it’s so simple, yet so obvious and actually so achievable for alot of us. Reading this quote is almost a relief for me, I’ll explain why.
I’m a stay at home mum (not that i only stay and home and not that I’m only a mum, I’m more like the CEO of domestic enterprises and I’m all the things I was before I became a parent and now a whole lot more too); however grand or belittled you make the title, there are certain limitations when a household of people rely on you to care for their very existence, and a lot of what needs to be done for them is tedious, boring, repetitive, tiring, and mostly goes unappreciated.
The things that you think might be enjoyable about being a parent are in reality a very small part of the job. I think my own idyllic vision of parenthood would be a family camping holiday with two joyful children aged approximately 8 and 10 who think the world of their parents. There would be campfires, star-gazing, beaches, romantic moments between the parents, meeting other joyful families..
So if we consider this one specific two-week period I have imagined, compared to say the number of loads of washing, meals to prepare, tantrums, sickness, nights of lost sleep, ruined social occasions, damaged furniture etc. then the ratio is not that favourable.
When you have had a life before children, where you could travel on a whim, move cities without thinking of other people, earn money, spend all of that money on yourself, commit to a job with any hours, socialise spontaneously, complete projects, work with others, work on your own, study, retrain, have a lunch break, poo in private; then memories of this life definitely stir a certain nostalgia.
But also when you think about the world beyond this personal level, when you think about your whole community and there is domestic violence, depression, addiction, child abuse, poverty, old people dying alone. And then you think about global issues of famine, and orphans, and refugees, and war, and climate change, and Donald Trump.
And also if you are the kind of person that thinks beyond this world about the meaning of life, and our purpose, and why the world began, and when it will it end, and about your own mortality, and the unavoidable experience of grief, and the possibility of eternal life, and how spirituality serves us, and the importance of the evolution of mankind, and all the while fuckers are still blowing each other up… and there you are, cleaning weetbix off the floor for the thousandth time.. Then sometimes as a stay at home mum you feel pretty useless.
When you then consider Mother Theresa’s words, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family”, it makes perfect sense, if we all just turned our energy inwards towards loving our families, then more individuals would be emotionally supported, and spiritually nurtured; and as a result so many of our communities problems would lessen, and even our global issues would ease because there would be less unbalanced individuals about.. then maybe, just maybe, what I’m doing is already important, and worthy, and therefore rewarding and humbling and something to cherish.
So if small people want to watch me poo, then I’ll let them, as long as they don’t run off with the toilet roll.