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Mommy Mondays: Get a Job…?

by Kimberly on June 10, 2013 · 5 comments

It’s amazing how the most innocent questions can sometimes generative the most thought.

It happened this morning. My son and I had a lovely 15-minute conversation that started with a single question:

Momma, how can I make money so that I can buy things?

My first instinct (which I think is a rather natural one) was to give him the “you get a job” line. But then I paused, realizing that I don’t really want my children to believe this. I don’t want them to think that they only way they can make money is to “get a job.” It’s not what I’ve done as a professional and businesswoman and it’s certainly not what I expect my children to do.

So my answer to him was that you make money by giving people something they want. I even used the phrase “you provide value to people”. . . though I think that was a little too abstract for him. But I brought it back to his level and talked about what mommy and daddy do. Daddy is a conductor and administrator. He helps make sure the university runs smoothly and that students learn. Mommy is a music therapist. She helps people through music.

What I like about this perspective is that it not only resonates with my values, but it applies to most, if not all, situations. If you “have a job,” you are still providing value and are getting paid for it. If you run an online business, you are providing a valuable service or product and people of paying you for it. If you have an offline business, either service- or product-oriented, you are providing something of value and people are paying you for it.

And what of value does my 6-year-old son want to provide when he grows up?

Piano lessons :)

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Shelley Perry June 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I am a music major studying to be a music therapist. Today I am working on an assignment for my Music in Early Childhood class. Was looking for good websites for my assignment, and found you. :-)
You are a wise mama to understand (and teach to your children) that a job isn’t just about having a job for money. If you love what you do, it isn’t a “JOB” anyhow. Have you ever seen the acronym Just Over Broke? I have been in sales, and that is where I learned that it is about providing value.
I look forward to reading more of your blog when it isn’t finals week….lol!
By the way, I am fifty years old and a freshman in college. It can be done! That’s encouragement for any of your older readers.

Kimberly June 20, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Thank you, Shelley, for sharing your expertise and for your support. Good luck with your schooling and hope to hear from you again here :) ~Kimberly

Jenni June 24, 2013 at 7:39 pm

I agree with Shelley…and you Kimberly. I had the ‘get a job’ mentality drummed into me as a child, and although in some respects it has value, I would have been much better off hearing the words of wisdom you have passed on to your son!
Jenni´s last blog post ..LG 42LS3400 – How Does This TV Rate?

Kimberly July 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Yes…and the “get a job” idea is how it worked for a long, long time! Luckily (or not) we have other options now :) ~Kimberly

Christian July 23, 2013 at 2:22 am

I thought your reply to your kid asking how to make money … “ …by giving people something they want. You provide value to people.” and getting paid for it – is so true and so explicit it covers the whole spectrum of jobs including being a music therapist. Thanks for giving us this wonderful insight.

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