Apple Blossom

Thursday, 7 April 2011

What a lively and impassioned response to yesterday's post! Thank you all for your comments.
 The reason I wrote the post wasn't so much to justify my lifestyle choice but to illustrate how full one's days can be even if one doesn't have paid work. If I had a paid job I loved I'd be doing it, it just happens that I love this job.
Sometimes, when I get the question, I just say 'My husband earns enough'. I say this to my children, I tell them how lucky we are that their father can support us all. They don't know anyone else whose mother doesn't have a job.
 People invariably say 'it's alright for some'. Well, yes it is, very alright, I am a lucky girl, but would they say that if I were working, and earning more money than I needed?
I have also had the 'haven't you wasted your education/training?' question. Education is never wasted whatever you choose to do with your life and I dislike the notion that education is only a means to an end. I use my education every day of my life. 
I worry for my children and their contemporaries who simply won't be able to afford to choose to do what I did (I graduated, worked for four years as a teacher and then left to have my family) because they will be saddled with massive student debt which will take years of paid employment to pay off.

*
To other things.

These photos are of my crab apple tree

All pink and white

Making me think of berries and cream

And the jelly I will be making with the apples.


                      

The Song of The Apple Blossom Fairies

Up in the tree we see you , blossom-babies
All pink and white;

We think there must be fairies to protect you
From frost and blight,
Until, some windy day, in drifts of petals,
You take your flight.

You'll fly away! But if we wait with patience,

Some day we'll find
Here, in your place, full-grown and ripe, the apples
You left behind -
A goodly gift indeed, from blossom babies
To human-kind!

Illustration and rhyme from
A Flower Fairy Alphabet
by Cicely Mary Barker




25 comments:

  1. Hello. Just saying yesterday to FriendBean as we sat having a mug of tea in the garden, that apple blossom is my favourite and my best. Love your photos, Ax

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  2. Sue as per the text of your post. I couldn't agree with you more.

    Those photos again! Gorgeous I NEED one for my screensaver!

    x

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  3. Shows how 'times have changed', I'm 24 and my mother was and still is a housewife. I will always be grateful for all the hard work she did and does for my family, it was just the best having her at home when I left for school and there when I came home. I dearly want to do the same for mine when I have them, but not sure, as you say, I will be able to afford it.

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  4. Jean Mary11:35 am BST

    Hi Sue. I discovered your blog only the other day and read all the comments about what a job is - very interesting! I do agree with you today - education is never wasted. I look after three grandsons (12, 9 & 4) quite a lot because my daughter is now a single parent. My husband and I try to give the boys a wider understanding of the world - we were both primary teachers and will hear the boys read or help with homework if asked but we'd rather lie in the garden looking at stars and satellites with them etc. I too worry about sending 50% to university - we need plumbers, joiners, electricians etc. Also people who work in the care sector don't seem to be very highly valued as they are usually paid only minimum wage. Ooh! I only meant to comment briefly. Love your food bits and your recipes - we usually eat home-made food and husband is busy with his veg garden as I write.

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  5. The crab apple blossom flowers look so soft like cotton puffs. Beautiful photo's. I used to make three dimensional cards and I made a card out of that picture.
    x Sandi

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  6. I can't think of a more important job than mothering.

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  7. Anonymous12:33 pm BST

    I have had all the following things said to me by people who are my friends (I am certain they didn't mean to be hurtful, but I don't think for a second they would have thought it acceptable to say any of these things about my job if I had paid work):
    "I wouldn't do your job, I'd be so fed up and bored and I'd feel like a mug doing everything that no-one else could be bothered to do"; "You really should try to get a decent job, I was just saying to my husband that you are such a wasted talent"; "You aren't paying for your children's education, we're paying for it because we are paying the taxes"; "Your parents were so disappointed at what you decided to do".
    It has been difficult to cope with this type of thing over the years because I don't have a hide like a rhino. Sometimes I can ignore it but to be honest I have let it get to me at times. We aren't excessively well off - we have managed because we have gone without a lot of material things. The last few years have been even tougher as both our sons are at uni; income from me would help here but I am finding it very hard to find paid work. I admit I would have more chance if I went back to teaching but I never felt right doing that - it was a fallback position originally resulting from a bad course choice at uni- I know I would be better suited elsewhere. From my experience though, potential employers seem to read my CV as oh, just a middle-aged housewife (with all the negative connotations and none of the positive), and then on top of that because of my academic record I'm overqualified for starting out positions too. Despite all of that I am glad I was there for the boys when they were growing up. I do wonder though, if I am completely honest, if I would have felt better about myself if I had chosen the right course at university and had a successful paid career that suited me. I do have the same abilities I had when I was younger and learned a lot from experience besides (I'm not completely menopausally forgetting everything yet!) but I wonder if it's only me who will ever realise that.
    Sorry for the downbeat tone - to redress the balance, the apple blossoms are beautiful!

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  8. Stunning photography Sue

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. What you are giving your children and your self is priceless! I don't have children and am home! We make do..for us it works! I love homekeeping and ( almost ) all that goes with it! To bad any of us have to defend our choices...I say let's all just be happy and do the best we can!!
    There is nothing so beautiful as a crabapple blossom! It is total perfection.....your pictures are just heaven. Have a lovely day!

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  11. Sorry I had to delete. I misspelt and couldn't figure out how to edit!!

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  12. Pati from London2:01 pm BST

    lovely crab apple blossom, one of my favourite.... they look like yummy marshmallows... Education for me is key and never ever wasted. Have a lovely sunny day, London is gorgeous today, Px

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  13. I believe that if you have children, you should be there for them, not leaving it for someone else to do. my daughter had our first grandchild last year and I'm so glad she has decided to stay at home...if she went back into nursing, she would be leaving the child at the crack of dawn and probably getting back to nursery after the baby went to bed..it's no way to raise a child...
    Our blossom is dying now giving way to the beautiful young leaves and tiny buds of things to come...
    Take care

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  14. beautiful photo's, i love blossom time
    j x

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  15. Lovely photos Sue and very well written blog yesterday! I am a stay at home Mum and have been bar a short interlude when I worked for a couple of years when Will went to a private school and the fees rocketed! Although they are all grown up I am still at home and waiting for grandchildren!

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  16. Oooo I love the Flower Fairies! I still have the copy that was given to me at seven (that makes it...er...43 years old!) xx

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  17. Anonymous7:19 pm BST

    i love eading your blog Sue, i think you work very hard and i am always inspired by you because i love the fact that you make loads of things and i always want to make them too, wish i had more time to do cooking and baking.

    devinder

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  18. Hi Sue, I love your post and enjoy it so much, very inspiring! I too am a 'stay at home mum', and would not change things for the world, I have always helped out with cooking, reading, sports days etc. at school and I have loved it , I think the children have loved me being there too, childhood goes so very quickly, my middle son is off to Central St. Martins in September, I think of myself as an educated person because I have never stopped learning, reading, soaking up life's experiences and hopefully passing them on to my children. As for being bored! I do not rate pushing paper around all day as particularly exciting or productive! best regards, Michelle

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  19. Aahhhh - for the love of blossom.....and fairies.

    I loved your post yesterday and I too get asked the same thing - almost in an accusing way by mothers that work or have to. I think when I am completely child free I will be even busier - I love my job, payment in reward I guess.

    take care

    Nina xxx

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  20. Sus, all I can say is your apple blossom photos are absolutely fantastic. You do wonders with your camera.

    Hugs from Oregon, USA -- Teresa :-)

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  21. Bugger - I just worte this great long comment (and very erudite it was too) and Blogger lost it. Curses! It basically said 'Yo' to stay at home mothers (and fathers). But much more long winded than that, obviously...

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  22. I don't think anyone has a right to judge another's lifestyle. My father cannot understand why we would choose careers that don't command massive salaries. He can't see that there might be other reasons than money behind the choice. Everyone is different, and what is important to one person is unfathomable to another. We have to stop assuming our answers are the right ones for everyone.

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  23. Your pictures are beautiful. A local Crab Apple tree has darker blossom than that, I must go get a shot or two of it.

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  24. Your educational skills are never wasted. You are passing those on to your children in many ways. The detrimental comments are often from those who are envious of your situation. Good on you girl, you hang in there.

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  25. It's refreshing to see this argument - I know exactly what you mean. I've never enjoyed the jobs I did, and much prefer to structure my time, cook, clean, grow things, etc. People say all those things - about wasted education (I agree with you - I don't feel it's a waste at all, I never saw it as a means to an end), boredom and so on. Sadly, I haven't managed to find a husband to support me financially, but I am so glad for anyone who does - you are enriching the world with what you do. Too many people can't see past money.

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