I made the decision to keep my job and career a secret from my kids because I didn’t want them to feel ashamed or embarrassed of me. My youngest daughter was naturally curious about my job, so I avoided giving her evasive answers by simply stating that I had a job before changing the subject.
I would take a shower in a public restroom every day before I left for work in order to get clean and avoid raising suspicion with my daughters. They were kept in the dark about the true nature of my work so they could concentrate on their studies without being concerned about me.
Above all, I wanted them to respect themselves and have a good reputation with others rather than face criticism for being associated with my line of work, as I had for a large portion of my life.
I made the conscious decision to keep my job a secret rather than tell my kids and possibly bring them shame or disgrace. My youngest daughter was very curious about what I did on a daily basis, but whenever she asked, I would respond in general terms like “I work” and quickly change the subject.
I decided to take it upon myself to take a shower in a public bathroom before returning home each day; this way, I knew I would arrive home clean and without raising any suspicions in their minds.
The ability of them to focus on their studies without being concerned about me was my main goal. They were primarily concerned with preserving a positive public perception by preventing others from judging them based on my workplace, which has regrettably occurred for the majority of my life experience.
Because of the career, I chose to keep secret from them, kids need to be respected by everyone around them and never feel ashamed of who they are associated with.
When I saw others succeed in life more than I had, I was always overcome with guilt and embarrassment, which is why I made the commitment that any money I had would go toward my children’s education. I decided it would be better to spend the money on books to aid in their knowledge and comprehension rather than buying them new clothes. All I asked for in return was their utmost respect for me as a father.
The day before my daughter’s college application deadline, I was working as a cleaner but was out of money. Nobody asked me how I was doing or if there was anything they could do for me as tears rolled down my face at the thought of not being able to give her what she needed. The fact that our family was poor and nothing good or extraordinary could ever happen to us added fuel to all of these negative emotions.
Finding out that, despite all of my efforts and labor, I was unable to give her what she deserved was a crushing blow. Of course, when we got home and she inquired about the application money again, this made me feel even worse about my lack of success in life and left me gasping for air.
After the shift was over, an unexpected thing happened: my coworkers surrounded me and offered to pay me for the entire day. They insisted they wanted our children to have more opportunities than we did, even when I tried to reject their kind offer, leaving me speechless. At that point, I decided against going home after work to take a shower in a public place.
My oldest child, who has already received her diploma, won’t let her dad work again because of his advanced age. While two other daughters are paying off their college debt, the eldest daughter is working extremely hard. She drives me there every morning and provides food for us all throughout the day because I want to return and help in any way I can. It’s a lovely gesture from a family that is already outstanding!
They questioned her about her motivations for making this gift, and she modestly replied that she was appreciative that they had all skipped a meal to support her in pursuing her education. She spoke of her children with a glow of pride, realizing that she could never truly think of herself as a poor man because of them.
The fact that her children had made such significant sacrifices for her warmed her heart; they were her greatest accomplishment. She treasured them above all else because she was fully aware that they were the best investment anyone had ever made.