"Don't grudge the years you spend on child-bearing and child-rearing. Remember you are training future citizens, and it is the most important mission in the world." *
Now whilst you might question the rationale behind this gift - bequeathed by a good friend and very successful businesswoman in her own right who shares my sense of humour - it was appropriate in its timing.
Something about the phrase got me thinking. How many times are you caught unaware, or by surprise, or totally off guard, by an action or a discourse or a comment, that has you questioning the motives behind an individual?
For example: you bend over backwards to accommodate a request, keep tabs on how much can be done at any one time, make sure all parties are happy, and then...
And then your child tells you they wanted to go to So-and-So's party after all. Tsk.
Or you go beyond the call of duty and put together a package that is in line with policies, approved by the powers that be, and a progressive step forward, and then...
And then it is thrown back in your face because your child tells you they don't like pesto pasta in their lunch box and you should have known.
Sound familiar? Thought so.
Of course, there could be many analogies with work. You know what I mean.
The far left field attack that catches you unaware but gives you a true insight about mental age and ability.
The whiny lament about being picked on and poked fun of that is unfair, dammit.
The self-righteous opinion that leaves you stumped for an reply.
Yep. Home and work. It all blurs into one.
Ultimately the target is still the same.
* Don'ts for Wives by Blanche Ebbutt (1913)
Photo courtesy the superb Gary Larson