Strangely enough work became something utmost attractive for our social status. If we would be able to tell this to the ancient Greeks or not so long ago to a Russian or English aristocrat of the 19th century, they would think that we are crazy.
Working we feel superior. Those felt superior not working.
They did not want to work – even if we would have paid them. Instead they were involved in more important things in life. The Russian aristocrat enjoyed his leisure time while administrating his wealth and keeping an influence in political matters and military interests, the Greek citizen was busy negotiating the matters of the polis.
When we refer so blindly euphemistic to every task as work, we forget that nowadays everything that is paid is called work – the janitor as much as the doctor work. Among the different fields of work we find all kinds of tasks that the ancient Greeks would have never called work, but politics. On the other hand we find many tasks that the ancient Greeks would have consigned to slaves, but we expect that someone who works enjoys his or her work, that someone who cleans the streets enjoys his work as much as someone who consults the president.


When I go to bed tired and frustrated after a 100% mum’s day I wonder what I did all day that I feel so exhausted, but don’t find a satisfying answer. I ask myself whether I am brainwashed by capitalism’s ideology so that I am unable to enjoy unproductive work. Hold on calling a mum’s work unproductive is of course highly questionable: It is splitting productive work from love work as if the latter was no real work. What a commodity oriented understanding of productive work underlies this separation from love work! Giving love should be more productive than any product can be without becoming a commodity!
Not enough, the problematic of my frustration takes another twist: Not only am I supposed to not feel frustrated even though I cannot sell my labour power as a mother. I should even feel more satisfied than someone who holds a regular employment. Giving love is a sacred activity.
But the feeling of frustration remains even though I cannot say that I do no receive love from my children. Would it be different had I been paid for the work? I don’t know I would not feel entitled to take such money as I do this work because of love. A vicious circle opens up that only confirms our current labour division. And I am an agent of it … whether I complain about it or not.