Little did my mum know that she had planted the seed to all of this over 30 years ago.

In later primary school, I was (eventually) allowed to walk home every day, and upon my return my bag would be violently and blindly thrown into my bedroom as my sole focus was to get to the kitchen for a snack.

My mum would be waiting either by the sink, at the stove, or on the phone, with outstretched arms for a big hug and a chat – that is, if she wasn’t talking to one of the relatives (about one of the other relatives).

She was able to chat on this day, and when I asked, “What did you do today mum?”, her response of, “I did the work that nobody sees” was one I had not heard before, and I was intrigued… nutella sandwich first.

Knowing the power of possession an empty stomach can have over the mind, she walked with me to the pantry and continued.

“Oh you know. I did some vacuuming. I had to clean out the bottom of the fridge. Wash some dishes. Clean out the pantry. I put some clothes in the wash, and now I’m making dinner.”

I looked around to note what else she may have done… and just like that, I knew exactly what she meant.


When I was younger, my mother taught me the work you do that ‘nobody sees’, is the work that ‘everybody sees’ when you don’t do it.