A Valuable Lesson I Learned From Working For My Mom

Almost 7 months ago, I started working for my mom again for our family business. Having my mom as my first boss has been one of the most rewarding experiences so far; I’ve learned so much. Technically, I’ve been working for her since I was 15, but these past 7 months I’ve really been behind the scenes. Before this chunk of time, I was working at the farmers market helping sell our Caribbean food plates and our baked goods. Now, I’m in the kitchen helping produce food every week. 

Last Friday, I had an essay to complete. It was due at 11:59 pm, so I asked my mom if I could have some time to complete it. Once I was granted this time, I went straight to work. I busily worked as I heard the chatter and the cooking right next to me. As the hours went on and I was still working, my own patience was wearing thin. I wanted to be finished with this essay, and I began to worry as the deadline approached. However, what worried me even more was the fact that I was putting everyone behind schedule. We had a lot of work to do. My temporary absence left my mom, sister and my dad to pick up my slack. Luckily, two of my aunts were there that night to help, but I couldn’t shake the feeling. 

Once I finished the essay, my aunts had already headed home and we were now cleaning up to head home. I was relieved to be done but had to mentally prepare myself for what would happen next. While I was putting away dishes, my mom and sister expressed their disappointment. This wasn’t the first time I had pulled something like this, and I had plenty of time on my days off to complete my work before coming to the kitchen. The lecture was well deserved, and I knew I had to do better.

“You need to be more diligent,” my mom said. “You can’t keep doing this.”

Diligence. I hear this kind of rhetoric a lot in the kitchen—words such as persistence, purpose, determination and punctuality come up frequently. Diligence really stuck out to me. To my mom, diligence means to work ahead and stay ahead. Working smarter now and not harder later. Once you see yourself working steadily, don’t sit back and relax just yet. It’s better to stay ahead so you can earn that vacation and that time off. Self care is always going to be necessary. However, I believe self care and vacation are two different things. You shouldn’t neglect your necessities, but you also should reconsider kicking back every time you do well. 

I see my mom, my sister and my dad work hard every day. They’re diligent, and that’s one of the many things I admire about them. Now I know that if I want to do better, I have to work ahead and stay ahead just like them. Diligence is something I can apply to everything I do, and it’s necessary if I want to succeed.