I chose to keep my job a secret from my children, fearing they might feel embarrassed or ashamed of me. My youngest daughter, naturally curious, often inquired about my work, but I provided vague responses, diverting the conversation to avoid revealing the truth.
To maintain the facade, I would shower in public facilities before heading home, ensuring I arrived clean and without arousing suspicion. My primary goal was to let my children focus on their studies without the burden of judgment associated with my line of work, a judgment I had endured throughout my life.
Haunted by guilt and embarrassment for not achieving more, I dedicated whatever money I had to my children’s education instead of personal luxuries. I opted for books over new clothes, seeking nothing but their respect in return.
As a cleaner, I faced financial hardship, unable to meet my daughter’s college application deadline. The weight of failure intensified when my colleagues surprised me by offering their day’s pay to support my children’s futures. Overwhelmed, I abandoned public showers and returned home in my work clothes.
Despite setbacks, one child has graduated, preventing me from returning to work due to age. Another daughter works diligently, while two others are repaying college fees. Despite their successes, I yearn to contribute, and my eldest daughter drives me to work daily, providing meals for the family—a touching gesture from an exceptional family.
When asked about her intentions, she humbly expressed gratitude for their sacrifices, acknowledging that her children were her greatest achievement. Proudly recognizing that she could never consider herself poor due to their existence, she cherished them as the best investment anyone could make.