Day 1. January 16th.
First of all…calm down. I know. I know you are scared. I know it’s an easy place to go…fear. But at this particular moment, fear is not your friend. Ok. So the news is this…Jeremy came home today. In the middle of the day. Knocked on the front door and came in with his business clothes on…he lost his job. He was laid off. His entire group was. They all were told early in the morning. But that’s not the end of the world…there are a great many things that are far worse. And being fearful of what could happen does not mean that it will happen. Jeremy asked me not to talk about it on the blog yet. His official last day is not for a few more weeks…but he’ll be home starting tomorrow. I feel like I’m being dishonest though. I can’t help but fight that feeling. I always share everything…the good bad and ugly and now I can’t share one of the scariest and biggest events of our year. But I respect him. And I respect his wishes. I know he’s more private than me. I know this is not just my secret to tell. I know that he takes his career very seriously. And I know that he doesn’t want to see some strangers online discussing his job situation. He was the top performer of his group…and now, he’s home. This is scary. I just wish I could talk to someone. vent. something.
Day 3. January 18th.
Jeremy spent the entire day applying to jobs. over 80 in his area. all morning and afternoon. he put Will down for his nap for me. And when I asked him how it was going, he rubbed his eyes and put his hands into his hair…its something I’ve never seen from him…embarrassed frustration. I’m hurting for him. I know his pride has been thrown to the wolves. I hate to see him like this. And I hate to be responsible for being a breadwinner while we wait for the right position to open up. I don’t deal well with that kinda weight on my shoulders. But right now I have to. I just need to suck it up. Suck it up and be thankful we have an income and savings to fall back on. Thankful for healthy kids. Thankful for a solid relationship with Jer. And thankful that I believe that God provides.
Day 8. January 23rd.
Over the course of the past week, Jeremy has had two more interviews, applied to a lot of jobs and helped me get stuff done around the house…not much…but enough to feel productive. Today we revisited our budget. It was a hard thing…taking control of that in a different way…because we have always had a “fun money” – for eating out and shopping and now we have to cut back…way back. I honestly don’t mind not having that because in all honesty, we can still pay the bills and put food on the table and that is what matters. Thank goodness for all of you…you are literally putting a roof over our heads and feeding my babies. And thank goodness for Jeremy taking over the blogs sponsor ‘stuff’…I suck at that stuff…and he does all the emails now and posts all the new sponsor ads. He made our blog a money maker….that’s the business professional in him.
Day 17. February 1st.
Jeremy told me in the car tonight that he didn’t get one of the jobs he interviewed for. It was a big shock. I figured that it would be a sure-fire win for Jer but he said that he was ‘overqualified’. What does that mean exactly? Because I don’t think it means what it says. I think it means “unloyal”. That they believe he will quit the second something better comes along. It’s just hard to swallow.
Day 20. February 4th.
Jer’s big interview was today. I asked him how it went. “Ok, I think”. That’s all I could get out of him. I think he thinks he won’t get it. His confidence is so low. I need to do better to encourage him…boost him up…soothe his insecurities….but I am so tired. so drained. I’m staying up so late and working so hard…still trying to keep the boys during the day and doing all my blog and writing at night. It’s exhausting. And I want to be a source of confidence for him but it’s hard to focus on him too. That makes me a horrible wife, doesn’t it?! I just don’t want to let go of our routine…our schedule…because I realize at some point that Jeremy will find another job…and when that happens, I hate to go through that transition all over again. It’s just too darn hard. Plus, Jeremy is spending that time job-searching. His new job is finding a job.
Day 21. February 5th.
Happy Birthday! It’s officially my big day. I turned the ole 3-2 today. It was such a different and weird birthday. I never felt like an adult on my birthdays till this one. There was no big to-do. And I honestly didn’t mind. I kinda loved it. And Jer was amazing. He remembered that I never redeemed a gift certificate for a back massage that I got a while back…and made the appointment and offered to babysit both boys in the car while I was in getting my back rubbed. He found me a heart shaped rock….the only thing I asked for as a birthday gift. He made the cutest birthday card with Will. It had a picture of Mater and a million crayoned hearts. I love him. I love him so freaking much that it makes me wanna cry.
Day 27. February 11th.
Today sucked. big time. Basically I could feel myself being an irrational nag. I basically have to wake up, nurse Weston, hand him over to Jer who then watches both boys while I sit on the computer and do some blog work…converting everything over to a new server had some major hiccups and I still need to do a lot of organizing. And I love blogging. I do. But I love my boys more and I just want to be crafty with them and let Will fingerpaint and do flips on the rug and cuddle Weston. I say one little thing to Jer and he gets so upset…and I know its my fault. I know I shouldn’t criticize…that he is doing the best he can do…but seriously….why does the tv need to be freaking on all the time and why do I say the words “fruit and veggies” at every single meal and I know the only thing Jer serves is yellow, white or meat flavored. It drives me literally up the wall. And I know that it’s not the right time to say something…that I’m making him feel incompetant at a very sensitive time but it is SO upsetting. I am such a jerk. And a horrible wife. I don’t know how to fix this. I just want to go into my closet and shut the door and cry. errgh.
Day 34. February 19th.
Yesterday we sat down and talked. It was so good. Over the past week or so I feel that we are really healing. For a while it seemed as if there was a separation between Jeremy and I…a bit of a wall…him feeling like a failure and me feeling a world of pressure. And there was no laughter. That is like a sword to my heart when we don’t laugh together. I guess all the stress was prohibiting us from letting loose a little. So it’s been good. I sat down with him and he helped me come up with a manageable calendar and schedule. I am beginning to realize that while he’s home, I need to just do whatever I need to do to keep this roof over our head. I’m gonna be a hustler. I have to be. And I am okay with that.
Day 47. March 1st.
We’ve realized that we are not utilizing this time like we should. We are sleeping in too late. Cuddling the boys. We are not getting into a good routine. Not having a good schedule. I think we’ve been so ‘us-deprived’ that now that we have all this time together we are just soaking it in instead of getting anything done. It’s been helpful to have Jer here…it’s good for the boys…but we keep on saying that we need to start working more. We talk big. But at the end of the day we still don’t tackle more. We also got some bad news today…our health insurance stops today. We thought it lasted one more month but apparently the dates were wrong. So add that to the expenses. I guess that means I’ll take on some more sponsored posts to help pay the bills. Just part of the grind now.
Last Wednesday, Jeremy got a job. A really well suited job for him. A job he is passionate about. He will still have a very long commute (tragedy of living in the country) and will probably travel with this new position. I’m not thrilled about doing the whole single parenting thing but I’m thankful that God provided. Jeremy wants to be the breadwinner right now and although I would suck it up and do it, I am glad that our survival doesn’t depend on this blog. I like that I can still be a stay-at-home mom first and a blogger second.
Jeremy actually applied for this new position before he was laid off from his old one. Since most of the jobs that Jeremy qualifies for are higher level positions, the interview process takes a long time. Lay offs could happen to anyone…and thankfully we had squirreled money away into a savings account for such a situation. We had a couple very interesting conversations about other ways to supplement our income…the topics involved a book deal (I always turn these offers down because I’ve never been interested in one…but hearing more info was definitely interesting…and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love to say that they were a published author?!), sponsored posts, monetizing the blog smarter, and learning how to spend money to make money. We did set up quite a few sponsored posts for the coming weeks because we didn’t know what the situation would be for our main income so I do want to warn you that they are coming. If you are anti-sponsored posts, feel free to skip them.
Basically we had two months together. I don’t take that lightly. It was the worst and the best time. Jeremy and I are normalish kinda people…we fight, we make up, we see our imperfections, we love our kids, we love our home, we get scared and we are probably the most average folks out there. Going through this taught us a lot….that there are TONS of people going through tough job situations right now…that there are TONS of people who are struggling financially and that it takes a huge toll on your relationship, your marriage and even knowing what your own role is in your own home. This could really happen to anyone. We also learned that having that emergency savings account was priceless. It was such a relief to know that we had some money to fall back on…thankfully we didn’t need to touch it thanks to my income and a severence package but just knowing that it was there helped with the stress levels. We also learned that we have big dreams…big ideas…and big responsibilities.
I am gonna take from this experience a number of things… first, I can be strong and I can be weak and it’s okay to be both. Secondly, I learned that I love my husband and if I needed to be the breadwinner for him to be home, I would do it in a heartbeat. I would hustle my little heart out. Right now that isn’t what Jer wants…so I’m gonna do my best for him at home. Maybe one day though we will be here together DIYing. And I also learned that I get a crapload of stuff done when I don’t have Jer to fall back on. He’s my ultimate distraction Last but not least, I learned over and over that God provides. He provided a better job for Jeremy than we could have wished for. He provided a lesson for us to have compassion and help those in need. He provided time for us all as a family. It wasn’t always perfect but having Jeremy here was a dream. God provided you…and I took it for granted that I have you all. I didn’t realize what good friends I have in you all…what wisdom you share with me…what prayers and encouragement you all give. Now that our big secret is out, I’m so happy to share a happy ending and I’m so glad that we can celebrate together.