Life as an unemployed mom has been testing me lately. At first, I was grateful to get some extra time with the kids, to be able to take a breather during the day, exercise when I wanted, do special projects… But now I’m going on 7 weeks, and the novelty of it all has worn off. I really thought I would have had a job by now. I reveled in the time I had with the kids because it was supposed to be fleeting and short-lived. Now, due to our budget concerns, I’m getting a lot more time with them. We’ve taken Mason out of aftercare, and we’re about to cut Cooper’s time at his school to only 2 days a week. Additionally there are many other cuts we’ve made in our lives, and it’s all been hitting me pretty hard.
But during a conversation with a friend yesterday, I was reminded that I shouldn’t be complaining. There are a lot of people far worse off than me. We still have a roof over our heads (and it’s a pretty slate roof at that!); we’re not on a Ramen noodle diet (although I have added soup to the menu more recently); I have a supportive husband who is not forcing me to get any side job I can just to bring in some extra money; and I have an amazing support network of friends and family who are here to help whenever we need them. It was a good reminder. I needed it. I needed to get a slap back to reality. I may not have a job, and we have had to make some changes because of that, but what I do have is a lot of things that money doesn’t buy. Having more time with my kids should be a blessing, not a curse. Life without cable will mean more conversations with my husband and more time to read and do fun things. Washing our own cars this past weekend was a fun activity that got the kids involved and outside on a beautiful day and taught them (and me) about the power of feeling proud of the work you’ve done. These are just some of the little things that are good nuggets of what life is all about and what I should be focusing on. It’s about everything I have, rather than everything I’ve lost.
I’ll have to keep reading this post as a reminder to myself over the next several weeks when I’m ready to pull my hair out in frustration.