This Stalemate

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I haven’t been in a good place lately, emotionally. I have been withdrawn, stressed, unusually quiet, depressed and anxious — more so than usual.

I’ve been feeling more days of despair than I care to admit. At times, things feel so hopeless and I’m constantly at a loss. When things start to perk up, I get false hope that I can breathe easy. Then life will lean over and kick my feet out from under me and I’ll tumble back, back into the despair. Back into the hopelessness. Back into the stuck. Back into the stalemate.

M still hasn’t had any luck in the great job hunt. He’s no longer being picky, he’s desperately seeking any kind of full-time, stable employment.

It’s hard on him, and I know he feels discouraged and depressed. He was top of his welding class and thought, as he accepted his diploma, that surely his welding career was in the bag. But there are more welders than there are jobs, and the opportunities are far and few in between. He’s accepted this, and although he’s still applying everywhere for a welding job, he’s also applying elsewhere, for any trade.

I’m doing all I can do, which is trying to be supportive and trying to manage the household while I try to keep myself together. Because of how I’ve been feeling, I haven’t had a whole lot of patience for anything, which means my mom guilt is kicking in hard core. I feel guilty for not giving my boys a fantastic summer. We haven’t yet gone camping, or gone to the zoo. I feel so guilty, an crummy when I look around me and see everyone having super fun adventures while we…don’t. Staying local, going for walks, playing outside and at the splash pad is fun for the boys, and it eases my guilt a little…but then I think about all the things I wanted to do with them and haven’t yet, and those despairing mom guilt feelings return tenfold.

This stalemate we are in is getting old, quick. For the both of us. I truly hope M has success in job hunting soon. He hopes so too. His confidence and self-worth has taken a major hit. I try to make things better, but he knows I don’t fully understand why a full-time job is so hard for him to get his hands on. I often catch myself saying “well if you looked harder…” or “well if you did this, that, or the other…” and “once you get a full time job, things will be better for us”, none of which are helpful in the least. I know he’s trying his hardest. I see it, I help him compose cover letters and the like. It just hasn’t happened for whatever reason*.

I feel guilty for the added pressures I put on him. All my life my dad’s worked and all the men in my family have worked. I’ve been privileged before this, I haven’t seen struggle. I’m sure my parents struggled, but my dad was always working, and, as a child I didn’t see that struggle. Now we face nothing but struggle. I can’t blame M, nor would I want too blame him. It’s the lack of job, which he is trying to fix, it’s just our crappy hand of cards right now. Surely something will turn up, soon.

Hearing from well meaning people (and not so well meaning, but incredibly rude anonymous people who just aim to hurt) that I should be tired of M’s job troubles, that he’s just being lazy, is heartbreaking. We said in sickness and in health, and I love him. He’s a wonderful father and husband and he is trying. He works odd jobs whenever the opportunity arises, he’s just had no luck finding a full time stable job and that’s not for lack of trying, so why should I give up on him? He isn’t being lazy. He’s being unlucky. He’s supportive in every way he can be, and he’s trying his hardest to get that full time provider job.

You don’t just stick around for good, you stick around for the bad and the messes and the challenges. If your advice to someone who is struggling financially is to leave their spouse who is trying just as hard as they are, mayhaps you should rethink your advice giving.

For now, I’m just keeping my head above the waves and treading water as best as I can. I’m focusing all my efforts in helping M find and secure a full-time job, and trying my best to be supportive along the way.

*And before a random person declares its his tattoos, it’s not. You kind of have to get an interview in order for something of your physical appearance to cost you the job, and he’s applying at trades. He’s had so many jobs in a variety of fields before, even with his tattoos. Likely, the reasons are there aren’t enough jobs for all the people applying and there are people with more experience. Hopefully they’ll be hired soon so that M will become the job prospect with the most experience. 😉

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  1. I totally feel what you’re going through! I feel like that too. I watched my parents both (mom and dad) work full time jobs as a kid and I never fully realized that they were struggling. Also, it’s fucked up for strangers to say that M is lazy. He’s looking for a job in a competitive field! Would you say an out of work lawyer was lazy? Because I know a lot of those! People are ridiculous.

    It’s natural to feel down during this time because things are not easy. But you are an amazing mom! And your boys know that. Even if you’re just chilling at home playing with blocks.

    You are so strong for admitting that this time is tough. A lot of people wouldn’t have the emotional resources or insight to be where you are. You will get through this.

    P.S. M’s tattoos rock 🙂

    Reply

    1. Thanks so much for this Sarah. I struggle confessing and writing about this, well, struggle, because usually someone plays the coulda shoulda woulda game. Could have done this, should have done that.

      I feel weak when I write about our struggles, but being honest about things in your life that aren’t perfect requires strength.

      Reply


  2. After my maternity leave, my hubs lost his job. Literally we were looking forward to sorting out life on 2 incomes again and 3 weeks before I went back, he lost his job. And for a YEAR we struggled for him to find one. An entire year. Meaning 2 years living off 1 income in one of the most expensive places around. We had to sell our house. It’s, soul sucking.

    It’s a viscous circle. He needs to work so you guys can get back on track but he’s having a hard time finding something so you get farther off track then the pressure mounts so the need to find something is even more pressing but that doesn’t change the job outlook and then he gets down and feels less than a man and then you resent not him but the situation and then he feels like he’s not doing enough and around and around you go.

    The job market sucks, and you guys are in a smaller area, right? It’s hard. It’s really hard. Something will come up but, it’s hard. It puts you into a bad place emotionally and financially, and it’s really hard to see the other side of that. You just have to hang in there, as much as you can.

    Reply

    1. Thanks hun, you’re right. We’ve gotta hang in there and we will. It is a smaller area, which is a blessing and a curse. Smaller area = less jobs but its still pretty pricey. Not as bad as Vancouver mind you.

      I hope you guys are doing well! Xoxo

      Reply

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