Unemployment, New Feelings Defined

by Heligirl on January 12, 2011

in Beyond Mommyhood

I have to be honest here. I’m not getting into this unemployment thing. Not that much. So far I’ve enjoyed a couple of Mondays when I have only one child for two hours. That seems to go really well because my workload is much less and I can focus on one person’s needs.

Then Sweetness comes home.

I also do well on Thursdays when I can have a playdate and have other moms around to chat with as well as help herd the little darlings. Last Thursday we went to the aquarium. This Thursday will be the Museum of Flight.

Fridays the kids are in daycare for a day of socialization and group activities so Mommy can get work done/have a naked dance party/wallow in self pity/stare into the abyss as she slips slowly into insanity/have lunch with friends.

Yet I have this thing hanging over my head that I can’t shake. This cloud of self doubt, mild depression, desperation for distraction from my feelings of failure, and outright lack of patience. I’m trying to balance spending quality time with my kids, who are only young for such a short time, with attempts to find employment (required to keep the unemployment checks coming and may very well uncover something I’ll love doing) and scrounge up freelance work to get some income in the meantime.

It finally hit me Saturday when I was having a particularly low day that lead to me curled up in a ball on my bed crying like a wild banshee. Do wild banshees cry? Nevermind.

You’d think I would feel rather relaxed at the end of my Friday, given I have time to myself. Well, not so. I spent the day looking for work. Each online application took an hour to complete properly, and the search was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I was fully depressed and drained by the time Hubby got off work. Saturday I woke in a cloud of depression, questioning everything.

Why can’t I appreciate the time with the kids? Why am I feeling like such a failure? Why do I cry as I apply for other jobs? Why can’t I get into my new groove? Why do I feel I am suffering through my co-op preschool time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so much? Why do I feel that if I don’t find work I’ll lose all I worked for in my career? Why do I have this overwhelming urge to run off with a cabana boy of my choosing (regardless of whether he’d go with me or not)?

The reason came to me as I tried to describe it to a girlfriend on the phone.

I feel like I’m being forced to marry within weeks of my spouse dying. That’s what it feels like.

Think about it.

I had my dream job. I loved my company, my coworkers, the people I worked with in the community, and the whole industry. I loved it all.

Applying for work with other companies is depressing the hell out of me. They can’t hold a candle to what I had. They’re not my company. I’m reading all the hard-ass language in job listings meant to weed out people not qualified and I’m feeling the company is just mean and unappreciative of good talent. I’m turned off.

But I’m required to make an effort if I want my unemployment checks. Moreover, I’m trying because I just might find something that I’ll like. I’ll never know unless I try, right?

It’s only the second week. Hell, as I write this, it’s only the second day of the second week and I broke down and hired my nanny for the day to watch the kids this afternoon so I could get some research done. This being research, by the way.

I really hope some kind of routine falls into place and I begin to find comfort and satisfaction with my life again soon. This up and down is driving me mad. My obsessive/compulsive side is having an absolute heyday with my heart and emotions.

I need focus, control.

I have no control over anything and I need to find some fast or I risk losing something very important to me, one way or the other.

In other news, unemployment has been rather successful in reducing weight, if I had weight to lose. I was about 117 when I got the news. Weighed in at 109 today. Need to get a belt to make my jeans fit.

Speaking of which, it’s time to let the nanny go home and start making dinner. Spaghetti is sounding good. Body wants carbs. Sun is setting and heart is yearning again, as it has this time every evening for more than a month now.

I need a vacation”¦


Erin January 12, 2011 at 6:52 am

Even though I wanted to stay home, I spent the first few months of my daughter’s life feeling out of control and out of sorts. It was a whole new environment that I had no experience in and some days I wasn’t sure I was ready to get that experience. But after some difficult times, I eventually did decide what I wanted for myself and my daughter, and made a schedule to accomplish it. While I don’t always FOLLOW that schedule, I’m very glad that it’s available for me on a day where I might be feeling a little lost.

It will even out and get better. But first decide what you want for YOU, then what you want for your kids and recognize that it may not happen today or tomorrow, but if it’s what you REALLY want, it WILL happen for you.

Good luck.
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Twitter: Heligirl
January 12, 2011 at 7:48 am

Erin, thank you so very much for this wonderful, heartfelt advice. You’re so right and I’m trying hard to take it one day at a time with the knowledge that we’ll discover a routine that works for us and one day things will feel natural, comfortable. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the excellent, caring insight. You really made my day. (((Hugs))) 🙂

SharleneT January 12, 2011 at 7:58 am

I so understand the correlation to saying goodbye to a loved one. That is what happens when you really love a job and what you’re doing. And, sometimes, begins we work (in addition to the work at home), we tend to value ourselves based on ability to bring money home, as well. When that stream stops, we start feeling inadequate. We shouldn’t — BUT, we do! I did notice that my husband spoke to me differently when I was working than he did when I would be between jobs. That, in itself, was an interesting study.

I think you have to value yourself more, just for yourself. Another job will come along — (don’t forget the network of people you met in the last job… they’re a great resource) Frankly, I think you’re doing a great job with scheduling a variety of things and people in your week. Kudos. This is also a great time for rearranging wardrobe, closets, etc. That time will be gone, too soon. And, of course, come visit when you can.

Just posted on my other blog, Rockin’ Chair Reflections, Are Bullies Any Different From Gossips? http://bit.ly/hWLEiN
SharleneT recently posted: Inspiration – Moving to a Dedicated Solar Cooking Domain

Melissa {adventuroo} January 12, 2011 at 7:58 am

Oh girl. I’d give you a hug if you were closer! I have much of the same feelings as you. I’m trying to give a go at freelance as well but I’m having a hard time FINDING time to do what I need to make that happen. Luckily I have a few prospects though. I really don’t want to work full time and there aren’t many options for part-time marketers, are there?

Hang in there– it’ll get easier for both of us I’m sure!
Melissa {adventuroo} recently posted: Jump Off the Bandwagon and onto the Intention Train

Making It Work Mom January 12, 2011 at 11:57 am

Oh that is hard. I think even harder because you are SUPPOSED to be so happy about staying home, right??
I agree with some of the others, you will find your groove and get into a routine that works for you and your children. That will give you some purpose and make you feel better.
And looking for a full time job is a full time job so don’t beat yourself up about having the nanny some times.
It may take your awhile, but eventually you will find a perfect job both for you professinally and personally. I know it.
Making It Work Mom recently posted: Relaxation 101

Kris January 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Ah, the constant struggle for that ever out-of-grasp balance. That struggle won’t change whether you work outside the home or not. You simply do the best you can – constantly adjust priorities, let things slide, get creative. Hang in there – this new “normal” will take a little getting used to..and when you do it will change all over again! 🙂
Kris recently posted: weekend fun jan 13-17

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