There are times when I really wish time would stand still and I could open the big bag of Answers and pull out the one I am looking for. If I had one of those cool Magic 8 Balls I could shake it up and get what I need. In the past 7 years through multiple moves, one career change and three subsequent job changes within the same company, I’m ready for some stability in life.
The problem is that I’m not the person with the bill-paying job. While my husband certainly supports our family well with his work the past four years have been especially unstable through no fault of his own. The company has changed and reduced again and again. As in you could have a job one minute and not have one the next. I’m sure there is a lot of that in this economy and we’ve been very lucky (thus far) to have avoided most of the worst of it. He does still have a job.
Come December though, unless he finds another one, that’s it. Unemployment. Of course they call it downsizing and redundancy and end of contract but call it what it is. Unemployment. Sure, it’s unemployment with a nice package if we have even a shred of luck left but between a job and no job, I have to state my preference for having a job. Would I go out and work? Yes. Can I make as much money as he can and support our family? Not even close. Until that multi-million dollar book deal rolls around there’s not much I can do. Even basic admin work would be challenging – I haven’t worked in seven years and believe me a lot has changed.
He’s looking, his contacts are looking and offering suggestions but the knowledge that in a few short months this could be it just freaks me out. I know he will find a job. The people he knows are in high places and know a lot of other people in high comfy places with lots of help on offer.
He will find another job. Right?
The scary part for me comes in the waiting. The kind of scary that keeps you up nights and for the first time ever I’m clipping coupons ‘just in case’. I’m not looking for sympathy (but if you have chocolate let me know) but I am curious just how widespread this reality is for others. I’ve heard this is something people everywhere are facing. It puts stress on any relationship no matter how stable.
Are you dealing with (or have you dealt with) an issue like this in your own relationship? Which role is scarier to you – being the sole breadwinner or being the one serving the bread?