I lost my job and I need your advice PLEASE! - FamilyEducation
I lost my job and I need your advice PLEASE!
08/05/2009 at 13:13 PM

Hello Everyone,
I really need some help and advice. I just lost a job that I have had for many years due to the economic downturn that we are faced with. I am just devastated. This was a very high-paying and upper management position that you don't just stroll into off the street. My husband still has his job, thank god, but his income is no where near enough to keep our house afloat. I am going to get $275 a week from unemployment. That might pay for a few groceries and gas at best in our household at this time. I honestly don't know what to do. I have two girls, ages 13 and 15 who are the loves of my life. We are a close-knit family and the girls have pretty much had everything they needed and then some. Clothes, shoes, sports, ballet, etc. That is how well our household has been doing all these years until now. How do you tell children about a job loss that is so significant that it will change their world in a huge way? I am not sure how long it will take me to get another job like the one I've had. I am 100% certain I will not be able to recover my old salary or come close. This is going to mean some serious crackdown on expenses and I need to know if anyone has advice for me at this time. Do I say something to my kids or try to just do the best I can? Do I take all the activities and such away immediately because it makes sense to do so or what? I am so sad. I know my girls are compassionate and will understand that things might be rough now but my heart is literally breaking at the thought of how much they will have to give up because of me and the job loss. Please, any advice would be great right now. I just do not know where to start or what to do first. We have a house, bills, car payments, the works. I'm afraid we will lose much of it and also create havoc with saving for the girls college. Anything we have them participating in right now looks like it will have to be stopped. PLEASE HELP!!!

-A Very Sad and Unemployed Mother of Two

Hi, My heart goes out to you. But have faith that things will turn around. Some times the people you think that will or might not understand are the ones that will surprise you. You should surely talk to your kids and let them know about the situation. It is a tough decision to stop the activities, specially if they are doing fine. Right now the most important thing is you, your kids and your husband and the health of the family. Activities and other stuff can always be done later. Trust in your self and your kids, talk to them with all the love and gentleness they will understand. All the best!!! Keep your faith, storms never last longer..

This is a heartbreaking and very unfortunately too common situation. Do not be so hard on yourself! You state you feel you are raising compassionate girls. Be honest with them. Let them feel they are part of the solution. At 13 and 15, they are old enough to babysit or possibly do something else to earn some money they could use for lessons. My children did so at that age and were able to earn money to do things that meant something to them. They both appreciated what they were able to do and buy more because they earned the money themselves and have stated many times they feel they are better people because they did not have everything handed to them. I was a divorced parent, not by choice, my ex left me for a younger woman, taking his very large income and leaving me to struggle on my own for many years, and paying only minimal child support. My son at his high school and then his college (which he paid for himself with loans and grants) graduation get together said that there was not one material thing that would ever mean more to him than the relationship we have and what he learned from me about true values. Your girls can learn a lot about survival and perseverance from this situation. Give them the opportunity to rise to the occasion. They may be disappointed at first, but they will realize this is not your fault. Best of luck in this very trying situation. You will survive and become stronger.

I'm sure w/ your background in Child Psychology, and your experience w/ children at school, you have the resources and the strength to get your family through this tough time. As a parent, I know how it is to want to give your kids all that you can. However, this is the perfect time to teach your children that life is not all about material things. Everyone has their tough times. Keep your head held high and try to remain positive. Talk to your girls and tell them exactly what's going on. Explain to them that b/c of your situation, your family needs to make certain sacrifices, but that doesn't mean you love them any less. Take this time to spend w/ your children, and enjoy every moment. I'm sure they will value the extra time you have to share w/ them. As for your husband, you marry in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, right? If you have to, get another job (it doesn't necessarily need to be in your field). Put yourself out there and see what happens. You never know what the future may bring. If you have to sell your house to get a smaller house, do that too. My dad lost his job at the same time my mom was being treated for cancer. Before all this, my parents had bought a house in a really nice neighborhood w/ plans to expand it. Both my brother and I were in high school then. We too had to give up a lot at that time. As hard as it is to believe, things do work themselves out. Turn this situation into a learning experience for all of you. Many times such situations can bring people closer together and make them stronger. You gave really good advice to another poster in helping her husband communicate better w/ their children at the dinner table. You can do this too.

Well all you can do is have faith in god n maby it was for the best. You are goin to have to tell you grils someday so dont let it be too let.Your goin to have to ger back on you feet and go look for a job for your grils.....

*******i know it best******* i also lost my job and couldn't pay my rent and got put out and am living with my aunt. you need to listen to the signs and maybe it's god telling you a message that the job wasn't foor you.

Hi, Try to find light in all the circumstances. I know it is not easy at all, but tihnk of it this way that now since you're more available at home you can spend more time with the girls and help them and even try to creat activities with them. I understand how you feel because I am also unemployed (and not by choice). Good luck!

Abigail Towers I really hope that women finds a way to live the life she was living before. I am only nine years old but that is just breaking my heart to hear that she will have to pull her daughters out of stuff they love.I hope that she can still pay her bills,car payments, house mortgage.I have a couple little jokes that might cheer you up.Why did the bear not eat his supper? He was stuffed.Why does a train love to eat? it loves to choo-choo.

Thank you all for your great wishes and kind remarks. Thank you to the nine-year-old who also responded and gave me some jokes to laugh at. Your advice brought me luck! I am now employed again full-time and I also get to work at an office out of my own home. My girls are fine and I got to keep them in dance, volleyball, and soccer that they like to do. All of your well-wishes and positive energy made me realize that things do happen for a reason and that sometimes bad things are follwed by BETTER things that you really deserve. I know this now. Thank YOU!!

Thank you for the update. Very glad things worked out so well. You have taught your children a valuable lesson is seeing the silver lining in the dark clouds. Best wishes to you and your family.

Hello! Give it time, do not share your financial woes with your children. You can tell them you have to be conservative with spending and the like, but don't let them know just how freaked out you are. Tell them that no matter what you will be fine and you will be together and have the things that you NEED. NOW ... DO NOT WORRY ABOUT COLLEGE! The best students are the ones that pay their own way. No one ever required the parents to pay their children through college - they would survive doing it on their own. That is the least of your problems. Look at this as an opportunity. Whenever a door closes, one opens. You may find your dream job, scale down and spend even more time with your daughters when they need you most. Express your appeciativeness of all the extra time you will have with your family until you find another job or change career paths. Look at the bright side of things ...rather than the negative. If they have to cut down on extracirricular activities ... look for ways that they can earn extra money so they can still participiate. Seek help from the org they are involved with and ask if they can defer payment for the activities until you find another job or an alternate career. Everything will be fine. Sometimes less ...is more!

Everything will be fine! Times are rough now and everyone is going through some sort of turmoil but with faith and love/support from your family, you guys should be okay. There's always applying to another school district or a hospital. Don't give up!