The last month has been a stressful one, but never did I think that it would come to this level of stress! Being a working, single mother comes with it’s own set of challenges – being both mom and dad to the children, balancing work with family life, being the sole provider to cover the bills, etc… Over the years, I have had few complaints about it. I love my children and my career. I love being a mom and all of the challenges. A little over a week ago, I was faced with a challenge that I truly was not expecting – my position was terminated at work.
I know for anyone that loses their job, it adds a level of stress to their life, but even more so if you are the sole provider for your household. There are so many emotions that rise up that you have to deal with – letting your family down, how to pay the bills, what fall-back plan is there, how do you keep your children from worrying, what skills make you marketable… I allowed myself a few days to just feel all of the emotions before pulling myself together and focusing on what needs to be done.
One thing I am grateful for is the great values that I have instilled in my children over all of these years. Two of the kids at home work jobs in the food industry. Immediately, they were helping to determine how and what they could contribute to keep things going. They bought groceries and stepped up to help keep things running in the house while I fell apart. They have volunteered their income to pay the bills while things fall into place. Part of me is sad to have to accept help from my children – a parent should be taking care of them – not the other way around. Part of me is proud to have children that pull together in a tough time and stand up to fight beside me to make it through. I couldn’t ask for better kids.
Last week, I aggressively applied for as many positions as I could find. By this weekend, I settled in my mind that, while I will continue to apply for positions, I should also take this time to brush up on some skills, do things around the house I have been putting off and spend time with my kids – maybe even make a few new recipes I have been wanting to try.
I don’t know what the next month will bring. I pray that it is a new job with a good company. But, in the meantime, I am also using the time to re-evaluate what I want my career to be. I loved my job and didn’t question what I was doing. Now, I have the chance to do and be anything that I want to be. It’s almost freeing to get a chance to start again! Sure, the money portion has me stressed beyond belief, but I have faith that it will all work out. It is in times like these that I can teach my children valuable lessons. Adversity will present itself in everyone’s lives – even at times you least it expect it. It is what you do with it that makes the difference in who you are. My children – they have shown me that I have taught them that they can get through any situation and to lean on family in those times. Myself – I am teaching them to accept what is presented to you, take it in, then don’t dwell on it. Pick yourself up. Brush yourself off. And move forward onto bigger and better things.
So, what advice do you have for times like these?