During President Obama’s speech last week, when he said “millions of Americans are out of work and have been out of work for quite some time” my eyes swelled with tears. Because we are one of the millions. Three weeks ago my husband was laid off.
Before that we had done everything right. He worked at a well paying job and I worked part-time so I could be home when my son got home from school. (This was a choice that was right for our family, and in no way insults families with two parents working full time.) We saved. We had no debt except for our mortgage and a recent car purchase when a nine-year-old paid-off car died. My husband’s car is paid off. Two years ago sold our townhouse, which we had made money on, and bought a single family home. We were smart, we invested, we didn’t spend more money than we had. We never bought things we couldn’t afford. Ever.
Now I’m really, really scared. I feel like my life is a ticking clock. Yes my husband got severance, but it is limited and will be going away in a few months. What about health insurance? Should I go back to work full-time? It is not an option at my job so now we are both looking. And if he gets a full-time job right away and I have committed to a full-time job than everything has also changed for our son.
He is networking. He is treating looking for a job like it is his job, which it is. I am networking. One of the first things I did when he got laid off is send an email to the incredible group of woman who write for this site, and they have been so amazingly supportive by sending his resume to friends and family and holding my hand and keeping my sane. And sending me mojito recipes.
But all I can think about is the stories I read in the paper. Of the people who have been unemployed for a year or more. And I keep asking myself, why us?
Jodi blogs at Jodifur about life, motherhood, working, and shoes. Mostly shoes.