When life gives you lemons…you blog about what you’ve learned from it…
This is our little family….
I married my husband in 2001. Previous to marrying him I had worked in social work. He was finishing up school in Construction Management and Business. Soon after we were married, I became pregnant with our first child. I looked for work, but struggled finding a job. We had moved across the country to the east coast, and I was going to have our first baby. It didn’t make me a potential candidate for any job. I could sense the awkwardness in every interview that I went to in regards my pregnancy.
We decided that I’d be a stay-at-home parent, and my husband would provide our sole income.
I’d spent five years finishing up school, so initially the idea to not be in a career, was a struggle for me because I had worked so hard to gain my degree. I’ve realized over the years what a blessing it has been for me to be able to be home with my kids.
It hasn’t always been easy though.
My husband got a job working for a home builder, and worked for them till 2006. I remember the day he came home the very first time he was laid off. I was cleaning the stairs, and he walks in early.I joked with him,”So you’re home early! Did you get fired?”
His answer was, “We like to call it laid off.”
I was scared and surprised. I wasn’t sure if we had enough savings to pay the bills and make ends meet until he found a job. He was the only source of income for our family. We had two kids and a mortgage to pay for. We did what I call the “unemployed scramble” which is applying for any job available & reaching out to everyone and anyone that would listen.
Since that first time, we have been laid off 8x’s.
That’s NOT a typo folks. Construction *sigh* tends to eb and flow with the economy, and we got first row seats to the show. On the upside (and yes there is one) we have learned SO many lessons with being unemployed SO many times. It has been really hard on us financially.
We were so incredibly discouraged for many years…
With 3 kids, and jobless, some debt, my husband & I both went through depression, self doubt, self deprivation, uncertainty in our future, and we struggled to keep ourselves together. Not working when you want to be working is really SO very hard on the human spirit. It really just sucks.
After all these experiences we (both of us) have increased OUR skill- sets, and “evolved”. Learning new skills and being able adapt to new trends in the workforce is SO important! Being smart with the money you do have, learning lean practices for your home, and challenging your expenses is important! These principles apply to the “good times” & not just during tough times. That’s a huge lesson we have learned.
We’ve learned about gaining education, certifications, improving our finances by paying off debt, building up savings, creating a food storage, finding free resources, looking into side hustles, and not being complacent when times are good. Meanwhile, when things were stable and going strong, we had two more beautiful children. I could have gone back to social work the first few times we were laid off, however, it didn’t make sense financially for our family to work outside the home with young children.
To make ends meet I’ve taken in children for childcare, taught preschool in my home, blogging, writing for others, mystery shopping, ecommerce, and I’m not done exploring ways to make money online. It’s NOT easy to find flexible options, but they are out there. I have side hustles that I do NOW to PREPARE for the unexpected. We’re actively trying to get out of debt, and save for a rainy day. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the FIRE movement that is spreading thoughout the internet. It makes me realise that I could do more to be financially independent so that these blips in the road don’t cause us such trauma.
I WANT freedom and choices. I want to be proactive NOT reactive.
We survived our experience. We are learning from it, and writing about it here in my blog. So, that’s our story.
Wishing you ALL The Luck of a Magpie!