As I was changing my son’s diaper, my husband walked in and hugged me, saying, “I will be home tomorrow” (when a big snow storm was coming through). I asked, “Will you work from home?” As he pulled me closer, he said, “Well, sort of…I got laid off today.” The joy of knowing he would be safely at home with me during the snow storm added joy to the whole situation and even though losing a job is not what was planned, I felt peace. From that 8th day of February, 2018 until he started his new job on Tuesday, April 17th, I learned more how to support a spouse during job loss, job hunt, and relocating for a new job. Both of us had lost jobs before, but it was a growing experience to go through job loss together. I was controlling and fearful at times, but overall it was a helpful experience.
What were some of the things I did to support him and that you can do to support a spouse that is unemployed?
~Love him no matter what.
~Encourage him to apply to any jobs that looked like a good fit for him.
~Pray for him.
~Cook meals for him. We still took time for romance and cheap dates (to Chikfila and Panera bread for bagels)
~Enjoy having him at home. Having him around more was an adjustment, but I’m learning to let him do his tasks at his own pace. I had wanted him to have more time off after our son was born, but this worked out even better because Joel was way more alert and interactive at three months when his Dad was home for two months during the job transition.
~Enjoy the unique time this was in our life, even though it is stressful to have your routine and income changed.
~Tell your spouse what you appreciate about him or her; tell them that they will get a job—an even better job than before!
~Dream with your spouse! We drove up to Minnesota a couple weeks after he was laid off to be with Stephen’s uncle and family; while we drove we read from the book Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age, It’s a Financial Number by Chris Hogan and worked on dreaming where we want to end up. Stephen said, “I would like to be closer to my Grandma’s cottage on the lake, be able to hunt, water ski, and camp more…” We started dreaming and little did we know that a month and a half later, we would be moving up to Minnesota for a job and that those parts of our dream would already be fulfilled!
~Dream big and see what happens. Stephen received many calls for interviews, but the fastest job offer was for a job in Minnesota, that he accepted. He only was out of work for about 5 weeks before he accepted the new job (and then it took a month for us to prep and get our house ready to sell)! I love how Dave Ramsey says that, “The only job security you really have is how quickly you can get rehired after a job ends.”
~Trust God to provide for you. My husband does a great job providing for us, but I am growing in my ability to remember that God is our provider. He does very well at providing, it just might be different than expected.
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