Coping with Unemployment & The threat of Loss - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 01-06-2012, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to start a support thread for other familes dealing with the stresses of one or both providers being unemployed..and who feel, like me, that they are at risk for losing everything. Hopefully this is the right place for this thread.

 

I am a stay at home mother and wife. DH had a very good job that paid 14.91$ an hour. It was about an hour away and was physically hard for DH- but he worked there for 4 years and was employee of the month twice. We lived comfortably on that income and did quite well. Until may of last year- 4 days after DHs birthday, he was fired for 'not meeting production'...he was fired by ONE point. He was an excellent worker and didnt deserve that. He wasnt the only one to get fired around this time. To be honest, i dont think that had a problem with his 'production'- but rather they needed to get rid of a few, and that was their excuse.

 

We have been drawing unemployment since then. 330$ a week. We pay a little over 400$ for the place that we're renting..which is hardly worth the price. We live in a small 3 BR 2 BTH double wide. Half of our electrial outlets dont work..the place is pourly put together..which make our electric bill higher because either the heat or ac is on ALOT. Our bathtub and bathroom wall seems to be rotting out. The place was INFESTED with roaches when we moved in. The AC went out 4 times during the summer after DH lost his job and we have numerous other issues with this place. Atleast we have a large back yard.

 

Our rent is always due on the first of every month. We can never pay it all at once because we dont have enough money to do so. Luckily, our landlord was friends with my grandparents and cut us some slack. We pay 200$ one week and 200$ the next.

 

Our electric bill is about 200$ a month, car issurance is a little over 100$, phone/internet is about 83$ a month and water bill is 30$. We are normally behind..on everything. Then what we have left goes to gas and whatever else we may need. Luckily, we have food stamps- which gives us 316$ a month for food- but it doesnt cover non food items, so we have to make sure we have enough for that.

 

DH has been looking for work NONSTOP since he lost his job. We are now on his unemployment extension- we have 10 weeks left. After that, nothing is guaranteed. Needless to say, DH hasnt found a job. Finally, i think he just gave up on the idea. Unemployment rates are very high where i live. There are NO jobs. After giving up on the idea of finding a job, he decided to go back to school. Which is great..but i wish he would worry about finding a job first.

 

I try to do what i can to help with income. I do tarot readings and make arts and such and sale on ebay as well as selling any clothing that we cannot get further use out of. It helps a bit, but hardly enough to notice.

 

Now, while DH does his homework and talks joyfully about his day...I cry in the bathroom for fear that we will lose our home. I know it isnt much- but it is ours ( well, it would be almost ours if we where renting to own, which we're not). I feel very overwhelmed and very scared..DH doesnt help much in the comfort department.

 

I feel like our time is running out before we lose our home. I try my very very best to stay positive-but its very hard when everything seems to be going wrong.

 

Anyone else out there in a similar position or with feelings like this?


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#2 of 18 Old 01-08-2012, 11:49 AM
 
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I'm sorry you're struggling right now, mama. Would it be possible for you to get a full-time job to help with bills until your DH finishes school? If he's home doing homework, he can watch the kiddos too. =)

 

Have you looked into any rent/utility assistance programs in your area? Lots of utility companies offer something for families based on income.

 

Make sure he puts in a request for another extension. They are granted more often than you might fear. And have him ask about tuition assistance, also... a "displaced worker" who can't find work in his field can often be compensated for learning a new trade/field, as your DH is doing. =)

 

One day at a time!


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#3 of 18 Old 01-08-2012, 12:17 PM
 
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We are in a very similar situation, Dh got laid off December 2010, I went back to work while he stayed home with DD and waited to be called back, I got pregnant in January. In may we found out they weren't calling anyone back so he looked and looked for a decent job. I had DS in October and dh decided to go back to school starting in a couple weeks. He is getting unemployment for now but I have no idea what we will do when it ends. I am selling thirty one products now in hopes that I can supplement our income!

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#4 of 18 Old 01-08-2012, 07:44 PM
 
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I was not the primary breadwinner in our household, but it still sucked when I lost my job ten days before Christmas.  I was the whistleblower on a corporate bullying situation and *poof*  I was gone like a fart in the wind.

 

Navigating the Florida unemployment website has been a nightmare.  My husband has been supportive, not just financially, but emotionally, because this whole mess makes me feel like a complete loser.

 

Last week, DH's car takes a dump, so now he's driving mine, which I'm not able to pay for now anyway.  I dont know what's going to happen.


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#5 of 18 Old 01-08-2012, 08:01 PM
 
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WOW, you guys I'm sorry.  I'm not in your position now but I was for three years.  It was the worst nightmare of my life.  I hope with every being of myself that it works out in a positive way for all of you. 

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#6 of 18 Old 01-09-2012, 12:21 AM
 
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We were there this summer, and my house was empty because we were actually packing up and giving stuff away to move home with my parents when Dh's old employer rehired him on, well over the last two months Dh's hours have been getting fewer and fewer and fewer.  He sells baseball cards on the side which is what has been getting us by, and he just found a 10 hour a week second job. Unemployment has been horrendous to navigate, so we aren't getting that.  This week he finally got some hours, and I don't think he'll be officially let go again, but with this job we never really know. I've been the main income earner before while DH was in school, but right now he has more earning power.

 

Having been in a place where I KNEW we were going to lose everything and coming to peace with that, and having a plan, now I can focus on getting us out of this financially instead of worrying about what might happen.  If the worst happens, it happens and all you can really do is face it and move on, ya know?


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#7 of 18 Old 01-10-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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Well, my husband had been a journeyman meat cutter for a couple of years here.  In Sept, he finally got hired on at an environmental contractor to do field work on remediation projects at the National Lab here.  He was so excited - he's been trying to get into the industry since we moved here 3 years ago.  He spent 2.5 weeks training, finished his training and was all set to work when the government changed funding priorities and all work on environmental projects has stopped.  He was on LWOP for 2 weeks, and then was laid off.  He can't file for unemployment because he wasn't at that job long enough and the store that he was working at before is now cutting hours and doesn't have any work for him.  He has applied for everything available and is just waiting, waiting, waiting. 

 

Fortunately, I landed a very good FT job with the Lab right when this happened and was able to add him to my benefits.  However, I'm working a part time job (about 20 hours a week) on top of that and teaching dance classes twice a week to make ends meet.  I love the PT work, but now that it's something I HAVE to do instead of something I WANT to do, I'm starting to feel frazzled and like all I do is work and sleep.  Mostly, I just feel bad for my DH because he was finally in a good spot and then the rug was taken out from under him.  It will be 2+ years before the money comes back to fund those projects, and even if it does there's no guarantee that he'll get his job back...


In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha

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#8 of 18 Old 01-11-2012, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you to everyone for the support and for sharing your stories with me. It really does mean alot.

 

Aeterna- " I'm sorry you're struggling right now, mama. Would it be possible for you to get a full-time job to help with bills until your DH finishes school? If he's home doing homework, he can watch the kiddos too"

 

I really wish that I could do so. I am in therapy right now for severe anxiety issues and BPD. I am 23 and I cannot even drive a car without having panic attacks so sudden and severe that I have to pull over. I havent driven a car in almost a year due to this. I am just not comfortable driving with my children in the car, as I feel that it effects my judgment and I dont want to put them, nor myself, in danger. So, DH does the driving.

 

Also, I developed anti-social like qualites due to my anxiety attacks. This occured because my attacks would (usually) always take place when I was in a public area- so now I have a hard time with even having company at my home. In the posistion that I am in emotionally and mentally, I cannot work. And believe me, im not saying this because I am lazy, i really couldnt work. I would be fired in a day- if it took that long.

 

I have only been in therapy for a very short time, so hopefully, time will heal this problem and I can, once again, become a productive member of my family.

 

Im the mean time, I am looking into online Midwifery classes that charge based on income. This is something that I would really like to do and I will know for sure soon if it is an option for me right now.

 

Not to mention DH has class monday-friday at random times. He has a class every moring from 8-9:00 and then he has to go back around 4. Then he has another class at 6:00-8:00 in the afternoon. It would be very diffucult to work around his scedule.


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#9 of 18 Old 01-16-2012, 05:15 PM
 
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<delurking>

 

I am in the EXACT position, excepy DH's UE has completely ran out. He is in school full time to at least get a degree. I was a SAHM, but had to get a job last week to *try* and make ends meet. Not sure how that will happen when I only make $10 an hour. I had to quit school (nursing) because it was easier for me to find a job than it was for DH. He has looked everywhere for MONTHS and NOTHING!! He was in construction and we all know that business is kaput ATM.

 

I don't see how what I make will pay our bills or even close. It's sad to think that 3 years ago my DH was making $28 an hour as a foreman and now we can barely keep the lights on :(

 

 

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#10 of 18 Old 01-16-2012, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hear ya mama. Im trying so so very hard to hang in there and be positive and *believe* that something will happen for us soon. Atleast my DH has a few weeks left on his UE- i cannot imagine how stressed you must be right now. Im very sorry that you have to go through this. Please know that youre not alone in your sleepless nights and worries. Keep me updated on your situtation and let me know how everything goes. I will keep you updated as well. Im here to talk if you need to- we're both in the same, crappy little boat. Good luck to you and your family.

 

Im sending good vibes out there for ALL of us. goodvibes.gif


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#11 of 18 Old 01-17-2012, 10:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaBorn View Post

 

I was not the primary breadwinner in our household, but it still sucked when I lost my job ten days before Christmas.  I was the whistleblower on a corporate bullying situation and *poof*  I was gone like a fart in the wind.


There are whistleblower laws; it's illegal to terminate someone for standing up and calling our certain situations. You may want to speak to an attorney about wrongful termination - you can usually get a brief phone consultation for free. 

 


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#12 of 18 Old 01-24-2012, 10:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchensqueen View Post

 


There are whistleblower laws; it's illegal to terminate someone for standing up and calling our certain situations. You may want to speak to an attorney about wrongful termination - you can usually get a brief phone consultation for free. 

 


Thanks, but there aren't any laws on workplace bullying in Florida.  Unless I was discriminated against due to gender, color, creed, etc. a labor lawyer won't touch my case.  I know I was wrongfully terminated, but the case law isn't quite there yet to prove it.  *sigh*

 


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#13 of 18 Old 01-24-2012, 06:11 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by FloridaBorn View Post

 

Thanks, but there aren't any laws on workplace bullying in Florida.  Unless I was discriminated against due to gender, color, creed, etc. a labor lawyer won't touch my case.  I know I was wrongfully terminated, but the case law isn't quite there yet to prove it.  *sigh*


That's awful! 

 


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#14 of 18 Old 01-27-2012, 09:43 AM
 
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HuntressMother, I wonder if you could qualify to receive disability payments since you are medically unable to work? It's something to look into, maybe that would help make ends meet until you are well enough to get a job.

I am in a similar boat, although fortunately we have saved every penny and should be OK for a while if we're super careful and nothing truly disastrous happens. DH has been unemployed for over a year now. I work part-time (from home) but my job isn't very stable & I may be let go once I finish the project I'm working on. We don't feel like we have any security at all. I have medical issues that make it hard for me to work or do much of anything so part of me almost hopes I do get laid off, even though it would be financial ruin. At least we have (really horrible) health insurance through my job.

The past year has been really hard on us, the car caught fire & we had to buy a new one (no public transportation here!) and then we've had lots of problems with the 'new' (used) car not starting etc. We've had some large medical bills, the computer died, the furnace died, the roof was leaking, the vacuum is dead, the dishwasher broke, the washing machine and dryer both broke, we were in the middle of a major remodel when DH got laid off so our house is just studs and floor joists in places and very much unfinished throughout. Our house lost nearly 50% of its value since we bought it so we can't sell & move somewhere cheaper and can't refinance. It's been a pretty horrible year financially.

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#15 of 18 Old 01-27-2012, 10:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaBorn View Post


Thanks, but there aren't any laws on workplace bullying in Florida.  Unless I was discriminated against due to gender, color, creed, etc. a labor lawyer won't touch my case.  I know I was wrongfully terminated, but the case law isn't quite there yet to prove it.  *sigh*

 



You should still speak with a lawyer regarding wrongful termination if you haven't yet. Tort lawyers often work on a contingency basis (meaning they don't get paid unless you get paid) so you wouldn't have any up front litigation costs.

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#16 of 18 Old 01-27-2012, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your suggestion. I have looked into that recently, but from what Im told, It can take awhile to be 'approved' and theres quite a bit of red tape. Of couse, im still going to apply for it and hope that it comes through quickly.

 

BTW- our story sounds very similar. We also had rather 'bad luck' after DH lost his job: Lots of car trouble ( like your family ), AC went out, dryer is broken ( we use SIL's dryer who lives right next door or we line dry ), Lots of health issues, vaccum decided to explode so on and so forth. And alot more that I cant even think of right at this moment. It was/has been horrible.

 

Not to mention, I just found out that DDs father doesnt have a job, so the much needed child support money that I thought we would be receiving soon is not a possibility. Ugh.

 

Im very tired of being sick with worry. It bothers me a bit that DH just goes to school and goes about his day and doesnt seem to be concerned that we only have a very few weeks of UE left before the rug is pulled out from under our feet. Not to mention, hes not trying very hard in school at all. I feel like i now have another child- I have to wake him up in the morning, remind him over and over to do his homework (while he sits on the couch and plays video games and says 'in a minute!' ) and ive even written an essay for him, because it was past due and hes horrible with writting and he complained about having to do it for an entire week. It makes me more than a little pissed because he could be putting his self out there trying to find a job, something that will help us get out of the hole we're in, or atleast keep our heads above water BEFORE concerning himself with returning to school. He puts us though all of this stress- just to do a crappy job. Ugh- it feels very hopeless at times.


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#17 of 18 Old 01-28-2012, 07:53 AM
 
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I'm so sorry. I have similar frustrations with my DH but at least he's motivated & trying (not that it makes any difference ultimately, I think he has some kind of disorder or something??? IDK). Do you think he's really unaffected & really not trying, or is he just maybe dealing with the stress in a different way? Maybe he feels helpless and so is shutting down instead of trying to be productive?

I'm feeling pretty hopeless too these days. hug.gif I will be thinking of you.

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#18 of 18 Old 01-29-2012, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks crunchy mommy.

 

DH and I have talked about this before- hes just simply complaining about school, he says he hates homework and doesnt want to do it. He waits until the last minute and the work that he actually does isnt good at all. I offer to help him study, prepare for tests and everything- he simply chooses NOT to study. Hes like a child. I understand that this is a stressfull time for him as well, but he sure doesnt show it.

 

I talk with him about our situation as much as possible, which is pretty often. He doesnt seem to care about the situtation like I do. Which, Ive always been more of the worrying type, hes more laid back- but thats a bit upsetting. It just seems unfair. He has friends over to hang out just about every single day when he should be doing his homework, studying or getting off of his ass and looking for a job. I think the latter should come BEFORE worrying about school, as an extended education is a plus, money to pay our rent is a must.

 

I normally have to step in and tell his friends to go home so he can get to school on time. Every weekend, he has his friend(s) over and they have beer or 6, and play videos games. This ritual has been going on sense he still had his job, so he seems to be almost unaffected by the stress. I know that this isnt the case,fully, as we has spoken about this before-his lack of 'caring'.  I just wish that he could see the situation the way that I do and understand that his priorities are NOT in order at the moment. He has no plans for 'what if'/ when his UE runs out- so i often finding myself making plans to make sure that myself and the kids will have a place to stay, atleast. It just scares me that this is such a big deal for me, that latley, he hasnt been in my plans.

 

I have no idea of what to say or do to make him understand something will have to be done differently- or we will lose everything. He needs to feel the true weight of that fact, as I have- maybe that would make him 'get it'.  I have talked with him until I am blue in the face, I am very near the point of telling him to either a) stop school for now or find a job that allows you to do both OR Me and the children are leaving.

 

Ugh. Maybe we will atleast get a good amount back from our tax return. Deeply hopeing that we dont owe anything, since his UE checks have been untaxed.

 

Seriously just want to run away to some tropical island and forget about this whole mess. It seems hopelss. I feel like, if worse comes to worse in this situtation- I will be losing so much more than DH because , if we lose everything, I will also be losing my husband because I can not remain with a man that refuses to listen to my good advice ( and others! ) to the point of letting his family lose everything. I simply couldnt do that to myself or my kids-  I would never feel fully 'safe' with him again.


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