Tuesday, August 24, 2010
By Nathan Bright
We’re a one-income family. I haven’t worked for two point five years. My wife’s employment is based on a federal grant. The government is amputating limbs to save green. You see where this is going.
Spring 2011… that’s when Uncle Sam turns off our financial faucet. Worry. Fear. Anxiety. And those are just the feelings our dog has shared with us.
Many families are facing tough times. I will say it’s harder when the only bread winner takes a hit. If we both did the daily grind it would merely be matters of tightening our belt, cutting back and sacrificing. We’ve already juggled those three to get where we’re at, so now what?
All is not doom and gloom. There is a slight possibility my wife can make a lateral move, but I stress the phrase “slight possibility.” Nothing is carved into stone. The light is now cast on me.
High School Counselor: “So, Nathan, what do you want to do?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
High School Counselor: “What do you like to do?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
High School Counselor: “If you could do anything, regardless of money, what would it be?”
Me: “Get massages from super models while playing video games and drinking beer from one of those helmets that have the tubes running down from two beers. And there’d be chocolate cake.”
High School Counselor: “That’s illogical.”
Me: “Don’t ask stupid questions. Now I’m craving beer.”
I’ve polished up my résumé, but I find myself in an eerily similar situation as in high school. I’m an excellent worker - smart, innovative, don’t gossip, buy thoughtful holiday presents for under $10 – but what employer would hire someone like me when they can choose from barrels of specialized talent floating in the recession pool?
Another question – do I act now or wait? We’re under a cloud of uncertainty, but me securing a job now would alleviate that stress. But then what? Throw the kids into daycare just to find out in seven months we didn’t have to? Uhgg.
Fortunately we have time to make decisions. My resume is also getting a much-needed sand blasting. I can say with confidence we don’t regret a single moment of providing the kids with a stay-at-home parent. They’ve benefitted greatly from this experience, and we’re optimistic about the next phase of our lives.
As for me, I’m brushing up my skills in order to land my dream job: I’m giving the dog a massage while she eats cake… she looks pretty stressed. I’ll drink the beer.
Nathan Bright is a 30-something stay-at-home dad who resides near St. Louis, MO. He is a husband to an amazing woman and father to a doubly amazing 2 year old little girl. His blessed home is scheduled to be even more blessed in March, as Nathan and his wife will welcome a second daughter to their family. When Nathan is not blogging for OurMilkMoney.com's The Daddy's Den, he writes and illustrates his own children's books. Available for purchase immediately is Maddi Patti and her Stay-at-Home-Daddy.