Entries tagged with “spouse”.
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Tue 2 Mar 2010
(c) March 2, 2010
Each Christmas, I ask for the Life’s Little Instructions desk calendar for the coming year.
I love all the nuggets of wisdom it offers and I keep it on the counter in the kitchen “staging area” (the place where the mail and bills stack up and the cell phone charges) so I can glance at it often as I am going about my day.
Today’s “little instructions” calendar page really struck a chord with me—and I think it will with you, too. It says, simply:
“Treasure time. No amount of money can retrieve a single second.”
Wow. This one really hit me.
A year and a half ago, I went on a family “girls weekend” to Chicago to celebrate my aunt’s birthday, and I ended up missing some of the fun because I was stuck dealing with a work crisis for half of the weekend. There is nothing like stuffing yourself into a corner of the cosmetics section at Macy’s on Michigan Avenue on a crowded Saturday afternoon and frantically typing missives on your BlackBerry to folks back at the office to make you aware that your work and life are completely out of whack.
No amount of money can retrieve a single second.
A year ago, I went on vacation with some friends to Las Vegas. My friend had specifically asked me if I could leave my BlackBerry at home this time. I said I would do my best, but I still found myself sneaking into the women’s locker room at the spa in my robe, in between the hot stone massage and the pedicure, to quickly address a problem back at the office. At the spa, for pete’s sake!
No amount of money can retrieve a single second.
Six months ago, I asked my husband what we should do for vacation. “I thought you didn’t take vacations anymore,” he said to me.
No amount of money can retrieve a single second.
Over the summer, a close family friend died unexpectedly. Several months later, in the middle of the night, my parents called with the news that my uncle had been killed in an accident—on a highway he traveled daily for a decade. We miss them so much. We were blessed to have spent many wonderful moments with them…but what if we hadn’t made the time?
No amount of money can retrieve a single second.
The fact of the matter is that (1) Life deals us what life deals us, and (2) We are the only ones who have the ultimate authority to be the stewards of our time, in a way that aligns with our values.
One of the reasons I left my job and started my own business is because I reached a point where enough was enough. I wanted to be the captain of my own destiny, and that included having the final say on where and how I spend my time. Obviously it’s not all “fun and games” all the time – There are still responsibilities and deadlines and clients who need attention. But I didn’t want to miss out on another thing I value, personally or professionally.
Individuals in job transition—whether looking for that next job opportunity or starting a new business venture—may not have the benefit of a regular, robust paycheck, but we do have an even more important gift on our hands in the interim: the gift of time.
Take full advantage of this gift. How will you spend it? Here are a few ideas:
Make things right with the people who’ve been craving your time and attention. Maybe, like me, you were working in a pressure cooker, glued to your BlackBerry and dealing with one crisis or issue after another in a high-stress work environment. Or, alternatively, perhaps you were so burned out that you were too tired to participate in activities with your family or friends, even when you were available. If you blew off someone important to you, even if they understand that you were in survival mode at the time, you owe them an apology. Do it today. Make things right again.
Create a time “hierarchy” list in which you assign all key areas of your life a priority. If spending time with your kids is your top priority, rank that “No. 1.” Maybe volunteering at your church or synagogue is your “No. 2” priority. Ranking these key areas of your life will help you make better decisions about where your time goes.
Set aside a few minutes each week to call or e-mail a friend, loved one or colleague. Let them know what they mean to you. Even if you can’t be with them frequently, let them know they are important to you—in your own words.
Identify two or three drains on your time and take steps to remove them.
Perhaps you were cornered into volunteering for a project that doesn’t rank high on your priority list. Or, maybe you find yourself continuing certain habits that no longer fit your current lifestyle.
Write down a “mission statement” for how you will better maintain boundaries to manage your work/life flow.
For example, will you promise to only check your BlackBerry once a day while you’re on vacation? Or, better yet, will you arrange for a trusted friend or colleague to be a first point of contact for your business dealings while you are away? If you are invited to two events at the same time, will you always give priority to the family activity or the activity involving your closest friends?
Identify areas of your life where you are suffering from “diminishing returns.”
I know some people who will drive 30 miles to save $1.00 at a grocery store. And while it’s certainly true that many of us are being more fiscally careful during this down economy, are you wasting your time for such a small return? There are likely several areas of your life where you are saving money but wasting an awful lot of time. See if you can’t bring these a little closer into alignment.
Do the thing you’ve always been wanting to do but never had the time.
Maybe it’s taking a class at the gym that was always out of reach because it’s in the middle of the work day. Perhaps it’s working from a funky little coffee shop, which your old boss never would’ve given you permission to do. Or, maybe you simply relish the ability to take a book and sit in the park for a few minutes each afternoon.
We are blessed with the gift of time. And, at the end of our lives, that’s what we will remember and treasure most of all. Why not use this time of transition to really focus on what matters most?
Wed 10 Feb 2010
By Diva Nikki
(c) February 10, 2010
First, I’d like to thank those of you who sent notes of support and concern after my recent Prioritizing Priorities article.
I’d also like to reassure you that in our household, nothing excremental or otherwise has yet hit the fan. We’re just taking further steps to prepare ourselves as best we can.
Not to say it’s all puppies and rainbows in our lives these days, either. But one thing I’ve noted about times of trial in our lives is that it puts in sharp, unmistakable relief the good things in our lives as well. It makes me think of one of my favorite quotes:
“Don’t block the blessings.” – Patti LaBelle
As a Desperate Workingwife, here are some of my suggestions for recognizing the blessings in your life…even when your spouse’s career transition may be far, far less than a blessing.
Appreciate your own career and development.
I recently underwent a bit of career transition myself and began reporting to a new manager in a new area of the company at the beginning of this year. I might have been tempted, at first, to think, “Gee…just what I need. More change.” And that would’ve blocked some serious blessings. Because as it turns out, my new manager is one of the best surprises I’ve had in a long time. She believes in me wholeheartedly, pushes me to be better and encourages me to think bigger. She’s completely reenergized my passion for what I do. There’s a blessing I want to count, not block.
Stop and revel in your own accomplishments.
I’m not saying you should rub your own accomplishments in your spouse’s face. Be tactful. But do celebrate your wins in a personal way. Just finished a big project at work? Treat yourself to a pair of shoes on clearance. Lost a pound this week? Do a happy dance in the kitchen. (I highly recommend socks on hardwood floors for the best spinning capabilities.)
Celebrate the accomplishments of others.
You’ve probably heard that even if you’re feeling down, if you physically make yourself smile that act will eventually elicit the corresponding emotion of happiness. (Try it.) Celebrating the blessings of others can bring you blessings of your own. So attend your friend’s baby shower, go to happy hour to celebrate your co-worker’s promotion and hoot and holler when your spouse gets called for an interview.
Notice and accept support with gratitude.
Chance are, you’ve got a great support network in your life. (My best girls – you know who you are and I love you.) Have you noticed that more often lately, as you’ve been living through your spouse’s career transition time, that lunch or coffee tabs are picked up by friends? Rather than argue with them. let them and thank them. Most of us have it in our nature to want to help the people we care about. This is their time to help you – don’t block their blessings by taking that opportunity away from them.
Thank God for the blessings which come out of thin air.
Maybe you got an unexpected refund check in the mail. Or your heating bill was less than you thought it would be this month. In my case, out of nowhere, a new friend came into my life through one of my music groups. Without any rhyme or reason I could think of, this beautiful woman became somewhat of a personal cheerleader for me and gave me confidence at exactly the time when I needed it. When these things seem to come out of nowhere, simply stop and offer praise for the Holy Spirit’s influence in your life.
Patti Labelle, Don’t Block the Blessings – available on Amazon.com
Yvonne Bynoe, Is Your Attitude Blocking Your Blessings?,
Mon 25 Jan 2010
Posted by Jenaissance
(c) January 25, 2010
We are emerging, slowly, from the worst recession in our lifetime, one that has crippled our financial centers, dried up jobs and easy credit, and sent our expectations, not to mention our wallets, reeling.
So why, then, are we so happy?
In the November 23, 2009, issue of Time magazine, columnist Nancy Gibbs writes about the “happiness paradox.” Pollsters have measured (albeit awkwardly) “national attitude” over the years, which, not surprisingly, hit its lowest points in 1973, 1982, 1992 and 2001—all recession years. More recently, when the Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index was launched in January 2008, it too sought to measure national “mood.” When the economy hit its roughest patch during the summer months of 2008, so did the national “mood”—until a surprising and paradoxical thing happened. By summer 2009, the national mood had increased to a level even higher than it had been in 2008, before the economy collapsed.
Writes Gibbs: “I’m struck by how many people tell pollsters that the voluntary downshifting and downsizing of the past year have come as a kind of relief. Maybe we’ve lowered our standards. But we already knew that money can buy only comfort, not contentment; happiness correlates much more closely with our causes and connections than with our net worth.”
I tested this theory anecdotally on a random sample of friends and acquaintances whose households are in transition for one reason or another. I asked what transition-inspired changes they’ve made and whether they are happier as a result. Here’s what they had to say.
“My husband and I resolved to do more entertaining at home in 2010 vs. meeting friends at restaurants. We love how the house feels in prep for, during and after guests…and many favorite culinary Web sites and magazines are featuring thrifty and tasty menus that feed a table of friends for a fraction of dinner out for two. We’re trying to focus on honoring special occasions in family and friends’ lives for the themes…heartwarming all around.” (Natalie, Minneapolis)
“I’m eating at home more. It is healthier and I feel better. I am working on finding balance in my life and comfort in my house because I cannot afford to go anywhere so I need peace and balance in my daily life.” (Heidi, Washington, D.C.)
“Our family started a ‘Family Activity Christmas Countdown’ this year. The concept is simple, of course – to celebrate each other during the holiday season instead of losing each other to the hoopla of parties and presents. We created a Christmas countdown chain with a link for each day and an activity on each link. The rules were pretty simple: the activity had to be done together, and if at all possible, cost no money. It could last five minutes or five hours, as long as that time was spent together. This is the second year we’ve done it, and it really has become a highlight of the Christmas season for us.
The other thing that we did last year during spring break was a staycation. All of the kids had friends heading off to beaches and exotic locations and something like just wasn’t in the budget for us. I still wanted to make their spring break special, though, so I came up with the concept of a staycation where each person in our family had a day dedicated to him or her. That person started the day with breakfast in bed (their choice, decided the night before) and then planned our day. We visited the science museum, the zoo and the water park. Some days were just quiet days at home. My one son chose to have a pajama day on his day, and my daughter chose to make dinner together on her day (and have a fire safety meeting – she’s a classic first child.) While our outings to the science museum and the water park cost money, it was significantly less than we would have spent on a vacation, and everyone loved having control of a day.
I am not so delusional that I think my kids wouldn’t trade our staycation for a trip to Hawaii in a heartbeat, but I’d like to think that we made some fun memories just the same. (Becky, Minneapolis)
So how about you? How are you finding happiness and contentment among the challenges of the recession? We’d love to hear from you!
Wed 13 Jan 2010
By Diva Nikki
(c) January 13, 2010
I have a phrase I’ve shared with many people: “Patience is a virtue. It’s just not one of mine.”
Tolerance, I’ve got plenty.
Love, in abundance.
Understanding, in spades.
Patience…not so much.
So when I tell you that if you have a spouse in career transition that you should be prepared for this journey to be long one, I want you to appreciate exactly how hard that journey is for me.
I’m a doer. I’m an action girl. I love to help. I adore making things happen. How does that work into helping my husband find work? It really, really doesn’t.
The reality is, in today’s environment it can take a long time to find a new job. There are lots of really talented, highly experienced people out there and available for hire. I remember a time when job descriptions might have said they wanted 10 years of XYZ experience, but didn’t necessarily require that of a potential employee. I remember a time when they might have taken a chance on someone with different industry experience but who had the right skills. Now, companies can be entirely prescriptive of exactly the length and type of experience they want – and have 46 people apply with those exact specifications.
I’m not going to lie: the waiting is hard. And it’s especially hard as the spouse of the one doing the looking. Because really – there’s nothing you can actively “do” to help. And as the wait gets longer, the more stressful things can get.
So how do you get through the seeming eternity that is your spouse’s transition? How do you keep your household – and marriage – going?
Occasionally, revisit your plan.
You put together a budget, agreed on compromises and schedules within the first few weeks of transition. But it’s a good idea to revisit those if the journey is taking a few months. Make sure the plans you set will still work if things go longer than you thought.
If need be, create a “worst case scenario” plan.
What happens if unemployment insurance runs out and your spouse still hasn’t found a new career? Take another look at finances, support networks and possibilities. Create the “holy crud” plan now, while things are still okay. That way, if it needs to be put in place, you won’t have to create it in a panic.
Find ways to re-energize.
If you’ve ever followed a diet plan, you know that even when you begin a plan with utmost dedication, after awhile, you can lose energy. Find ways in the midst of this transition to re-energize – individually and as a couple. Talk to each other. Encourage one another. Pursue (affordable) hobbies or activities that make you feel good. Build romance into each day.
If you think you’re feeling dragged down as the career transition timeline continually drags on, how do you think your spouse feels? No matter how hard it is, keep offering support. Let him know every day you love him and believe in him.
Wed 6 Jan 2010
By Diva Nikki
(c) January 6, 2010
Guilty pleasure admission: I’m a “Gleek.” Since the very pilot episode of the TV show Glee, I’ve been hooked.
There’s something about the absolutely over-the-top portrayal of a group of high school misfits, their weekly slushie face-dousing trials…and the way they continually fight through the negativity and adversity to do what they love…that endears this show to me.
Their wildly successful pilot episode featured the small group of initial Glee kids doing an amazing version of the Journey tune “Don’t Stop Believin’.” I will admit – I went out to You Tube and watched it several times.
There’s something about that song – and the show – that resonates with my life right now. As the wife of a husband in career transition, I feel like negativity exists every day in our household. While I’m quite happy (as is my unstained wardrobe) that I don’t literally have a grape slushie thrown in my face each day, there are certainly days where it’s hit me or my husband in a proverbial sense.
Like every time he applies for a job and gets the lovely standard form rejection letter (sometimes within a day, which really hits you). Or each time he tries to sell a great new idea for a startup business to a new client and never hears back from them. When we count the days until unemployment insurance runs out. As I’m in a store and don’t get to purchase something I want because we’re on a budget. And when we have to endure well-meaning people who say really trite, insensitive things about my husband’s current employment situation, essentially saying, “You’ll never be able to pull this off.”
Every day we live through the adversity, I feel just like one of those poor high school kids, getting up every morning and just knowing the cold, icky (though maybe not bright purple) reality that’s going to be sloshed in my face.
The lesson for me here really is: “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Don’t stop believin’ in my husband’s brilliance and abilities.
Don’t stop believin’ that everything will be ok.
Don’t stop believin’ that there really is a greater Plan unfolding.
Don’t stop believin’ that the economy will improve and more jobs will become available.
Don’t stop believin’ my husband is doing everything he can to find a new career.
Don’t stop believin’ in my own ability to keep supporting my husband emotionally…and our household financially.
I think I need to go work on my jazz hands…
Fri 1 Jan 2010
Guest Column by Rebecca Love Williams
(c) January 1, 2010
I hope that you all had a very happy holiday filled with peace, love and joy. Now that the new year is upon us, it is time to really think about the New Year that is approaching us.
Have you started writing your Life Plan for 2010 to allow you to get a “fresh start”?
A Life Plan is a written plan of your goals and objectives in your life. It is like a map or guide to help you achieve your inner desires. Your plan can be divided into eight areas:
- Family and friends
- Love and relationships
- Money and finance
- Personal development or personal growth
Each of these areas affects your life and the importance of each one will vary depending on your internal values and situation.
Here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself while writing your plan:
- What’s most important to you, your core values?
- What do you dream about?
- Where on your career path do you desire to be?
- Is your employer helping you accomplish your personal career goals?
- Are you still having fun at work?
- Will it allow you to spend more time with your family?
- Are you spending enough time with people who are important to you?
- How can you maintain your health?
- Do you have the time and the resources to entertain and travel?
- What places do you want to visit in the next two to three years?
- How much money do you want to make?
- Does your current employment support your income goals?
- How much do you need to save for your later years?
- Are you giving back to your community?
- Where do you want to live?
- Are you continually developing and improving your relationship?
These questions will give you some starting points to think about as you begin developing your plan for 2010. Of course, Life Plans can be more complex, and if you would like to develop a more intense life plan, you might need to seek out a Professional Coach.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Guest columnist Rebecca Love Williams, principal of Williams Business Solutions, is an experienced professional coach and human resources consultant. She regularly coaches her clients through a process to help them achieve their life and professional goals, including an emphasis on life planning strategies. Williams is based in Evanston, Ill., and serves individuals and businesses nationwide.
Wed 16 Dec 2009
By Diva Nikki
(c) December 16, 2009
As 21st Century women, we’ve grown up being told we can do anything—and everything—we put our minds to.
We balance careers and families. We volunteer, cook gourmet meals and wear fabulous shoes while doing it. We can do it all. We’re superwomen.
AND we’re now supporting our households financially and emotionally while our spouses search for their next careers.
The first time my husband was unemployed was within the first year of our marriage. We were both working toward our MBA degrees full time while working full time, and I felt like I still had to prove I was a perfect wife.
When my husband lost his job, I tried to keep things going as “normal”—which meant that not only was I working and studying full time, I was also still doing all the cleaning, cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, remembering of all family birthdays…you get the picture.
Eventually, I cracked. It was eating me up inside that I was doing ALL this work and my husband was home. All day. Watching curling during the Olympics and playing video games.
At first I wanted to blame him. “I shouldn’t have to ask him to help,” I thought. “He should just recognize what needs to be done and do it!”
Then I realized: The reason he wasn’t helping was because I’d never asked him. So I finally did. I learned that there are ways to ask for help that are more effective than others.
Ask. Don’t tell. Don’t yell. Ask.
Truthfully, unless you ask, your spouse probably doesn’t even realize you need help. Yelling at him or telling him what to do are not effective. Be calm, be specific.
Specifically, ask for help.
Your spouse isn’t going to say, “Gee, honey – I’d LOVE to do a bunch more work I’ve never done before!” But loving spouses do get a feeling of purpose by helping those they love. You’re giving them an opportunity to do that. Plus, by taking some of the incidental sources of stress off your plate, you’ve got more capacity to provide emotional support for him.
Teach him what to do.
If you’re asking for help around the house with chores he’s never done before, your spouse may need a bit of instruction. Show him where supplies are, how to work appliances, etc.
Make things easy.
Gather cleaning supplies into one area. Buy ready-made frozen meals or mixes. Separate your dirty laundry. Make detailed lists.
Adjust your expectations.
Your spouse is not you. Do not expect that things will be done exactly as you do them. Rather, appreciate that things get done. Even if towels are folded differently or you eat spaghetti for four days in a row, celebrate the fact that you have clean towels and a meal prepared for you when you get home.
Show sincere appreciation.
Your spouse is helping you out, during a time when he’s already feeling stressed. Let him know that you truly appreciate what he’s doing to help make your life easier.
Wed 2 Dec 2009
By Diva Nikki
(c) December 2, 2009
Let’s face it—living with an unemployed spouse is darn stressful. You spend a lot of time focusing on him: listening to his job search struggles, finding ways to keep his spirits up, discussing budget issues, being understanding about his emotional ups and downs…
And it’s not like your own life or career is without stress either. It’s possible things at your own company might be less than secure. You still have your own job duties and career development to think about, volunteer meetings to attend…and it’s even conceivable that having your spouse without a job right now might cause you some additional stress.
Unless you’re a superhero or a saint, it’s time you think about relieving some of that stress. If you don’t, it’s eventually going to explode—all over your household. And that, my friend, will do no one any good.
Find a venting partner.
Spend time with a friend you can trust and who will listen to your feelings and struggles. Your spouse already has enough struggles of his or her own to deal with and probably doesn’t need yours. But you do need a safe place to let your hair down and get it all out.
Look for other support.
Investigate your local workforce development board to see if there’s a support group for unemployed spouses. If not, offer to help start one. Meeting with others in your same situation could give you great ideas and encouragement.
Finish a project.
Get out that craft or hobby project that’s been sitting unfinished in a closet or garage for a year and finish it. You’ll do something you love and have the satisfaction of being productive. It’s something you can do during a time when you feel like there’s a lot you can’t do.
You’re not going to be able to be supportive for your spouse if you’re feeling like crud. Maintain your exercise routine, try to eat healthy foods and get as much sleep as you can. Your health is very important right now.
Sing or laugh loudly.
Put your favorite CD in the car and belt away. Watch your favorite funny DVD. In general, find things that make you happy and offer a positive release of energy. If you and your spouse can do this together, even better!
Make your own spa night.
Take a bubble bath, give yourself a manicure or facial. Talk your loving spouse into giving you a massage with candles—a bottle of massage lotion is much cheaper than an hour at the spa. Plus, once he’s got you relaxed and feeling loved, you never know what might be in it for him.
Focus on your own personal and professional development.
Be sure you keep up with your own career, even though your spouse is in transition. Read a business book, attend a seminar or network with people you think can help you grow.
In general, be sure your own stress is dealt with so you can help your spouse deal with his.
Wed 11 Nov 2009
Posted by Tripping on the Ladder under Desperate Workingwife
By Diva Nikki
(c) November 11, 2009
I really actually do have green eyes. But I have to admit something I’m not proud of: they’re even greener these days…with jealousy.
I confess. I’m jealous of my unemployed spouse. There are days when I’m downright, absolutely, positively envious.
If you’re currently unemployed and reading this, you probably think I must be off my rocker. But think of it this way:
My husband gets to be at home, on our comfy couch, with our cats in a quiet environment all day. There are no ergonomic office chairs, annoying phone calls, looming deadlines or demanding co-workers anywhere in sight.
There is no morning—or evening—commute that he has to deal with. No annoying drivers, no bad weather worries, no filling the car with gas every few days.
He doesn’t have to set an alarm; he can just get up when it’s light outside. And when he does get up, the coffee is already brewed and waiting. (Because, of course, there’s no way I’ve already gone off to work without coffee. I mean…please!)
He has hours every day he could use to do whatever he’d like. (If it were me, by the way, I’d be knitting socks. I’d totally have enough woolen gifts ready for family and friends to be set through the next three years’ of Christmases and birthdays.)
He totally has time to start an exercise program if he wants to. My biggest excuse for not exercising has always been lack of time. With all that time at home, I just know that the Wii FitTM I got for Christmas two years ago would be paying off by now if it were me. (Or at least that’s how it works in my head.)
He can wear comfortable clothes every day. There are no constrictive zippers or buttons in his wardrobe at all right now. If his clothes don’t match, there are no fashion police hovering to let him know. Heck, most days he’s lucky to put on socks, let alone shoes.
Now…on the flip side, I do realize that these things I’m envious about come at a high cost. For example:
I understand that those hours on the couch are spent worrying about next steps and being frustrated at yet another failed job search or another rejection e-mail. And that his “looming deadline” is the date unemployment insurance runs out.
I get that while there’s plenty of time at home each day, that doesn’t mean it gets to be used for “fun” stuff. And that just that there is time for exercise still doesn’t mean he magically has the desire to do it.
And I know that my husband would gladly swap his sweatshirt for a button-down if it meant being gainfully employed again.
I get it.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes still wish we could switch places…just for a little while. That’s why it’s called a “guilty” confession!
Wed 4 Nov 2009
By Diva Nikki
(c) November 4, 2009
It’s understandable that the first thing anyone would want to do when suddenly not required to show up at work is to stop setting an alarm and start sleeping in. Heck, isn’t that what we do most weekends?
And yet, there comes a time after that first week or so of adjustment to the “new normal” of career transition when you realize that your beloved spouse might be taking that newfound freedom to a new level. And seriously, if you find him one more time on the couch in his pajamas after not having gotten up until noon, with the TV playing old Star Trek episodes and chips scattered all over the couch, you’re going to have to kill someone.
Am I speaking to anyone here?
Before you get blood all over a perfectly good carpet, I’d like to suggest having the first of what might be a handful of courageous conversations with your spouse about his career transition period, and how he might make it productive for himself—and you.
Establishing a Temporary Routine
Talk about it.
While you really do need to be sensitive to your spouse’s feelings, that doesn’t mean you should bottle all your own. Ask to find a time to have a quiet, logical discussion about how it makes you feel to be working full time knowing your spouse’s day is being used less than productively. Also, ask him to remember that this schedule affects you, too. For instance, hearing the TV going late into the night may affect your sleep—and you still have to get up for work!
Suggest some compromises.
No one is saying your spouse can’t sleep in a little. But suggest a compromise that would work for both of you. Maybe he gets up shortly after you go to work, with the benefit of having freshly brewed coffee waiting for him. And rather than staying up late, perhaps you could suggest that there’s something in it for him if he comes to bed when you do.
Offer ideas for using time in ways that benefit you both.
Since you’re working full time and your spouse is at home, ask (don’t command) if he can help out more with the household duties for now. Remind him that this is temporary, during this transition time, and that this would really help you out. Additionally, suggest ways he could use his time that would benefit him. Maybe there’s a project he’s always wanted time to finish or a subject he’s always been interested in researching. This would be a great time for him to use some time for that.
Together, come up with a schedule.
Having a daily routine has been proven to be psychologically beneficial. Work together to establish a schedule that benefits everyone in the household. It should include some time for job searching, some time for household duties and some time for pursuit of projects that inspire happiness. Here’s an example you could use as a start.
|Sample Temporary Schedule Yielding Sanity for Both Spouses
- 8:00 a.m. – wake up. Enjoy fresh coffee brewed by darling, if Desperate Workingwife
- 8:15-8:30 a.m. – Initial e-mail check for responses to job applications
- 8:30 – 9:00 a.m. – Shower, get dressed
- 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. – Research new job postings online, e-mail networking contacts
- 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Perform household tasks (cleaning, grocery shopping, walking pets, etc.)
- 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch with a friend or networking contact, outside of home
- 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Time to pursue own goals (read classic literature, write memoirs, build new shelves in the garage, fix car, etc.)
- 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Second e-mail check to respond to job inquiries, networking contacts
- 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Prepare dinner
- 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Enjoy budget-friendly, home-made meal with darling Workingwife. Talk about each other’s days.
- 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. – Time to spend together with spouse/family/friends
- 10:00 p.m. – Crawl into bed together, read books for awhile, then snuggle up in a supportive embrace.
- “Figuring out the routine of unemployment,” Maynard Institute, June 16, 2009.
- Greg Welikson, “Unemployment & Psychological Health,” The Canned, July 28, 2009
- Darrel Giann, “Surviving Unemployment – Staying Positive Through Uncertain Times,” Buzzle.com, August 29, 2008