“A computer is like an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy”

Monday, November 23

Unemployed Dads

Examiner.com has a nice article for newly unemployed dads and how to cope.

I know from my own experience what a blow this can be to the male psyche. Depression, check. No clue how to deal, check. Loss of self-esteem, check.

I find their recommendations spot on. When I lost my job, I spent the first week just keeping busy. I didn't look for a job, I tried to find my center. I cleaned the garage. I cleaned the house. I did everything on my honey-do list. And then I made a plan.

One of the big things that ironically helped me was my wife coming down with the flu. She was sick for almost 2 straight weeks. This gave me impetus to actually get up in the morning, get the kids ready and to school, and to keep moving! When she got better, I found I resented her ursurping my new role. It was keeping me sane and giving me grounding. I had developed a very much needed schedule, and I had people (my kids) depending on me. It felt good to be needed.

Even though she took back over most of her "duties", I continued trying to be helpful, just in different ways. I definitely set myself a schedule. I never allowed myself to sleep late, always getting up with the rest of the family. Helping to get the kids ready and to take them to school.

Those weren't the best days of my life, but I still value them. I really reconnected with my family.

My advice for unemployed dads: Get on a schedule, just like going to a job everyday. Make some time to perform your job seeking (that's your new job) and stick to it daily. Help out when and where you can. And here's a biggie: Just remember that you're not alone. You aren't the only one stressed-out. Your family wants you to succeed and they want to help you. You don't have to shoulder the burden alone. That was a tough one for me to learn. Hopefully it won't be for every Dad.