.

A Kick When You're Down: 'It's Time You Get a Job'

Resisting getting a job after five years of being a housewife.

“It’s time you get a job,” my husband said while we were sitting on the back porch, each drinking a and watching the kids play in the sprinkler. Even though I knew this conversation was a long time coming, the fact that he would pick the day that my father had heart surgery seemed like he was kicking me when I was down. I felt betrayed like he’d said he’d had an affair. I felt sick.

My brain threw a temper tantrum. I have to get out of this, it thought: an illness, a new pregnancy, I can fake cancer, put myself in a mental institution, anything to not have to put my kids into daycare. I think I feel a lump. Oh God, my throat is closing. I can’t breeeeathe.

I’m pretty sure that if you do anything as stupid as fake a terminal illness, you get cancer for real, a more adult voice stepped in just as my ranting child-self was trying to hurtle my body off a tiny bridge, hoping to force someone to make me dinner, pay my bills and hold me. Remember, the voice continued, Karma has the same sense of humor as you.

I don’t blame my husband for kicking me when I am down. I think it's a human instinct, an aspect of pack mentality. You see a weakness and you make your move to dominate. The first time I noticed it was when I was consoling a friend after she got dumped. As she was blubbering, I had this irresistible urge to enlighten her about a grievance I had against her from 10 years ago. She was hurt, and I had a desire to kick her.

But now I was the one getting kicked. A kick of reality. Applying for jobs transported me back to the insecurity of being single. Instead of facing it, I wanted to listen to Gotye on YouTube, pretend I’m still 20 and dating a green-eyed cheater. Job applications seem like long-form marriage proposals. I put all my qualifications on an expensive piece of paper, now don’t you want me?

No.

Rejection. Worse than rejection: the silent treatment. Over and over again. (OK, twice.) And somehow I am supposed to keep applying? In my mind, applying for two jobs is a large enough sample size to know nobody wants me.

I’ve been out of work for five years, at home raising two boys. I already have my dream job. This was as far as I ever got when I was planning my career: stay-at-home mom. But now I am back looking for work, trying to maneuver in a recession, with children and an old dusty resume.

If you think applying for jobs sucks, click “like” on my Facebook page.

Jennifer Westfall April 25, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I totally and completely feel for you, Chris. You have everyright to be mad. I miss being a stay-at-home mom more than anything! I miss being with my son all day, so much, it hurts! But, he's having a good time at school, atleast.
Happy Jordan April 25, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I'd fake something - I loved being there for my kids when they got home from school and volunteering at the school and going on field trips.
John Dolac April 26, 2012 at 01:15 AM
I am just concerned that you won't have time to continue to write for Patch.
Chris Sansbury April 27, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I'll always make time for Patch!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »