Friday, May 30, 2014

Parenting in poverty.

Over a year ago, Jeff was laid off. This brought about many changes, including a necessary move that has left us reeling and scrambling to make things bearable for all of us. We moved from a 1400+ sq ft house with large rooms and lots of storage to a 1200 sq ft mobile home with tiny rooms and almost no storage.  Hey, at least the yard is nice!

We own, rather than rent, which means that all of the repairs are our responsibility.  We've had to repair plumbing, door seals and the HVAC.  We still have so much more to do and the funds just plain aren't there.

Jeff has been sending out resumes, contacting temp agencies and even applying for retail jobs with no luck. His contact at the company he translated for moved to another job and the new person felt that they needed to keep the localizations in-house. After more than a year, he's just defeated and depressed.  I can't blame him, especially when we go out somewhere and I'm offered jobs out of the blue.  Unfortunately, between my health issues and the umpteen meetings and specialist appointments for the kids, I would require too much time off.  Retail is a fickle thing and there are umpteen college kids scrambling for summer jobs with better availability than I can provide.

We try to focus on the good things - we have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies (thanks to multiple food banks in our area) and all of the utilities are still on. The stress of NOT having those things still looms and there's just nothing we can do.  We budget and we sell things. We make do.

Still, we find time to celebrate and go on adventures.  We prioritize and ask for help.  We muddy up our timelines a bit and fight to make things happen.  Birthdays are celebrated early and we redefine what constitutes a gift.

During times of uncertainty, sometimes peace of mind is the best gift of all, even if it is fleeting.