It’s been a tough year for our middle-class Canadian family. In January 2015, my husband received his notice from Big Blue that his job as an IT management professional was being eliminated through no fault of his own. It has now been 10 months since he lost his job which has been the main source of income for our family of three.
A severance package has helped pay the bills to date but this painful period in our lives is far from over. Money is very tight for us right now and it’s a scary situation when you have a big mortgage to pay.
It’s hard to say what is taking so long for my husband to get back to work. The economy has been in a “technical recession” for at least part of this year. And landing a new management level role with a six figure salary isn’t easy in this competitive job market.
It seemed like the last few weeks really were almost a breaking point for me. My husband had high hopes for a couple of job opportunities that didn’t work out, and the financial pressures and uncertainty just felt magnified over Christmas.
I feel like I had been handling this situation pretty well for the most part until December hit. While I had been suffering from insomnia and anxiety on and off over the months, it hit me especially hard leading up to Christmas. It got to the point where I was trying to hide how worried I was until my husband found me in tears one day. I hadn’t wanted to put more pressure on him because I know how hard job hunting is – the interviews and all the ups and downs aren’t easy.
It’s also very stressful to feel like you can’t really afford Christmas. Don’t get me wrong – we are not so badly off that we couldn’t afford any presents for our son. But it’s tough to be spending anything when you know how fast the severance money is running out. We definitely cut back a lot and hunted hard for bargains which is not such a bad thing anyways – and our parents were very generous and bought some things on our son’s wish list so he wasn’t disappointed.
It was a good Christmas after all, and we appreciated more than ever the love, understanding, support and strength we found by spending time with our family and friends. We’re starting the New Year feeling more positive. Fingers crossed this all ends soon.
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Whole Story:
Part 1 – Job Loss
Part 2 – Sharing the News
Part 3 – Sweating the Small Stuff in Job Loss
Part 4 – Should we Stay in Metro Vancouver or Should we Go?
Part 5 – Our Canadian Family’s Journey Through Unemployment in 2015
Part 6 – 13 Months of Unemployment almost Broke Me; 10 Life Lessons to Share; We’re Not the Rich
Part 7 – Unemployment: The Aftermath; and the Light at the End of the Tunnel