SAHM And Husband Has Been Laid Off

Updated on May 09, 2010
J.C. asks from Columbus, OH
16 answers

Ladies,

I am in need of some advice and ideas and support. My background is this; we have two children, 5 1/2 and almost 3, I used to work before the kids were born and went to only Saturdays teaching art classes at a local art center. The center closed it's doors last summer, but we didn't really notice the pay loss ( I never made that much money teaching art ) We were doing okay financially on my husband's salary as a glazier. A glazier is someone who fabricates and installs windows in commercial and private buildings. So, blue collar for sure. Even though things were tight - most of the time living paycheck to paycheck - we loved that I could stay home with the kids. It was important for the both of us. Over the years we've learned to do without a lot of things. We never eat out. We don't take vacations. We don't splurge. We use coupons. We brown bag it. We drive sensible cars with few extras. We moved to a city with lower housing taxes. We look every place we can to save money.

Now my husband has been laid off. It's been four weeks now - I know others have been out of work even longer - but I'm having trouble not freaking out. What are we going to do? Now that we're running out of money, where can I turn? There are no jobs in this small town and my husband is now calling around the entire country to find work. He may have to travel up to 700 miles away for work. What else can we do? How do we keep our home? How do I keep food on the table? How do I stop this feeling of doom to overcome me? I know I need to be strong so I can take some kind of action, but I am so much on the edge of depression, I feel like I can't hold it together.

How are people coping with what is going on with the economy? How do they get out of bed each day? My children are the only thing keeping me from losing it.

Please, any suggestions you have would be enormously appreciated.

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B.M.

answers from Dallas on

Big hugs to you. We went through this about 2 years ago. My husband had a nice job with a nice salary and then out of the blue he got laid off. It took about 10 months before he found a job that would support us. In the meantime he applied at Target, Best Buy, and various other companies doing whatever he could to bring in a paycheck. Groceries were our main concern, so we found a program through our church called AngelFood Ministries. I looked it up for your city and state and here is the number that you would call for more information: ###-###-####. You can also go to their website https://www.angelfoodministries.com/

Essentially you pay $20 or $30 and you get a months supply of food. Meats, frozen dinners, vegetables, fruits, eggs, milk, cheese, oatmeal, cereal. It helped us out a tremendous amount. We would still have to spend maybe another $20 a month getting bread and other items, but it cut our grocery bill a great deal! Because he was out of work and we had an infant (our daughter was 7 months at the time) I went ahead and applied for WIC. This enabled us to get tuna, milk, cheese, cereal, and some baby food items. I stayed on WIC for about 2 months, and then after he got a job making more than $15 they said we didn't qualify anymore. But I would definitely look into it!

I know it's hard, but PLEASE try not to stress out. If you are part of a church then I would also contact their prayer ministry and outreach ministry so that they can know what is going on with your family. I know our church has always been a saving grace for us in our times of need. Whether it's people praying for you or bringing you meals or helping with your kids, I would encourage you to find a church home if you are not already in one.

I am praying for you. I have been there and my heart goes out to you.

3 moms found this helpful
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M.J.

answers from Sacramento on

I was just going to say what Dori did. When my husband lost his job in the last recession in 2001, we had just bought our first home and owed $10k in taxes (marriage penalty). It was awful. My parents ended up loaning us the tax money and we paid it back when my husband got a job. We also took advantage of unemployment benefits. We paid into it, so might as well use it when we needed it. Thankfully, I work so we had that to fall on, but it was still tough. If you haven't reached out to family members who might help, speak up. Don't assume they know your need and don't be embarrassed to ask for help. We all need help at some point in our lives. Also find the local food bank.

A job-hunting tip for your husband: Find the American Business Journals website and read articles around the country to look for areas where construction is picking up again. I suspect those will be good markets for him to target in his search.

To keep from losing it, make an action item list of what you need to do. Feel empowered by the steps you CAN take to change things. There are resources out there you can tap into to help you get by.

Best of luck to you and your family.

2 moms found this helpful
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L.C.

answers from Dayton on

Hey J. C.,

I'm sorry to hear that things went left on you for a minute here. I say a minute because I believe with all my heart in the ebb and flow of life. There are peaks and valleys and the one thing you can count on is that if you are in the valley, there's only one way to go and that's up. It WILL get better - life does - and you will look on this time in your life and, while you never want to go back and revisit, you will see how you pulled together as a family and how you are stronger and more assured than you were before. Crisis is the fire that tempers the steel in our backbones. You'll see. :)

Some things you can do:

Definitely apply for WIC if you can, and unemployment. Make sure your kids get the medical benefits that Ohio offers all children regardless of employment - I think it's called care source. Look into Angel Food. Apply for whatever programs and benefits that you can. Pride is an expense most of us can't afford and you can pay it forward by helping someone else when this is all over.

Plant a vegetable garden to insure food for yourselves even when money is tight. Go to www.pickyourown.org and find local farms in your area where you can pick your own produce and reduce the overhead for transportation and profit that you would pay at a retail store. It's also fun for the kids.

Take in kids to watch over the summer to bring in some temporary income and then maybe supplement with before and after school kids when the year starts up again. This will give you a little bit of cushion. Another option is to clean houses for people or businesses. We live in base housing and the people who clean houses here stay busy. Put up signs and cards in stores near apartment complexes where you will get the move out folks. Lots of apartment buildings and management companies also contract out that work to individual house cleaners and keep them on call for moveouts. It could even be something your husband could look into with a property management company, doing maintenance and make-ready work.

I hope these ideas are helpful, but mostly I just hope you feel encouraged and cared for. I am thinking of you and praying for you.

L.

2 moms found this helpful

K.N.

answers from Austin on

Short-term, I suggest you kick it into survival mode. You should try to get a job... at a bank, daycare, a retail store, grocery store, receptionist, doctor's office, etc... something to bring a paycheck into the household. Get the word out that you're looking. Maybe you can watch some friends' children during the summer and get money that way? I'm not talking about a career-type job (I understand you want to remain an SAHM), but you need something to pay for groceries and the electricity/water bill until your husband finds a permanent position. And you want to start looking now, before all the college and HS kids get out of school for the summer. (I also think that it is a good idea for him to start looking for a temporary job while he is looking for another glazier position.... Again, get some paychecks coming in the house.)

Your husband can watch the kids while you're working... If you find a job that lets you work in the morning/weekends, then he can look for something where he can work in afternoon and/evening... He doesn't have to put it on his resume.

1 mom found this helpful

T.J.

answers from Fort Walton Beach on

Angel Food is a great idea! We have used them several times before. It doesn't supply a month of food - but it does supply a week's worth for a family of four (according to their website).

stretcher.com is another great site that I love to reflect on.

I didn't see anything about unemployment, I know it's not much, but employers do pay into it and he should make a claim, unless his pay was under the table.

Thriftyfun.com is another good site.

Fox Business has tools and calculators for personal finances:
http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/tools-calcula...

WIC is a great program too... and it sounds like you qualify.

Cut back on as much as you can - cable tv, house phone, sell the second car, internet (use the library's computer), sell any extra baby stuff on craigslist.

Check out your local church... lots of times they have a program or a food pantry that you can have access too. We have a local church here that receives donated clothes for their thrift store but gives a specific amount away to the needy. Don't feel bad about doing this - they pride themselves into helping who they can.

I just lost my job too - but we are doing okay. We are cutting back on lots of spending and doing what we can...

Also, have your husband look at fbo.gov - that is a website where the government post proposals about work they need done. He just needs to create his own business and apply for the proposals. I'm sure there is a need for a glazier type of work.

I did a quick search and came across these:
https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=list&tab=...;

Hope that link works for you.

Good luck and God bless :)

1 mom found this helpful
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N.B.

answers from Toledo on

A scary time, for sure. Plant a garden! Get the kids involved and pick out something that you will eat. The timing is perfect to get a few cheap plants to start, or even plant seeds. It will save money, and give everyone a feeling of helping out. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.W.

answers from Gainesville on

First big hugs to you guys. This economy is scary for everyone.

The good news is you know how to live frugally. Have him apply for unemployment immediately. Check now into the requirements for things like food stamps and medicaid. That way you will know the income and asset limits. Most states have the info on-line so you can check it out. There is nothing shameful or embarrassing about taking help at a time when you really do. You paid into the system and you deserve to use it in the way it was designed-to help get you thru and back on your feet! We had to use food stamps for a time when my hubby was in school. Knowing how to shop, use coupons and cook from scratch stretches those dollars very well.

Best to you and your family.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.G.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Hey,
It's a tough situation that you're in. Have you considered working from home? I started working from home when I found out I was pregnant, and then my husband's hours got cut, and we were in a pretty tough financial situation as well. I'm still working on building my buisness, but with this job I am able to stay at home with my son. I'd love to get you into an informative presentation, if you're interested. Send me an email or personal message [email protected]____.com or ask for some information from my website www.workathomeunited.com/joycita. My experience with this has been great. Good luck!
J.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

I'm very sorry for the situation you're in. It is very hard to deal with a situation like that.

It's good that you already are used to saving and living cheaply. Cut out anything unnecessary. Start looking into state assistance and unemployment if you haven't already. To bring in some money look online for jobs like at workplacelikehome.com, wahm.com, and www.makemoneyonline.tonoftips.net.

Look into doing childcare in your home, cleaning houses, or if you have any other skill try using it to earn extra money.

Wish you the best

T.K.

answers from Dallas on

Does your area have Craigslist? Or other free online classifieds? Your husband sounds handy. He can post an ad offering his services to help people move, help around the house, day labor, etc. There are also "help wanteds" posted. He might be able to find some tax free, short term things to keep you a float, without interfering with the unemployment benefits. At least until something permanent comes along. You can also pick up some babysitting jobs to help out on Craigslist.
The hard reality is, if there are no jobs for hundreds of miles, now may be a good time to relocate. It would be better to sell your house than lose it, if it comes to that. You can build him a resume and put it out there in an area you think you might want to live, or where you have family. Put him on Monster and Career Builder. Also try USAjobs for work with the government
My family left Ohio in the 70s the last time jobs dried up, and moved us to Texas. Not only to look for work for my dad, but to situate us kids in an area with economic growth. I know, not realistic for most folks, but it's a thought. Good Luck to you and your family.

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T.J.

answers from Seattle on

My husband made a lot of money until the recession hit. He wasn't going to get laid off because he was commission only, so he had to quit. At the time, it was easiest and made more sense for me to go back to work, because my industry (medical billing) is still thriving. So we've switched roles for a while. I don't like it, but it's paying the bills and hopefully is temporary!

Is he getting unemployment? My friend's husband got unemployment and free college tuition for retraining, and she picked up some part time work while he was doing school from home or during the hours he wasn't at school. That got them by until he had his degree and found a new job too.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

He has to get on unemployment.

Do you have family? That can help temporarily? Do you attend a Church that has outreach programs and maybe they can help?
Food kitchens....
Food stamps...
Search/research online for your human services branch and see what they offer... do anything you can, to get assistance for food/clothing etc.

Here is a link for your area:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&a...

Here is a link for food banks and food kitchens:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&a...=

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L.M.

answers from New York on

I know many people that work in the construction trades and it's a very tough time for them. Some of them have been laid off for almost 2 years.

Your husband should have started collecting unemployment checks by now, so that'll keep you going for awhile. Since you've had a change in income you may now qualify for several government assistance programs. Look into them.

As for food, check out angel food ministries. You can also get food at a local food bank, and don't feel ashamed to go to a soup kitchen for a free meal.

Look for some ways that you can bring some income into the house. Maybe doing some day care, go back to teaching some art classes.

You'll get through this. Good luck.

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J.W.

answers from Florence on

Hi J.!

I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. Sure hope things start looking up for your family soon!

I'm with a company called Homemade Gourmet. We are a direct sales company with a mission of Bringing Families Back to the Dinner table. Our products are such that you simply add 1-4 wet ingredients to our mixes and you'll end up with a great tasting product that people will think you slaved over! We have products such as soups, dips, entrees, desserts, breads and more!
I invite you to check out my website for more information and I can also send you more info about our company.

www.homemadegourmet.com/juliewilliamson

Until May 12 you can sign up for FREE!!!! It's over a $70 value that you will get in your starter kit (just pay $9 shipping). I started this business almost 2 years ago when my son was 5 months old and it has exploded for me! It has allowed me to be a SAHM and I'm so thankful for it! We are a consumable product so your reorder business is HUGE! Would love to share more info with you if you are interested. Act fast though because you only have 3 more days to sign up for FREE!

Good luck!

Hugs!
J.

[email protected]____.com

Updated

Hi J.!

I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. Sure hope things start looking up for your family soon!

I'm with a company called Homemade Gourmet. We are a direct sales company with a mission of Bringing Families Back to the Dinner table. Our products are such that you simply add 1-4 wet ingredients to our mixes and you'll end up with a great tasting product that people will think you slaved over! We have products such as soups, dips, entrees, desserts, breads and more!
I invite you to check out my website for more information and I can also send you more info about our company.

www.homemadegourmet.com/juliewilliamson

Until May 12 you can sign up for FREE!!!! It's over a $70 value that you will get in your starter kit (just pay $9 shipping). I started this business almost 2 years ago when my son was 5 months old and it has exploded for me! It has allowed me to be a SAHM and I'm so thankful for it! We are a consumable product so your reorder business is HUGE! Would love to share more info with you if you are interested. Act fast though because you only have 3 more days to sign up for FREE!

Good luck!

Hugs!
J.

[email protected]____.com

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

As someone that has been where you are - hubby was laid off last April, and I was laid off in June - I can tell you that it is not a fun road. First off, if he hasn't already, hubby should apply for unemployment. Yes it bruises the ego, but this is what its there for. It usually takes about 3 weeks for the money to start coming in...

As for finding another job, my family was in the same situation in the 80's when the construction boom went bust in TX. We had lived in Houston for 8y. Dad came home one night and announced that he had been laid off. He eventually found a job in NJ. So, the whole family packed up and moved to Beverly....sorry, I mean Jersey!!

Since you are a SAHM you have flexibility. A family is where the family is, and a house is just a place where you sleep and keep your clothes.
While this is stressful, the best thing to do is be supportive. Give hubby the flexibility to search for a job where he can find one. This may not be fast. My hubby was out of work for about 4m before the calls started coming in. Then, when the jobs do come, talk about them as a family and embrass the new city, if you have to move as a new page in your family's history.

Job search tips -
- have hubby keep a notebook of what jobs/contacts he has applied for. This is needed for working with the unemployment.
- hubby should do job searches on M, W, F. New jobs are usually posted on T/Th.
- keep the receipts of all resume costs, new job search clothes, uniform costs, travel costs, any job search related costs, new job costs, moving expenses, etc. Most of these will be tax write offs next year.

Good luck
M.

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D.H.

answers from Indianapolis on

Hi J.,

You can do this!!! My husband has been laid off for over a year, and if someone would have told me that we could make it on unemployment, I would have laughed, but we are........barely........so, look at the bills, what is spent and where you can cut some more corners........get him on unemployment, and then see if he can find some side jobs, be sure to report them though to unemployment..........the garden is a great idea......find meals that you can eat leftovers..........turn off the lights, and unplug things......this will help with the electricity.....food stamps is also a good Idea.........also there is a food ministry called Angel Food Ministries, you pay for the food, but it's a decent deal and it's not bad....here's the link. http://www.angelfoodministries.com Look on the internet to see if there is someone in your neighborhood.....
I see you are in Ohio, so you like us, are having a cooler spring, so no air conditioning, just open windows for now...........
With him home, if you can, maybe you can get a part time job....just something to bring in a little bit of money while he watches the kids.......

Good Luck, hang in there, keep a positive attitude......for you, the kids and the hubby...........Everything happens for a reason, I truly believe that, and sometimes we may never know why it happened....but it did......so enjoy the hubby home for a bit, and look to the good things in your life......

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