Hi all. Apologies for the length. I guess I’m doing a bit of unloading as well as seeking counsel here.
My family is going through a period of major change, not the least of which has been my returning to the Church.
I lost my job a few weeks ago. The mill I’ve worked at for twelve years is going to one shift, which leaves me about fourth on the call board. This means that I am essentially unemployed.
This has been a fantastic job, enabling me to support our family on a single income which has been higher than the average income for two income families in Canada. Part of the problem is that our bills reflect this level of income. The only “extra” we have is our dial-up internet access. No cable, no magazine subscriptions, etc.
Unfortunately, my formal education ended with high school. I have no degrees to enable me to find a decent paying job elsewhere. Downsizing is the order of the day in my industry, so there are few prospects of getting on at another mill. Even if I did, I would be on call and working little.
While I’m able to collect employment insurance, I plan on working through a temp agency. I do have a first-aid ticket which makes me a lot more valuable in industry and construction. Temping will expose me to numerous companies and likely lead to a better paying job than I could get by going back to full time security, which mostly pays minimum wage.
So now my wife has had to find a job so that we can keep our heads above water. She has been home with our children for many years. No trounble getting work. She’s been hired by a local call centre and starts training next Monday.
The problem is that the training lasts for five weeks and runs from 13:30-22:00 Mon-Fri (1:30-10:00). This means that she will have to give up her activities at least during her training. She’s an assistant leader with our boys’ Beaver colony and also at a support group she is part of. She mentioned today that she feels like she will be missing our son’s lives. She’ll be able to see them for a few minutes in the morning before school and will be gone before they get home, and they’ll be in bed before she gets home.
There is also a very strong likelihood that odd hours will keep her away quite a bit once her training is done.
So I’m gearing up to be the primary parent and she’s gearing up for a full time job. Has anyone else been through this? What did you find helped with such transitions? My wife has suffered from depression. The support group is a cognitive therapy group for this and similar disorders and I’m very concerned about her being cut off from that for the next five weeks at least. Helping the kids cope with such major changes in the routine? Any words of wisdom?