Sunday, September 5, 2010

When unemployment is like being a stay-at-home mom (Chronicles of the Unemployed: Weekend #1)

Ok, so all you stay-at-home moms out there know that being unemployed is NOT like your job. Clearly you are all employed—my mom was a stay-at-home mom; I know better than to say she didn’t have a job. Your pay just sucks. But when Marc got home the other day, and I had so much to tell him he didn’t even get a chance to get to the bathroom before I began the talking-off-the-ear attack, I knew we were in for it. And that began this wandering pondering (oh what a poet):

1) Adult socialization withdrawal. Unemployment means I don’t even see that one or two other adult-type people from my job. Unless I decide I need to escape the house, then I get to talk to the cashier at the check out line. I know you SAHMs know this deficiency. Let someone try to tell you that an infant or toddler brain is capable of scintillating conversation. And believe me, the cats provide even less mental stimulation.

2) The pay sucks. Period. I get nothing (unless that Unemployment claim comes through); you SAHMs do way more than I do and your paychecks still haven’t started coming through years down the line. Hey, I will give all you SAHMs a 50% raise. How does that sound?

3) You begin your day earlier than you ever did when you were working, naps start to sound really good, and the only reason you don’t go to bed early is because of #1 and your adult-type person spouse is home. I get up every morning much sooner than I did working—maybe because I dreaded work, or maybe because, as Wendy said, I’m not tired out from work. I make the hubs coffee and his lunch and send him on his way. I get tempted to take a nap just to move time along. And I stay up late to socialize with the hubs, who probably just wants to go shoot some zombies. Maybe our reasons for getting up early and taking naps differ a little bit, but the fact of the matter is that life has markedly changed.

4) You cut coupons. So far I have cut coupons. I haven’t actually used them yet. Before I couldn’t be bothered. I knew that I’d stop at the store on the way home from work and wouldn’t remember to take the coupons with me. Now? Now the grocery store is an outing. I plan for it. I will remember to grab the coupons. Heck I think I may even plan a trip to Aldi’s, or Save-a-lot, because now I don’t care if it’s multiple stops. Remember, it’s an outing. But it’s also a way to make sure that I cut out some of that silly spending.

Who knows, I may revisit this topic later with other ways my life parallels a SAHM. You know, with stuff I think up during all my free time. Granted I’m missing the one (or two or three) major aspect of the SAHM lifestyle—you know, the kids. And I don’t have to try to do all the housework with a child, or six, hanging off my pant leg chanting “mom, ma, mama, mom, mom,mom…”, but I also don’t have the enjoyment of that distraction to break up the day. Someone want to lend me a kid now and again? I’ll take really good care of them, I will. They can even hang off my pant leg if they want.

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1 comment:

Casey said...

Clarification: there was only one arguably adult-type person at your former place of employment to talk to. And agreed - unemployment = zero social interaction.