It’s been two weeks since Papa went back to work. Initially it didn’t feel like an adjustment was really necessary. With odd jobs related to our homestead or helping out family and friends, his absence for the day was not unusual.
(making indian head dresses for Thanksgiving)
The kids and I went about our daily business, anticipating the return of Papa at dinner time with excitement, but managing just fine without him. Then 3 or 4 days passed and we all started recognizing those tell-tale signs of a major life change (which this is after 11 months of unemployment).
The kids were all more fussy, unable to explain their malcontent. The water tank ran low and I didn’t know how to fill it. The battery died and I couldn’t start the generator (Papa came home to find me cooking by the light of a lantern). And only one blessed hour between Papa’s arrival and the kids’ bedtime.
(Girlie in her Thanksgiving dress)
Once the realization hit that this was not an odd job day and Papa would be gone again tomorrow, the bitter-sweet reality of employment finally sank in.
This week he had two extra days off due to Thanksgiving; an opportunity for the kids to play around him outside while he worked on the homestead, and for Papa to give me some lessons in the plumbing of the camper. A gentle way to ease us into our new routine, but next week it will be Monday morning to Friday night again.
Honestly, I think we’re doing pretty well with this. It’s hard, but that’s to be expected, and we are finding a new routine. The afternoons are the longest, and planning dinner is what I hold onto as my hope for the evening and our daily family reunion.
(my 3 month old niece – isn’t she cute?!)
While this post is mainly intended to share what our experience has been like, I want to emphasize that this is not a sign the economy is turning around. Just this week I learned of one, and possibly two friends, who have been laid off, one because the organization he worked for has closed its doors for good. And rumor has it that a company we had reason to believe might hire Papa earlier this year has just laid off six employees.
Another sign the economy is bad – has anyone else noticed the huge push for Christmas layaways this year? And Christmas decorations on the shelf just after the school year began. Businesses are really concerned about their bottom line right now, and no matter how much they push their ads, people still don’t have money to spend.
I don’t want to sound depressing, but since we are trying to represent an average American family and encourage other families that are in the trenches, we feel it is very important for our readers who may not be experiencing the pinch that just because we have a job at this time does not mean the “recession” is over. We all still need to be wise with our resources, and be prepared for the future no matter what it holds.
On that note, you can expect that our new routine may change a little about what we write, but our lifestyle won’t change. We are still living in a camper because our income is still low and we want to save money if we can, and our passion is still to encourage and inspire other struggling families that they can thrive in this economy, no matter their personal budget.
If you know anyone who might benefit from what we share here, please send them an invite to subscribe! Our readership is growing quickly, and we’re meeting more and more people who are looking for ideas and stories. It is exciting to see these connections made, and we hope to see it continue to grow and bless others.