My husband's previous job required a lot of him. He often worked nights and overtime. Somedays it felt like we only saw him when he was leaving to go to work. He got on a four days on, four days off schedule so his days off were different every week. We didn't have a typical "Monday - Friday Dad works and weekends are family time" schedule. We adapted to his schedule. His four days on, I tried to find activities for us to do away or that were quieter so he could sleep during the day before he had to go to work. I saw him for a bit when he got home in the morning and then for a little before he left for work in the evening. His four days off, regardless of which ones they were, were our family days and days to get things done.
My husband lost his job in January. He's been enjoying getting to spend time with the kids and figure out what he'd like to do next. I think it's also been eye-opening for us both - for him to see what it's like to be home all the time and for me to see how he does things differently than I do.
I think as parents and as husband and wife, it's important to remember to help one another out and take each other's schedules into consideration. I can't say that the hubby and I are perfect about that but we are trying. It's a work in progress right now - we're just getting into the groove of being around each other most of the time. Since he's home more, he's doing a lot more cleaning and helping around the house. He's an excellent cook and really enjoys making dinner for us most nights. We're adapting to each other's schedules.
My husband worked at his previous job for almost eight years. For someone young, I think that's quite an accomplishment. It's been...different trying to figure out what we'll do now. I was reading Lysa TerKeurst's blog earlier and this post from her personal assistant explains how I am feeling pretty darn well:
Being unemployed is hard. It's raw. It's full of uncertainty.Yes, it is rough - and not just for us parents, but for all of us. A week or two after my husband lost his job when I was tucking my four year old son in for the night, he asked me, "Why is Daddy home all the time?"
As I re-read the devotion I wrote about being unemployed that is running today through our ministry, I am reminded and comforted that God knows, He knew and He is still there.
He knows what we are dealing with daily.
He knew we would be on this journey.
He is still present, still active, still near.
This is where our thoughts must remain. This is where we find our hope.
I will admit that I fall off the wagon every now and then and enter into a pity party as my thoughts run aimlessly such as "Where are you God? We are trying here. Nothing seems to be working. Why is it taking so long?" In these moments of weakness, I must remember that God is doing His work on His timetable, not ours.
I told him that Daddy did not have a job any more. He thought about this for a second and then said, "Oh. How will we have money then?" I blinked back tears as I contemplated what to say. I finally told him that Daddy would be getting money from being unemployed for awhile and that he was already looking for a new job. That satisfied him and he went on to bed peacefully. That little question stayed on my mind, though. It kind of reminded me of God and his scheduling. In this situation, I (and my husband) are the little children saying, "How will we have money? Will we be able to pay our bills? When will I get a new job?" and all the millions of questions we want answered. We would love for it to be on our schedule, preferably NOW. But we need to learn to adapt to God's schedule and his plan for us. God is the patient parent, helping us and guiding us through our problems on his schedule so we can peacefully sleep for another night. This verse has been showing up a lot in my life (and it's no coincidence, I'm sure!) and I hope it will encourage you too:
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:12-13