Surviving Job Loss When Mama’s the Breadwinner

Many moms these days are hustling hard, climbing corporate ladders and taking over as bread winner in the family. Stay at home dads are on the rise and the conventional sense of “family”’ is changing. Despite that, many working moms tend to still take on all of the invisible family tasks. Things like scheduling play dates, registering for activities, buying birthday gifts, locking in a babysitter for date night, booking doctor and dentist appointments, coordinating holiday travel to visit out of town family… the list goes on and on. So when mom is the earner and loses a job, it’s a really big deal. Like, a really. big. deal. What’s the plan for surviving job loss?

Being without a job is a significant and highly stressful, emotional & financial life change.

All of the working moms I know give everything they have to their jobs. They are committed and loyal employees often working long hours. They go above and beyond despite wearing many other hats like wife/partner, mom, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, neighbor… and more. Those women are there for everyone. Losing a job brings about anxiety, disappointment, calls into question self-worth, and separation from the regular routine. 

There’s the financial stability. One moment you’re heading to Disney for the weekend and the next thing you know you’re questioning if you should be going out to a restaurant. The pressure to find another job can feel insurmountable and suffocating.

It also impacts relationships. All of a sudden a relatively patient person can go from 0 to 10 in a split second. Whether it’s the kids, your spouse or a long-distance relative on the phone — the stress starts impacting those around you. Not to mention those sleepless nights where your mind does everything but rest when it hits the pillow. Maybe you’re coming up with ideas for a brighter future or your never-ending to-do list grows exponentially overnight.

All of these stressors are a recipe for self-destruction. IF YOU LET IT. But that same mama that worked hard, day in and day out, showed up for her job, her family and everyone else… THAT is the woman you need to search for and rekindle the light in.  

Life happens.

If you’ve never been through job loss, consider yourself lucky. It’s more common than you think. With companies evolving, consolidating, being acquired, running leaner, going digital, remote and outsourcing, it’s bound to impact you at some point, directly or indirectly. 

For those earning mom’s experiencing a job loss,

here are some thoughts to get through this stormy season: 

  • It’s just that — a season. It won’t last forever. It’ll pass. You will find another job. 
  • A new job isn’t going to just come to you. Be active, not passive in your search. It’s your responsibility – no one else. So get to work. 
  • Utilize your network. If you don’t have one, build it – now and fast. If you have one, leverage it. Reach out. Connect for coffee or pick up the phone to catch up. Engage people you know can spread the word. Get out and make new connections. This can also be done digitally, like through LinkedIn.com
  • Take care of yourself! Do not sleep in. Do not start eating poorly, drinking more and eating junk. You can control how you treat yourself, so take the best care of yourself. You need it! 
  • Read. Soak up new insights or read that book you’ve been putting off for months. You have the time, so utilize it as much as possible. 
  • Spend time with your family. Heck – it’s not every day you can take the kids to school or welcome them when they get home. While this situation may not be ideal, it’s temporary. Take advantage of the weeks or months you are home. Because when you land that next job, you’ll be consumed for the first 6 months minimally building relationships and creating quick wins. 
  • Have no regrets. Whatever you want to do in this time off – do it! If you need to get a part-time job, want to become an entrepreneur, or looking to change career paths – now is the time! 

Sometimes we are put in situations that force us to make the changes we’ve been wanting to make deep down. Focus on you, where you want to go next, and get on the path to making it happen. 

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