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I have discovered the art of blogging and I love it because it allows me to vent - usually to myself - but hey ...

Like millions of others, I’m a working mom, with two daughters, one a teenager, one who thinks she is and a husband, who more times than not, resembles a third child.  

Like millions of others, there are days I wonder "why?" Why did I choose this color countertop? Why do I take the time to cook nutritious meals when you'd all prefer cookies? Why do I clean the house only to have it look exactly the same the next day? Why did I marry you? The latter became incredibly true last night when I walked in the door after working 14 hours and traveling 1 1/2 hours each way to and from work to be greeted by manchild with, "How do I file for unemployment?" EXCUSE ME! OMG, WHAT HAPPENED? "Oh," said the manchild , "the boss had to cut expenses in the business and let someone go so I told him to let me go because I needed a break and figured I paid enough into unemployment these years it's time for me to get some of it back." WHAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTT!? My parents are aging and failing, my daughter just suffered two seizures out of the blue, my company just announced that will be laying off more people after the 1st of the year, we have a mortgage, two cars, a child going to college in 3 years, I work full time, do everything in the house, inside and out, and YOU NEED A BREAK !!!!  I would ask someone to shoot me but I'd be afraid they'd miss and then I would have to clean up the mess.  

After a sleepless night and a workout this morning, I have decided that the curveball he just through me is OK - you know why? Because I am a woman and I can do anything - and will do anything to protect my children -- including leave.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • The idiocy of some people flabbergasts me.

      I don’t know you or your husband, and am about to comment on your situation based on the details of what you’ve shared here. (Because you’ve shared these things, I’m going to just go ahead and assume it’s okay to do so.)

      I think what he did was completely selfish. The first thing that came to mind was Kevin Spacey in “American Beauty“, saying “I want the least amount of responsibility possible“. Of course, if you’ve seen that movie, then you know how well that DIDN‘T work out for him.

      Who DOESN‘T need a break??

      Was this a job he had for a long time, or does he (like a couple of people in my own past) have a history of making snap decisions about jobs?  

      When my father walked away from another job in a long list of them (when I was a teenager) because yet another supervisor was a “jerk to work for“, my mother finally told him “You just gave away the last reason I even kept you around.”

      I recognize that isn’t necessarily your situation, but when you mention leaving, I have to wonder if there’s more you’ve been dealing with, and are just approaching the final-straw stage.

      Take care of you first, because then everything else will become clear and fall into line.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Daphne wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • Wow...this one’s a doozy.  

      First of all, the fact that your husband would make a unilateral decision like that is indicative of something much bigger.  Perhaps you need to ask him how he could make such an impactual decision without first consulting you.  In a partnership, it is crucial to involve all impacted parties when making decisions.  That is a non-negotiable (for me, anyway).  

      Secondly, perhaps you should let your husband tell your children what he did and why he did it.  If it was me, i would have no part in the delivery of this news to the children.  I would, of course, be there to comfort the kids when they hear it...but i would say nothing to support or insult your husband when he delivers it.  

      Lastly, does your husband realize that, by accepting unemployment as his means of income, he just reduced his salary by 50% AND put his family in a questionable situation come tax-time?  

      I’m sorry you‘re faced with this, Denise.  In my opinion...it’s a big one.  Accountability is key when someone makes a completely bone-headed decision...i hope you hold him accountable.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise LePard Elhalawany wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • Hi, ladies.  You are both correct in your assessment of the situation.  It IS part of a bigger problem.  He told me about it in front of the girls.  The look on their faces said it all. “Mom, will be alright?”  “Mom, are we going to have to move?” “Mom, what about Christmas?”  I could just read their minds which is one of the reasons I didn’t react to his announcement. I wanted them to feel secure in the fact that I had the situation under control and just reassured them that all would be fine.  They actually called me at 7:30am this morning when I was at work to ask me if everything would be alright.  How can a father do that to his children?

      Oh, he and I will talk, and it wont be calm, I’m sure, but I know it wont do any good.  I would love to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head, but I don’t have the time.

      I truly believe things happen for a reason and perhaps this is God’s hand gently pushing me in a direction I should have gone before.  But you are right, Feathermay, I have to take care of me and the girls first.  And Daphne, he WILL be held accountable.  I’m sitting here writing this and still can’t believe what transpired last night.  Thanks for your feedback.  It helps to hear from people who are “separated” from the situation.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Daphne wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • Denise...only one thing i have to say...DO STAY CALM.  You will be more efficient and clear-minded.  Deliver your perspective calmly.

      Volume is the quickest way to diminish a conversation with a man.  He will be working harder to get away from you than he will be working toward a solution.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Maria Louise Van Deuson wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • WOW! I thought my husband threw me curve balls...  

      This is truly the time for level-headedness on your part. IF he’s quit his job, he can now take care of ALL the work outside of your job that you’ve been doing. Times are tough for most people these days, and I think it’s very selfish of him to quit his job without talking to you first. I’m sure he’s not deserving of a break more than you are!

      One thing for sure, you can’t take care of everyone. Women tend to want to take care of everyone around them first, and themselves last. Not a good idea. Yes, parents are aging, but they are adults and hopefully they have their financial resources and won’t depend on yours.

      As far as the daughter starting college? If you‘re in the US, student aid works wonders. I hope you file a FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid). Your daughter can apply for grants, scholarships etc. and start a loan under new SSN. They WILL look at your annual income and expect a family contribution from you, but at least you can finance a big part of it. If she lives at home you don’t have housing cost. If she lives on campus you can finance the housing and the meal plan too. We did that with my two step-daughters (and my son will have the same, if he ever attends).

      Just take a deep breathe, and then have a calming talk with your husband. Unemployment isn’t as much as he thinks, and he won’t be able to get it forever. Also, depending on his field of work and the economy a new job at the same level may be very difficult to obtain.

      You’ll be in my prayers.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • In our world today with this rocky at best economy, that was about the most insensitive thing he could have done. Forget unemployment, that man needs to get his butt out and get a job, doing anything, to keep his sense of pride as a man and help to care for his family. Unemployment, he should save for dire need, not because he needs a break. Let him flip burgers for awhile. Low stress and he’ll be earning a real paycheck.

      I’m so sorry he chose to do this and you and your kids are caught in the middle. You shouldn’t have to bear this burden.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • Denise,

         My husband throws curve balls, but I catch them. Be quick to think, quick to move forward, but please slow your anger. Yes, his behavior is deplorable and selfish to say the least. If you start yelling at any moment, he WON‘T hear you.

         You’ve already decided your next move, write it all down and then do it. If you love enough to stay, give the change three months or six, but stick to your decision. You will have help along the way and you will survive. God loves you and I do too.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise LePard Elhalawany wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • I am overwhelmed by the support from all of you!  Thank you.  Manchild and I just finished a telephone conversation where he told me “not to worry,” he’ll find something “off the books” to supplement.  With all your support and suggestions, I calmly explained, as if it needed explaining, the economy is such that people can’t find jobs - period - let alone “off the books.”  I asked what he planned to do all day and he replied, “I’ll be a house mom - ha, ha.”  “I’ll go visit my friends, sleep and relax.  Don’t worry, it will only be for a few months then I will find something.”  Almost an hour later, I thought, he just doesn’t “get it.”  I realize now, he “gets it” just doesn’t care.  He doesn’t care that he made a life changing decision without consulting me, he made a decision that will affect our children’s lives if he can’t get another job and so on.  It’s ok.  I “get it.”  I really do.  Some of us need to be smacked in the face with a 2×4 before we see the light.  One day at a time ... that’s all I can do.  I don’t know a single one of you, but you have helped me more than you know.  Thank you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • I agree with Teeky3. Your children will land on their feet for having a mother like you.

         In my opinion they already know the strength of you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda Hendricks wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • Okay...I’m going to be the devil’s advocate.... in spite of all he’s said...are you really sure he “volunteered” to be the one laid off?  He might be trying to save face not only in front of you but everyone else too.  

      When my husband was alive, he was laid off unexpectedly.... so I know exactly where you are coming from.  While he never said he volunteered for it... he didn’t... his company abruptly closed the store.... he was very embarrassed by the lay off.  He acted the same casual way your husband is acting.... it wasn’t until years later he admitted he was shell shocked and scared like hell.

      I have been through 4 lay offs in the last 6 years... I’m unemployed right now... it’s the nature of the beast in my line of work... I’m an IT analyst... I have been unemployed since the end of June... job after job has fallen through at the last minute due to companies holding off on hiring.... in any case... my point is... you would think I’d be used to it...NOT...you never get used to it... it bothers me too...a lot.

      Men have egos they don’t like to admit they have... Give him a few days .... then sit him down and work out a budget... see his reaction then... it might be different... you just have to avoid blame... because if he feels that you think he is to blame for the lay off... he may never open up....  

      I never blamed my husband and I was supportive.. I was working a bazillion hours... doing everything... and he knew it... what I didn’t know until he told me years later... was how much it bothered him.  He felt so ashamed.
      Trust me... at the time... he never showed it...  

      I hope things work out for you... the good thing is that he seems willing to take anything to get money into the house... which is a very good sign...

      Good Luck!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Alleyne-Hill wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • This is one hell of a curveball indeed...This man has to be the most selfish, single-minded, “Manchild” that I have heard of in a very long time. I had a ‘Manchild’ before but in this case, he was at least a little more responsible than yours appears to be.

      I have no doubt, Denise, that you and your daughter will be ok, but it will be interesting to hear what he plans on doing with his life now...I don’t know if you will be able to remain as calm as you seem right now..(I’d be ranting and raving, cursing like a sailor..Of course I know it won’t help..but I’m saying....)..but my prayers are with you and your girls..While some of us are worried that our spouses or ourselves might get laid off..this man ups and volunteers for it?...Nah..I don’t even comprehend this one..This is beyond a mid-life crisis...He should have came home with a kick ass sports car...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise LePard Elhalawany wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • So funny you mentioned “volunteered.”  Knowing my husband’s sometimes temper, I, in fact, just called his boss/friend and asked him if something happened that caused him to lay manchild off.  His exact response, “Dee, I didn’t want to lay him off.  I told him that we could cut expenses in other ways.  Even cut the hours of part timer employees, but he said he wanted a break.  I asked him if he talked it over with you and he said he did.”  Let’s add some insult to the injury, shall we.  So there. The only thing involved is his narcistic way.

      He just asked me why I am so calm about this.  I don’t know why, maybe because I’m at work and he’s not in my face right now.  I just know that I need to be even tempered for the girls.  We’ll see what the days ahead will bring.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Alleyne-Hill wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • Like I said..you‘re calmer than I would have been..lol..They would be peeling his behind off the walls or ceiling by now...I’m just sayin...

      I’m sorry I don’t see how a man would say he ‘volunteered’ if he didn’t..To save face, I would think he would say he got laid off..not volunteered to get laid off..He’ll get more sympathy and understanding if it was involuntary, don’t you think?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Encee wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • Holy Crow.  

      I’m glad you said you worked out.  (Yeah, that’s a professional opinon!)  In fact, you should be increasing your physical activity as much as possible.  That doesn’t mean doing double-duty around the house!  Your mind is under a lot of stress and it’s working overtime so you need to level that off - balance you know, balance - with extra physical exertion.  It’ll do you a world of good.  

      As to your hub.....I hope he’s just down about the job loss and that’s what’s making him say something as outrageous as that.  Maybe, he needs a counselor.  Not that you should incur any additional expense, so I’m thinking perhaps a minister/priest/rabbi etc. or there are free services out there you can check and then of course you have to get him to actually go.  

      But,  you know this situation puts you in a new role.  You have become sole breadwinner in your house.  As such you should get your subordinates to pull their own weight around the house and lighten up  your load.  I know it’s hard, because I’ve done this, but it can really work if you simply don’t do so much of the work yourself.  But pick and choose what you skip.  If he hates to cook, then it’s that, if he needs his blue shirt washed - do whites that day.  You get the idea.  It could make a difference, I hope anyway.  

      Good luck to you.  You know they say when one door closes another one opens.  Your husband may find something better.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda Hendricks wrote Nov 22, 2008
    • Holy Cow... I think I’d kill him... well...no... nobody is worth prison... I’d give him a break alright.... my God... I’ve been out of work almost 5 months.... thank God I worked in two states... and the I just opened a new claim for benefits... I’m scared to death... I just hope people start clicking on my ads on my blog.... Obama just said in a statement that if they don’t do something fast another million people could be outta work... is your husband a psycho or what???
      I wouldn’t be calm unless he had a job and started on Monday..



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise LePard Elhalawany wrote Nov 23, 2008
    • GOOD MORNING, LADIES.  An update - I have absolutely no idea what has come over me but my calmness is beginning to scare me.  I arrived home last night and he was “ready” to discuss his decision.  I told him, calmly, that the decision should have been discussed BEFORE the decision was made.  Said goodnight and went to bed.  He is never up with me in the morning when I get up (5am) and he was today and wanted to know why I’m “behaving like this.”  I just smiled and said, “what’s done is done.”  I really am frightening myself.  I usually never sleep through the night.  Last night, I slept like a baby - go figure.  The only thing I can think of is I prayed all the way home on the bus to God to help me “not loose it” when I saw him and God must have sent his angels to keep my mouth shut.  

      Thanks to all of you for your support and ideas.  I’ll keep you posted.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Nov 23, 2008
    • Denise,

         Yes it is scarey when you know yourself so well. The grace thing is that God is listening to your prayers that coincide with your heart, which He knows better than you. Just keep it up, because I believe that He is also saying something to your husband.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Daphne wrote Nov 23, 2008
    • Sounds to me like he’s not handling YOUR curveball as well as you handled the one he threw at you!

      He’s shaking in his boots, Denise.  Your reaction, from the sounds of it, is very out of character for you.  

      Good for you for staying calm.  You’ll make much better decisions for keeping focus where it belongs.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Nov 23, 2008
    • Good for you!! I could never remain calm!! You rock!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Alleyne-Hill wrote Nov 23, 2008
    • Good job Denise...Now you have HIM wondering about what is going on in your mind...He’s spending his time thinking..and that’s a good thing...You have this man so confused, who knows what else he might ‘confess’ to...lol



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheryl Sharpton wrote Nov 23, 2008
    • I read all the posts and only want to add that I agree with bfly.  You are my shero.  I could never have remained calm in the face of what you experienced. Your girls are lucky to have a mom such as yourself.  You shine with an inner strength and I have no doubt that you will pick the right path.  God has made you calm because you need to be and he will carry you through this.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Shopgirl1960 wrote Dec 22, 2008
    • Denise, you are my shero too!estatic

      The only way to take control is to be in control!

      I am so sorry this had to happen for you at Christmas time!
      This man needs a life lesson of some sort. But YOU are a smart woman~!



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