My husband and I are having a bit of a mental breakdown these days. It wasn’t until we had a huge fight yesterday that we got to the root of the issue: Ron isn’t feeling like the provider, and I’m not feeling like the caretaker. If you had asked me a year and a half ago if I believed in gender roles, I would have said “not really.” Since the day my daughter was born though, my mind has been changed.
We graduated from college with our bachelor degrees a year and a half ago. Having trouble finding jobs, we agreed that whomever found a decent job first would work and the other would stay home with the baby when she came. Well, I found the job. Ever since then, I have felt like a failure and Ron has felt inadequate.
You see, I might bring home the bigger pay check, but it’s still not enough (Ron teaches art on the side and does carpentry work when it’s available). I’m also unable to maintain my home and be with my daughter all of the time which is what I really want to do. I’m trying at everything I do, but I’m not performing up to my standards (yes, perfection…I can’t help but to expect that I execute everything well!). Ron, on the other hand, has been beaten down by a year of applying, interviewing, and not being able to find a job paying more than $9.00/hour. How does this make him feel? Like he’s not good enough to be able to provide for his family.
I used to think we’d have no problem with this reversal of traditional roles, but alas, I was wrong. We really struggle with it. My heart is at home. His heart is in production–not cleaning or cooking. Until our situation changes though, this is where we’re at…just like a million other families right now who are struggling to find work and provide for their family!
So in case you’re also looking for a decent job, here’s my “how to get a job guide” based on the hours I’ve spent scouring job listings for my husband:
1) Get a degree in engineering, nursing, or information technology.
2) Learn to speak Japanese.
3) Look like you’re of a minority race…and female, if you can pull it off.
4) Live with mom and dad so that you can afford to have a part time job making $8.00/hour.
5) Give your family to someone else so that no one will mind if you work 60 hours a week and have a 2-hour commute both ways.
6) Learn to hack computers and the US mail system so that you can monopolize the applicant pool for a job–get rid of anyone else’s resume that looks like competition for you.
7) Send phony resumes and applications to the job along with your real one. Make the fake ones all look terrible so that yours stands out as being particularly superior.
8) Spy on the company and compile a list of applicant names and phone numbers. Use this information to call the company and let them know that each person has accepted a job elsewhere and is no longer interested in working for them. Except for you, who will have to now be offered the job by process of elimination.
9) Create your own job. Yeah, some of the most successful companies were born out of recession times. Like McDonald’s.
10) And if all else fails, make up some business cards that title you as “Professional Job Seeker” so you can at least enter to win those “free luncheon for you and your coworkers” contests at local restaurants. Hey, you never know!