This is a guest blog post by Aaron Steele, a 25 year old husband and father from Australia. A little while ago, Aaron lost my job and suddenly realized that he was overweight, broke, unemployed and had no real skills. Aaron decided that he was sick of the way his life was playing out and he wanted to make some serious and carefully planned changes. Aaron began The Lifestyle Overhaul as a means of documenting his journey from where he was to where he wanted to be: Fit and Healthy, Highly Skilled and Wealthy enough to spend all the time he wants with his kids.
This is Aaron’s website: The Lifestyle Overhaul (www.thelifestyleoverhaul.com) which is about his quest as a young dad of 2 to improve his health, his finances and his payable skills. Aaron’s Facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/Aaron-Steele-The-Lifestyle-Overhaul-167876290231076/
How to Cope with Being an Unemployed Dad
I lost my job two weeks before our second child (who we appropriately called Faith) was born. It was one of the most difficult times our little family has ever had to endure. This was the 3rd time in 2 years that I had lost my job.
I had only had the job for a few months and I had been absolutely loving it, which made the sudden redundancy even harder.
One of the things that really hit me when it became apparent that we would be welcoming our new baby into the world without any sort of income was that I was failing to provide what I consider to be one of the most important functions as a father: to provide for my family.
It was really difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that I was failing one my most important responsibilities. I would think to myself “What sort of dad can’t even provide for his children from the moment they are born?” I was torn between the joy of having a baby daughter, a little sister for our little boy, and the grief and anxiety of suddenly becoming unemployed in a very difficult job market. I would lay awake at night worrying about how we would make ends meet and how things would work out for us.
I would stay awake at night stressing out because I was overweight, unemployed and broke and had very little in the way of marketable skills. I had worked in mostly unskilled jobs like customer service and sales, but also had 2 university degrees which were counter intuitively making it harder for me to find work (apparently having a master’s degree doesn’t qualify you to work in your field, but it does over qualify you to work in any other field.)
Mostly though, I lay awake at night beating myself up about just how terrible a husband and father I was for putting my family through all of this.
This went on for some time. Does this situation sound familiar to you? If it does, then I can sympathise with you, I really can.
It’s now been 5 months since our little girl was born and unfortunately I am still unemployed, but there is a difference now. I have learned to cope with this situation because I have a plan to give my kids a better life.
I have decided to take strategic steps to improve my life and to guard as much as I can against this ever happening again. I have mapped out 3 specific areas that I need to improve:
- My Health
- My Finances
- My Skillset
I have moved my family (interstate) back in with my parents to save on costs and been trying my best to find work. Once I find work I will be moving my family into a little house by the beach (helping to alleviate stress) and putting myself on a strict nutritional ketosis diet (improving my health) and teaching myself how to code (developing a payable skillset.) I will also be working on ways to build a passive income so that I can eventually quit my job again and spend more time with my kids.
As dads, we can sometimes let some aspects of our lives deteriorate because we are focusing on just one or two things, like paying the bills and going to work. I sincerely believe that we have a responsibility to actually look after ourselves.
We can do this by making a solid, multi-faceted plan that addresses the aspects of your life that are suffering. I have structured my Lifestyle Overhaul in such a way so that I don’t attempt to tackle everything first and subsequently set myself up to fail. As dads, we cannot afford to fail, we owe it to our families to repair the suffering aspects of our lives so that we can be the best fathers and husbands that we can be.
For more articles like this one, check out Aaron’s blog here: