Imagine the irony. The very same week I was driving around in a $50,000 car, the 2017 Lexus IS 350 to promote here on my blog, I became unemployed. That fancy car then began serving as my vehicle to begin a new job search.
Yeah, that was a crazy week.
And really, it’s been an interesting month and a half since then. Let me catch you up on what I was hiding from social media this whole time…
It was simply my fate. I was already a vegan daddy blogger and a YouTuber. The demographics were there. So it only made sense that a guy like me would end up as a stay-at-home dad.
On October 18th, after having worked for over a decade at the same company in the Human Resources field (recruiting, onboarding, and retention), the new president of the company basically shut down the whole branch where I worked in Tennessee.
Imagine the psychology: Spending over 10 years of your life at the same company, seeing the same people day after day, appreciating the solitude of the same hour long commute to and from work; simply having a predictable routine which made me feel like I was financially providing for my family.
And then suddenly, it all ends. The plug is pulled. Not just for me, but for an office full of people who suddenly have a new full-time job: to find a new full-time job.
I admit, I was privately struggling with it. Even though it wasn’t my fault, nor the fault of the dozens of other people who were laid off that day as well, it still felt like a death, of sorts.
That job was part of my identity. I was always grateful for it. It was my first real job out of college; and really, my only full-time job.
During the next 30 days, I applied for over 60 jobs online; plus, I signed up with 4 different staffing agencies. It all resulted in one legitimate job interview, but they ended up hiring someone else for the position.
Through all this, it was important to me that no one else knew I had lost my job and that I was in search of a new one. I didn’t want the free world asking me everyday if I was okay, or asking if I got a new job yet.
To put myself in that situation would make me feel like I was some sort of victim- which I am not. I always choose to be victorious; never a victim.
The way I’m wired, I didn’t want anyone to know about any of this, until I had a success story to tell.
Just as I was about to cross the line of “not okay anymore”, right before Thanksgiving my wife presented me with some amazing news which I was quite thankful for.
As she is the one who handles our budget, she joyfully explained to me that since losing my job, we have been continually putting more money into our savings account each week; not less.
When I asked her how, her immediate response was, “I know it has to be a God thing.”
She went on to break down all the ways we were saving money:
We are no longer paying for two kids to be in daycare full-time.
Our daughter, who was growing up in day care, stopped getting sick, so our doctors’ bills ceased.
I am no longer filling up my car with gas each week; only monthly now.
While that may not sound significant, my wife told me that considering the cost of two kids in day care, my job was ultimately only making our household $200 per week. I was being paid appropriately for my position where I worked, but my wife has a Master’s Degree and therefore has been making a bit more money than me for a while now.
So actually, those little things added up to more than cover the $200 per week difference.
Me? A stay-at-home dad?
It would have been too crazy of a plan; for me to leave my steady job of over a decade. But that steady job came to an end; with over 10 years of Human Resources experience as a souvenir.
We wouldn’t have chosen this. It wouldn’t have seemed like a smart position. But it’s working for our family right now.
And obviously, I truly enjoy getting to actually spend time with my awesome kids. Even my wife and I have more quality time as well, including the fact she is able to call me everyday on the drive home from work. We have more time together as a family now.
Granted, I’ll remain on the look-out for a great job in Human Resources, as I never stopped applied for jobs. And while my daughter is taking her nap each day, I work diligently on further building my YouTube channels, which I predict will eventually exceed the $200 weekly difference.
But as for now, I have officially made it part of my identity. Last night, I changed the “work” section on my Facebook profile:
I am now a stay-at-home dad.