Monday, March 29, 2010

Life in the Breakdown Lane

As life is screaming along we don't think about slowing down to smell the roses.  Who has time.  We have a job to hold down, family to feed, children to raise and if your lucky a great spouse to share it all with.

Then one day it all stops.  Life breaks down.  You lose a job and economic times take over.  You are consumed with putting food on the table and paying the light bill.  You need to find a way, and quickly, to live life in the breakdown lane.

Here are a few tips for making it through the tough times:

First, and foremost, find the silverlining.  Find tha feeling and positive that will get you through.  For me I am getting to spend time with my children I wouldn't normal get to spend.  I get to see my son's first steps, first words and get the chance to feel more like mommy and less like the lady who picks the kids up from daycare and feeds them only to put them to bed to do it all over again the next day. 

Here are some silver linings you might also have in common:

*  Time with my children
*  Save money on childcare
*  Save money on gas
*  Save money on eating out
*  Home projects

Next, you need to find a source of income.  There are many online websites that have terrific forums for just this purpose.  One of those is  They have excellent ideas on how to bring some much needed bread money into your home.  We will talk about how to come up with some great ideas that fit your life another time.

You need to find a schedule that works.  The notion of being at home with your kids and having everything tip top and perfect and time for everything you need and want to do is only that, a misguided notion.  Now that's not to say it can't be done, only that you need to be realistic about it and prepare a schedule that works for everyone.  The concept of having the freedom to do what you like during the day because you aren't tied down to a 9-5 job is nice, but not real.  I have found out the hard way that without some kind of plan for the day, bed time comes quickly and leaves you with an unaccomplished feeling of failure for not accomplishing 1/3 of what you had in your mind for your day.  Develop a plan.

Keeping your bills within your new means is something that can easily get away from you.  Great, you are saving all this money by not paying for expenses you would be if you were working full time.  And believe me when I say that can be a huge savings.  For me it was upwards of $1200 a month.  That having been said, remembering that there are expenses that you have to be mindful of while you are at home is very important as well.  For example, electricity; when I was out of the house all day I wasn't using electricity to run my computer or to power the furnace every time I would turn on the hot water to wash dishes or the television that is on with YoGabbaGabba to keep my one year old occupied long enough for me to write this blog.  Be mindful of these expenses because they can sneak up on you very easily.

Get out.  Going from life in the fast lane to life in the break down lane can be a lonely place.  Find a way to get out for play groups or walk in the neighborhood or in the park.  Don't keep yourself locked up in the house.  It is physically terrible for you and your children and a complete destroyer of a good mood.

Remember, this is just the next step in your life.  Life is all about change.  Take this time to regroup and make a plan for the future. 

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