25 years ago this August I was forced back into the workforce as we as a family were in danger of losing our home. Interest rates were in the high teens and living on one salary, no matter how careful we were, just wasn't covering all the bills. I had always been happy to be a stay at home Mum, in fact I loved that as a job, but I had to put that to one side and put the family first. I have never regretted the decision - although the plan was to work for 2 years and then stop, and I am still working. Partly because as the kids got older the bills increased, and then because we enjoyed having some extra money in the bank and also because I love my job. I was hoping to retire at 55 - next year in fact, but the recent events with Super mean I probably will stay for at least another 5 years - but luckily now only working 8 days a fortnight. We weathered the storm, stayed strong as a family and came through the other side all the better for it.
I can see similar times ahead now for not only members of my own family but other young families. Even with my glass half full take on life, things are going to get tough and stay tough for a while - hopefully no more than 5 years but who knows.
What I worry about for those now facing this challenge is that there are less jobs and the marketplace is more competitive. I was lucky - I got a job because I knew someone who had got me some temp work and who then wanted to job-share and put my name forward. I was accepted on a 3 month trial basis, and then having proven I could do what was needed was made permanent. So I never had to compete at interview or put myself through the countless job applications that seems to be the norm now.
We help were we can, because we were helped in our times of need. I wish I could save my family from having to make the tough decisions, but the reality is they have to be made and all I can do is be as supportive as possible.
My only advice is to stay strong and rely on each other through the tough times. Do you best not to lash out at each other and try not to be hurt by offhand comments if your significant other is lashing out in frustration. Find forgiveness in your heart as it is through love that we can find the way forward. If someone offers a helping hand, try not to see it as a condescending gesture but take it for what it is - a gift from someone who cares enough to ease the burden.