A few years ago, I lost my full-time job. Due to the declining economy, the organization I worked at closed its doors for good. I found myself in a position I’d never been in – at home, every day, with one small child and another on the way.
Now, a couple years later, I’ve got a preschooler and an almost-preschooler, and I’m grateful for the opportunities the recession has given me. In some ways, I even believe the recession made me a better mom. Here’s why:
1. I am there for my kids, 24/7
After losing my job, I began realizing what a blessing it was to be home with my kids, day in and day out. We didn’t need daycare, or sitters to come and watch the kids while my husband and I worked until evening. The recession made it so that we actually could raise our own children, by ourselves.
2. I teach my children the value of a dollar
From a major loss of income, frugality is our new way of life, and it has also made me a better mom. I now coupon, watch sales, shop thrift stores and garage sales, don’t use credit cards and pay attention to how I shop for my family.
My kids have learned that we do not shop on a whim, and that every dollar matters. I teach them that presents are for birthdays and holidays, special treats are just that – “special,” and that it is much better to give to others than to receive.
3. I am more active with my kids
Because of our financial constraints, my husband and I opted to cancel our TV service. Besides saving a hundred dollars each month on our media bill, getting rid of TV has made be a better mom in dozens of ways.
Without the interruption of TV, I talk with my children more. We play outdoors, take walks around the surroundings, and go to the playground. We wrestle on the floor and set up elaborate wooden train tracks. We read books, sing songs and dance. We visit family and friends.
We make a conscious effort to spend time together as a family doing activities that cost little to no money. In essence, saving money from the effects of the recession has brought us closer together as a family.
4. I manage my time better
Before the recession, I was always: 1.) in a mad rush to get things done, or 2.) wasting my days in front of the TV or computer.
Since TV is now out of the picture (though, obviously, we still have the internet), I no longer find myself zoning out in front of the tube. With two little ones, the housework is never done, but I am on top of it every day.
Without my full-time job, I no longer need to rush to the grocery store and run errands late at night, or drag my kids around in their pajamas. Chores and errands get done during the day, and I still have time to play with my kids and enjoy our time together. I am now a better mom because my life at home is less chaotic.
5. I’ve found my place
I used to believe I had to work outside the home to feel validated. By having a degree, there was an obligation to have a full-time job in my field.
Now, a few years into the recession, I’ve learned that my current place is at home with my family. Granted, the transition was not easy and it took some adjusting. I look back on life these past couple years with my kids and realize I’ll never have this time back. This makes me appreciate and value our days together even more.
When I first lost my job, I never could have imagined I’d ever be grateful for the recession and a drastic loss of income. However, the economic downturn changed my life – and my family – for the better. It has made me a better mom, a better wife, and given me a new perspective on life that I wouldn’t have had without it.
About Teresa Brashear
Teresa Brashear grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from California State University. She is a mom, a HR manager at an IT company, and a successful writer at ResumeBros.com. She loves to spend time working in the garden, learning French and Chinese, and playing volleyball.