I can honestly say I never thought it would happen to me. I don’t take risks, I work hard, I’m trustworthy, passionate about what I do, especially when it comes to my job and it’s always something I believed wouldn’t happen to me.
After four hard years working as a self-employed writer, I’d made it into a paid position. The joy of being able to provide a little monetary stability for my three children was the most amazing feeling ever.
It’s just business…
Then a year in redundancy hits, the best way to explain is it’s like being winded emotionally. For the first time, I let my professional face slip and I cried as the words were repeated to me. All I could think is what have I done wrong as I’m told ‘it’s not you, we’d love to have you as a freelancer…it’s just business…’ It carried on for what seemed like an eternity, then goodbye and deafening silence.
I remember thinking soon after it isn’t just business to me, it’s my life, my children, my income, my stability, my hopes broken, my confidence shattered. The relationships I’d built with work colleagues instantly gone, you question everything and everyone. But to everyone else again, it’s just business.
Instantly I began to cancel the luxuries I’d been able to afford, trips cancelled, after school clubs cancelled, our holiday on hold and with each one another kick to my parenting confidence. How have I put myself in a position that can affect my children, my family and our stable home? I felt, even still feel broken…
I just shut down after being made redundant
For the first couple of days I just shut down, I am very lucky to have a supportive partner who let me take a minute to feel as shitty as I did. He picked up where I dropped down and made sure the world carried on as normal around me.
Then all I wanted to do was sleep. When the kids were around, I smiled, laughed played and was mum, who else could I be. As soon as they were at school or in bed I slept. Sleep is my go to when depressed or stressed. It may not always be productive or helpful, but it makes the time fade and slip away without me having to feel or think.
I’ve always been a dreamer, even know I can still vividly recall my childhood dreams. The dreams as I sleep get me through the tough times, sometimes they take me through my stresses, again and again, other times they show me a new path and the way to move on. Maybe sleep can be a great healer, I’m not sure but it got me through that first week of feeling completely despondent with the world and a career I thought I had built.
As the days wore on I tried to be productive, I will beat this I will show them what they’ve lost, who they’ve lost, but something was lost within me. Being made redundant isn’t just a financially wearing situation the toll it takes on someone emotionally is immeasurable. Especially when you’ve worked hard to get a role you love, when you’ve put everything into it and fully trusted the business is behind you as a member of staff, it’s heartbreaking and the hit your confidence takes is something no one can prepare you for.
Now I’m just mummy…
The hardest part is when it hits the family too, my children are very proud of myself and my partner and what we do, it’s something I love. My daughter wants to follow in my footsteps, she loves to plan stories with me, share her ideas for features, she’s always reviewing everything we do and eat! Then my son wants to make games just like daddy, he watches with eyes wide open as daddy talks about the latest bit of coding he’s created. There is no greater feeling than your children’s pride, I couldn’t help but wonder if that would be hit now I’m just mummy.
Having to cut back financially is a hard knock that comes with any redundancy. The toll it takes on everyone is strikingly hard. We don’t spend a lot, we don’t go on big holidays abroad, all we have tried to do is build a happy space and home for our children. A secure place where they can enjoy growing up and that is definitely put to the test when you are financially stressed. Thankfully our children are young enough to enjoy the simple things of life, over the Easter holidays we’ve enjoyed our garden and walks in our local area instead of big days out.
I try not to think about the opportunities I can’t provide financially and hope they will always look back fondly at the time we’ve spent together as a family doing the simple things, I know I will.
Will it be ok?
People tell me it will be ok, you’ll find something, this could be the making of you. But I’m not so sure, I’ve always worked towards a life where I can be happy. I’ve never wanted a 9-5 that I wasn’t passionate about. I’ve never yearned a big house, flash car and material things. I’ve only ever wanted to be happy with all that I do, I’ve always believed we should do the things that make us happy in every area of our life and right now I feel that is impossible.
Being made redundant is such an emotional ride, on one side it is ‘just business’ however on the side I’m on it’s much more than that. It’s painful, it’s deafening, it’s damaging and depressing.
I’d love to end this on a positive note and tell you all not to worry, you’ll get through, it’s for the best, etc but right now I’m not there and I’m not sure it is. All I do know is, it sure is an emotional journey you can never prepare yourself for.