Searching for a new job is never a fun endeavor. Throw in the pressures of homeschooling your little ones amidst a pandemic and a mass recession, and you’ve got a personal sh*t storm.
One UK mom expressed her concerns about job hunting on LinkedIn and how she felt like an utter failure—and we’ve all been there. Abigail Flynn, a mom of two boys, was let go in June and has been looking for her next marketing opportunity since. Her heartbreaking, raw post highlighted exactly how painful unemployment can be.
“I think the worst part of job hunting at the moment is feeling like a failure for not being able to provide for my family. For not being able to even get a role I know I could do perfectly and are [sic] in fact probably over qualified for.
“Like a failure to my husband who is working so hard to keep us going financially.
“Like a failure to my boys who keep telling me they are proud of me for working so hard to get a new role.
“Like a failure to my mom whom I promised my dad I would always take care of.
“I’m normally so positive, but I feel like I am letting everyone down I love. I really hope the tide turns soon…” Abigail wrote.
We feel this mama’s pain. Luckily, her community showed up exactly as she needed. Nearly 500 users chimed in to let Abigail know she isn’t alone, and it’s what every struggling parent needs to see today.
“So many of us understand and appreciate exactly how you feel! We don’t always have the courage to stand up for ourselves, to our inner demons and say, ‘I’m not failing, I am worth it, and my time will come.’ It often takes a shake from a friend (or even a stranger) to separate the dark thoughts in your head from the realities and facts of the situation,” one user wrote. “You aren’t failing, you are trying, and it will pay off!”
“Stop! You are no failure. You’ve just described how much you mean to all those who matter and how much you do for them! I can guarantee that no one will be seeing you as a failure. Years gone by, you might be lucky enough to land your first or second job application and interview but times have changed and they are hard. You might need to submit 100, 200, 300, 400 before you get the job you’re after! And that’s no reflection on you, just a simple reflection of the difficult times that we are facing, both economically and socially,” another woman wrote.
“It’s not failure, not in anyway, shape or form. It’s simply timing. Please, please try and reframe things in your mind. Failure just eats away at you and does you no good at all,” another woman said. “I know, I beat myself up for years, but nothing good came of it. Only when I put the stick down did I finally feel happy again. There are plenty of people out there who will bash you, don’t do it to yourself.”
“You’ve only been out of work a very short time and hardly anyone is hiring. When I was furloughed I was worried about redundancy so I applied for jobs, and I didn’t get replies from some companies. It’s easy to think we are the problem, but we’re not. Like you, I think I was overqualified for some, and I also think there’s some very lazy recruiters out there who make wrong assumptions,” another man commented. “I think you should kick that internal critic of yours into next year and start talking kindly about yourself. Look at all your positive experiences. You are very far from being a failure. Give yourself some credit.”
“Right now, as tough as the situation may be, you will come through this and when you do, you will have a whole different level of empathy (and will have learned a lot)!” another user wrote. “And as hard as it may be, the trick is not to panic—and to be able to talk to people who can keep you focused on what you want… easier said than done sometimes, I know.”
Employed or not, the pandemic is making many working parents feel like failures—unable to give our all to work or to our families, all while sharing the same space. The physical and mental load is crippling, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Finding a way to take care of yourself at times like these is crucial, and these tips on finding joy amidst a global crisis might help. Stay strong mamas, you’ve already made it this far.