I'm feeling like I'm in kind of a rut right now... I think it's a combination of financial stress (just the somber reality of being a young family with the costs of housing, daycare, bills, student debt, credit card debt, etc, etc, etc, all while living on mediocre wages, driving shitty cars that break down too often, etc...), unhappiness with my job, my wife's unhappiness with her job, and the frustration with missing out on so much time with your family/friends because you have to spend so much time a job you don't really enjoy being at...
I know none of these issues are major, or even outside the norm for many people in my situation, but it still leaves me feeling really frustrated and a bit depressed. Luckily my relationship with my wife is strong, so we are in this together, but I still just need to vent about stuff. The financial stuff just makes all the rest worse, because I don't have the freedom to just leave my job... I hate being a slave to money, and it's so depressing how many issues of ours would be solved immediately just by being in a better financial situation. The worst dream I've had in a while is one where I won the lottery. During the dream it was awesome. I paid everything off, got new, functioning vehicles, put money aside for the kids, helped my parents and brothers out, and everything was just easy... and then I woke up and the weight of all of those things just crashed down upon me again.
My wife's situation at work is super frustrating. The provincial government here has been in "cut all funding" mode for a while now, and my wife works in the provincial infectious disease lab. Despite having her PhD in Microbiology, she's only been able to get a lab tech position for now, because seniority is the only way to work your up within the lab. But with all the funding cuts and major changes to the entire health authority thanks to absurd government decisions, they are not creating any new positions and there is basically no way for my wife to break through. So for now, she is working in a temporary role at the bottom of the totem pole, despite being qualified to be running her whole department (she applied for that job, but didn't get an interview because she has very little seniority). She has something else lined up for September, but she is stuck there for a few more months, and it's the most negative work environment ever. She is an extremely positive woman who always tries to make the best of any situation, but she is coming home extremely stressed out and depressed most nights. It's hard seeing her like that. It's only for a short while longer, but she cares about the people she works with and works so hard to help make things better for them, but she has little power to help, and she keeps getting shit on.
For my work situation, I do drafting work for an office furniture company. The pay is ok and we get decent benefits, but we don't get sick time at all. Having two young kids, I can have to miss work because I am sick/have an appointment, either of my kids are sick/have an appointment, or our daycare lady is sick/has an appointment/takes a day off. My wife takes the kids to daycare, but I pick them up every day. My wife can't now because she works later than me and daycare closes before she could get there to pick up the kids. All of that means I don't really have the ability to stay late to make up hours that I have to miss, so sick leave is just time without pay, which I can't really afford right now. I've reached out to my bosses about getting a laptop so I can get work done from home in the evenings, or in the event that I need to stay home with the kids (my job is all computer based and I could easily do it from anywhere). They don't want the expense of a new laptop though, and don't want us working from home, and don't want to give us sick pay... We also tried to have a meeting to discuss frustrations dealing with sales people being lazy and not providing ample information to do a job properly, and the response was basically "we are a sales company and you are all just sales support." Both owners used to be sales reps who then bought out the company, so they either don't understand our jobs, or don't give a shit about our time. I continue to offer solutions to difficulties we face in hopes that eventually they will understand that I have the company's best interests at heart, and not simply dismiss me off hand, but each time it fails, it drives me to look for new opportunities. It's frustrating working somewhere that you feel unappreciated and undervalued.
So now I am starting to look at other opportunities again, but I am worried that my expectations for a job are just unreasonable. Since finishing university, I have never had a job for longer than 2.5 years. But I need to find a job that I can do where I can at least come home proud of what I've done and content to go back the next day... That doesn't seem unreasonable to me... but I am starting to think it is.
The biggest thing is that the brightest part of my day is the time I get with family and friends. I don't see my friends much anymore because of families and work... but we still make an effort to hang out once and a while. With my kids though, I wake them up and rush them off to daycare, then I spend most of my time at a job that drains me, and then I come home and feed them supper, hang with them for an hour or so, then put them to sleep. Aside from weekends, I'm lucky to actually spend more than 2 hours with my kids each day. That's not enough. It's not a lot more with my wife, since we're dealing with the kids when we get home, then we put them to sleep and have an hour or so before she goes to sleep. I usually stay up a bit later to do some yard work, work on some drawings for a video game project I am helping out on, or sometimes just to play some video games for an hour before bed.
Sorry for the long rant. I know none of these are major issues, but it's all just compiling right now into some frustration/depression feelings. I don't really care if no one wants to respond. I just needed a place to vent.
Sorry things are tough for you right now. They will improve I'm pretty sure. Your story reminded me of me years ago. I had three kids and a step son. It was hard and a lot of work. I was lucky though that I had my own business and my wife could stay home. Good luck in the future and I hope things improve for you. Maybe get your buddies together and recreate the dance you did on your wedding. I still remember that because it made me laugh. Probably would make the wife laugh if you surprised her with it. Might cheer you up.
your wife has a PhD in microbiology but can’t find a good job? Is she tied to the provincial government? Can you go elsewhere like the US?
In our city, the main areas available to her are provincial government and university. With the government there is no real value to education unless a specific spot opens up way up top that no one with any seniority is qualified for (which rarely happens). And as I said, our government is a joke right now, gutting funding to everything that isn't oil-related or lining the pockets of their donors. Teachers, health care, and basically all other provincially run organizations have been on hiring freezes and have been fighting and threatening strikes just to get cost of living increases over the last few years...
At the University, she has been keeping her eyes open for opportunities, but because she did her PhD here, her professor/adviser already runs the lab that studies her area of expertise. She's applied for jobs at the university as a lab instructor, and probably would have had one if she wasn't 5 months pregnant when she had her interview... She's going to start working as a lab manager for her former adviser later this year, but it's a temporary position that relies heavily on grant funding, which is never a guarantee, and the pay isn't great either.
We talked about moving around, and did live in Halifax for a year, but wanted to come home to raise our kids around family. We knew it would hinder her career opportunities, but family is #1 to both of us, and we don't regret the decision, even if it makes things tough.
Sorry to hear things are a little tough right now but try not to let it get you down. I'll tell you what I told my daughter once when she asked advice about some of the very same things you & the wife are going through. It doesn't matter how much money you make if you are that unhappy with your job then it's time to find a new job that you enjoy doing and going to. Saska do you have your own laptop that you could use from home when you can't be at work because the children need someone? Is there a way for your family to watch the children for a few hours so you & your wife can have some time for each other?