The society has always believed being a man is being a solution to almost all problems that may arise in different settings. A man must find a way to make everything work out for his family, friends, significant others and the society in general. The man has always been perceived superior that woman in handling difficult situations. Having a good a family, a good job, and being able to provide for my loved ones was considered my responsibility by my wife, children, and the society. However, my wife was also employed but I entirely took all the responsibilities in the family setup. I enjoyed providing for my family solely without involving my wife though she could occasionally come in to help. Losing my job was something that had never crossed my mind. Unfortunately, this happened to me at a time I least expected it. I was greatly discouraged and life became unbearable. Life changed drastically for the worst.
It was obvious that my wife would take up my roles and provide for the family. In addition, the family income went down and we could not afford some of the luxuries and even some basic things. Hiring a babysitter became a burden and I had to stay at home and take care of the children as my wife went to work. I had to clean up the house, cook, and do the laundry. I went shopping and attended to our last born who was only eight months old. Coping with these new roles was very challenging and stressful.
For our children, it was difficult to explain to them what exactly was happening since they were too young to understand. They could not understand why suddenly the dad stopped working and settled at home taking of them while the mother went missing for a long time due to overtime in the job. The children were asking for everything from me but now they could not understand why I could no longer provide due to lack of money. Our standards of living went down. The neighbors looked down upon me and it was clear the society did not take this kindly. They could demand to go out on the weekends, birthdays, and even ask for presents, as a father who did this without much ado, nothing was more painful than wanting to give but being unable.
On the other hand, we had friends and neighbors who had learned about my situation, their reaction startled me. Our frequent visitors withdrew, distancing themselves from us. I lacked company as most of my friends alienated themselves making me feel even worse. My efforts to acquire another job were futile, this left me discouraged and stressed. I was getting into depression and my wife started complaining about my changed behavior to her and the children. My efforts to cope were fruitless especially when the children with their naivety pestered me on so many things. A sense of desperation was ruling my mind.
With time I accepted what was had happened and soon afterward secured a job. It was surprising how suddenly people's treatment changed towards me. I was glad because even my self-esteem was restored but I could not help wondering why the society looks up to men as if they are more than human. Why is it not a norm that men can stay at home, as women go to work? Indeed, this was an awakening moment for my family and me. Societal expectations are a great force that can affect one's personal life.
Precisely, I have never felt discouraged in life than I did. Losing my job was a disgrace to my family and significant others. Nevertheless, this was a learning moment and I appreciated other peoples and societal expectations.