And my kids never noticed

Tonight's post brought to you by this song

The past few months have been the suck. And my kids never noticed.

In the past few months, I've had ups and downs and ups and downs. I was happily employed, but driving an hour each way. The pay was good, but I was waking up before the crack of dawn and spending 2 hours in the car away from my family. But as is the way with that line of work, the contract was underbid and everyone was offered pay cuts to keep their job. A lot of us left.

I then spent a month trying to get back on my feet. And my kids never noticed. Life went on for them as normal, but I was home more.

Then I got another great job. It was close (5 minute drive, 15 minute walk). I was able to walk to work, and did every day. I knew this was a short term contract. I was told it was good through January or February. What I wasn't told is that to last until then, they had to move someone else to a different part of the contract. They didn't, so two people were out of a job a week before Thanksgiving.

I was pissed. I was jobless again. And my kids never noticed.

We've been struggling since then. We've had to rely on unemployment and public assistance to make it by. The majority of our kids' Christmas presents came from Santa (Toys for Tots). It sucks, having to rely on these sort of things to survive and give a good life to our kids.

In a way, unemployment has actually been a good thing. Some of you know that I'm a military veteran (if not, now you know). While in the military, I earned the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I am able to go to college, for free. I get a book stipend and a housing allowance, so I'm able to have keep a roof over my family's head. 

In the end, with all of this going on, my kids never noticed. With all the bullshit going on in my life, all the battles we're fighting to stay afloat, our kids have never noticed.

In a way, that's what parenting is all about. No matter what shitty situation you're going through, you keep it from your kids as much as possible. You kick and scream behind closed doors, fighting to keep life as normal as possible through all the strife, but you don't let your kids see it. 

Some days, it seems like life is really trying to get you down. No matter how much sand gets kicked in your face, you just make it work.

I'll end it with a quote from the song at the beginning of the post "Always" by Killswitch Engage:

I am with you always,
From the darkness of night until the morning
I am with you always,
From life until death takes me

Monuments built in remembrance of me
But monuments fade, erode and decay
The memories are all that remain
As far as east is from the west, remember

I am with you always,
From the darkness of night until the morning
I am with you always,
From life until death takes me
— http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/killswitchengage/disarmthedescent.html#11