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Old 12.08.2017, 08:52
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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To each his own. If being a stay-at-home housewife, cleaning and cooking everyday makes you happy, then that's your prerogative.
I never implied this, this is your stereotyped interpretation of my post !

As for me being a "stay-at-home housewife", it would be little difficult as i got moobs not boobs !!

I think i said "a chance to develop something new", household chores are certainly not new, "something different than some "career" working for a multinational or whatever" something different, so you have just stereotyped with your assumption of household chores.

Although saying that, a lot of people gain a lot of enjoyment from cooking for instance, is this also classed as a household chore or a hobby ?

There is a lot more to life than "career", a very few of us will make a career and reach the top, which after all is what a career really is, to reach the top in your chosen profession. Many of us won't but we won't know that until we're 45-50, by which time it is too late to turn the clock back, we have nasty ingrained habits. At this age it is also usually to late to become independent as we are too used to corporate life and cannot handle the administration associated with a company.

As i said, quit looking at only the career and look at other things, use your skills gained and put them to use, maybe it won't support you totally but it will help, it will give you back your self-esteem and as people have already mentioned, a marriage is a partnership, not a race to see who is better or who earns more or does more/less household work.
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Old 12.08.2017, 10:08
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Totally, agreed - but you can't force someone to look at it like this ... many of us come to that conclusion, naturally - but it can be enforced. And yes, in many ways, many women are still very lucky to be able to have the opportunity and time to develop new skills, learn new things, enjoy new sports, arts, whatever- compared to men who are still expected, by many, to be the main bread winner, etc.

But - if someone feels belittled by the situation, frustrated, left behind, whatever ... then telling her to just 'enjoy it' (and yes, some to enjoy cooking- some enjoy cooking for special occasions- but the daily grind is boring as hell for many) aka 'pull your socks up and smile' - ain't the way to help.

But great mention of starting your own business- would that be a possibility for you Kikenz? Certainly do enrol in some serious German language classes next term. Migrosschule course will begin in September- they also do classes for all kind of sports, including Tai-chi, yoga, tennis, and more, arts, crafts, IT skills, photography, from beginner, to advanced, etc, etc, etc - and it is a great was to practise your German and meet other people. x
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Old 12.08.2017, 11:35
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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Totally, agreed - but you can't force someone to look at it like this ... many of us come to that conclusion, naturally - but it can be enforced. And yes, in many ways, many women are still very lucky to be able to have the opportunity and time to develop new skills, learn new things, enjoy new sports, arts, whatever- compared to men who are still expected, by many, to be the main bread winner, etc.

But - if someone feels belittled by the situation, frustrated, left behind, whatever ... then telling her to just 'enjoy it' (and yes, some to enjoy cooking- some enjoy cooking for special occasions- but the daily grind is boring as hell for many) aka 'pull your socks up and smile' - ain't the way to help.

But great mention of starting your own business- would that be a possibility for you Kikenz? Certainly do enrol in some serious German language classes next term. Migrosschule course will begin in September- they also do classes for all kind of sports, including Tai-chi, yoga, tennis, and more, arts, crafts, IT skills, photography, from beginner, to advanced, etc, etc, etc - and it is a great was to practise your German and meet other people. x

Thanks Odile for being so encouraging. I find it funny that people are quick to impose their thoughts on you online without knowing the entire backstory and then assuming.

I did not disclose on what I've been doing so far but just to make things clearer, I do have my own online business, and I am also a yoga instructor so I have all those grounds covered to keep me sane. The poster above did not want to read my initial post properly and came to the conclusion that I am seeking to race with my husband to earn more and climb the corporate ladder and just sitting around the house doing nothing but feeling sorry for myself that I am not a CEO of a company. What I've been reading is him sounding so bitter than a woman could be a successful career woman while being able to balance a home-life. Nothing personal on my end but certainly reads like a personal attack on his end.

I've said to some, I've tried everything in my situation to overcome these feelings of being down but nothing in SG is enough to keep me happy, apart from being with my OH. Poster above went off topic and decided to focus on the career aspect of things, when in reality, other factors such as surroundings contribute to depression.

Odile, we need more people like you in this world. A truly understanding, supportive and non-judgemental soul that doesn't kick anyone while they're already down but instead, lifts them up with encouragement. X
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  #304  
Old 12.08.2017, 14:46
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I find it funny that people are quick to impose their thoughts on you online without knowing the entire backstory and then assuming.
A popular reaction when faced with criticism or a different viewpoint: "you don't know enough about me". Of course he doesn't know the whole backstory. No one does. Today_only is not a mindreader, neither is anyone else, and he - and everyone else - can only offer input and advice (which may be different than the average reaction) based on what you post here. If you only want encouragement, then say so, but outside of that you will hear opinions you may not want to hear. And sometimes being open to different input actually is much more helpful than a neverending amount of sympathy and/or pity.

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The poster above did not want to read my initial post properly and came to the conclusion that I am seeking to race with my husband to earn more and climb the corporate ladder and just sitting around the house doing nothing but feeling sorry for myself that I am not a CEO of a company.
He said no such thing.

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What I've been reading is him sounding so bitter than a woman could be a successful career woman while being able to balance a home-life. Nothing personal on my end but certainly reads like a personal attack on his end.
So much for reading things into someone's comments and personally attacking them... To draw this conclusion based on what he wrote is, quite frankly, utterly ridiculous.


Your whole initial post was focused on how you had to give up your career for the sake of your OH's and how much everything and everyone here sucks. All Today_only said is that coming here and giving up your previous job/career/whatever was your personal decision (even if circumstantial, it was still yours), that you may simply have to redefine who you are based on your new life situation and that career isn't everything. That is neither a personal attack, nor is it unreasonable advice. Quite the opposite really. No one said they didn't understand your situation, predicament and frustration to an extent. But at the end of the day it comes down to what someone recently wrote elsewhere here: don't like it, change it, can't change it, change your attitude. If you prefer to wallow in your misery instead and have everyone else chime in on that, well that's, again, your choice.

Last edited by Samaire13; 12.08.2017 at 15:31. Reason: Grammar
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Old 12.08.2017, 15:13
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Harsh words but I was thinking of saying something not so very different.
None of us can really understand the situation someone else is in and their feelings about it at a given time but sometimes different angles help to wake us and make us think things from a different perspective.

This is really worth considering:
If you are not getting the right answers, perhaps you are asking the wrong questions.

If financial worries are behind the problem, then the challenge is to increase the 'paid' things you already do. More Yoga lessons? Increase the size of your firm?
If money is not a real object, what is?
What do you really enjoy doing? What are you passionate about? No challenges?

Basically it seems to me that we are back to square one. I am worth more (to others and to myself) if I earn more money/produce more/have a higher rank? Or what?

I know that I have had a cushy life. We had enough funds that I didn't need to work for money. So I was free to do what I liked doing. I got enormous satisfaction doing the work with 'my'swimmers'. I was respected for my ability but the thrills were nothing to do with respect from others. I just got a kick out of it. At the moment I am teaching myself to play the piano. Not for other people. For me. I get a kick out of that too. I don't need to play to others. I need neither comments on my perseverence nor on my mistakes.

Does nothing catch your imagination? Nothing which might help to make your life really worth living? Each day a new challenge? Sad.
But it wasn't all one-sided. Mr. Longbyt had his passions too. And now we are both retired, we still 'work' at things we like doing.
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  #306  
Old 12.08.2017, 17:04
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I know that I have had a cushy life. We had enough funds that I didn't need to work for money. So I was free to do what I liked doing. I got enormous satisfaction doing the work with 'my'swimmers'. I was respected for my ability but the thrills were nothing to do with respect from others. I just got a kick out of it. At the moment I am teaching myself to play the piano. Not for other people. For me. I get a kick out of that too. I don't need to play to others. I need neither comments on my perseverence nor on my mistakes.

Does nothing catch your imagination? Nothing which might help to make your life really worth living? Each day a new challenge? Sad.
But it wasn't all one-sided. Mr. Longbyt had his passions too. And now we are both retired, we still 'work' at things we like doing.
I just lurked here out of real context but I second Longbyt. I am usually also too much on one subject of life where it is much better to let yourself the pleasure to waste your time on anything... like posting on EF Really, it helps to see things in perspective if you let yourself live your life. Do your 'business' a few hours a day but the rest spend on doing anything and nothing in particular just for yourself. Constantly pushing yourself towards your important goal makes you lifeless so to say.
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Old 12.08.2017, 17:50
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Longbyt and Leszek - yes, yes and more yes- if it is what YOU want to do- if this is how you feel. I would never say that someone is worth less because they choose not to work, earn less money, don't want promotion, etc, etc, etc ...

but it has to be what YOU want ... I stayed at home for 9 years- due to my accident and then 2 children in quick succession. I am so glad I did it, I did enjoy it - but then I needed to go back to study, and then to work, at something I loved and was good at. I went for promotion, I got it, up and up to Senior management - and then chose to go 'down' again- because I realised I enjoyed teaching more than I enjoyed managing. And yes, like you, I had a 'cushy life' and was able to make that decision (to go down ladder) - and we could have afforded for me not to work. Surely we can respect that others do want something else to what we want and aspire to- without judging them???
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  #308  
Old 12.08.2017, 18:17
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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Very early morning, when you wrote this, is not a good time for most folk.

Several years back, this post by Meloncollie really hit me. It was an aspect of the problem which had never affected me but one which obviously got to the core of the problem for quite a lot of people on here.

Might be worth re-reading. Hope that in spite of the rain, this morning is less grey for you.
Thanks Longbyt for pointing out this previous post.

It also reminded me of a few things - although I was not a "trailing spouse" - but just a single Mom who landed here (not as a Mom) and is still figuring-out life after 20 more years in this socially difficult to navigate society.

But it's not a bad one at all, and is worth the effort.

I wouldn't exchange it (just yet) for anything.
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Old 12.08.2017, 18:26
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I guess that's just a joke, because obviously you 'provide' much more than that and I hope it isn't just for the cost of your medical insurance. And I hope you've saved 'us' not 'him'. These guys come over, do their jobs, don't even need to learn the lingo, come home and get all the things they'd have to pay for otherwise. Food, company, sex. If they came over on their own, instead of with a female who is living on her own savings and lucky to get her insurance paid by her generous partner, the partner would be dead in the water.

And I know there are guys in this situation too, I just haven't met one yet. I hope they live in their own skins better than the females do!
Well, then you've obviously never met Blueangel or her OH .
A match made in heaven, and the post describes exactly how it can be (rather different than from your perception ;-))
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Old 12.08.2017, 18:56
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

I'm sorry. I don't agree.

I don't need to work in a financial sense, and for that I know I'm lucky. Very lucky. However, I need, want, have to work for a sense of personal satisfaction. I adore being a mum, but it's not my only defining characteristic. I've said elsewhere on EF but being Mrs Rufus, or Little Rufus' mum is not all that there is to me. I was a person in my own right before I was a mother or a wife.

I enjoy cooking, but I don't want to do it day in day out. It's all very nice saying "there's more to life" in a vaguely condescending, holier-than-thou manner but it doesn't take into account that one person's "more life" is vastly different to the next person's.

And if you know, in your bones, that following your career path - one I began at age 27, btw - is part of what makes you, you, then so be it.

There are so many careers, so many professionals, I don't know where the "corporate only, manager /boss only " notion comes from.

I personally cannot wait to get back to my career. I'll still be a mum, still be a wife, still do domestic stuff... But by golly I'll also feel more like myself.

Last edited by RufusB; 12.08.2017 at 19:07. Reason: Typo
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Old 12.08.2017, 21:27
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

I have no problem at all with folk 'going out to work' if it is the work which gives them satisfaction. However, meeting folk more of my age, I hear that for some people, it is, after their 'working life' has come to an end, not the work which they miss and not the money either. They miss the repect, people looking up to them, the title they had.

Things change so quickly and after a couple of years other folk have forgotten that a person held an important post somewhere. The person has lost their identity. Maybe they just hide away to try to forget it. Maybe they constantly remind others of the position they once had in 'society' to convince themselves (and others?) that they are still worthy of the awe they once commanded. It doesn't have to be a CEO position either. Any job in which a person held some sort of power can result in this feeling when he/she no longer 'works'.
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Old 12.08.2017, 21:30
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

There are situations, when no matter how safe one can feel in her unemployed dependency (liking charity work, being a stay at home parent or just devoted to passions or not) - the safety does not have to be there at all. Good for those who found themselves in reliable situations. Not everybody will.
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Old 12.08.2017, 21:42
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Hi
Nice thread. As many have already suggested, it all depends on what makes you happy that is good for your well being. First, learn German, spend time in sports, and if you desire look for a job actively. German helps a lot, really a lot. However to start with you could get a list of English speaking jobs or companies from this forum. I felt the same when i came here and was not working then. I dont mean work is the key factor that gives happiness but if you are on the hunt for it then yes it does. Otherwise find yourself occupied with nice things here and try to learn something new. May it be language to cooking or hobby. Good luck.
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Old 12.08.2017, 22:15
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I'm sorry. I don't agree.

I don't need to work in a financial sense, and for that I know I'm lucky. Very lucky. However, I need, want, have to work for a sense of personal satisfaction
I was in the position where I had no financial background, indeed the very opposite (partner illness related). Am happy that I've been able to finance my daughters Uni none-the-less over the past many years.

So, what I will never achieve will bring at least a huge sense of self-satisfaction.

It must be wonderful to not have to worry about financial things.
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Old 12.08.2017, 22:44
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I was in the position where I had no financial background, indeed the very opposite (partner illness related). Am happy that I've been able to finance my daughters Uni none-the-less over the past many years.

So, what I will never achieve will bring at least a huge sense of self-satisfaction.

It must be wonderful to not have to worry about financial things.
Christ, I have worried and worried plenty. I may have to again, but for now, no. I don't take it for granted .

Longbyt... Not every career means power and position etc. I'm not focused on trampling the masses to claw my way to the top. Not in my profession any way. We're too busy getting on with it. I get satisfaction because I know I'm having a positive impact.

And whoever keeps suggesting cooking ... please stop... I love to cook but it's not my reason for being. My work does not define me, and I have other interests coming out of my ears. However I'm proud to be an educated, trained, effective professional woman. Hear me roar, etc etc.

Last edited by RufusB; 13.08.2017 at 11:08. Reason: Raison d'etre. No circumflex accent on my tablet. Ta Neddy.
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Old 12.09.2017, 23:33
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Oh My God!! I relate 100%%%%!!
I live in a different country but my experience has been the same!
Thanks for sharing!

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I came here a little over a year ago for love (Swiss spouse) and envisioned it to be like many newcomers: a Heidi-like postcard, quaint villages, good bakeries, chocolate and cheese. I read of a great, bustling economy and a huge number of foreigners, rating it the "best place to be an expat."

It has been a sad awakening for me. I feel as though I'm verging on a breakdown. I haven't landed a job and integration seems like a near impossible feat after speaking with long-term expats (most of which are immersed with their 3 kids/families here, or Finance job that they transferred here with.)

I don't know what else to do: I'm in German courses everyday, practicing the language, I go to activity groups, events, try and meet people, walking in the fresh air everyday. I apply to jobs everyday but there are no opportunities in my field. They ask for 4 different written/spoken languages and EU experience (was a Copywriter/advertising in the US)

My spouse has ailing parents now, so unfortunately I can't go anywhere. He's very invested in his career and even though he is open to moving, has not been able to get job interviews anywhere else. I put on a smile and cook dinner before he gets home, because I don't want to upset him, nothing else he can do. I've begun to feel trapped and anxious about the future.


I'm considering medication as I feel like I have lost all livelihood, friends/support, motivation and interests I used to pursue. I've lost all zest for life...nothing is very enjoyable here for me anymore...the culture, bad food, weather, overpriced products, countryside. I have a knee injury which prevents me from going skiing, snowboarding or doing strenuous hiking (so please, don't tell me to just take a hike and look at the nice scenery)


I've traveled all over the country and for me it's just more of the same mountains/cows/countryside. I'm someone who prefers metropolitan, multicultural, inspirational cities with a lot of sunshine and/or access to the sea. Sometimes I just sleep for hours to make the day shorter, it's like I'm 30 going on 70 years old living in a retirement home around here.


Can anyone here relate or have I gone completely mental? What would you do in this predicament?
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Old 13.09.2017, 14:05
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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Any job in which a person held some sort of power can result in this feeling when he/she no longer 'works'.
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Longbyt... Not every career means power and position etc. I'm not focused on trampling the masses to claw my way to the top. Not in my profession any way. We're too busy getting on with it. I get satisfaction because I know I'm having a positive impact.
Your last sentence here is what I meant too. Using ones power to make changes. Using ones ability to have an effect on someone or something. Being accepted and respected by others who are, in turn, respected by you.
This may all be lost when a job is no longer part of your life.

An amusing example.
A physiotherapist I know well started work again when her children started school. After her first day's work, I asked her how it had gone. Tiring?
Her reply "it was wonderful. The first client came in and after checking her problems, I asked her to try to lift her right arm to shoulder level. And she did"
The client knew the physio knew what she was doing. She respected her and was grateful for her skills.
She loved her children and enjoyed the time spent with them but after several years of being repeatedly confronted by -er shall we say 'childish obstinacy' the physio was suddenly a person to be Respected! Obeyed! Thanked! By adults! This part of her identity was regained.

Back to the roots - What I originally wanted to say was that it is easier to find 'compensation' as a bored and frustrated trailing spouse if you can find out what exactly you miss most. It might be adult conversation. It might be money of ones own. It might be satisfaction of doing a good job. It might be the interaction with teenagers. It might be creating something beautiful with ones hands. It might be just getting out of the house and seeing other 'wallpaper'. It might be the physical effort of laying paving slabs, mowing grass by hand, digging over a plot of garden, or the satisfaction of putting Ikea furniture together with no bits left over at the end.

I don't get no satisfaction...
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Old 13.09.2017, 14:09
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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Your last sentence here is what I meant too. Using ones power to make changes. Using ones ability to have an effect on someone or something. Being accepted and respected by others who are, in turn, respected by you.
This may all be lost when a job is no longer part of your life.

An amusing example.
A physiotherapist I know well started work again when her children started school. After her first day's work, I asked her how it had gone. Tiring?
Her reply "it was wonderful. The first client came in and after checking her problems, I asked her to try to lift her right arm to shoulder level. And she did"
The client knew the physio knew what she was doing. She respected her and was grateful for her skills.
She loved her children and enjoyed the time spent with them but after several years of being repeatedly confronted by -er shall we say 'childish obstinacy' the physio was suddenly a person to be Respected! Obeyed! Thanked! By adults! This part of her identity was regained.

Back to the roots - What I originally wanted to say was that it is easier to find 'compensation' as a bored and frustrated trailing spouse if you can find out what exactly you miss most. It might be adult conversation. It might be money of ones own. It might be satisfaction of doing a good job. It might be the interaction with teenagers. It might be creating something beautiful with ones hands. It might be just getting out of the house and seeing other 'wallpaper'. It might be the physical effort.

I don't get no satisfaction...
I rarely check into this thread, seeing as I'm not a trailing spouse, but this post really resonates with me.

I've been on the dole for less than a fortnight, but I'm already missing being good at what I do.

It's a bit rubbish, really.
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