There was some big news in the family on Monday: Dad lost his job. He and his boss hadn’t gotten along for….well, ever…..but dad is stubborn and doesn’t know when to quit, so instead of accepting a bs performance review, he decided to go over his boss’s head and send emails that make his boss look like an idiot (whether he is or not is not the point). This is not the first time he’s sent such emails. So everything boiled over and he came home early on Monday with a couple bags of stuff. I knew even before we had a family conference that he was unemployed. Luckily (or maybe unluckily) my family has been through this before. Shortly after my second brother was born, my dad was laid off (through no fault of his own) and was out of work for two years. Right after he came back from Iraq he was laid off basically because the gov’t didn’t want to pay his medical bills and was unemployed a few months.
My dad’s so different when he doesn’t have work and it’s tres weird. When he’s not working, he’ll cook and clean and play with the kids and do anything to keep himself occupied. When he’s working, he eats out almost every night (usually before the kids get home) then will feed them something from a can before going to lay in bed and leaving them with me or my oldest brother. If he’s in a really good mood, he’ll take the boys to play basketball at the Y once or twice a week. I don’t want to sound hyper-critical here because I love my dad, he loves us kids, and he does have health issues that tire him out, but even with all that considered, he’s sure not in the running for Father of the Year. Which is fine, because very few dads are, and he’s a lot better than a lot of other dads
Anyway, I thought it would take more than 2.5 days for him to transition back into his unemployed phase, but I was wrong. He and mom are going to the hockey game tonight so he decided to take it upon himself to cook the sloppy joes ahead of time and rent a movie to make babysitting “easier” on me. I know he’s trying to be helpful, and I’m trying to be grateful, but I really just feel like rolling my eyes. Whenever he works, I cook dinner and watch the kids every night. I don’t need him to “make it easier” on me. Like I said, I know he’s trying, and I shouldn’t be bitter, but I’ve seen this song and dance before, and I know that he’ll transition right back to the leave-me-alone-I’m-tired-let’s-go-out-to-eat-crappy-food dad as soon as he gets another job.
PS: I think one of the reasons I’m so unsympathetic is that he lost his job because he couldn’t swallow his pride and keep his mouth shut. And why would he knowingly endanger his job when he knows how bad the job market is because he’s seen me searching day in and day out since the end of December???