Annie Lane: A layoff plus a new baby are putting my family on edge

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2023

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Dear Annie: My husband had worked at the same company for the last nine years. A few weeks ago, they called him into an office at 4 p.m. and asked him to shut the door and have a seat. They informed him that they were letting him go.

I gave birth to our third child the following day.

Now there are five of us in a cramped apartment taking care of a newborn, and he has no job. He’s hanging in there, but I am obviously preoccupied with the baby. We have some financial runway, but at some point, that will run out.

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I don’t have the capacity to help my husband as much as I’d like, but I know that he needs my support. Also, we need his income.

What should I do? — Worried Wife

Dear Worried: First, congratulations on the birth of your new baby! While jobs can come and go, a child is forever, and that is something to truly be celebrated. I am sorry that you and your husband are going through this. Remember, if he got a job in the first place and kept a job for nine years, then his track record is pretty good. The odds of him finding a job fairly quickly are good. Be grateful that you have financial runway, and keep faith that he will find a job soon. You also have him home at a time when juggling a new baby and two other children is going to be a lot of work. Rejection is just redirection. He will find something better.

• • •

Dear Annie: This is not a question but a request to get the word out to other people.

I’m deaf in one ear and have severe hearing impairment in the other ear. I have had the most difficult time since COVID-19 because of the widespread use of face masks. They make it harder for a deaf or hearing-impaired person to fully understand anyone. Most people with deafness and hearing impairment either learn sign language or read lips or both.

Face masks cover up lips, so for people who don’t know sign language and don’t have an interpreter, the struggle is real. The clear masks were a great idea, but they fog up when breathing. When asked to write down what they are saying, people don’t want to do it or they huff and puff about it.

Also, hearing aids and cochlear implants help, but they do not give full hearing back or bionic hearing. I’m asking for patience, empathy and understanding for people who struggle with deafness and hearing impairment.

— Can’t Hear Well

Dear Can’t Hear Well: Your hearing might be impaired, but your perceptive and kind message came through loud and clear. Thank you for sharing this important information. COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone, but this must have added an entirely new level of stress and frustration to the hearing-impaired community. Patience and empathy are two virtues that we could all work on to make the world a better place.

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