I usually post on my rare ventures here in the divorce forum, however, as a stay at home mom, I felt this topic may just be best suited here.
I found out about the affair in April. I'm now 39, have 2 year old twins, and have been a stay at home mom since their birth.
Once the affair was caught and I went on the job hunt, I thought surely I'd not have TOO terrible a time getting hired. Yeah. Nice optimism, eh?
Didn't happen. I'm a high school graduate who had started my studies well into my thirties after many years waiting tables and bartending, before my first job in admin in 2000. Needless to say, I started at the absolute bottom of admin, but by the time I met my STBXH in 2003 I had a low paying but very positive job, which also was about to advance me and had agreed to pay college tuition right when we were getting married and I had to quit to follow him to his military duty station.
In hindsight, that was pretty much the beginning of the end of my career. Through nearly a decade together, I was able to find some other admin work, start college, then it was time for IVF as I was about to pass the threshold of who they would perform it for. I quit school, was a SAHM, and when the girls had just turned one the affair started, then there I was, applying for work for 8 months this year with NOTHING to show for it.
Guess what. As a fluke I thought, what the hell? I'll call some former classmates who were also non-traditional and get their take. EVERYONE agreed: go back to school. But how? My ex's income would rule me out of $$. I have two kids requiring daycare as my twins are 2. No one will hire me because I have neither a degree nor work history as of late.
Called FAFSA today. Here you go, you possible future students:
My last return was married filing joint, me a stay at home mom.
Doesn't matter. For the purpose of FAFSA, I file "Did not complete return"
(Granted, I am separated and in transition, but this may apply to you, so take note).
My ex and I agreed to each claim one of the twins. They are domiciled with me (Ms. Unemployed).
For FAFSA, I claim 3 in household and 2 exemptions. I then take this information to the university to apply for aid.
I asked, "Is this lying, since we filed jointly and he makes $$?"
Technically, no. I was a SAHM, we were separated at least 6 months during the previous year, and I had no income. The kids were domiciled with me.
So, if you are on the fence about returning to school, or starting school for the first time EVER:
I'm 39. I have two years to go. I started school in my thirties to begin with. YOU CAN DO THIS. I certainly didn't think I would even make it this far into finding a route to move forward, as I've been separated since April with NOTHING happening, and with no career or direction, I can't express the depression and heartbreak it has caused.
I say all this to inform you that even if you think it is absolutely impossible after an extended period of time to move forward, you just never know what might pop up via the voice in the back of your mind saying, "look here."
You know what is best for you. But what if you, like me, have nothing that anyone wants to hire you for that works within your family frame, but know that SOMETHING must happen to move forward?
I'm as intimidated as hell about starting school again, but let me tell you, a month ago, this wasn't even an option for me, because I thought it was impossible. I contacted a myriad of friends and family, started doing some homework and paperwork, explained my odd circumstances, and when I say the universe has conspired to help, well, that may sound corny, but I swear to you it did.
Please, if you are thinking there are no options for you, even if school isn't your answer, look look look for the answer that suits you. Pursue all avenues, even when it looks hopeless. I cannot tell you the difference this opportunity is making in my healing and recovery.
I wish all of you the best, Stay at Home Moms and Stay at Home Dads.
We have the toughest jobs, and I wouldn't trade a second with these kids for all the karma bus action ever. :-)