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I'll give you $50 if you tell my mom I'm unemployed

Just kidding, I can't afford $50, I'm unemployed!

By D-DonohoePublished about a month ago 4 min read
I'll give you $50 if you tell my mom I'm unemployed
Photo by Steve Ding on Unsplash

It seems my family has a long history of keeping secrets from its matriarchs. Some of it’s because we don’t want them to worry, sometimes it’s more about self-preservation.

In the early 1970s one of my uncles was arrested and locked up in a Middle Eastern country. When the people from the embassy came to see him, his only request was “Don’t tell my mother”.

Back when I used to smoke, I went to great lengths to hide my smoking from Mom. Before going to see her, I’d go through the complicated ritual of brushing my teeth, washing my hands and face extensively, and then applying copious amounts of deodorant and aftershave to cover any further smell of tobacco.

Now I’m certainly not languishing in an Iranian prison after the authorities discovered some wacky weed in my luggage, nor have I taken up smoking again. In fact, I haven’t done anything illegal, or anything bad for my health (this time). That has not stopped me from keeping from my mom that I don’t currently have a job and have been without a job for a bit over two months.

You may have read my previous article on my resignation:

Although at the time of writing this story, only five people have, so that's probably a long shot.

To recap, I was unhappy with my job, and it began affecting my mental and physical health and devastated my confidence. So, I happily gave my boss my resignation on the 23rd of September last year. My contract required three months’ notice and I thought that would be plenty of time to land a new job. I mean I’ve got a great CV with loads of experience, and obviously, I’m a great communicator.

I had made my mind up that I wouldn’t tell my Mom because she’d be nagging about things like “What if you don’t get another job?” or “Maybe just give it another year”.

Then one day, about a month after I’d resigned, I rang Mom. While we were chatting, she got a bit upset. When I asked her what was wrong, she said, “Your sister hasn't been dealing with your dad’s death, so the other day she went into her boss's office and resigned. She doesn’t even have another job to go to.

Naturally, the only response I could muster was to say, “Geez, who would do something so stupid?

My sister has always been viewed as the sensible smart one of the family, with me considered the less smart, less reliable sibling. Whereas Mom was expressing concern for my sister I anticipated it would not be as caring a response for me. But also, if Mom didn’t lecture me, and was genuinely empathetic, I don’t want her worrying about me.

But then, to make me look worse, my sister got a new job within a month. Whereas I got through my three-month notice period and finished up without a job to go to. As of yesterday, it’s been two months since I stopped working.

It has been challenging keeping up the ruse though. Even though Mom doesn’t live in the same town, I’ve had to make sure that nothing sparks her curiosity (I credit my Mom’s snooping senses for why I became such an effective Detective).

This has meant doing subtle things like calling Mom in the late afternoon from the car like I have done previously on my drive home from work. I also monitor what my six-year-old daughter is saying when she’s on the phone with grandma, I don’t want a sudden “But Dad doesn’t have a job” slipping out. Not that my daughter has really picked up on the fact that I’m not going to the office every day, which I guess comes from the increase in my working from home since the start of the pandemic.

It's not like I keep Mom completely in the dark about things. She knew I was unhappy at work. She knows that I’m applying for jobs. She just doesn’t know that right now, technically, I don’t have a job. I’ve had some promising interviews of late and I’m hoping that I’ll post an update to this story (maybe do a quick edit) to say, “I found a job, and all is right with the world again”.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. This time off has been great for my mental and physical health. I’ve gotten back into exercise, done some study, and some more writing (but if I could get a lot more people reading my stuff I’d be worrying less about a job). So, when I do land my next job, I’ll be in the right frame of mind to deliver my best work. So, the only negative is keeping this teeny tiny secret from Mom.

If any of my readers know Mom, please don’t mention this story to her.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed it, please like, comment, or subscribe. If you are feeling super generous, this unemployed struggling author appreciates all tips as well.


About the Creator


Amateur storyteller, LEGO fanatic, leader, ex-Detective and human. All sorts of stories: some funny, some sad, some a little risqué all of them told from the heart.

Thank you all for your support.

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Comments (28)

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  • Mohamed Jakkath2 days ago

    It can be difficult to share certain personal information with family members, especially if we feel they may worry or judge us. However, keeping secrets can also be stressful and can cause unnecessary tension. It's great to hear that the author has been able to use their time off to focus on their mental and physical health, exercise, study, and writing. It's important to prioritize self-care during times of uncertainty and change. Hopefully, the author will find a new job soon and be able to share the news with their mom. I wish the author all the best in their job search. May they find a fulfilling job that brings them happiness and stability.

  • Sarah Wilcox3 days ago

    Digging your writing style definitely excited to read more from you!

  • Madison Newton10 days ago

    The title really pulled me in, I think a lot of people can relate.

  • Rasheek Rasool14 days ago

    This is Realy Great

  • Winner grace!!30 days ago


  • Furkan Ceylan30 days ago

    This is great!

  • Erica Wagnerabout a month ago

    Told with humour — but also heartfelt, such a tough balance to strike. Really enjoyed this, and looking forward to the next chapter of your journey.

  • Abigail Penhallegonabout a month ago

    I liked the way you framed this. You talked about your life and your relationship in such a pleasant, easygoing way even though the subjects are not, and it was very interesting.

  • Alexander McEvoyabout a month ago

    Haha yeah, keeping things from parents is something I’ve noticed that we never grow out of. Not because they’re terrible, just because it’s better for us if they don’t know :)

  • Martin Thomasabout a month ago

    This is always a difficult topic.

  • Stéphane Dreyfusabout a month ago

    Job hunting is the worst. May you get the perfect job immediately!

  • Dolvie N.about a month ago

    Hahaahha..nice story!

  • Sebastião Kialaabout a month ago


  • Loryne Andaweyabout a month ago

    I'm 31 years old and I didn't tell my Mom I pierced my ears for a week. Not because I knew she wouldn't like it (she doesn't care at this point), but she'll go into a lecture on how to clean the piercing to avoid infection (after I've already done my research). But if I show her that my ears haven't fallen off after a week, she'll know that I know how to take care of my own gosh-darn piercing! Thank you for sharing this story. ❤️'d and subscribed.

  • P. Nylanderabout a month ago

    Thank you for making me laugh. I like your sense of humor. Good luck on the job hunt!

  • mokradi_ about a month ago

    Good luck on the job hunt brother! We are with you.

  • Kimabout a month ago

    Good for you. Your actions are unrelated to your moms happiness. I went through a similar situation and had to learn to let go of this concept

  • Mark Grahamabout a month ago

    Great job. I am semi-retired and I would like more to read my articles here to help me out a little financially. I get reads on my first few pages, but my others no luck it seems. Just tell your mom unless she figured it out already. You will feel better for your honesty.

  • Anfas Mohammedabout a month ago


  • Francis Katikuabout a month ago

    Well enriched

  • Suman Meelabout a month ago

    aapki yah baat hamare Dil Ko chhu gai hai ise yahi sabit hota hai ki aap Jo bhi kahani likh rahe hain vah best hai aap apne Parivar se kuchh alag karna chahte hain good

  • Lori Meltonabout a month ago

    I feel your pain and responded accordingly 😊 - good luck on the job hunt and please send some of that luck my way!

  • Lauraabout a month ago

    Thank you for sharing your story. It's not uncommon for families to keep secrets, and sometimes it's for valid reasons such as protecting loved ones from unnecessary worry. Your uncle's request to not inform his mother while he was imprisoned and your own desire to not tell your mother about your job situation demonstrate this. It's understandable that you don't want your mother to worry about your job search, especially given your sister's recent experience with resigning without another job lined up. It sounds like you're doing your best to keep up the appearance of still having a job, and it's commendable that you're taking steps to ensure your daughter doesn't accidentally reveal the truth. It's also great to hear that this time off has been beneficial for your mental and physical health. Taking a break to focus on self-care and personal growth can be incredibly valuable, even if it comes with the added stress of hiding your situation from others. I wish you the best of luck in your job search and hope that you'll be able to share good news with your mother soon.

  • Dana Stewartabout a month ago

    Your sense of humor shines in this piece. I also read your linked piece so now you have at least 6 reads on that one, plus a new subscriber. (me) :)

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