Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stay-at-home moms go to work

Moms who choose to stay-at-home with their kids are having to change the family dynamic. What would you do if you husband lost his job? With all the lay-offs happening lately, it's a scary reality.

From ABC:

From Wall Street to Main Street, the slumping economy is being felt everywhere. The reality is forcing many families to make tough choices and even forcing some stay-at-home moms back to the workforce.

Working at a Maryland hospital is how Anne Calladonato spends most of her day, but at home is where she used to work and where she'd like to be now. She said, "Everything's gone up, from milk to diapers to gas, to our electric bill, and so I needed to go back to work and I didn't necessarily want to but it was almost like we didn't have a choice. We laid out the bills and we said, our options aren't many."

This stay-at-home mom of two turned working mom after three years away. Calladonato says she had to because the household income dropped by more than 60-thousand dollars, virtually overnight. My husband's job was alleviated, and it was two weeks before our second child was born. And granted he found a job quickly, but it was significantly less salary.

The Calladonatos aren't alone. The latest Labor Department numbers show the unemployment rate spiked to just over 6 percent in August, an increase for the eighth straight month. What you're looking at these days is all kinds of working mothers perhaps going from part time to full time work, or perhaps taking on a kind of moonlighting job at night or on the weekend.

And that is extremely hard on families. Experts say stay-at-home moms trying to re-enter the work force face an extra challenge: the longer they've been out, the less they make when they jump back in.

The reality is that it's hard to get back in. For instance if you're a college grad, you actually lose about 37 percent of your earning power if you take 3 years out. That's the case for the Calladonatos. Anne is making less now than she used to. But she's keeping it in perspective. "I mean, life changes, you just have to accept it, and you have to try to make the best of it," she said.

Is anyone struggling with this? I know my bills have gone up significantly and I'm at Wal-Mart instead of Kroger and Schnucks a lot more often!

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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Anonymous said...

I just went back to work after being a sahm. Its really hard and stressful. Not only working but having to work a midnight shift to boot because child care cost is so expensive, it would have cost me ver a thousand dollars a month for 3 kids! So I work from 11-7 come home and am up with the kids all day as daddy works...I sleep when he gets home at 6.
Even tho I added to the income coming in, our bills are still more than we can handle exp with gas prices...we dont have cable, or satelite we live with rabbit ears, we shop at aldis...the only luxury we have is the internet and thats required for my husbands job. we have cut out all "excessive" spending and we still are short....I think the full time stay at home mom will be absolet for most of America.

Rixblix said...

I was a stay at home mom for 10+ years. I stayed at home when money was tight for our family; we learned to live with less. It may be a struggle for families to live on one income if they are unwilling to eliminate many of the extras we've come to think of as necessities. As the previous commenter mentioned, it's going to be difficult for some to cut back any further, but I see many families who have LOTS of room to "cut the fat" and make staying at home a workable option.

Our societies priorities have been out of whack for quite some time. Perhaps these economic times will give us an opportunity to re-evaluate.

Stephanie LH Calahan said...

Great article about stay at home work at home moms. I wanted to tell you about a great conference I know about. It is in Bloomington - Normal on October 11th. I'm amazed at some of the companies that will be there. It is not all just MLMs, to VA services, Transcriptions, travel, photographers and more - all having opportunites for moms to work from home. There is also going to be over 10 speakers and workshops. I read that Work It Mom founder Vicktoria Grace will be hosting a panel - What is it like to be an Entrapreanuer? Breathe Mom Breathe! 7 survival tips for busy moms - presented by Bethany Vedder. other speakers and workshops will give moms tools and keys to balance life as working mom, plus some great shopping. I'm going are you?

tinaperhay said...

I saw the billboards to that conference. I definetly marked that date on my calender. I would love to find a career at home. With the price of gas, daycare, and groceries being so high. You can't afford to drive to work everyday. My husband and I work opposite shifts so we don't have to pay a sitter.
I think all moms should be able to set her own hours and work when it fits her schedule. Around kids games and practices, school programs. Always have dinner as a family. I agree with the above comments, full-time stay at home mom is the way to go.

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