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!
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