I have been observing a new phenomenon that is sweeping our nation and infiltrating playgrounds and morning coffee klatches alike.
A phenomenon I’d like to term: “SAHM (Stay At Home Mom), Interrupted.”
Now, the definition of “SAHM, Interrupted” is double entendre. There is the SAHM whose blissful homemaker existence has been interrupted because she is forced to return to the workforce to supplement the family income. Maybe, the frequency of her spouse’s bonuses is down or there is rumor of a possible redundancy looming.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of the workforce made up by females will increase from 46 percent in 1998 to 48 percent in 2008; 21 million women are expected to enter the labor force by 2008. I personally believe this figure will be considerably higher as I know very few SAHMs who are not considering returning to the job force. No longer can many SAHMs afford the luxury of being a one income household with the rising costs of well … EVERYTHING. I mean what food has not increased over the past couple of years, not to mention the price of gas? So, hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work those SAHMs go!
Or, there is the SAHM that has been dealt no other choice, but to be stuck at home. She must tighten the apron stings as she can no longer attend playgroups or outings which require a full tank of gas to get there. An afternoon spent at the mall is avoided at all costs unless shopping for something specific. And, she must forget about all those Mommy and Me classes because in this economy, if you want to be a SAHM, they are out of the question!
There is no denying that both definitions of “SAHM, Interrupted” are directly related to our sluggish economy and rising cost of living. Which ever way you look at it, the blissful life of the SAHM has been forever changed and interrupted. No longer is every day “casual Friday” nor can home cooked meals for the family be simmered on the stove for hours on end whilst we watch afternoon soap operas and eat bon bons. All kidding aside, one can’t afford to spend money on the ingredients to make said home cooked meals let alone spend the time if going back to work.