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US slowdown: Stay-at-home mums return to work

Sep 22, 2008 11:32 AM IST India India

Washington: The slump in US economy has hit homes where stay-at-home mothers have been forced to return to being working mothers.

It is not an easy life in America anymore, especially as the slowdown in economy has forced families to make some tough choices.

Faced with economic ultimatums and worries to make ends meet, mothers like Anne Calladonato have returned to work. Anne returned to her desk at Maryland Hospital

Anne's daughter Mara misses having her mother at home. Anne too loved operating from home until she was forced to return to full time work due to the rising cost of living.

"Everything's gone up, from milk to diapers to gas, to our electric bill. 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," said Anne.

"We laid out the bills and said, our options aren't many," added Anne.

Calladonato had enjoyed three years at home before her household income dropped by more than US $ 60,000. The mother of two found that life had changed overnight.

"My husband's job was alleviated, and it was two weeks before our second child was born. He did find a job quickly but it was significantly less salary," stated Anne.

Experts say that it is an extra challenge for stay-at-home mothers to return to work. The larger the gap they have been away, the lesser they can quote for salary when they return.

The Calladonatos face the same challenge. Anne is taking home far lesse than what she earned when she had chosen to leave full-time work. But she has kept her perspective intact.

"I mean life changes. You just have to accept it and try to make the best of it," Anne stated philosophically.