More Work, Fewer Perks for Moms This Year

Filed under: Work Life

Rachel Campos-Duffy

When the economy stinks, moms pay the price! A recent article in the Washington Times examined why the recession disproportionately impacts moms: during hard times, families "tend to fall back on traditional roles." Why? Because the first things to go when a family cuts back are household tasks that they once outsourced. From cleaning services, to tailoring, to sending Dad's shirts out for laundering, chances are that mom is the one "picking up the slack."

Take, for example, an exceptionally busy weeknight. During a recession, it's less likely to be remedied with take-out, which means more cooking and cleaning for mom. Sure, it's better for the family's waistline, but it's harder on women who are already doing more than their share of household chores.

And that's not all: just as the workload increases, moms can count on less perks to rejuvenate and recharge their batteries. To the uninitiated, manicures, pedicures, and the Friday night babysitter are frivolous luxuries. To moms in the trenches, they are little lifelines.

However, cutting back does not necessarily mean you have to give up on you! Maybe you can't recuperate at the spa, but you can (sort of) recreate the experience if you send dad and the kids to the park, movies, or grandma's house and splurge on a few drug store spa finds. If you can't afford a sitter but desperately need some adult alone time with your spouse, find a budget conscious friend who's willing to swap nights with you. Miss that extra help with household chores? Enlist the kids! They may be more willing than you think to pitch in when you explain the financial situation. Even if you have to pay your twelve year old to clean out the hallway closet, it's probably a lot cheaper than hiring help.

A return to resourcefulness is one of the unintended upsides of this down economy. As you scale back, don't budget yourself off of your priority list. Instead, find clever ways to get that pampered feeling so that you don't wind up feeling like Cinderella -- before she slipped into the lost glass slipper!

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