The other day I was watching The Today Show. They were doing a segment about how the current recession is affecting mothers in this country and the ways in which women are cutting back:
- 63% eating out*
- 61% salon services
- 55% home services (house cleaners/maids)
- 40% dry cleaning/laundry services
- 20% clothing
And then the hosts started discussing ways in particular that people were cutting back, such as not eating out every single day of the week. Or having to do their manicures and pedicures at home. Or having to clean their own houses and do their own laundry. And wash their own cars.
And I started thinking: How would this analysis apply to someone like me?
Well, for someone like me who only gets to eat out maybe 3-4 times a month, cutting back would mean no more of the Little Caesar's $5 pizza. It would also mean no more convenience foods such as frozen burritos or Hot Pockets. Which forces me to eat stale cookies, crackers that may or may not have been on the floor and then put back in the box, and the dregs of generic Mac and Cheese for lunch.
Cutting back in the salon department? Well, for kids like mine, that has no impact because the kids' hair gets cut by mom already. As for me, cutting back means going from the bi-annual haircut to an annual haircut. And as for pedicures and manicures, well for someone like me who only goes to the salon for such treatments on her birthday or when her mother-in-law is paying, that cuts out the occasional bottle of new nail polish. But hey, with all the extra cooking and cleaning that this recession is causing me to do, I'm not going to have time to paint my toenails anyway--let alone scrub calluses or soak them.
And as for a maid, well, since the closest thing to a maid that has been in my house is the Relief Society when they volunteered to help out after I had my last baby, that's not such an inconvenience either. Although, the next time I run out of cleaner I may realize that it will actually be cheaper to make my own cleaner out of vinegar and baking soda from my food storage. So I might decide to try that out.
And since my husband's suit hasn't been dry cleaned in months . . . (okay, years), I figure a few more won't hurt anything? Right? (My husband may or may not have a differing opinion on this one.)
As for clothes, since my budget is already such that most of my wardrobe came from DI or off the clearance rack at Old Navy, cutting back will force me to secretly wish that my slightly less thrifty, slightly more fashionable sister-in-law will bring her DI bag to our next family gathering and give it to me to take home. And let's face it: My cutest clothes come from her anyway.
So really, in a lot of ways, this recession doesn't take away much from what I already didn't have. So I guess I ought to be grateful, right?
Rachel Sue Ward
Rachel Sue is a stay at home mom who loves to read, eat, craft, blog and snuggle with her 4 little kiddos as often as they will let her. Read more about her burdens and her blessings at Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug.