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Believe it or not, financial stress within a family can cause a lot of problems in the household. When I am stressed over adult issues, it is hard not to let that stress show to the kids and they react to it by acting out. Even though the kids are 7 and 5 now, they truly don’t understand how money works. They think that we should be able to buy things at any time. In fact, my daughter thinks all needs in life should be free like food, housing, etc. Don’t we wish that were the case sometimes?

Many families have gone through job layoffs, loosing their homes, having to relocate just to find a job, etc over the last several years and it continues to this day. We went through the job loss of my husband last year and that is when my son really began to act out. We had to pull him out of daycare because of lack of money and he missed his friends, the structure, and most days he was bored. This lead to a lot of acting out, the repercussions of which we are still dealing with. Soon as my husband finally got a job, I went out due to being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and haven’t been able to work all year. On the one hand, it has been good for me to be at home with the kids and really get involved with their activities and school, but it does place a strain on the family which the kids pick up on.

Now, we are about to go through another stressful situation as my husband got his furlough notice this week. He is a contractor with the government and if things don’t get fixed in Washington, he will not be working again as of Oct 17th approximately. Being that he is a contractor, we won’t receive any back pay for the time he is out so we are essentially going to be without any income for however long it takes to resolve this mess. This has me extremely concerned for our family as well as the children. We are heading in to a time of the year when money is spent more on costumes, Halloween activities, Thanksgiving, and of course Christmas. Children don’t understand why we have to cut back when we have no money. They don’t understand or really care that our elected officials can’t do their jobs and are holding their Dad’s job hostage until they get what they want. It will definitely put a huge stress on our family and our children and the acting out will increase.

I normally don’t talk about politics in the online community because I read enough about it from others, but in this situation I have to say that I’m extremely disappointed in our elected officials for playing games with people’s jobs, income, and causing unnecessary financial stress on families as we head in to a major holiday season. It’s not right! I don’t care what your beliefs are on healthcare reform or the debt ceiling, but holding the countries jobs hostage to get what you want is in my opinion morally wrong! This will greatly impact my family including my children and what am I supposed to say to them when they ask why we can’t do this or that anymore? What I want to say is a bunch of grown ups are acting like children on the playground and can’t share, get along, or do the right thing.

We aren’t the only family about to go through this. It is hitting our area of the country especially hard because we have a large population that work in Oak Ridge and we also have a large national park near by. For the park, this is their busiest time of the year because of the leaves turning and the entire economy in those two counties is suffering because of this mess in Washington. Our elected officials are supposed to represent our interest in Washington; how is preventing individuals from working and ruining entire counties economies representing the common people’s interest? I seriously could go on and on about this and how disgusted it makes me but I won’t bore you. The most important thing is that it is going to be extremely hard on my family to go through this again when we still haven’t recovered from the events of the last year. All I can do is hope it is short-lived and try to explain it to my children the best that I can. I can also do a better job of hiding the stress this will cause from them so as to not cause them unnecessary stress because it is not something they need to worry about at their age.

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