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Elisa Batista's picture

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This blog post is also part of the National Women's Law Center Equal Pay Day Blog Carnival

(Photo on right: My hubby and I at his surprise 40th birthday party a year ago. It’s not only women who are affected by the wage gap.)

Working as a campaign staffer at MomsRising.org, I have known about the wage gap, including the additional wage penalties moms and women of color face. But when put so starkly -- $11,000 a year in lost wages – that’s just downright depressing.

Not only because it’s a lot of money, but this harried mom can’t buy time with it. Lol!

No, seriously. 11 grand.  A YEAR! I am making light of the situation now that my household has two full-time incomes and a roof over our heads. But I am depressed…and angry. There were so many times my husband and I could have used the money. Here’s the shortened checklist:

When we were calling extended family to ask for help to pay for school? Check.

The time someone broke into our car and we had close to $1,000 in repairs – and no money? Check.

The time my husband was laid off and we were living on my reporter’s salary? Check.

The maternity leave I cobbled together by using all of the money in my 401k -- $11,000 to be exact! Check.

The time my husband and I had to defer our student loans because one of us was employed or underemployed? Check.

What did we do? We charged up an obscene amount of credit card debt that we didn’t pay off until a few years ago. Did I mention that we’ve been together for 17 years?

Oh, we know we are fortunate, that there are many couples out there squabbling and looking under every rock for money to make ends meet. The wage gap doesn’t affect just women, but spouses and children, too.

Today my husband and I are counting our blessings for all that we have. But in the not-so-distant past, we had our fair share of arguing and worrying about money. That 11 grand missing from my paycheck every year sure would have come in handy.

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