Inflation used to be an abstract economic concept that average Americans paid little attention to. It was a word used by economists on cable news. Now, Americans have been forced to become very familiar with the term and what it means for their personal finances. None more so than parents.
The term “momflation” was coined in reaction to the startling increase in prices for products that mothers, or parents generally, purchase for their families regularly. Momflation affects all families regardless of political affiliation, because unfortunately for the Biden administration, no one likes paying more for groceries.
Americans across the country are leaving the grocery store shell-shocked after spending an amount that would once have bought a week’s worth of food on what might now last a few days instead. Adding on the cost of necessities for children makes the sticker shock even more painful.
The cost of diapers, for example, has increased over 15% from 2020. Similarly, baby formula is up 23%. As the parent of two young children in diapers, I am easily spending over $100 a month on diapers. Then factor in other common necessities, like bottles, pacifiers, and baby wipes, all hit by the nation’s shocking 40-year high inflation, which recently spiked to 7.9%. All this amounts to hundreds of dollars a month for parents simply to keep their children clean and fed.
For millions of families, particularly those still struggling to financially recover from COVID-19 lockdowns, these inflated costs are simply unsustainable.
An article in The Hill recently argued that parents have the power to become “America’s strongest special-interest group.” Indeed, the organic mobilization of parents across the country to flood school board meetings indicates a turning of tides. After seemingly endless school closures, nonsensical mask mandates, and disturbing woke curriculums, parents stated loud and clear that they are no longer content being bullied by teachers unions.
This anger transcends political party, coming from the common ground of parenthood. The Hill author writes:
Parents simply must recognize that although we differ in many ways, we are united by sleepless nights, the depth of our love, and an overwhelming desire to do right by our children. We have the potential to be the largest special-interest group in the country.
Indeed, inflation fuels the anxiety of Americans across political lines. A recent poll found that 85% of Democrats and 96% of Republicans found inflation concerning. Inflation and the uncertainty it creates is especially concerning for parents who worry not only about how and what they can provide for their children now, but about the future their children will face.
This may be because the impact of inflation on everyday life is simply unavoidable. Americans feel the policy failures that led to record-high inflation every time they leave their homes. Moms fill up their gas tanks and they know who to blame.
Parents showed their power when they came together to advocate for more control over their children’s education. Parents have the same political power when it comes to providing for their families.
The anger over the state of public education in America culminated in the election of underdog Glenn Youngkin as governor of Virginia. Momflation has even greater potential to unite parents against elite policymakers who are making everyday family life that much harder.
With no relief from inflation in sight, moms will likely show up again to issue a challenge to the status quo, making this year’s midterms a momflation-fueled referendum.
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