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Government shutdown: No internet, no cable, & plenty of stress for mother of five children

Posted at 10:41 PM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 23:41:10-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An ongoing government shutdown, which has now lasted for over a month, has forced metro families to make tough decisions while also causing plenty of stress at home.

Inside Tiffany Stanphill’s home in Oak Grove, cable and internet have been cut while cell phone data usage has been reduced.

For the government contractor and mother of five children, the shutdown has also led to careful choices even around the dinner table.

“Leftovers become a little bit more of a commodity when you’re considering wastefulness,” she said. “You kind of start rationalizing what’s important in terms of what’s going to keep power on and the heat on.”

Stanphill began her job as a government contractor just three months ago.

After the shutdown began in December, she remained optimistic.

“I kind of tried to approach it as I have some down time and I can accomplish some things at home or with the kids,” she said. “We only expected it be two weeks at most.”

Much like federal employees who were furloughed all across the country, the shutdown has brought more and more issues and frustration for Stanphill as it drags on.

After receiving her last paycheck on Jan. 7, she now worries about what could happen if the shutdown continues for much longer.

“For the first time in my life, when my kids ask me what are we going to do, I don’t know,” Stanphill said. “Sometimes I feel very anxious about it. I feel like I can’t breathe when I walk out. I don’t know whether to cry or just keep moving.”

If the shutdown continues on for another month, Stanphill said her family may be forced to move out of their home.

For Stanphill’s 19-year-old daughter Hanna, who is currently splitting her time working at Walmart and studying to become a veterinarian, the situation has led to increased concern.

“I feel like it’s all kind of coming way too fast,” she said. “I feel like I’m not ready to grow up as much as I’m going to have to right now because of the struggle.”

With four younger siblings, including an eight-year-old sister, Hanna told 41 Action News that she wanted to bring comfort during the time of uncertainty.

“I want to tell her that it’s going to be okay and not have her be stressed out about it when everybody else in the house is stressed,” she said.

Moving forward, Stanphill hoped a deal could be reached soon to bring relief to her family.

“It would mean going back to work,” she said. “It would be the ability to pay my bills and to get back to a place where I’m not worried about what we’re eating tomorrow.”