ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION When Virginia resident Cher Muzyk moved from the city of Alexandria to the farming community of Nokesville, she was looking forward to life as a stay-at-home mother to her young twins, while her husband would be the primary income-earner in the family.
It was a deliberate decision, one that Muzyk now questions - her husband, an attorney with the U.S. government, is one of 800,000 government workers whose salary has been temporarily suspended due to the ongoing shutdown.
She worries that without her husband's income, her family will be left without a safety net.
Muzyk's husband, who asked to remain unidentified due to the sensitive nature of his job, has gone to work everyday since the shutdown began three weeks ago, but Muzyk says he hasn't been paid and she's not sure when he will receive a paycheck.
"He's doing his job because he believes it's important and he's taken an oath to do it.
But at what point do we say our family has to come first?" Muzyk told Reuters.
On Saturday (January 11), the shutdown that began on December 22 will become the longest in U.S. history.
The shutdown was triggered by Trump's demand, largely opposed by Democrats and some lawmakers from his own Republican Party, that taxpayers provide him with $5 billion to help pay for a wall that he wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Its total estimated cost is $23 billion.
Muzyk says her family can manage to pay their bills for two months, but as the political standoff over border security shows no immediate signs of easing, the mother of two worries about making ends meet.
Topping her list of worries is her children's costly pre-school education, that costs the family almost $1000 a month.
She has also put car and home repairs on hold to save money to pay off bigger expenses.
If the shutdown doesn't end soon, Muzyk and her husband are exploring the possibility of taking out a loan on their 401k retirement savings.
"It's just a time that is so unbelievable that we can work really hard to get this education and make sure that we can provide for our family but still end up wondering if we're going to be able to pay our bills, wondering if we're going to be able to send our kids to preschool, wondering how we're going to---just how we're going to get by," she said.
A day earlier Muzyk marched with hundreds of federal workers at a rally in Washington D.C.
Demanding an end to the shutdown.
"The crisis is not at the border, the crisis is in your backyard," Muzyk said when asked if she had a message for President Donald Trump who she holds responsible for the shutdown.
Muzyk says she has received support and offers of help from friends and neighbors, but worries about those who have to live paycheck to paycheck.
"The outpouring of support of everyday Americans is what this country is about.
It's not about what's happening in Washington," she added.