"We're stretching what we have," said Lisa Honan, 32, "and dipping into the savings account. ... Our main concern is making sure Alice is well taken care of. As long as we have a roof over our head and food to eat, everything else is secondary. Alice will be fed and diapered and clothed."
Lisa had been using accumulated vacation and sick time so she could stay home with the baby, but those payments stopped with the shutdown. The couple were furloughed last week.
The closure enters its ninth day Wednesday with no end in sight, and an Oct. 17 deadline for raising the federal debt ceiling is growing nearer and more ominous.
It's unclear how many married couples have been furloughed, but local union leaders say they know of several in that predicament, and others are in similar straits across the nation.
About 800,000 federal workers were sent home without pay last week, although the Defense Department has recalled 350,000 civilians. About 46,880 federal employees work in the Philadelphia and Camden metro areas.
"The first week, a lot of people said, 'Eh, no problem, I could use a couple days off of work,'" said Richard Gennetti, national representative for District 3 of the American Federation of Government Employees, which covers Pennsylvania and Delaware. "Now, past the weekend, people are starting to get anxious, starting to worry."
In a way, Christos and Jessica Pappas of Philadelphia have the worst of both worlds. Deemed essential employees, they're required to work but aren't getting paid.
They can't apply for unemployment benefits. Nor can they borrow from their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a kind of 401(k) account for federal workers.
"No unemployment. And an IOU for a paycheck," Jessica Pappas said.
Christos, 33, and Jessica, 30, live near the Art Museum with their 1-year-old son, Dimitrios. They work at the Mid-Atlantic Social Security Center at Third and Spring Garden Streets, he as a benefit authorizer and she as a technical expert. Social Security is among the government functions that has kept operating.
For the Pappas family, the lack of salaries doesn't mean an absence of bills. The couple still must provide for child care. They still bear the costs of traveling to work, usually by bus, and of paying for lunch and incidentals. Their next mortgage payment is due soon.
"The shutdown has really introduced stress to our lives," Christos Pappas said. "We planned for a situation where maybe one of us lost our job or one of us was without pay, but we never expected to be in a position where both of us were without pay."
They worry about defaulting on loans after years of paying bills on time and building good credit. They dread the prospect of asking family members for money - especially when they're both working eight hours a day.
"It's rotten of the elected officials to do this to us, to put us in this position," Christos said. "When you're hired, you expect to receive a fair salary for an honest day's work, especially working for the U.S. government. The most powerful country in the world should be setting an example."
The Honans face a comparable trial. The Independence Park guides miss their pay and also the jobs that they love. Every day they rotate among some of the centerpieces of American history, among them the Second Bank of the United States and the Declaration House, interpreting the history of those sites.
"If it's the Liberty Bell, making sure every visitor knows how much symbolism the bell holds for people here and around the world," said Lisa, who moved from Florida for a chance to work at a park tied to the American Revolution. "It's pretty amazing. At Independence Hall, between tours, you'll be the only person in the building. You take a minute to walk around, think of who else has been in this building before."
For now, she and her husband are trying to stay optimistic.
"We've been going over the budget, under the impression we may not get paid for a very long time," Patrick said. "This is not without consequences, what's going on."