Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Are you the Main Breadwinner in your house?

The Christian Working Mom Interview is coming out today and I stated we would discuss this issue. I have talked with several women who are the sole breadwinner in their house and their husbands are Stay at Home Dads or women who bring in more income than their husbands. If you are in that situation can you share your experience. Also, what is it like to possibly be a boss at work and then change roles when you come home.

16 comments:

Julie Donahue said...

Yes! I'm the primary (only) breadwinner in my family. My husband has been a SAHD since we brought our oldest home from the hospital (9 years ago).

I enjoy my work, and I don't know if I would want to be home all day. But I do miss so much of what is happening in the family.

Anonymous said...

Both my husband and I both work, but I currently make more than he does. I am definately a type A personality that thrives on a packed schedule, so it is currently working for me and my family for me to be working full time. However, I sometimes think of moving to a part-time schedule, but my husband will not consider it (financially) since we rely on my income. Not only that, but it appears that I have a more "upward" career path than he does, so there is a lot of pressure on me to keep with it and not go part-time.

Melmj said...

My hubby and I both work, but I make the bigger income, and this has worked well for us for several years. He is a bi-vocational minister and needs his evenings and weekends free. He is in industrial maintenance, and if he were to get a job making more money in his field, it would mean less time for ministry and our family. The trade off is just not worth it for us.
My job, on the other hand, is very flexible with the hours I work. It is normally Monday through Friday, and I build up sick time and vacation time quickly, so taking off when my daughter is ill or for special family or church events is not usually a problem. It's the perfect job for a mom!
I am a supervisor where I work, and sometimes I have to remind myself that it's time to switch out of "boss mode" at home. My husband spends more time with our daughter than a lot of fathers do. He cares for her when I have evening meetings twice per month and when I take my turn on call every 7 weeks. He is a very nurturing father and in a lot of ways, more protective of her than I am. They also have a very close bond that I don't always see with other fathers and daughters, and I think this is really cool. My hubby does not always do or say things with my daughter the way I would like, but I have to remind myself that this is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, sometimes she responds better to his direct, no nonsense approach.
I do not feel like I am "the provider" or "breadwinner" for our family, as we both contribute in different ways. In a lot of ways, I feel that my husband's mininistry and the time he spends with my daughter is a much bigger contribution than the money I make.

Anonymous said...

I am the primary bread winner in our famliy. My husband works 2 part-time jobs, but I still bring in more income. I have a difficult time releasing the household power to him as my husband, as I lived on my own and worked full time for 10 years after college before I married. I am a very fortunate mom because my work allows me to be home during the summers and school breaks. I also have a great husband because when I have to work late or (I teach preschool - 34 students) I just need a break from children, he will take our son and care for him with no questions or complaints. What he doesn't make in money my husband makes up for in care for our family.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I both work outside the home. Although my disposable income has generally been higher than his, his job provides us with full family healthcare and far better retirement, so it's more equal than our W2s show. I find it incredibly difficult to be a "hard charger" in the office all day (lawyer), and then surrender at home. It is something that I have struggled with for quite some time. I'd like to think that through prayer and personal awareness that I'm getting better, but it's really difficult. I do sometimes get frustrated with my husband over this issue as well since he does not adopt the "head of the household" position for everything. He refuses to deal with our family finances, for example. This makes the separation of my dual roles even more difficult. Oh how I wish I could have just one role to play!

Coach Kimberly said...

I appreciate everyone sharing and hope even more women share. One common theme I noticed is working together as a team as a couple. My interpretation of the Biblical command for submission is "the buck stops here". Ultimately, someone has to make the final decision. That doesn't mean the Man has to do everything. I think whomever in the house is best with finances, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc. should do that and that the Bible does not state which sex should carry out the task. In fact, God's design in the Garden of Eden before the fall was to work together. A lightbulb moment occurred to me several months ago. Ultimately, we need to submit to God and that God is in control and working through our husbands. When I think about it that way, the whole submission idea becomes more clear.

Anonymous said...

I am the breadwinner in our family, but have only been in this situation for about a year. My husband and I have been married 10 years and for the first 9 he was the breadwinner. The roles changed when I got a job that significantly increased my salary (moved us across the US) and his salary stayed the same. My husband is an artist (not a high paying career) so I've always known that being a stay at home mom was not an option for me. Now that my children are school aged, it makes the guilty feeling a little less although I hate that they have to spend so much time in the after school care program. One day I hope that my husband can get his home business off the ground in order to work from home and be with the children when school is not in session.

Kathy P said...

I was happily enjoying time at home for the first 2 years of my youngest childs life,my husband worked full time, he was hardly home when the kids were awake and was still thinking about work when he came home ( that was the bad part). Prior to my second child I was asked to come back to work full time at my job and when we balanced out benefits and time at home with the family, it all worked out that it was the best decision for our family for me to go back to work full-time and my husband to stay at home with the kids. I figured so many moms go back to work full time so I should get used to it sooner or later- but I haven't. I grew up with a mom at home and hoped the same for myself when I had kids. Everyday I feel guilty about missing out on that time with my girls, even though I make the time we do have together great! I don't want to go anywhere or do any after work activities that will take away from time with my girls & husband because I don't want to miss a moment with them since they happen so few. Maybe it's because I had all that time with my first daughter that I feel like I'm shortchanging my second daughter on that time together, I don't know, but it kills me. Everyone says you'll adjust but I haven't. I see all the benefits it has had on our family and my husbands relationships with the girls & even our marriage, but I still struggle with my feelings of guilt and the lack of any "me time" or time doing anything else besides being with my family. everyone gives me the line that you need to have "me time" in order to re-charge yourself to be there for your family, but being with them recharges me. if I took time for myself away from them while the kids are awake , I would put myself right back into the guilt phase again. I have put this in the Lords hands but I struggle day to day with these feelings. I actually came to this site in order to seek some suggestions on how I am feeling- hoping someone can offer suggestions.

Coach Kimberly said...

Kathy,

Thanks so much for posting. I'm sadden to hear how much guilt you feel and how hard that must be for you. Do you think the guilt comes from God, others, or yourself? From everything you say it sounds like this situation is working well for your family, of course, accept for the guilt you are feeling. The idea of a Mom staying home with children all day is really a new one. If we even look back 100 years ago, children were together in the family business, farming, etc. Life was hard. Part of being a parent is also providing for your family and you are doing a very important part by working. You and your husband are meeting all the needs of your children. I understand you wanting to be there more, but your children have a Mom that cares about them deeply and I think they know that. We usually dont' hear that from our children. Can I encourage you to pray and ask God's direction in this matter? Ask him to take away the guilt if that is his will. Ask him to show you how to trust him for every area of your life. Ask him for peace about this situation. I think as CWM's there are so many expectations put on us, just make sure you are following Biblical expectations and not the world's. The Proverbs 31 women was a working mom. May God give you comfort today.

Anonymous said...

Kathy~ I just wanted you to know that I have been back to work full time now for two years already and I am still not used to it! and I still don't think that we have really "adjusted" so to speak. I have realized that the guilt I was feeling was self-induced and turning that over to God was the best thing I have done! I still struggle with that mommy guilt now and then but I have asked for a little extra help from HIM in that area and it I have felt more at peace with the working situation. I am also trying to do things a little different here and there to help me feel more at ease. The kids and hubby were doing ok with me working~ I was the one who was having trouble~ Do read Proverbs 31 that Kimberly referenced. I will pray for you too!
jenlon

kathy p said...

To Kimberly & Jenlon-
I can't tell you how wonderful it is to read your comments and suggestions regarding my situation. It just calms me in knowing you care and understand- THANK YOU FOR THAT!
Kim, to answer your question of "Do you think the guilt comes from God, others, or yourself?" I belive as Jenlon said it is definetly self-induced ( I have always held high expectations of myself) and even though I have prayed to turn it over to God before, I am going to re-focus on that again and meditate on Proverbs 31 as you both mentioned. Thank you again for your prayers and for blessing me with your concern. I have a smile right now if it tells you how you have helped.

Coach Kimberly said...

Kathy P,

You put a smile on my face with your comments. We are all in this together. May God bless you my sister in Christ.

Coach Kimberly said...

Kathy P,

You put a smile on my face with your comments. We are all in this together. May God bless you my sister in Christ.

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Carmen said...

In regards to the post that a stay at home mom is a relatively new concept, strikes me as odd.
Many years ago families lived closer together and were able to help out more often if they were close, however 100 years ago women had many more children. If you had 5-8 children, you would likely need more help, than the average American family raising 2.5 children.
It was expected that women would have children a century earlier, so women were trained in all things domestic by a young age. Nowadays, many women feel ill prepared for the challenges of motherhood. If the older women were teaching the younger women as instructed in Titus, perhaps this problem could be somewhat minimized.
Unfortunately, the modern career minded woman looks down upon the woman who chooses to become a full-time mom. "You can have it all", is the mantra moms now sing! Forget the guilt, you can manage the ways of your household, while holding down a 40 plus hour work week!
I like the quote in Marley & Me in which actress, Jennifer Aniston states that she doesn't want to give up motherhood for a 40 hour workweek. "Something has to give and I don't want it to be this!"
You only get one shot at raising kids, ladies! For me personally, if I mess up raising my kids, nothing else in life really matters much.