The first time I became the breadwinner in my family was when I moved from New York City to the Deep South for a job, and my husband was unable to find work making the same amount of money he made in the city. At the time we knew of only one other breadwinner mom, so it took a lot of getting used to, not just for ourselves but for the people around us, too.
Boy, have times changed in the short nine years since! A whopping 40 percent of households with kids now count mom as primary breadwinner, according to a Pew report released late last year. Now the Working Mother Institute just released a new survey of 2,000 moms and dads that deepens the conversation. The findings reveal some interesting facts about how breadwinner moms really feel about their partners, their kids, and the unavoidable work/life balance. A few highlights:
The majority of moms surveyed say they became the household breadwinners by chance, not choice, so it’s not surprising some don’t feel satisfied with the decision. The report finds only 60 percent of moms are satisfied with how at-home tasks are divided compared to a much higher 76 percent of dads. However, both men and women report a relatively high satisfaction level with their relationship in general (72 percent of moms vs. 80 percent of dads).
Moms and dads agree society remains more comfortable with men as breadwinners, even post-recession. I cannot agree more! We have come so far, yet we have so far to go! We desperately need more workplace flexibility, and better maternity and paternity leave policies, just to start.
Women are less satisfied with their partner’s contribution to family finances. Seventy-two percent of male breadwinners are satisfied compared to just 58 percent of the female breadwinners. Almost a quarter of the breadwinning moms believe their partners should make a bigger financial contribution and 21 percent would prefer their partner be the primary earner, while only 2 percent of dads felt the same way.
For an in-depth look at the survey, click HERE. Who’s the primary earner in your family, and how do you feel about it? Please leave a comment below!