My household is not unlike many others in the US where both parents work. My husband and I have chosen to both work so that we can support our family as well as make enough money to achieve our goals in life. What may be a little more unique about our situation is that I am the breadwinner. It is not how I envisioned my life when I was younger – I never really saw myself staying home but I did not expect that my income would be so vital to my family.
Being a working mom is pretty demanding – working full time and spending your day at the office and then coming home to take care of the kids and get them to bed is exhausting. After they are asleep you squeeze in cleaning, laundry and (hopefully) a shower! Add on to the fact that I breastfed my first and am currently breastfeeding my 2nd which takes a lot of time out of the day. Life is stressful and chaotic!
Some things that are asked of me by friends, clients and even strangers – Don’t you miss your kids? Is it hard to work all the time? Do you ever want to just stay at home? Of course, I miss my kids! I love them more than I could ever have imagined and knowing they are experiencing life without me does make me sad – but I am creating independent humans. And to be honest, those huge hugs and hearing “I missed you!” during pick up make up for it. Is it hard to work all the time? Well, it’s certainly not easy! But there is something empowering when you put in a hard day’s work, knowing you have accomplished something and the end result is to be able to further support your family. Do I ever wish I was a stay at home mom? There are days that I feel like I should just throw in the towel and stay at home with my children. Life would be different, we would do less things such as trips or dinners out. Budgets would be much tighter. We would struggle. But I would be home with my children. That is a life that, at times, I wouldn’t mind living; but I know that I wouldn’t be able to handle it well. My mental and emotional health would suffer – I am a better person and mother when I am able to work and know that I am providing stability for my family.
I must admit though, when it comes to my family dynamic I can honestly say I would never be able to succeed in my career and as a mother without the support of my husband. Having a support system is VITAL to being a breadwinner. This is not unlike homes where the husband is in the position that I am. We try to trade off on chores as much as possible, but my husband does the lion’s share of work in our house. From cooking meals to doing the yard work – if it’s getting done it is usually by him. My husband sees the opportunity in my career and what its’ success would mean for our family, sitting on the sidelines is not an option. If WE are to succeed we both need to be supporting each other. We do try to split chores around the house as much as possible, but there are days, even weeks, when my job is so demanding I just don’t have the extra time to maintain the household duties.
Being a full time working mom, and the breadwinner is draining, it is taxing and there is not one day that isn’t considered difficult. There have been days that I want to give up and there have been many tears. At the end of the day, though, I find relief knowing that I am supporting my family. I will be able to provide my children what they need now and in the future. My husband and I will be able to build the future we envisioned when we got married.
A bread-winning mother