May 29, 2013

Breadwinner moms on the rise: Tell us your experience

FT_ExpressOur new report on “Breadwinner Moms” has been the focus of widespread media coverage and much discussion about its finding that mothers are now the sole or primary income provider in a record 40% of households with children.

“Breadwinner Moms” could just have aptly been called, as it was by Washington, D.C.’s daily newspaper, the Express, “The New Home Economics,” with its adaptation of the iconic picture of Rosie the Riveter who symbolized the women who took jobs in U.S. munitions plants during World War II to replace the men who had gone off to war.

What has fueled much of the conversation was what the Washington Post called the “sweeping change in traditional gender roles and family life over a few short decades” and how the public has viewed them. Some findings:

  • Fewer Americans in the survey believe that it’s better for a marriage if the husband earns more than the wife.
  • The public still differs about the right roles for mothers and fathers.
  • The public is conflicted about more mothers working outside the home, weighing the benefits of the mother’s earnings against the challenge of raising children and maintaining a successful marriage.

Use our comments section (below) to tell us your story: the experiences you’ve had, how they’ve compared to what we found in the study, what you think of the changes and what they mean for society.

See what some others around the country have said in interviews with their local news outlets:

  • Lisa Roher, who works at the Georgetown University Law Center, told the Washington Post that for her and her husband JJ, who has started a new business, their work/home lifestyle “has been ideal in many ways, because it has allowed JJ to pursue his dream of starting his own business and has allowed me to take jobs that require a lot of time and travel. I’m also glad our kids see an alternative way of handling careers, marriage and kids.”
  • “I always thought I’d be working — not just for the financial implications, but because I love what I do,” said Karen Potter, a Dana Point mother who works as an endodontist and is married to a lawyer. She told the Los Angeles Times that when her baby daughter grows up, “I hope and pray that she knows you can be there for your children and have a career that you’re passionate about.”
  • Allan Mohl, a family therapist in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. told Newsday that the men he sees in his practice have made a seamless transition to the changes in home and work life: “I think men are more accepting of the fact that their wives might make more,” he said. “There are actually some guys who enjoy staying at home and taking care of the kids. There’s been a big shift here.”
  • In Longview, Texas, Jessica Guire, a doctor of education, told local TV station KYTX, that she works “for online universities. I write curriculum, and work online classrooms” in addition to caring for three kids. She said she and her husband “kind of balance chores as best that we can, but majority of it does fall on his shoulders. I know that my paycheck pays the bills, and if I’m sick or just don’t want to work it’s just not an option.”

Topics: Gender, Work and Employment, Family Roles

  1. Photo of Bruce Drake

    is a senior editor at Pew Research Center.


  1. Samantha P2 years ago

    My partner and I have a 10 month old son. I got pregnant while finishing my masters degree in occupational therapy. He did not finish his community college degree in turf management due to an injury, and we decided I’d work fulltime and he would stay home with the baby. He is a spectacular dad, and I’m loving my career, but I find that when I come home, there are still the same expectations of me as if I was a stay at home mom. I’m responsible for all the cleaning, cooking, tending to baby, putting baby to sleep, waking up to put the baby to sleep when he wakes (I breastfeed still), watching the baby while I get ready for work… So I truly don’t have anytime to just relax. He relaxes from the time I get home until I leave for work the next morning, and he always gets a full nights sleep. His take is that he needs his alone time and recovery time since he takes care of the baby all day and claims he is simply unable to take care of house duties due to the baby’s wants and needs. I understand how it must be tiring.
    I would prefer a messy house and happy baby than the alternative, but I find a way to get it all done while tending to the baby. Part of me thinks it’s just that women are better at multitasking (there are studies I’ve read that speak to this), and/or (likely and) women still have the same societal expectations to take care of child and household duties even when occupying the role of sole breadwinner. Sigh!

  2. Nicole4 years ago

    This is interesting to me as I have been the 100% breadwinner the entire 16 years of my marriage. Not by choice as we married at 20 and I already was the one with apartment and job when our first child was born and then we decided to marry one year later. What’s interesting is in that period I went on to create a great career for myself and grow to over six figure in salary. My husband dealing with an illness that we only finaling diagnosed in the last three years off and on helped with the kids full time. He now is a full time student and working full time but still is not even close in supporting our family’s needs. I love the documentary idea and welcome you interviewing us. The key to our success and I think I am bias being raised by a stay at home mom, is the mutal respect of all parties in a household. While I do a lot being a woman it is our natural maternal instinct to oversee our households, I could not have done it without the “village” that helps me which includes my husband , nannies at times, parents, siblings and friends who all have helped us at times. Life isn’t easy whether you stay at home or work. I respect both because being a parent and spouse requires work, perservance and selfless love none of which come easy. While my husband does cover the bills he is my sounding board and support after long hours working and traveling ( I am in sales and travel 80% of the time ) he is there for our children so a parental presence is always felt at home & school and me keeps me always in the loop so I never feel like an outsider in my family even when I’m not there.

  3. Tonya4 years ago

    Although I appreciate the need for some mothers to work outside the home, I really believe and have witnessed that children especially teenagers are directly affected by the lack of a parent in the home. I myself had to go into the workforce after an accident that left my husband disabled. My four children have felt the strain and have grown up much faster than I have felt was necessary. My youngest son, who is now ten still asks if I can please stay home with him. My eighteen year old son commented that life felt more secure when he came home from school and mum was there.

    The strange thing is that I am a Youth Counsellor and have seen and spoken to over 150 youth ages 12-18. These youth consistently tell me that they just want more time with there parents. That the house is empty when they get home from school. They also comment that there parents don’t talk or listen to them as they are to tired after a day of work. These teens feel they are a burden to the family. They turn to peers for what needs to be parental roles. We have peers raising peers.

    The youth said that they would much rather have there parents time instead of all the material things in the world. So at the end of the day in my experience we need to rethink what is best for our children. For me if I had a choice I would be home. The youth are our future leaders and I don’t want the world teaching them what life is all about.

  4. JB4 years ago

    I was breadwinner/head of household in the days when women were truly harassed in the workplace. While I am glad to see the progress that has transpired, I believe far too many are abusing a system designed to help.

    Those who have never tried to raise children and support the family have no idea how difficult the issues of child care and transportation to work or to find work can be. A major focus should be quality daycare.

  5. JB4 years ago

    I was breadwinner/head of household in the days when women were truly harassed in the workplace. While I am glad to see the progress that has transpired, I believe far too many are abusing a system designed to help.

    Those who have never tried to raise children and support the family have no idea how difficult the issues of child care and transportation to work or to find work can be. A major issue should be quality daycare.

  6. Caroline Larrouilh4 years ago

    Nashville people I am hoping you can help me. I am a producer on The Big Flip an indie documentary that takes an intimate look at the challenges and victories of modern American households where mom is the breadwinner and dad is the home guardian. We have been very fortunate to meet some great families in LA, SF, Portland and Seattle and we are following one family back to Union City for a couple of days. We have reserved the time in Nashville on June 16th and 17th to meet and film some local families. We usually get to know each other via an interview and decide together with the family if its a good match and then we shoot for 1/2 day.

    We really dislike all the negative recent press about Big Flip families and all the doom and gloom research. Our families certainly have their challenges but they are great people and whatever their backgrounds or situations they put family first.We think there is a lot to learn from people’s challenges and since by 2028 the rise of breadwinner wives will rise dramatically, we would like to capture and share insights that can help all existing and future Big Flip families.

    So, would you help me find some families? There is a lot of information about our work here: and here:

    If you are a Big Flip family, or know families that match this profile please have them contact me at – if you would circulate this amongst your network I would be very grateful.

    We are not looking for families that made this choice as a lifestyle choice only. We are very interested in speaking with families which were pushed into this situation because of the economy.

    And if you want to check one our families, The Big Flip will be on the Katie Couric show, this Tuesday at 2pm.

  7. Doug Walton4 years ago

    Like gentrification and its effects on the poor of blighted neighborhoods, the proliferation of working mom families financially oppresses families with stay-at-home moms. This is a socially destructive process.

  8. Irina R4 years ago

    I have been the primary earner for our entire marriage due to the fact that I built up a successful retail business while my husband built up equity in multiple home investments. when the housing market crashed, we were caught in it and lost most of our equity while the retail end was able to survive through intact. Much of that success was due to my husband taking on the responsibilities of raising the children so I could keep things afloat.

  9. velma Gooding4 years ago

    Moms being the primary household breadwinners isn’t breaking news in Black, Latino or Native American communities. This dynamic has been affecting our families & men of color’s senses of self worth for generations. In the Black community, it started with slavery & who was allowed to be educated. This should be discussed more in conclusions because it gives causation to understand wider social perspectives and conditions now since others now can walk in the same moccasins.

  10. Caroline Larrouilh4 years ago

    The fathers and mothers I have had the great pleasure of speaking with for The Big Flip, a documentary I am working on which explores this very subject have a few things in common: an uncommon, in my experience, dedication to family and awareness of each other’s strength and weaknesses. The ones who have been successful at this shift for a long time have also learn to…compromise and stop trying to change one another. There has to be a letting go and an acceptance that things may be done differently then Mom or Dad used to but as long as things get done and the family’s needs for coherence and nurturing are met, they leave well enough alone. What has really struck me as French born American is how while in the US we pay a lot of lip service to the individual’s right to be who and what it wants to be, somehow this skips Dads who want to raise their children – not babysit or mother, but in fact father in ways that are quite distinct from mothers, or Moms who are career oriented. While we teach little girls they can be all they can be – astronauts or surgeons and be mothers, the same message is not going out to boys. Yet, I have met fathers who are passionate about their roles and find raising and guiding their children the most fulfilling thing they had never imagined doing. How sad then that we are not embracing change and supporting all families, whatever their choice or economic predicament is. How much harder it must be for families who have not chosen this configuration to have the husband or wives feel like a failure because of what “research” says. I hope our documentary highlights all the ways into families can grow, learn and succeed and help provide some models for the modern American households who are increasingly experiencing this shift.

    1. ANichols4 years ago

      I’m interested to see the documentary as your words ring so true: “uncommon, in my experience, dedication to family and awareness of each other’s strength and weaknesses. The ones who have been successful at this shift for a long time have also learn to…compromise and stop trying to change one another.”

    2. Jen4 years ago

      Your documentary sounds very interesting and a must see for my family. We too have a non-traditional family and am faced daily with the very shifts in parenting roles and household duties you discuss. I am a 45 year old Board Certified family law attorney and mediator. I run my own law practice and manage/supervise my own staff and other attorneys as well as handle a full case-load. My husband, who I’ve been with since 1996, is a stay-at-home father to our 4 year old daughter. We are both first-time parents, are of advanced age, and sometimes have the distinct sensation that we are living our lives backwards — but in a way that is mostly good for us financially (how great to start raising a child and saving for college without having to worry about finances), is good for our parenting (we feel we are both far more mindful now than we would have been as younger parents) and, we hope, will ultimately be good for our daughter. Certainly we often consider how our drastic role reversal and our advanced age will impact her life, short-term and long-term. Nothing is ever all roses and I fully own the deep pang I feel in my chest when mommy and daddy are present, she falls down, and she chooses daddy over mommy to comfort her. Ouch! Everything has pros and cons. We won’t know which outweighed the other for many years in the future while we participate in this great and growing social experiment.

  11. Aleida F. Nichols4 years ago

    My husband has been home with my son (now three years old) since I returned to work after my three-month maternity leave. We based this decision on our talents and strengths since he had nursing experience and I had a job I loved with better benefits and steady raises. We also looked to our past and made the commitment to provide a better “Daddy” experience for our little one. Both our fathers weren’t good role models as mine was a violent alcoholic and his decided early on “fatherhood was not what he wanted”. I’ve continued to look for better career opportunities and my husband has picked up work part time now that our baby is a toddler. The bond they have is irreplaceable and we value that highly. We are “different” from most other families we know, but this works great for us. We are proud our son is getting the best of “both worlds”.

  12. Paula lee4 years ago

    I thought I was a partner and wife all these years while I held a steady career. My husband earned about the same, sometimes more sometimes less as a land surveyor. Eight years into child rearing my husband decided to return for a law degree. I became the breadwinner. For six years he made good money, we rarely saw him and when we did he was stressed about billing hours. Then came October 2008, he and hundreds of other lawyers were laid off. No job, no job, no job. I became the breadwinner again. Now nearly five years later he hates me for having a job and is sacrificing our marrriage at the alter of his career is the only thing he priroritizes. Having a job is all he cares about anymore. So my conclusion, men are in crisis and I became the breadwinner not by plan but by default and have lost my love in the process. All I can say is I have great respect for the pressure my father went through being the sole provider for a family of five AND my soon to be once husband was in no way emotionally ready for the male shame of no career, no income. We live in un-happy times.

  13. ellen scharff4 years ago

    If I had not worked outside the home while raising my 3 kids we would have been on and off welfare since my husband was sick and unable to provide consistently and adequately for the needs of a family of 5. I always knew where my kids were and was involved in all aspects of their lives and they are all productive wonderful members of society.

  14. W. Miller4 years ago

    I, too, pay 95% of the bills for my family. But not necessarily by choice or because I’m a “break the glass ceiling” type. My husband lost his teaching job at a public university in 2003 at age 53. And in spite of his great efforts to become reemployed, it seems no one wants to hire you when they think you’re going to retire in a few years. He has since taken up micro-farming, raising produce for local restaurants. But that hardly brings in enough to pay for supplies to grow more. Luckily, my job in the educational software industry held out until 2011 when it was finally outsourced overseas. I was able to find a new job (being 15 years younger than my husband) in about 3 months time. But I had to move 600 miles from our home, leaving my family and little farm behind, to do so. I only see them 3 weeks out of the year now. While I do enjoy my new job a great deal, I wish it didn’t have to be this way. But we all do what we have to do to survive. Retirement?? Yeah, right…

  15. Miki Davis4 years ago

    Many of us have been “breadwinner moms” in the past. It’s the hardest job in the world, especially since women have historically always earned less than men doing the same job! The ridiculous reason always given to excuse this unequal pay was that men were the breadwinners in a family and women only worked for fun or to earn “pin money”! Our anger over this situation has been restrained because we so desperately needed to work to feed our children and provide a home, no matter how humble … but the anger and resentment has always been there, seething under the surface, believe me.

  16. Ellen W Pankuch4 years ago

    I stayed home with my daughter for 12 years. Though parts were highly enjoyable, overall it was depressing and deadening. I never approached the income level of my husband. Once back at work, I could choose jobs that interested me and move on to another when they did not. I appreciate the freedom to follow my interests.

  17. Betsy4 years ago

    I agree that having more women in the workplace and the effects on children of having all parents working full time. However, I guess I’m not even impressed with the so called gains of women in the workplace until women are making the same amount on the dollar for the same work. The economic gap of men/women rich/poor is unsettling to say the least.

  18. Sandra Smith4 years ago

    I was until divorced, when I only paid half. I don’t reccomend this if you can avoid it.Childcare, housework, laundry was still assumed to be all my job. We were poor students, so this included grocery shopping and cooking. Finally went into deep depression. Son turned out great, but I never really recovered, and retired early.

  19. gill4 years ago

    Since our kids were born, my husband and I have both taken turns being the breadwinner and the stay at home parent. We both had our own struggles being a stay at home parent. Parenting is hard, period. Luckily we live in a city that is more embracing of a stay at home dad when he was the primary caregiver. And now that our kids are older, and more self sufficient, he works full time and I work on a freelance basis. Personally I think that each family has to find what works for them and sometimes those needs change as the kids grow/careers change. I hope for my sons to grow up with the knowledge that choosing to stay home and raise your children is a noble pursuit (whatever your gender) and that ultimately you can choose to do whatever is right for your family, regardless of what ‘tradition’ dictates. A friend of mine is exploring the breadwinner wives/home guardian husbands trend in a documentary and I find it fascinating and brave of these families to let themselves be profiled –

  20. Dr. Mary Laeger-Hagemeister4 years ago

    Yes, I was the bread winner mom when my children were young. In fact, my husband took some time out of his career to be a stay at home dad – at least part time and that was in the late 80’s early 90’s!

    It’s interesting to me that people get concerned about MOM’s working and having a career but little if anything is said about DAD’s employment and working outside the home. Pre-industrialized kids were with BOTH parents and extended family – but now MOM gets the focus and blame. That’s a lot of weight for women to have to bear AND it doesn’t seem to give a balanced view of the family.


  21. Rick Frame4 years ago

    Being the “man of the house” I used to be the bread winner in the family, but due to an
    illness, a 30 year career came to an end. During that time, my wife’s career flourished
    quite nicely. We are both in industrial sales and management ( I am back to work in the
    same field) and we have been very fortunate. However, the pay scales have been reversed,
    and i joke with her by telling her that my check covers her taxes. Works for us!

  22. Helen Lee4 years ago

    In our family, my husband was the primary earner for the first ten years, then after a brief transition, I became the primary earner. This worked very smoothly for us, and allowed one parent to be present in our children’s lives during their school days.

    This took place in the 1970’s and 1980’s.The position in the broader worlds of employment and society was at times painful. My work was in banking, a traditionally male-dominated field. When I read Gail Collins’ “When Everything Changed,” I was reading my own life story.

  23. Virginia Milewski4 years ago

    I earn significantly more than my husband due to luck — in genes (reasonable intelligence) and in my career. Neither of us is a college graduate — although I did attend for a few years, I never graduated. However, I happened into a career in computers as their usage exploded, before they required a college degree to work in the field. I am also the primary caregiver for our children (although one is now grown and in college), as well as looking after the pets (except for the dog’s grooming, which he usually takes them for) and most of the household work (which tends to fall by the wayside at times because our younger daughter is moderately special needs and involved in a lot of activities). He still does the old-fashioned “male” stuff — taking out the garbage (usually), cutting the lawn, etc., and as a bonus, he usually does the dishes, and even occasionally cooks. With the long hours I tend to work — albeit so incredibly luckily mostly from home — it gets very exhausting.

  24. Jean Mundell4 years ago

    I knew that we would need to supplement my husband’s salary, so I began doing clerical work in 1955. Eventually, by working nights and getting a live-in housekeeper to care for my children, I went back to college, earned a teaching credential, and soon earned more money than my husband. To save money for his business, I also did his bookkeeping. I ended my teaching career as a department chair, and we had a comfortable retirement due mainly to my teacher’s pension plus a tax shelter that provides an additional $35K to my income. My income as a retired person is greater than that of many working people. I made it a point to never remind him or any of our friends that I was the major wage-earner.There were times, though, when I resented that I had to do so much of the housework!

  25. James P Berka4 years ago

    I think the part of your poll that bothered me most about the data in your poll is that while roughly half of those polled believed it was best if a mother stayed home with kids, only 8% thought the same in reference to dads. I personally have been home with my son for the first 18 months of his life while his mother has been at work during the days. I feel that this data demonstrates that there is still some serious misgivings in our society about the worth of fathers who stay home and do what was traditionally “women’s” work 50 years ago.

  26. Kelly4 years ago

    We didn’t like the idea or the cost of daycare, so when our daughter was born last summer, my husband (who was making less than I do) decided to stay home with her. I make enough for the three of us to live on, but we’ve cut some expenses too. We plan to home school as well, so this situation works well for us.

  27. Lynn W4 years ago

    Just one more comment: How do you account for lesbian couples with children? I have friends who are married and both are employed. Then there are the lesbian couples who cannot legally marry in their state. These are not traditional couples, but are couples nonetheless.

    The saddest thing is that so many men AND women are trying to shame women for being in the workforce in the first place. They are especially harsh toward single moms, yet they don’t think about women becoming single because of husbands leaving, husbands dying or the women leave an abusive relationship. We still live in a male-dominant culture where even many women still sympathize with men more than they do other women.

    I also feel for single dads and dads who choose to stay home to raise their children. My husband always got the evil eye when he took our daughter to the playground.

    1. Bruce Drake4 years ago

      Wendy Wang, one of the authors of the report, says, “It is possible that some two-parent households are made up of same sex couples, but because of the data limitations (small sample sizes), same-sex couples were not analyzed separately.”

  28. Lynn W4 years ago

    Even though I make more money than my husband due to self-employment and was formerly the sole provider for the family due to the field I worked in at the time, I feel that we both contribute equally. His job provides the health benefits while my job makes it possible for us to save for retirement and college education. When I worked outside the home, he was working at home by taking care of our child and studying for his master’s degree.

    My generation is actually not new to work. My mother owned a small business and ended up making more money than my father in his small business. My mother’s mother started as a single mother and eventually married, but was the sole breadwinner seamstress for 8 years. My other grandmother worked as a public accountant.

    I can’t imagine NOT working, since it provides wonderful intellectual stimulation. I think there is a misperception that everyone lives a Hollywood movie life where the woman stays home (with a maid no less) while the man goes to his outside job. Sure, that was the life of my husband’s priviledged mother who had a doctor for a husband, but for the average family that was not reality. In fact, my husband’s grandparents frowned on the idea that their intelligent daughter should do anything but stay at home. They even tried to prevent her from studying. Talk about a very unhappy life filled with sleeping pills…

  29. Karen Northrup4 years ago

    We agreed before getting married that my husband would be the one to stay home with any children. I was already earning more, mainly because I was further along in my career (but still under $50k; we’re not one of those families), but the primary factor was that he genuinely wanted to and I genuinely didn’t. It’s worked out fine.

    He has been able to continue in his field with an evenings/weekends position, which means we won’t have to worry about him transitioning back into the workforce. Also then there aren’t any emotional conflicts over anyone being the sole breadwinner.

    The only downsides are that we never really see each other (which could happen if our financial roles were reversed as well) and that people always assume he’s home with our son involuntarily due to layoffs.

  30. Lucy Ke4 years ago

    I’m a marketing consultant with a bachelor’s degree; I always made more than my ex-husband. In 1993 I divorced and, until 2001, our daughter attended public school (in Georgia), but then I opted to put her through private school for the Int’l Baccalaureate curriculum. At that point her father stopped child support payments and did not contribute. He’s never paid for anything for her. I’ve spent the past 11 years paying for my daughter’s education — it’s been like sending 3 kids through college one right after the other — but I wouldn’t do it any other way, and in 2009 I went after him for the unpaid child support. This is not a hard-luck story, however. She graduated college and now works for a museum, and part-time for a clothing retailer. She and I are grateful she got her bachelor’s degree without interruption, has gainful employment with good people, and is looking fwd to graduate school. It’s all been worth it, even those nights pacing the floor, worrying over bills. No regrets whatsoever.

  31. Sandy Maxey4 years ago

    In many ways, I find these findings disheartening, though familiar.

    I have a brain, an education and ambition. Once my earning potential rose, the expectations within my marriage didn’t adapt. I was the consummate woman from the old “Enjolie” ad. The marriage disintegrated at the same time as the economy.

    Now, as a single mother of 3, struggling, I’m quite resentful of the “poor single mother” label- as though I am the bane of society. I question why the onus is only on the mothers. Where is the mention of the fathers who have abandoned their responsibility? Public perception of this dynamic is telling in its absence.

    1. Lucy Ke4 years ago

      During the toughest part of my “poor single mother” days, I ran across a Jacqueline Kennedy (?) statement: “Nothing else you do in life will matter if you screw up the raising of your children.” Sandra, you are not the bane of society, you are the backbone of society. You will never let your children down (I don’t know you but feel sure of that). This is to send a word of encouragement, and to honor you for your brain, your education, and your ambition. If they don’t know it already, in the near future your children will say they had one person they could count on above all others: you, their mom. Just keep going. Everything will be all right. I’m still struggling to keep my business going and to help my kid pay off student loans, but also know what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

  32. Lauri Owen4 years ago

    I am the sole breadwinner in my family. My son is 9, and it’s always been just he and I. I’m a lawyer with a second master’s degree who manages a legal aid office in southern Arizona. Before this, we lived in Alaska. I have dated off and on, but it’s my policy to never bring men home in order to protect my son from predation.

    I am pleased to see social ideas about moneymaking, single parenthood, and gender roles slowly changing. I am of the opinion that our society is stronger and more resilient when women have equal access to resources, including employment and are paid equal wages.

  33. Russ bordeleau4 years ago

    I am a single male parent. Almost 10 yrs at it, from diapers to present. Having gone through a lot of strife. I thought I had it bad till I met a fellow with 5 kids. I lost 2 houses, good income ,as was necessary to meet all our needs. Check into the other sex. You may find we are minors. We are sometimes shunned.

  34. Miranda4 years ago

    I am the sole wage-earner and my husband is a stay-at-home dad. Originally, this was going to be a temporary situation with my husband finding part-time work, but after weighing the costs and benefits (and poor job market), we decided it was best for the whole family for him to not work. The comments we each get from people are a mixed bag from supportive to incredulous. I actually feel more able to concentrate at work knowing that my kids are well taken care of.

    It would be nice if we could accept this trend and move toward policy change, like supporting maternity/paternity leave akin to many European countries so both parents have opportunities to bond and be there for their children.

  35. Liz O’Donnell4 years ago

    I am the sole breadwinner for my family. It’s an arrangement my husband and I planned before we had kids. Our roles are based on our unique skills sets and strengths, not our gender. But the fact is, for many families, working mothers are an economic issue. So my hope is the next time Pew conducts this research, public opinion will shift even further and more people will embrace the idea that gender should not dictate who brings home the bacon and who fries it up in the pan. And because for so many families working mothers are an economic issue, not merely a lifestyle choice, I hope the workplace will better accommodate them with more flex options, fair pay, and better maternity/paternity leave policies.

  36. Deborah Obalil4 years ago

    Despite currently earning 40% more than my husband, I don’t think of either of us as the “breadwinner,” but as equal partners in providing for and nurturing our family. At times in our marriage I have earned more, at other times he has earned more. His steady, travel-free job allowed me to take on a career challenge that involved a great deal more travel. My larger paycheck is allowing us the financial freedom for him to pursue his doctorate. And our son benefits from having two highly engaged, fulfilled parents that are equally devoted to his development and opportunities in the future.

    Of course, this is all from the privileged perspective of a highly educated couple who approach marriage and parenting as a partnership, have the financial means to make choices and are both well compensated in our chosen career paths.