June is dedicated to the topic of earning.
A recently published study from the Pew Research Center shows a growing number of women are primary breadwinners. In 40 percent of families with children under 18, the mothers bring home most or all of the household income.
One main finding is that, “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.”
Of course we’re conflicted! We want it all.
As a Mom of five children ranging in age from 26 to 12, I’ve lived the conflict first hand. I wanted to be a breadwinner but never imagined or assumed I would be THE breadwinner. I’ve had my share of fights over whose “job” is more important at the moment. I’ve sat on my bathroom floor in tears wishing I could earn what I know I’m worth while also being thankful that I could pick up the kids at 3pm. I’ve worked full time, part time, started my own businesses, worked for others, imagined myself in business suits and found myself in sneakers.
Has it been easy? Not always. But I consider myself lucky even though a divorce and carrying 50% of the financial load has taken its toll. Single mothers have it much harder, especially those from an income bracket that can make life that much harder.
This report is thought provoking. On one hand we are seeing progress. On another, we still have a ways to go politically, legally, culturally and personally. Women still don’t earn same pay for same work. Women still suffer discrimination in the workplace. Women still take on a lion share of parental duties at home while working full time. But as we break down conventions, the best we can do is to stay open to new ways of doing things and acting with compassion.