Member Articles

Write an article!
Please sign in or register to save articles.
Please sign in or register to vote.

Breadwinner moms admit stress

Our survey of 400 primary or only breadwinner moms reveals how they feel about their roles

by Work It, Mom! Team  |  6845 views  |  1 comment  |        Rate this now! 

What would be your ideal arrangement in terms of taking care of your family's financial needs?

We asked 400 working moms and here's what you told us:
  • 28%: I am happy being the primary breadwinner
  • 37%: I would prefer for my spouse and I to make a similar income
  • 24%: I would prefer to not work and my spouse be the only breadwinner
  • 12%: Other (many respondents here indicated that they just want their combined family income to be higher)

We defined the term “breadwinner” broadly: If you're the only person in your family to provide an income or if you make more money than your spouse, you fit the bill. Here's what our group of respondents looked like:
  • 25%: I am the only breadwinner in our family
  • 44%: I make significantly more money than my spouse
  • 24%: I make slightly more money than my husband
  • 7%: Other

Eighty-eight percent of respondents were married, partnered, or in a relationship; 11 percent were single mothers. Nearly half had a household income of more than $100,000. Most of our survey participants had one (44 percent) or two (37 percent) children at home; only 18 percent had three or more children. Here's how our respondents described their work setup:
  • 73% work full-time outside the home
  • 5% work part-time outside the home
  • 8% work full-time from home
  • 2% work part-time from home
  • 5% run my own business
  • 7% have more than one job
In the comments section for this question many moms wrote that what they really wish they could do is work part-time. "I like to work, it empowers me, but I wish I could put in less hours," wrote one mom. While part-time work is not without it's downsides, it appears that it's still an option many working moms would prefer.

We asked how moms feel about being the primary or only breadwinner and while many responded that they are happy being able to take care of their family's needs, it's clear that being the primary breadwinner is extremely stressful.
  • 25%: I am happy to be able to take care of our family's financial needs
  • 56%: I don't mind it, but it's stressful
  • 12%: I resent the pressure that comes from being the primary breadwinner
  • 7%: Other

So how does being the primary breadwinner affect your relationship with your spouse or partner, if you have one?
  • 32%: It doesn't have a particular effect
  • 18%: It's a source of stress because I feel too much pressure
  • 18%: It's a source of stress because you also do more around the house
  • 5%: It's a source of stress because my spouse is not happy about it
  • 7%: It's great for our relationship
  • 20%: Other

On the topic of how being the primary breadwinner affects the way chores are split up at home, the responses followed a trend observed by other surveys - being the primary breadwinner does not mean that you do fewer chores.
  • 34%: I do more than my spouse or partner
  • 39%: My spouse or partner and I do about the same amount
  • 12%: My spouse or partner does more than I do
  • 13%: I am a single mom and I do everything
  • 2%: Other

1 comment so far...

  • Just what I expected. What pisses me off is that even though the women are the breadwinner, the men are still lazy and don't contribute to doing household chores. If it were the other way around, the society would tell the women she has to be the one to do all the household chores because the husband makes more money. This has to change. Men got to start contributing more.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 22nd July 2008