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Mothers out-earning fathers

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Foolme1 posted 5/29/2013 09:31 AM

In hopes that I do not offend anyone, I read this and the first thought that came to my mind was "Yes, because I personally am afraid to count on a man" (or other person, no offense to the men on this board). Growing up, my father always told me "GO TO COLLEGE. You need your education, because you CANNOT depend on a man to take care of you". Literally 2 weeks before I graduated with my Bachelors degree, my ex left me. I was 4 months pregnant. Had I not gone to college, there is no way I would have gotten a job when my daughter was 2 months old that paid for all of our wants and necessities.

Again, this is just all my personal opinion...

pmal64 posted 5/29/2013 09:52 AM

(I didn't read the article)
I have a college education and now, so does my daughter and one of my take on it... my mama told us growing up "we needed to learn to take care of ourselves, as a man may not always be there to do it" she was not bitter (not saying you are, by any means) and her reasoning was this- by the age of 32 she had been widowed twice and she had 4 children to take care of. she worked hard as a waitress to provide (even with soc. sec. benefits) life was good, not always easy.
and on a side note- my H is pleased that I am finally out-earning him... the degree is finally paying off after 20 years!

editted for spelling...

[This message edited by pmal64 at 9:57 AM, May 29th (Wednesday)]

RyeBread posted 5/29/2013 09:54 AM

Just my 2 cents but I personaly feel that each and everyone of us should be willing and capable of supporting ourselves. Anytime we abdicate our personal freedom by having someone else provide for us it only creates dependency and resentment. Self reliance is key.

Of course adding children changes the dynamic too so there's no easy one size fits all philosophy either.

ETA - I think its also important to realize that the role of a father has been terribly diminished in our society, by both men and women.

[This message edited by RyeBread at 9:56 AM, May 29th (Wednesday)]

libertyrocks posted 5/29/2013 09:58 AM

I think this issue contributed to my FWH's "issues." He knew I didn't need him...

Growing up, my parents told me to get a job after high school. I had 3 jobs at age 19. First job at 16. Then, I realized I needed an education to make more money and be well rounded.

I always imagined my cowboy would come riding in for me, like my daddy. He's such a great man, hard worker, awesome father and good provider! Wish my H were more like him. :(

StillGoing posted 5/29/2013 10:02 AM

Why does mom working have to be good or bad for the kids? Wouldn't it be a good thing if it provides better access to things like medical care, education, quality of life and so on? Yes, it would be rainbow-fabulous for everyone to be independently wealthy so mom could stay at home and ride an exercise bike in her sundress while she folded laundry and made those weird little sammiches with those round, green, watery things in them but out in the real world, "family looking different" means a reduced infant mortality rate and the cops arresting you for beating your family behind closed doors.

Yeah it would be great if we could all afford to be SAH parents. I doubt that the non-21% were thinking it would be better if mom stayed home chain smoking and throwing empty bottles at her kids because they were crying and shit, though.

Just my 2 cents but I personaly feel that each and everyone of us should be willing and capable of supporting ourselves. Anytime we abdicate our personal freedom by having someone else provide for us it only creates dependency and resentment. Self reliance is key.

+1 to that sir.

JanaGreen posted 5/29/2013 10:10 AM

I outearned my H for most of our marriage - we've been married almost ten years. He outearned me the first year, then I outearned him for the next 7. Now he's outearning me by far.

It doesn't matter. As long as we had money to pay our bills, who cares who's earning more? If we're all supposedly equal I'm not sure why this is news.

If I have another child, I'd like to SAH simply because I don't think I could be the employee I'd want to be or the mother I'd want to be with two kids and a FT job. For some families that's not an option. My mother told me (before I got pregnant with DD) that she feels like women ought not to get pregnant until they can afford to SAH. I gestured to my niece and nephew at that point and said, "Well, there you go mom. If I follow that rule, these will be the only grandchildren you have." My daughter is in full-time daycare and she's the happiest child on the planet. It's not poison.

I just realized I'm rambling. Sorry, haven't slept much lately.

MovingUpward posted 5/29/2013 10:15 AM

I went and found the article by pew research, and this fact was still alarming

The income gap between the two groups is quite large. The median total family income of married mothers who earn more than their husbands was nearly $80,000 in 2011, well above the national median of $57,100 for all families with children, and nearly four times the $23,000 median for families led by a single mother.

I agree that my kids need to have the education to get a job to support themselves (although if they choose to be a stay-at-home parent that is ok too).

[This message edited by MovingUpward at 10:25 AM, May 29th (Wednesday)]

Want2help posted 5/29/2013 10:19 AM

I will likely always out earn FWH, not in wages, but take home pay, as he pays CS to OC.

He's currently in school because he needs a better job/more stable career to be able to support two families.

So, even if they do not leave/pass away, sometimes you cannot count on them to support you.

carnelian posted 5/29/2013 10:38 AM

One of the things I keep thinking about when considering my own situation and when reading particular posts by women on SI: "What are you going to do when he leaves you?"

My mom should have left my dad - for our sakes as well as hers - but, even with our support, could never summon the will to leave out of fear of financial consequences. She never finished her education and the sporadic work she did outside of the home would not have been enough live on.

I found myself in a similar position, all these years later. And though I don't think she would have liked that I had to learn the lesson she wanted to teach me in this way, I'll be finishing my MA this year.

TrustGone posted 5/29/2013 10:38 AM

I put myself through college during my first marriage to XWH#1. I knew after being with him for 10yrs that he was never going to step up himself and be able to support us. I knew that he was going no where fast and I could not depend on him to have anything in life. He acted OK with it in the beginning, but I think it really hurt his self-esteem toward the end of our marriage and his ONS/EA's were just how it came out in the end. He is still a bum that doesn't work and lives off SSI and always will.

I thought WH#2 would be different. He seemed really proud of my ability to support myself and my two kids. Now I can see that he also had problems with my independence and he also has low self-esteem issues from a lack of education. Just last night he was whining about his job. He has been on it for almost 30yrs, it's a union job, and it looks like it is on it's way out soon and he is panicking because he doesn't know how to do anything else. This job is even getting to him because everything is technical now and he is totally lost with all of that. He never took the time to upgrade his skills or his knowledge base and now is feeling very lost and sorry for himself, but won't do anything about it. I think this is a lot of his buried issues, but I can't help him. I am now trying to get my own self-esteem, health, and mental fortitude back to do what I need to do for me. It is hard to do now, but I will do it because I know I can. I have done it before and I can do it again.

fraeuken posted 5/29/2013 12:08 PM

The year I was born, my father, the only breadwinner in our family at that point, became seriously ill with Crohn's Disease.

My mother, with just a basic education during war times, was forced to work, take care of him and raise me.

She always told me to get an education above all. She always reminded me that whether I was on my own or married, I needed to be able to support myself. And so I worked hard in school, and invested 6 years into further education at college and in internships. When I was 16 I started working during school vacation and I held a wonderful part-time job while in college.

Today I am so very, very, very thankful for my mother never, ever letting up. I can live a comfortable life with my income and save a good chunk for retirement.

I don't mind out-earning a partner in a relationship. I did for the majority of my marriage and it was never an issue.

I am having a big grin though on my face knowing that I am out-earning XH who is struggling to keep up with the bills. While he is ramping up his spending to keep OW happy and continue the charade of the rich guy
, I have totally refocused and reprioritzed my spending. I sleep well at night.

tryingagain74 posted 5/29/2013 12:31 PM

My parents were very traditional (working father, SAHM), but they insisted that my sisters and I get educations that were equal to my brothers' educations. I am grateful for that every day. One of the reasons I have managed to land on my feet is because I had a job to return to.

I was a SAHM for six years and don't regret a moment of it, but even as an advocate of SAH parenting, I know what the unpleasant reality can often be and do worry about my friends who SAH. So far, they all seem to have upstanding spouses, but if their spouses died or left them, they would really struggle to support themselves in this economy (not due to lack of education-- due to being out of the workforce so long).

crazyblindsided posted 5/29/2013 13:26 PM

I saw my mother (SAHM) being controlled by my Dad as she did not have a job to do something on her own.

I never wanted to be controlled by a man financially and that has been my driving force in becoming the career woman that I am. I was also the breadwinner in my M up until my WH opened his own business. Now we earn equally (which I like because it doesn't put me in that 'mommy' role for WH).

I think this issue contributed to my FWH's "issues." He knew I didn't need him...

^Same here. In fact my WH actually told me that he felt like I didn't NEED him. I didn't and frankly would never want to be in that position. MOW was super NEEDY. She needed my WH to help save her from her own broken world.

musiclovingmom posted 5/29/2013 14:27 PM

I have a bachelor's degree. My H doesn't even have a HS education. He would outearn me even if I was working. Ah the joys of oilfield work and teaching degrees. I love having the security of financial independence that m degree gives me, but I absolutely cherish the time with my children and husband that being a SAHM allows - esp since my husband is on call 24/7 and time off is unpredictable and highly valuable.

debbysbaby posted 5/29/2013 20:20 PM

I absolutely agree that being able to support yourself is critical and I went back to school in my 40s and earned my college degree all while raising my children as a single mom and I graduated with honors.

That said, Barbara Walters said one time in reference to women:

I believe it's possible to have a great marriage and a great career, or to have a great marriage and great children, or to have great children and a great career but it's awfully tough to have all three at the same time.

I must say, reluctantly, that I do agree with this. Now, I'm not talking about a job on general and I don't think Barbara Walters was either. I'm talking about a great career, the kind that makes you a high earner and requires a lot of yourself. If you're juggling all three of these, a marriage, children, and a career, I don't think you can do all three well. Something will suffer.

[This message edited by debbysbaby at 7:47 AM, May 30th (Thursday)]

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