Did you know that breadwinning moms make up some 40 percent of all U.S. households’ major (or equal with partner) earners? That’s according to a 2013 Pew study, and we hear that the number has risen since then. Yep—that’s a lot of us working moms!
Even so, there are myths and stereotypes that still surround breadwinning moms, like these:
She emasculates her husband with her success.
She’s too concerned with her career.
She’s bound for divorce with her success.
But beyond these less-than-flattering and less-than-truthful attributions are the positives that we know, like the fact that commanding a good salary and supporting your family is a wonderful and empowering scenario. The reality is that today there are many pluses to being a breadwinning mom that go beyond making the sole or larger paycheck—in or a marriage or not.
Here, a family and relationship expert—and real-life breadwinning mom—helps us dismantle the falsehoods and promote the truths of this way of life.
1. Myth: A breadwinning mom’s success wrecks her marriage or relationship.
The idea that heterosexual breadwinning moms are ruining their relationships with their career/financial status is a modern-day myth, asserts Stephanie Coontz, author of the award-winning A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960sand director of research at the Council on Contemporary Families. “It used to be true that couples where a women earned more than her husband faced a higher risk of divorce. But for marriages formed in the 1990s and later, that is no longer true.” Take that, myth! But …
Times Are a Changin’