Open Phones: Female Breadwinners

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A new Pew Research Center study found that in 40% of households with kids, women are the primary breadwinners. This is the highest rate ever and has quadrupled since 1960. Two-thirds of those families are headed by a single mom. So, female breadwinners, call us up and talk about how being the primary earner shapes the dynamic in your family. 212-433-9692. Or anyone who lives in a household with a female breadwinner--male or female partners or kids--call us and tell us how you think it shapes your family. 

Comments [13]

Kassandra Bibas from Agoura Hills, CA

As a women breadwinners coach and a woman breadwinner myself, I'm surprised at both the hoopla and the negativity that's coming out as a result of the Pew research. Society is shifting in this way. It's been happening for years and the sooner we come into an acceptance of changing gender roles, the better off we'll all be. A lot of the stressors that I see in my women breadwinner clients comes from the gender stereotypes and pressures that women put upon themselves to be all things to everyone. Let's work together to redefine the family paradigm by transforming what we think "provider" means. Contribution to the family is not simply a matter of money. It's about two people coming together, bringing their strengths to the table, and creating a family dynamic that works for all involved. It's also important that we look at women breadwinning as a choice. A woman who is a breadwinner and doesn't want to be can redesign her life so that, long term, she's doing what she wants to be doing, whether that's working full time, part time, or staying at home... but it takes work, time, and planning. Bottom line: women breadwinners are powerful and their power doesn't diminish the family, the marriage, or the value of either partner.

May. 30 2013 03:21 PM

My parents were in this category when I was growing up. My mom was a teacher and had the steady reliable income and my dad (a chemist)had primarily project work of varying lengths of time (months to years). To that end we really knew my dad and loved it. Sometimes he would wonder about if he should have changed jobs but we always let him know that (A) we never felt deprived & (B) we wouldn't trade our time with him for anything. I see the result in my 3 brothers and how they deal with tasks and work division and that they are not handcuffed by traditional roles. Also they all can cook great (dad was a great cook) and do their own laudrey which my sisters in laws greatly appreciated.

It can work....


May. 30 2013 11:56 AM
janny1006 from jersey city

I am in my mid-50s and in my close circle of friends, most are the primary earners in their household. The reasons include a divorced woman, an older retired husband, and one husband that is just not working :(. For the first time, my (2nd) husband is the primary earner, but my salary is not far behind; plus I work a flexible week (working at home today!) in order to keep things together here at home. It's a balance that is hard to strike, and I hope younger woman can make it work for them.

May. 30 2013 11:56 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I prefer the term 'homemaker ' to 'housewife', the woman is making a home, and those who know what a home is know how valuable this is.

May. 30 2013 11:56 AM
Wendy from New Jersey

I am the primary breadwinner in our household and I love it. My husband works part-time in my business and takes care of our household as well. We each do what we're good at, are grateful to each other for what we do to contribute to our lives, and spend a lot more time together this way.

May. 30 2013 11:53 AM
Ed from Larchmont

That's one reason easy divorce is a bad idea: it takes away one protection for the woman.

May. 30 2013 11:53 AM

In my household and in over 75% of the families I know - the female is the main breadwinner. AND, in most of those households, the female makes most of the decisions (about everything).

May. 30 2013 11:53 AM
Wendy W from Central Jersey

I am the bread-winner in this household, which consists of 2 older professionals (no kids). My husband, like lots of other men, was laid off and because of his age has been unable to find another job. Thankfully, I am also a professional and could pick up the slack.

May. 30 2013 11:48 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


"making the best of an initially unfortunate situation".....ah, so 40% are now having "accidents"? What leftist claptrap!
The starry eyed progressives nudged our eroding culture into this acceptance of "single moms," want to pay for it with other people's tax dollars, and now also want to complain that these women don't achieve earning parity.
The Left is deceiving the country. You couldn't make this whiny stuff up.

May. 30 2013 11:43 AM

Women are demonized for abortion, and also for choosing to bring the pregnancy to term. They shouldn't work while also somehow not using any public resources.

The phrase "single mom ghettoization" implies the woman is entirely responsible for the result. Most often, she's making the best of an initially unfortunate situation. My own feminist beliefs have no bearing on how they raise their children, except for supporting equal pay in positions also held by men, and respect for occupations that were once traditionally dominated by women.

May. 30 2013 11:26 AM
Brock from Manhattan

Don't worry Hazel. Very soon the wages of men, if they are employed at all, will be at the same level and you will have your precious equality.

May. 30 2013 11:14 AM
Brock from Manhattan

The single mom ghettoization of the entire nation is underway. As predicted. Hypergamy, harem culture and feminist cheerleading all nicely charted out by Pew.

May. 30 2013 11:07 AM

Of course women are breadwinners and are employed at a higher rate than men. Women are a bargain for employers who have been underpaying (women earn 77% of what men earn) them for years. That's the outrage here. And it's been going on for decades.

May. 30 2013 10:08 AM

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