It looks like I’m not the only woman in the world gearing up for a life of winning some bread. Four in 10 American households with children under age 18 now include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census and polling data released Wednesday. This share, the highest on record, has quadrupled since 1960.
The public is still divided about whether it is a good thing for mothers to work. About half of Americans say that children are better off if their mother is at home and doesn’t have a job. Just 8 percent say the same about a father. Even so, most Americans acknowledge that the increasing number of working women makes it easier for families “to earn enough to live comfortably.”
The median household income for married women who earn more than their husbands — more often white, slightly older and college educated — is $80,000. When the wife is the primary breadwinner, the total family income is generally higher. That’s probably because if men work they’re doing it for the money, whereas there are woman working just because it fulfills their blessed hearts, if they happen to be married to someone wealthy.
I have mixed feelings about being the lifelong breadwinner, as most of you know. I feel better knowing that I have the ability to bring home the bacon, yet it would be nice to marry an equal in terms of contributing to finances. That said, my boyfriend is likely going to become a high school teacher where salaries start at about $45k in this neck of the woods where a 1br condo costs $600k+. Basically, his income would be for extras like our kid’s summer camp and the nanny while mine would be for big purchases like a house, car, et al. I don’t think I could do that on my $100k income today, so that makes me think I really need to start focusing on how to increase my income. For starters, I know my next job I’d like to take a large leap up to at least $130k if not $150k. If I could only get some legitimate management experience on this job I’d have a shot at that, or I just need to prove to someone as a consultant I’m worth that much hourly.
Meanwhile I have no time to think about this really while I’m as busy with my current job as I am. I seem to keep taking on new projects as well, as I want to gain experience outside of my basic day job in order to open up more doors for later, and honestly, I just really enjoy other aspects of business outside of communications. If I was to run PR for the rest of my life I would have shot myself yesterday. It’s fine for now, but I am more confident than ever that I want to end up on the product side of the house. Not even product marketing, but really product management. Or strategy. Or something not PR. :/
In any case, I need to figure this out because I am the breadwinner in my future family. For better or worse and worse or butter.