when you’re the breadwinner in the family

June 30, 2011 |  Category:   family favorite posts life me nyc rambling

Actually, it’s all I’ve ever known. My mom was always the breadwinner of our family and the one who made all the financial decisions. Maybe on the exterior it appeared like my dad was the head of the family, but in truth, my mom quietly ruled the household finances behind the scenes. It made for an uncomfortable dynamic, a reversal of roles in a culture where traditionally, the man is seen as the patriarch. It became even more magnified when my mom started earning big money when she switched careers to real estate from nursing. Nobody was fooled after that into thinking my mom wasn’t the money maker. As a girl growing up, my parents’ relationship was confusing and difficult – a reversal of roles, yes, but in all other ways falling into the stereotypical gender roles of Asian families. It comes as no surprise to me then, that I would end up as the breadwinner and decision maker for our family. It’s not that I didn’t necessarily want this role, but I’ve always known since I was a teenager that I would want to support myself – man or no man – because I’ve seen how volatile relationships can be and I never wanted to rely on anyone else.

Meeting someone at 20 is a lot different from meeting someone in your 30s. You’re not thinking about the future or having babies and maybe not even thinking about careers at that point. You’re certainly not worrying about whether or not the person that you’re with will end up with a good paying job in 5 to 10 years. I know I wasn’t at that age. We didn’t care about that kind of stuff back then; we just cared about having fun and making art. Maybe this shouldn’t have come as a surprise seeing as we were both music majors in college, but it didn’t really matter back then because we were both making crappy salaries in our mid to late 20s. It wasn’t until I graduated from grad school that I would start out earning Mark by earning 3x his hourly rate, and it wasn’t until we had a baby that I started thinking about what it meant to be the breadwinner, because I knew so few women who were. Soon after we became parents we met other new parents in our neighborhood, and our circle of friends expanded for the first time to include people who weren’t artists or chefs, musicians or internet geeks. For the first time, we knew people who were homeowners, who wore suits to work, who had grown up things like mortgages, investments and cleaning ladies, who had a stay-at-home parent, and who lived in apartments that looked like it was inhabited by adults and not college students. I understood for the first time what it meant to “keep up with the Joneses” and we, by any definition of that phrase, could not keep up with the Joneses.

What I’m about to say is the honest truth and I realize that it might seems a bit harsh, but…

I would be lying if I said I never wished Mark had chosen a different career that earned more money.

I would be lying if I said I never got jealous of all my stay-at-home mom friends because the choice to stay home or work was never mine to make.

I would be lying if I never said that sometimes I felt it was unfair that the burden of lifting our family out of a paycheck-to-paycheck existence always fell on me.

Jealousy can be shameful. Feeling resentful can be just as bad, which is why I have admitted this to only a few close people, but I have felt all of these things when I felt stressed, depressed, crying and paralyzed with fear because I didn’t have jobs lined up, or when I crammed 16 hour days working on deadlines while scrubbing the bathtub during work breaks. Being the breadwinner didn’t put much of a strain in our relationship, but it did make Mark keenly aware that I was having these feelings sometimes. It made him feel guilty that he couldn’t solely support our family through his career choice and so he overcompensated by doing everything else around the house. To be clear, I never believed that it was the man’s job to support the family. I have talked with some dads about feeling the same kind of pressure and stress as the main breadwinner so it’s not even specifically about gender roles. I didn’t grow up expecting to be taken care of, after all, my mom switched careers solely because she was faced with sending 2 kids to college soon and my dad’s business wasn’t earning the money that we needed. Like my mom, I felt a huge amount of pressure to be the one, self imposed or not, because I had more earning potential.

But you know what? Looking back from where I stand now, I don’t think I would have changed a thing. As stressful as it was and still is, I’m grateful that our situation pushed me in survival mode to work harder. I’m certainly happy that I kept my career. I realized early on, even in the baby years, that I needed to keep that part of my identity to stay sane. In the end, who was earning what didn’t matter. The money didn’t matter. What did matter was that we were both equal partners in parenting and home life.

I wrote this post because some of the comments and emails written by some readers expressing the uncertainty of their future with their partners sort of broke my heart. Marriage is a complex relationship. Throw in parenthood and it gets even more complicated. Mark and I don’t have a perfect relationship, but we’ve known each other long enough to know where to pick up the slack from the other person to make things work. Some aspects of our personalities have not changed from the time we met as kids in college. Other things, like our ability to problem solve and navigate through life as parents, wasn’t something that we could have known about each other until we found ourselves in that situation. And other things just came as a complete surprise. I guess this is what happens when you grow old with someone. But I will say this: last year was the first year that we both pulled in equal salary. Things can always change; What was in the past isn’t always forever.
 
2013 update to this post: When you’re not the breadwinner anymore
 

 

These photos were taken at the High Line Phase 2. This is the stretch of the old railroad tracks that my friend and I snuck up on 12 years ago before it was developed into a public park.

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  • sonya June 30, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    thanks for writing such an honest post, it’s been incredibly reassuring to me. I’m 27 and met my boyfriend at 23. He’s an artist and I’m a journalist/writer and when we met all we wanted to do was make art and eat great food. We also kind of knew we’d never make heaps of money, even if we pooled our resources. We’ve just bought our first car and some of these questions have come up and sometimes I feel really uncomfortable about being the primary income earner, despite always wanting to be independent. Your post has been the voice I’ve been wanting to hear for some time, thanks so much.

  • Naomi June 30, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    You just have an amazing gift of putting everything into words+pictures that so many people feel. Another great post Jenna.

  • RebeccaNYC June 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I am the breadwinner in my household and many, many times I have resented that fact. I knew going into my marriage (its my second) that I would always be the one with the money. And for the most part, thats ok, but there are times when I feel taken advantage of. And this is very, very hard to talk to my husband about because he feels so terrible that he does not make as much as I do. Thanks for a great post, again.

  • kate June 30, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    You are an amazing writer and your honesty is so refreshing. I truly look forward to your posts, so much of what you say is what I have trouble putting into words.
    Thanks, kate

  • Jenna June 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    @Maya, Mark does read the blog. Maybe not all the posts, but he does read it and he’s read this post. He is not bothered by it. I’m not really sure why you don’t think that we aren’t glad that we have made it this far. Maybe you missed the point – that in the end, the money doesn’t matter. What matters is that we worked together to figure it out. This post isn’t really about the money, or how little or more we have compared to others – this is about the emotions and internal struggles of being a bread winner.

  • Carol June 30, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    the other day my 6 year old asked, “if mommys are the ones who have to go to work and then come home and do the cooking and cleaning…why don’t you marry another mommy so you can stay home and play with the kids?”

    your posts save my thousands in therapy. thank you!

  • Liz July 1, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Thank you.

    Your breathtaking honesty and the beauty of your posts (both words and pictures) are helping me face a phase of life I feel ill prepared to deal with.

    All I want to do is to say thank you.

  • Karen July 1, 2011 at 8:51 am

    holy beautiful woman… I have to say, I had a hard time getting into the meat of your post because I kept scrolling up to look at your picture. There are so many pictures of your girls and your husband, and very few of you, and I was pretty distracted by the power, strength and determination captured by that striking photo of you.

    Tough, intimate subject, huh? Like everyone else who has left a comment, I appreciate your ability to put it out there in a way that takes the ‘wince’ out of the conversation and makes a difficult subject approachable. I thoroughly relate to this post…I’m a pastry chef who owns my own business, which as you know first-hand, isn’t the easiest way to make ‘the dough’. My husband, a designer, who after being unemployed for two and half years, finally and officially stopped looking for design work and has joined me at the bakery as head of marketing & sales. Three kids, college five years away…it all adds up to a load of stress and never enough time to effectively put 100% into parenting, work, life,marriage volunteering in my community. My personal motto that keeps me chugging forward is ‘onward & upward’. I will never stop trying, as a parent, as a wife, as a business owner, as a friend, as a sister or as a daughter.

  • Selkie July 1, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Well said, Jenna…I had to be the breadwinner, and now, looking back from “almost 60” with two grown sons, I heartily cheer the fact that it was the best thing that ever happened to me and them probably. Strengthened my soul and spirit, and creative energies. You and Mark are dancing a good dance, sounds like. Have you read Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh? Do.
    Thank you for your honesty and bravery.

  • Jen July 1, 2011 at 9:24 am

    From reading the other comments I can see our situation is not so unique. I am also the bread winner in the family. After losing my job of 10 years with a big agency I went immediately into survival mode. My husband was new to Real Estate in a horrible market and was not able to contribute to our finances.
    It was so difficult on him, he worked so hard and was desperately trying everything he could to bring in some money. That time almost 2 years ago was one of the hardest times in our marriage. We finally decided he should stop working and become a stay-at-home dad, taking care of out 2 young children and the house. I started my own creative boutique from home and we have done very well for ourselves. It has, however, been so incredibly stressful. As you described in your post, I always feel like the work will dry up and we will lose everything. The fear is paralyzing. I have 2 small children, and all I can think about is how I can make the best life for them. Like you and Mark, my husband and I also met when we were young and we have a very strong bond. We have been through some really tough times in our marriage, be we are best friends and always manage to work things out – it has made us stronger I think. Now I find myself trying to come up with that one big idea that will give us that financial security and take the stress away. There are definitely benefits to being your own boss, but the risks we take everyday can be so scary. I am just taking it one day at a time, trying to be grateful for my healthy children and loving husband. As long as I am able to work, I know we will be ok.

  • Beth July 1, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Hey everybody. I love this post Jenna! Don’t everyone knock all the music majors! ha ha. We are people who are motivated by achievement, not money. Trust me, my major wasn’t always fun. I’ve got a FT job in music and my husband and I met in school ten years ago. He is freelance now, so I’m the primary breadwinner/benefit holder for our family of three. It’s tough not having options to stay home and yes, no one talks about it. It’s a career where you can’t exactly take a few years off and get back into it. He does well, but it’s not the same as FT work. I think it’s great that you are comfortable posting this stuff and that your husband is comfortable with it, too. Our families are teams. I feel almost tribal about my family. They’ll be there after whatever careers we have going are fading.

  • Molly July 1, 2011 at 10:37 am

    You are amazing, my friend. Amazing.

    (and drop dead gorgeous)

  • stacy July 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I have these same feelings too Jenna. Thank you for sharing. We actually moved from NYC to Austin, TX in 2004 to start our family, thinking we would have more $$$, as the cost of living is much less down here, but so are the paychecks. So as I work, along with my hubs, to make ends meet for our little family of three, I try to stop myself from keeping up with the joneses as much as I can, but we are only human! My husbamd is a musician and we have been together for 14 yrs. (married for 9), and just like you, when we fell in love at such a young age, we could not have cared less how much $ we made or how much we planned to make. We all have selfish feelings at times, thats what makes us human. But in the end, I would rather have a poor husband who is passionate about his career, than a wealthy one who is not happy and takes it out on our family. I would move to a trailor park with him, if that is what we had to do. Of course, I hope we don’t πŸ™‚
    xx

  • jessica kraus July 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Just wanted to applaud you for being so frank, and honest here on your blog – specifically in this post. It is refreshing to read something so totally real – feelings & doubts we all struggle with, on various levels, but feel too guilty to expose most of the time. Thank you for being the exception. I love following your reflections and catching your gorgeous shots of life in the city.

  • Hasenfeld J July 2, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Huge Hugs!

  • Kim July 2, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Thanks for being so honest. This is why I continue to read your blog.

    Much love,
    Kim

  • Jen July 2, 2011 at 11:16 am

    we need more bloggers who are willing to be so vulnerably honest.

  • angie July 2, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    this post also hit home for me and my relationship with my partner. we dont have kids yet, but we are not your traditional/normal couple, either. but we’ve been through so much difficulties as well, and being the breadwinner myself does cause a weird dynamic. i also hope things will eventually work out for us, too.

    thanks for the post!

  • yvonne July 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Thank you for writing your post. I’ve been feeling what you have been able to put into words. It is so comforting to know there are (many) others who feel the same way.

  • Rachel July 5, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I’m a 25 year old graphic designer and not yet a wife or mother but I’d like to think that I’ll eventually become one if not both and hope to navigate the experiences as honestly as you do. It seems like you say what a lot of other people think and benefit from hearing, so it’s quote refreshing and appreciated!

  • tina July 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    wow. this is an amazing post. so honest, so real. thank you for sharing.

  • Mrs D July 6, 2011 at 1:47 am

    This is fantastic, Jenna. Again and again I say it – thank you for sharing. Must say as well with the point about Mark matching your earnings – GO MARK *fist pump*!

    I have the exact same scenario with my husband (no children, yet). It makes me feel turbo stressed that our income will drop substantially when I take maternity leave. It also makes me worry about how we will make it when I go back part time until the little ones are in school. I can relate to wishing that Mr D earnt more. I do know that it’s a bit of a slippery slope to nowhereville worrying all the time, but I am a natural worrier.

    Your experience helps put things in perspective. Things can and do change. Be there for each other through the hard times. Words of wisdom!

  • tracy July 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    thank you for this…i have also always been the breadwinner, and i’ve actually struggled with these feelings off and on over the past few years as my wonderful boyfriend became my amazing husband. this is the first time i’ve ever read/heard of a woman speaking about it openly, and i appreciate your words more than you can imagine.

  • Lola July 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    i love you and your candor. you are seriously my role model.

  • Tina July 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I thank you for your post. you are brave, honest and your words make me admire you so much. there is something about society that people are just afraid of saying things as they are, people are constantly covering reality with a huge blanket. You are seriously a role model, you inspire me and just now that I am trying to figure out my professional path all over again reading this post just makes me smile. keep inspiring us.
    p.s. by the way, beautiful family, great blog and amazing business.

  • Coco July 8, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Thank you…. this was much needed and I don’t feel so alone now (and it sounds like a lot of women are in the same boat!)

  • Nina July 8, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this and for being so honest. I share the same sentiments and it’s refreshing to hear someone be frank and vocalize our frustrations. I’ve been with my s.o. for 12 years now (my entire 20’s) and we’ve gone thru several incarnations of our relationship in those years. It’s never easy but if it’s worth fighting for…then you fight.

  • Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) July 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Honestly, I’ve been on all sides of this relationship: Breadwinner and then barely having an income. Stay-at-home mom, then having a partner that stayed at home while I worked, then a work-at-home mom (my kids are 2 and 1). My husband and I separated for several months earlier this year (things are good now), so I’ve been a married parent, then a single parent for all intents and purposes. I think it’s safe to say that no matter what “role” you play, the grass always seems greener, and you always get jealous. No doubt about it. It all lies in finding ways to help, to cope, and to appreciate what you have. Not an easy task, but absolutely necessary.

    Thanks for your honesty. Isn’t it funny how putting it on a blog is sometimes easier than saying it face-to-face to someone you trust (I feel that way, at least!).

  • elizabeth antonia July 9, 2011 at 1:35 am

    you are awesome. and so appreciated. i first came about your blog reading your insurance post. i’m now in the middle of finding new insurance which has been pretty hellish. i’m due for a re-read of that post. thank you for sharing jenna.

  • Maryam July 9, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing! Relationships are hard work, like anything the harder you work at it, the better it will be . . .

    xoxo, Maryam

    http://athomewithmaryam.blogspot.com

  • C July 9, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I liked what you said about meeting your significant other at a young age. I met my fiance when I was just 23 and still in college. It’s true that money making was the last thing on both our minds. Had I been looking for someone now, I’m sure the criteria would be different. All the same, though, no regrets. Thanks for a nice post.

  • Sandy July 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for this post, Jenna! This is the first time I’ve read your blog, and I couldn’t agree more with your post!

    I come from a similar background and have spent this past year trying to figure out if we are ready to start a family and have those adult things like a home. I am truly thankful for having a mother who showed me that being financially secure is possible (albeit stressful on her own relationship). I think our mothers’ generation really paved the way for their daughters, and we are lucky enough to be with people who understand that families are partnerships.

    This isn’t to say I don’t get cranky when I come home from a hard day’s work to see my husband relaxed at home! ???

  • Nomadic D July 9, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    What a sweet and wonderfully honest post. Thank you so much, it really is so refreshing to read something so earnest and well-written. I’m going through your blog now, just discovered today, and I am really enjoying it. Thanks again,

    http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

  • Arika July 9, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Your post choked me up. I have had EVERY one of those feelings. I have been in your exact place. I AM IN your exact position. You have no idea how nice it was to read this. To know what I feel isn’t just me. That others feel it too. Seriously. This post just made my month. Thank you.

  • Claire July 10, 2011 at 8:54 am

    To repeat what dozens of others have said, your honesty is wonderfully refreshing. I am an early twentysomething and am in a serious relationship that sounds much like the one you began in your twenties. We’ve both chosen creative majors, but the likelihood that I’ll end up making more money right out of school is pretty high. And despite my feminist tendencies, yes, that is sometimes unnerving. These days, I’m frequently fighting the battle of embracing such independence vs. knowing that I may one day take on the role of family manager.

    And twentysomethings aren’t supposed to worry about these issues yet! We’re supposed to complain about our crappy jobs and take on the attitude that it’ll all work out as long as we do what we love. I guess I’m just too much of a realist. Or have I become old before my time?

    Thanks for your words.

  • The Lil Bee July 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I got the chills reading this. I needed to read this. I used to be the breadwinner of our family and that changed when the recession hit, I launched a business that ultimately didn’t pan out, we bought a house, and I had a babyβ€”all in the same year. It was an incredible change in dynamic and one that we weren’t very prepared for. I’m now in a situation where I have the ability to go back to work full time and triple my salary in a few years, but I’m not sure that’s what I want for myself or for my children (in the long run it would mean more for them, but in the short term it would mean missing out on being a part-time stay-at-home mom, which is the crazy label I’ve given myself as a three-day-a-week freelancer.)

    None of the roles we choose or fall into are easy, I’ve learned. Even the stay-at-home moms have really rough days, too. But you put so much of what it means to be the breadwinner into perspective, for someone who’s been on both sides of the equation. It’s so nice to read a story with a happy ending. I give you so much credit for putting this out there and am really grateful you did. πŸ™‚

  • kc July 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve been following you for a while now (found you through Verhext) but first time commenter. We’re in a similar situation. My husband struck out on his own two years ago and I’ve been supporting our little family. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t feel like my cubicle sitting job was crushing my soul. At least the people are great and the pay is phenomenal. Our long range goal is for me to quit my job and find work that I am happier with (or at least transition my work to freelance) but sometimes it seems so far out of reach I could cry. Thank you for writing this.

  • gracie July 10, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Aw thanks for the honesty

  • Judith July 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Reading this made me feel better about my own issues. Thanks for being honest. I’m newly married early twenties and we’re getting ready to move to Japan because I got a pretty sweet job over there. He hasn’t been able to find a job, and I’m surprised at the feelings popping up at the idea of being the sole income earner for the time being. I do sometimes wish he had a different degree that was easier to use, and this makes me feel bad because he did what he loved. I’m glad to know other people have felt this way.

  • Sarah Russell July 10, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this. I’ve always been (and I suspect, always will be) the major breadwinner in my family – being career and financially-oriented is just more my strength than my husband’s. Most of the time, it’s fine, and I feel a tremendous amount of pride in being able to take care of our household.

    But other days, the pressure sucks, and it’s hard not to think about how much easier my life would be if I didn’t have to be the one worrying about how to make ends meet. It’s such a relief to know there are other people out there who feel the same way!

  • CER July 11, 2011 at 1:29 am

    bravo, bravo on this post. have many thoughts on the matter as a twenty-something — already very much panicking about finances & stability in a long-term relationship. thank you for the post — will certainly be re-reading & processing & breathing a bit easier about my own life, knowing that eventually things fall into place.

  • Julie July 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Jenna,

    What a great post. I am a single woman living in Chicago and working her tail off. Between running my two businesses and trying to balance some sort of personal life, I find it difficult to date as a successful woman in her late 20s. I often find myself wondering about my financial future with some of the men I date and what our lives would look like together, which really takes some of the romance out of dating. And then I tell myself I’m over-thinking it. So, I’m glad to hear that finances really are an issue but are easy to overlook when you have the right partner.

    Thanks,
    Julie

  • Kendra July 12, 2011 at 12:13 am

    I could be your twin!!! I am about to marry a man where I am the breadwinner, an interior designer and he, my lovely partner is a pastry chef! Ahhh… you are speaking my life. We too met in our twenties (22) and now at 30 we are headed down the aisle in just 4 weeks. I admit it, I am scared, tired, and often frustrated with my situation. I didn’t want this… I wanted an equal, someone who could support me if I failed, but I have no option to fail… I must succeed! I never thought I would be taken care of, though most all of the women I know in the area I grew up in (Silicon Valley) are taken care of by their husbands. They simply don’t work…they lunch and shop. Though sometimes it sounds amazing, I always knew I would be a working woman as I love my job and it is apart of me and my soul. I could not have the job that I have without the support of my man. And deep down I know that these women who marry rich, earn every single dollar! I know that my man might not support me monetarily, but I do know that he will be there through thick and thin. He will support me by keeping life simple, keeping me level headed. There are two things that make me annoyed about being the breadwinner… 1- having children. I don’t know how I can do both… How do you do it???? I was born to be a mother and I don’t know how I can do both. 2- Money buys you time, and all I want is more time with the man I love. But we both know that pastry chefs make crap for money, are amazingly gifted, (mine is bull-headed who will never “sell out” by going on a cooking competition to get famous… I am secretly curse him for it) and work like dogs at 16 hour days! I am hoping that we make it… Any other tips??? I know I can’t live without this man, but I am petrified that one day I break and can no longer deal with the pressure of being the breadwinner, when I could be spending more time with my children. Sincerely, your twin… Kendra

  • melanie July 12, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    OH my god thank you for this. I am the sole income for my family, my husband is disabled and cannot work and it is hard, hard, hard sometimes (for both of us). He feels guilty for not being able to contribute as much financially (though he does the best he can), I feel guilty for not making enough money and being gone all day and not helping out enough around the house and not being the primary caregiver for our son… Of course I am focusing more on how *I* feel here, but I am being selfish because I feel like it is okay to do so here, with everyone else being so honest. It’s hard because I just finally graduated school and have a crappy job still, and we are poor and struggling – and yet I am so grateful for so much that we have – our son is growing up with his dad there every day, all day, they have this amazing relationship, and we are so incredibly LUCKY in that way, you know? If we were wealthy and both worked, we wouldn’t get that at all. I could respond to this post forever, but will stop here, and just thank you again for writing this. Now I am going to go read all the other comments and feel like I’m in a warm, safe bath of words.

  • shalini July 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing. It was very inspiring to read and shows how brave you are.

  • Jessie July 14, 2011 at 8:39 am

    definitely a refreshing post as i find myself in the same exact position; breadwinner in my family, full time work at home mom with no help since we can’t afford it, and desparately wishing my husband earned more so i didn’t have to work. ugh, it’s frustrating but we get by. i feel happy to know i’m not alone with all my jealousy thoughts as well. thank you for being so honest.

  • Stephanie July 14, 2011 at 10:34 am

    first time reader here…found you through Cup of Jo and will be back, for sure. i have been married for four years and our marriage started with my husband going back to school to become a teacher. I took a good paying job to support our family during this time – which was promised to be 2 years. Well, that 2 years turned into 3 1/2 and I felt stuck in a job that I hated because of the pay and benefits. it was a really rough 3 1/2 years and i’m not proud of how i behaved during some of the low moments (break downs and things were said that I can’t ever take back). For awhile we weren’t sure that we would stay married. But i’m happy to report that we are working through a lot of it and he now has a teaching job and i don’t feel as much pressure to be the “breadwinner”. i never posted details on my blog about this because i mostly have family reading it (hehe) but your post brought tears to my eyes because it’s so refreshing when someone is honest and willing to be vulnerable and express what many other people are going through. (the self-inflicted peice really resonated with me.) i think that’s why i love blogs so much, and i think they saved me through those rough years which i believe (and hope) are behind us. thank you thank you.

  • andree July 14, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I too am a FTR from Cup of Jo.. this is amazing and I will definitely be following you!

    Reading this was so comforting because I am in my mid to late 20’s and have been with the same person for eight years. I had never thought about our financial future until lately and it’s been on my mind constantly.

    I sometimes feel like, well for lack of a better word, a loser. I have the most side jobs out of anyone I know and although I have a college degree, list most of us who do, I spend my free time babysitting and doing free lance drafting for people I hate being around. When will it get better? I promise myself it will and that I have to make “sacrifices” each time I commit to doing something for someone else.

    Hugs to everyone.

  • sarah July 14, 2011 at 11:39 am

    In a similar situation. Thank you for discussing this openly. I like what you’re saying about what you can and cannot know about your partner before you have kids. I think some of us are just lucky to have our partners blossom into super husband/dads with talents for home life and support. How can we really know that when we married them? Its a good hunch at best. I count myself as one of the lucky πŸ™‚

  • BF July 14, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Jenna,

    that was such a great post! I am in the same boat and made me feel a lot better about myself!

    Thanks for your honesty and sharing it with us!

    Cheers!

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