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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  • Alex June 30, 2011 at 4:13 am

    Your honesty is so refreshing and perfectly written, I haven’t commented before but I really should. I am struggling with a newly unequal financial situation in going on maternity leave and you really touched a nerve about accepting the difference and that it doesn’t matter who earns what as long as you are partners. Thank you.

  • Ay?e June 30, 2011 at 4:17 am

    I’ve always liked your posts but you’ve totally been speaking my mind lately! Same situation here about the parents and my own breadwining responsibilities with two small children in tow. I’ve been wanting to quit my day job for a while now to pursue a less paying but MUCH more satisfying career path in terms of both creativity and flexibility but my husband is getting panic attacks out of the idea 🙂 So I also relate to the vicious cycle of your previous post though in a slightly different sense because you are of course so ahead of me. I agree with you about motherhood not defining me and I am pretty sure that I will always need to pamper my productive brain by working but I really do wish I had more choices and more support. You are certainly an inspiration to me so I selfishly ask you to continue sharing these “personal details” at least until I take my own giant step towards a more fulfilling lifestyle which I plan to make happen around summer 2012. Open thanks to my sister who discovered your blog first and recommended it to me realising how parallel it was to my current issues.

  • Suzanne June 30, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Hi Jenna,
    Since becoming a mother last year I’ve really enjoyed following a number of blogs which speak to me about a whole range of things that I’m interested in – design, motherhood, craft, life – and yours is one of them. Your post really struck a chord with me because I too am the breadwinner in my family and I really appreciate and understand the issues and pressure that you face because I feel the same way. I wish that I had the option to be at home with my child rather than back at work full time, I don’t know if I would do it, but the option would have been nice. My experience was that while also having the responsibility of providing for the family, I still continued to do everything else, child rearing, housework. Something had to give and in the end it was unfortunately my marriage. But I don’t mean to be a downer. Mark sounds great that he contributes to the family and the relationship in other ways. Your girls are lovely. All the best to you.

  • PInk Ronnie June 30, 2011 at 5:44 am

    This was a really brave post for you to write, and for that I wanted to say thanks. Your honesty is so refreshing and – for me anyway – so helpful. For most of our marriage, I too have been the main breadwinner (as a freelance graphic designer too!) and yes at times that has been stressful. But just like you, I don’t think I would have changed a thing either. I’ve loved doing my work and I’ve loved the freedom and flexibilty of being a freelancer and I’ve loved being able to work from home and still be able to be around for the children. No, it’s not easy and yes at times I have teary meltdowns at night but none of that matters at the end of the day because we have each other and we have our boys. Anyway, thanks again for writing and for writing so beautifully too.

  • PInk Ronnie June 30, 2011 at 6:36 am

    p.s. I love that first photo of you!

  • Mirella June 30, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Your posts are always so honest and open. Thanks for sharing. Many couples face the same situation and feelings, and you’re right, it’s not related to gender. You seem like such a strong person from your posts. I wish your family the best of luck.

  • Emma June 30, 2011 at 7:33 am

    I was always a late starter despite being educated and being on the career track … still living like a uni student in my late 20s, working part time, renting old houses and partying etc. Then I started worrying about money and owning my own home – it took my husband and I a while to get our act together and I always feel we’re a bit behind the 8 ball compared to our peers.

    Money’s a funny thing. I didn’t grow up with a lot of it and don’t need a lot of it to be happy but .. damn if it doesn’t get in the way of relationships sometimes.

    I’ve felt that envy .. friends with parents who’ve helped them with money, people who appear to have more than me in the material sense – it’s normal to feel that way sometimes.

  • Lauren June 30, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Thank you for the honesty. As someone who gets jealous of her husband’s salary, despite having the same degree and years of experience, I then wrestle with those feelings, knowing that it isn’t supposed to be what’s important in life. But, oh, is it…

  • Ana June 30, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Darling, you look like a model.

  • Lizzy June 30, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Thank you for your honesty to write it down. I’m also the breadwinner in my relationship. Financial independence is vital for me and it generally makes me happy that it enables my partner to do certain things. But yes sometimes I resent it too. Like your girls, I’m half Korean. I think that women in our mothers generation had more obstacles to take. To me it seems like marriage and family gave them the justification to take matters in their own hands. It makes me laugh when I see young Korean women shyly giggling and think of the ajummas with kofros they might turn into. I definitely owe it to my Korean mother that I’m financially independent today. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos. Your blog has become a daily read for me.

  • terren June 30, 2011 at 8:42 am


  • Denny June 30, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Thank you for keeping it real.

  • Jenna June 30, 2011 at 8:54 am

    @Suzanne I’m sorry to hear about your marriage. All the best to you.
    @terren hahahaha!!

  • Sarah June 30, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I think it’s normal to be a bit resentful (I know I do sometimes) because, although we may not choose to be stay-at-home Moms, it would be nice to have the option. I went back to work full-time after my maternity leave so my husband could do his B. Ed and it’s been really tough. People ask me if we’re going to have more kids. I can’t even contemplate more kids until he’s established in his career (or at least has a long-term contract). I’m just too exhausted working full-time and managing a household while he goes to school full-time. At the same time, I’m very grateful to have a supportive partner. I have friends who are single parents and they don’t ever have that option of taking “time off” to figure things out or explore more creative endeavours. Thanks for sharing your experiences Jenna.

  • paule Trudel Bellemare June 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Merci so much for sharing such personal feelings Jenna. I’m only 26 (or already 26!? rather.) and, as a freelancer, im always stressing out and wondering if i’ll ever make enough money to have a family, or a fun life…reading this post somehow gave me a bit of faith.

  • Amor June 30, 2011 at 9:31 am

    This is very touching Jenna. It hit me 🙂 Having lost my father before college but good an Aunt sent me to college, I started supporting my family after school. I do not feel bad about but actually feel proud that we’re able to pull through (younger bro 2 years left to finish his degree) but it feels overwhelming sometimes. Thoughts that I am not making enough especially when sibs college tuition and other bills come. Can’t help feeling deprived sometimes. I know its shameful but bad days do come. But at the end the day I feel fulfilled, the responsibility wasn’t pushed to me but I wouldn’t do it any other way. Thank you for your thoughts, it likes saying ‘oh come on, your feelings are normal. :).

  • Taysa June 30, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Thank you for this post. Though my partner and I don’t have kids and aren’t married, we still live together in a committed relationship. Earning more money than him has created an interesting dynamic. Neither of us are even traditional people, but there is a bit of his pride that is hurt by it, and there has been a bit of resentment on my end that, from where I stand now, it looks like I will always be the “bread winner.”

    But having grown up with a stay-at-home mom, I never before wished to stay at home, either. I think my jealousy of women who “have that choice” comes from moments when I’m simply frustrated with what it is I am doing…not because I really want to stay at home and just take care of the house and shop. And knowing that I have the skills and the money to take care of myself should our partnership ever end is extremely liberating, as I have seen so many of my friend’s mothers get into positions where they are suddenly divorced and have nothing to keep them afloat.

  • Erika June 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

    thanks for your honesty. I’ve been reading your blog for several months now and frankly, love it. my husband and I have been together for 20 years, married for 16 and have two kids 8 and 10. Over We had both spent years making non-much-money but then we decided to have kids and he really stepped up his work and income. This allowed me to stay home. But after a few years he decided to change careers, go back to grad school which meant I had to go back to work. This turned everything on it’s head. Over the last few years we have had total role reversal. I am the primary bread winner, making more than he ever did and now he’s done with school, working part-time and staying home with the kids. He picks up far more domestic chores than I do and I see the kids less. On some days that is really, really hard. But I love my job and Iove my independence. there are days when our lives feel like a tetris puzzle and I’m not sure how we are going to fit all the pieces together and keep it in balance–the needs of four strong but inter-dependent people all coming together into something called a family. Amazing that it works at all ; )

    keep writing like this.it’s a gift to your readers.

  • Chantale June 30, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Wow Jenna. This is so personal. I’d have never had the courage to write something this personal for everyone to see. I think so many of us though, want to get something like this off our shoulders but too afraid to admit it or say it out loud. You know, lest the fake facade breaks. Even though I’m not the breadwinner in my relationship, I still feel the same as you.. stressed I’m not contributing as much financially, changing jobs from one I absolutely loved but making pittance to a job I am bored out of my mind at at times but making much more.. There’s a give and take I chose my path. One day, I’ll figure it all out and have it both ways! Right now, I choose my family over my career and I’m okay with it. I think you need to give yourself a break. You’re doing a way more fab job than you think you are. You are also looking amazing!

  • Anna @ D16 June 30, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I know I sound like a broken record, but geez, Jenna…you are such an inspiration to me. Maybe that’s not even the right word. I’m just glad I know you.

  • joanna goddard June 30, 2011 at 10:51 am

    i love this post. so honest and refreshing. i have so many thoughts on this, but am hesitant to share online only bc alex is a bit private about money!!! i love you, jenna!!!!!!!!

  • monica of hola!design June 30, 2011 at 10:53 am

    ” What was in the past isn’t always forever.” These words really spoke to me… Thank you for being so honest..

  • Lulu June 30, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Jealousy is hard to admit, thank you for being honet. I feel the same way and i am in the same situation. I think Mark is a nice guy, a good husband and dad, so in the end its all worth it.

  • Erin at Such Small Steps June 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    another beautifully written post- I really do appreciate your honesty. I’m not really the breadwinner per se, but I do have the responsibility of maintaining the stable job with benefits as my husband is a contractor. It’s hard to work and travel so much and I, too, am sometimes jealous of friends who stay at home and seem free from work worries. I love work most of the time, though, so it’s a trade off. My husband pulls more than his weight when it comes to home and childcare and we definitely hear it from more traditional friends that he is “such a saint” to do it- I like to think he is lucky to get that time with the kids when they’re young.

  • Amy@Pikaland June 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Jenna, you’ve put into words beautifully what I couldn’t express.

    And I love this: “What was in the past isn’t always forever.”


  • Hayley June 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    “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.”

    This really hits home for me. I’m the head breadwinner for our baby family right now (just me and my husband, but we’re planning on baby-making soon)…and he was a music major in college. I’m in grad school and have a good managerial job right now. He works at a place like Dunder Mifflin’s basement warehouse. And I feel crappy because sometimes I feel resentment already building that I will never get to be a stay-at-home parent…and I love him! But…I do not love that husband-of-the-past didn’t put much thought into his college major choice…he did what was fun, and that’s great, but now…not so great.

    Hearing this honesty makes me feel like these feelings I’m already having aren’t totally bratty. At least I don’t think they are. It just…saddens me to think that if ever one of us stays home, it won’t be me.

  • Holly June 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I haven’t posted before, but I see so much of myself in your story. I lived in New York for 10 years and started reading your blog in sentimental attachment to that time (mamouns falafel! yaffa cafe!). Now, other things are resonating, especially your comment about how when you meet your partner when you’re young, you don’t have an eye on how much money you both will make, or how it will work out. I see friends with investment banker husbands and I wonder if they’ve chosen them partially for the freedom it lends to their own lives. My husband and I are both artists, too, and on the brink of starting a family. He is just starting to eclipse my income level, and I have mixed feelings about it. My role as higher earner is diminishing, but his income is not enough on which we can both live. I resented my mother for always saying “marry a man with money”, but I’m starting to know the deeper meaning of what she wanted: choice, for me, and an ease I will most likely never have, whether I want it or not. Thanks so much for talking about this. Please continue your amazing posts (as well as your mentions of NYC circa 1997 – remember when the Lower East Side was scary?).

  • MCC June 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Jenna, your words and ability to articulate what so many of us struggle with is a true gift. please keep it coming. I can very much relate to your situation. While my husband and I do not have children yet, I am the breadwinner in a somewhat unfulfilling role, while he pursues his dream and runs his own business. It is a mixed bag of emotions for me. At times I find myself resentful that he doesn’t feel confined by the same “we need benefits, we need stable income” that I feel tied to, other times I admire his passion, ability to take risks and be less conventional. I worry when we add children to the mix if my resentment will increase as he will be more of the primary care giver; a role, like you say, I may not necessarily want, but would have liked the choice. I see friends and coworkers who have a variety of situations and at the end of the day, I know how true and honest the love my husband and I have for each other is and that is something that is unquanitfiable. We truly are a team of equals, mutually respecting each other, and trying to make the most of life together.

    Like you, I’d by lying if I said some times its not easy. There were partners I could have chosen that would have made life “easier”. But ultimately I knew those partners would always leave me wanting for something too, and I’d rather be married to the love of my life and lacking financial freedom than married to a successful person and lacking true, real, honest love.

    Once again, I commend you for your honesty here. Your photos and your words are simple highlights for my work week. Thanks for being you and for sharing….

    Lastly, “what was the past isn’t always forever” LOVE IT.

  • Elaine June 30, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Wow. It’s like you read my mind. I grew up in an Asian family as well with stereotypical gender roles. So it is still hard for me to accept that I am the breadwinner right now while my husband goes to school and perhaps until he gets a job that will be able to solely support our family, I’ll keep working. I’ve gone through those cycle of negative feelings and I’ll come out feeling empowered and then I’ll go back into it. My husband feels like he has to compensate for it too – he does most of the housework which I am so grateful. My traditional Asian mother is always telling me that I should be doing this or that and should be making breakfast and dinner for him because I’m the wife and he’s the man. Then I go back into that cycle.

  • Darcy June 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I went to law school in my late twenties with the specific goal in mind of always supporting myself, never relying on anyone else. Hence, choosing a career solely for it’s money-making potential. But then I met my husband in law school and suddenly there were two breadwinners and lots of nannies and support staff and two people who worked all the time and barely ever saw their children. so now i’m not a breadwinner at all, I actually make no money. it’s weird how these things turn out, I’m not sure how my 20-year-old-self would feel about my decisions. i know she’d hate me for trading in the jeep for a minivan. sometimes i still feel myself arguing with her in my head. it’s funny where life takes you.

  • Meggie June 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Jenna, I’ve enjoyed your blog for a while but this is my first time commenting. Thank you so much for your honesty. I too grew up in a home where my mom was the breadwinner and provider and it made a lasting impression on me. My husband and I are new parents facing new financial realities, so everything you said really resonates with me. It’s clear that you’ve worked really hard and that you and your family have a lot to be proud of!

  • Leslie June 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I love your honesty. It’s really refreshing, and I love popping by here to know that I’m not the only one in the same boat. I’m an educator by trade, but since having kids, I found myself unable to meet the demands of a full-time job and the juggling of three kids.

    Since then, I’ve managed to teach myself Illustrator and Photoshop. Now I’m a freelance illustrator who has managed to cobble together work from various avenues. It’s exhausting (this juggling work)…but it’s worth it for the well being of my family. So in a nutshell, thanks so much for sharing! It means a lot.

  • Ula June 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I always enjoy reading your posts, really.

    What I’m going to say is what you’re definitely aware of but still, try think sometimes about people who work as much as you (or more), who are better educated and earn 1/5 of your money only because they’re from a poorer country. I’m writing this because I’m not American and I know that the reality in USA (especially New York) is much different than in most of the conuntries in the world.
    Obviously, we always compare each other to people that have a better life because it’s much easier to wish you had more than to be satisfied with what you have.

    P.S. I love the last sentence:).

  • Vanessa Rae June 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Jenna, thank you so much for your honesty. I am still in my late twenties, with two kids under the age of four and a stay-at-home mom. I have mixed feelings about staying at home, I know I should be grateful for the amount of time I get to spend with my children as it flies by in the blink of an eye but truthfully, the only reason I do is because we cannot afford childcare and my husband’s job is just enough to provide what we need, thank goodness. I often feel guilty and sometimes depressed about where my choices have led me. I love being a mom and wife but I am the more ambitious one while my husband is perfectly fine working his way up the corporate ladder. I had just finished with my Associates Degree when we met, married and started a family and I feel that so much of my time to pursue interests and goals is taken up with family and home life. I love visiting this place every day. Getting an honest perspective from a strong, independent, wife-mother-creative, is inspiring as it is refreshing. You remind me to see the honor in hard work, the blessing it is to be able to spend so much time with my children and how uplifting simple and honest communication can be. Thank you for sharing bits of your life here and for keeping it real.

  • Sara Jensen June 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    When my work slows down and my husband’s picks up I start panicking that I am not earning my keep. I think that being raised by a super feminist mother who was also the breadwinner growing up had a huge impact on me. In addition to working she also was getting her ph.D so it was pretty chaotic. I am happiest when I am working like crazy but then feel super guilty that I am not with the kids as much as my husband is.
    I loved this post.

  • Renita June 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    The Motley Crew … I love it. Great photos, great attitude!

  • maja June 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Such a great post. Your honesty is so refreshing. Funny, but after reading your post I realized by putting myself through college, living with the stress of being a breadwinner has become second nature to me now. When I married my husband he was selling guitars at a music store so I guess I never had any grand ideas of things being any different. Still, sometimes I wish we could afford that fancy vacation for a change…

  • D June 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing from your heart and your honesty! I understand those struggles and face them in my own marriage. I have been following your blog for several months now and love it! Your girls are precious and are blessed to have such a great mom and role model.

  • emeline June 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    oh dude, another amazing post! Always insightful, always supremely written and honest. You’re such an inspiration to a generation of women who are constantly reinventing themselves to fill all their roles. Thank you

  • Joni June 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    What a great post. It’s hard to talk about disappointments, disillusions without being really careful…I’m always afraid of “gentle” pity from friends when I tell them I’m jealous. It could be anything – money, their better sex life, real estate at a bargain, handsome partners, etc. So thanks for this post. No one wants to say they didn’t marry their Prince without overcompensating and being defensive.

  • Susan June 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I admire your bravery to be so open, and it inspires me to get more personal on my blog. These are the issues people really relate to, and want to read about…although it is also nice to have a happy escape in blogs as well, which yours also provides! Thank you for sharing Jenna…

  • Meghann June 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Very cool place and very cool memory you have of the before.
    I love what you have said about marriage, the partnership and the ways that relationship changes. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons so many marriages don’t last, these days.
    Things change, people change, atmospheres and situations change. But its partnership for better AND worse. You have to work TOGETHER to get through those hard times. Even when you don’t feel like it of feel like its your place to. You made the commitment; keep it.
    Thanks so much for sharing these thoughts.

  • Abby June 30, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Thank you for such an honest post. It is really encouraging to me. I just got married a year ago and I feel like I will probably be the breadwinner for the whole of our marriage. We don’t have kids yet, but the thought terrifies me at this point. I’m motivated by your honesty and your sense of peace and wisdom on the topic. Thanks. I feel less fearful about the future because of your words.

  • Laura June 30, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    This post is why I keep coming back to your blog…real issues, real feelings and a real woman!! keep them coming!!

  • Bridget June 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Thank you. Please keep writing and sharing.

  • jen June 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    amen sister! thank you for this post. you’ve articulated so clearly in this single post what i’ve been feeling for so many years! i’ve always made more money than my husband and when were just dating, it was something i felt proud of. not that i was making more money than him, but that i was financially successful, even with a BFA 😉 however after we got married, it’s really something that no one knows or discusses.

  • Mefi June 30, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Wow. Your posts have been so open lately. Thank you for sharing and keeping it real. You write how I feel sometimes [with some of your posts] but can never articulate it like you do.

  • Maya June 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    jenna, you’re sincere, and say it like it is. you empower women by making it known that its okay to feel these emotions. my only question is, does mark read your blog ? would he be hurt by any of this ? while its all fact, i still do think you have one heck of a beautiful family and an amazing life, and when you see how some people, through tragedy ( like the japanese tsunami) loose everything they hold dear, and in an instant have nothing but the shirts on their back… is worrying about financial matters to such an extent ever really worth it ? should’nt you just be glad that one way or the other, you guys have made it thus far, and continue to grow from strength to strength… while writing so beautifully you most certainly are able to vent your frustrations and satiate your fans ( of which i am one), i would hate to see your beautiful family hurt by this in anyway. just giving you my honest opinion, so please don’t be ticked off by what i’m saying, as i do think you’re an incredible as person, and extremely sweet in the picture above. x

  • Jane June 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    My mother was always the breadwinner in our family, as was my mother-in-law (who supported her own self-employed husband through his ups and downs), so my husband and I both grew up in households with strong women and men who weren’t threatened by their strong women!

  • Sarah June 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Amazing post!

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