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The Truth About Being a Breadwinning Mama

“The most natural progression for you would to move into a full support role within the department, ” my manager told me from the other side of a desk in a small office. 

We sat for a long, awkward moment before I answered. “I know I shouldn’t tell my supervisor this. This isn’t what I am “supposed” to say to you, but I don’t want to move up right now. I am happy were I am at as an admin. I am good at what I do. Plus you guys give me enough extra work outside of my regular duties that challenges me. So I am not bored.

My 2 years here have been great. Before working here and since becoming a mom I was never home on time or if I was I would end up having to work from home. My family is finally in a decent place with our schedule and financially, thanks to this job.  If I move up in any other position I know that I will probably have to work some nights, weekends, or travel. I don’t want to do that right now.  I am happy where I am at.”

“Okay,” he responded.

 

The truth is, I am a working mom, and my husband is a stay-at-home dad.

It may be foolish for me to not entertain upward advancement at work since I am the breadwinner. Because of these choices we live in a small home that could stand for the floors and living room furniture to be updated. We have 1 new car, but our 2nd is much older. We scour for every item in our lives until we find the best possible deal before purchasing. It’s worth it though. Having consistency with my family is more important to me. 

The truth is, this is not my ideal situation.

I used to think when moms worked and dads stayed home that families were doing that because that’s what they WANTED to do.  I am sure that is true for some. But after talking to other breadwinning moms, it seems most are trying to make the best of their circumstances, like working while their spouses attend school or job search. After my husband was laid off a few years ago we looked at all of the stupid grownup factors, like benefits and childcare costs. Together we decided that this was our best option. 

The truth is, I am jealous of my husband.

I enjoyed staying home during my maternity leaves. I found it to be fulfilling. In the beginning of our current setup with me working and him staying home, it was pretty bad. I said hurtful things to my husband that I am not proud of. I’d cry every Sunday night about going back to work Monday morning. It’s gotten easier over time, but I still think I’d like to be home with my babies. The grass is always greener, right?

The truth is, there are lots more truths about being a mama breadwinner.

As much as I hate it, money does matter. Having a little extra breathing room financially can make a huge difference in my stress levels. Or navigating household responsibilities can be tricky. Certain things default to me just because I am the mom, even if my husband is home all day. Or even as we continue to adjust and this set up continues to get easier, I’ll probably always feel a little twinge of guilt for working

The truth is these are MY truths. I can’t speak for any other breadwinners because each situation is unique. All I know is that once we chose this lifestyle I just started trying to provide for my family to the best of my ability.

Well that and make it home for dinner on time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses to The Truth About Being a Breadwinning Mama

  1. Rhonda Sittig August 9, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

    Well said Lacey– Love all your honest and truly helpful posts on motherhood.

    • Lacey Hamilton
      Lacey Hamilton August 9, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

      Thanks so much for reading and for your comment Rhonda. It can be tough but worth it!

  2. This is a really great, honest post. Thank you!

    I just returned to work from maternity leave this week. Being surprised with twins forced us to reevaluate our roles. I’m now the breadwinner and my husband is a stay-at-home dad. It’s really, really hard and I’m also feeling those pangs of jealously.

    We’re still figuring out our routine right now, but I could definitely see me making the same sort of decision about my future at work. Our family is on a journey to get out of debt and achieve financial semi-independence in about five years, so more money would be super helpful. However, we need to consider the well-being of our family too. I mean, we have five kids after all, and I can’t expect Mr. Smith to do everything at home.

    I find it helpful to remember that there are many different phases in life. There will always be new and different opportunities, when you’re ready to pursue them.

    • Lacey Hamilton
      Lacey Hamilton August 11, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

      Wow yes I bet finding out about twins would have to cause you to re-evaluate. I know that is SO tough, especially right after maternity leave. It may take a bit, but it will get easier. I hope the adjustment period is short.

      You are absolutely right, there will be other opportunities at other times. No situation/job/position etc has to be permanent.

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