Primary breadwinner second edition

7 comments

I wanted to revisit how it has been going since I am now the primary breadwinner and almost sole provider  Ever since our second child was born, my husband has been the primary caregiver. With the roles changing I wanted to discuss the good, bad and ugly about this change as it applies to my family.

So here are a few updates and/or tips to anyone else who is embarking on this relationship:

1. I feel a ton more pressure: I know this sounds nuts but knowing my income and bonuses are imperative to our survival definitely bring a level of pressure that you cannot avoid. Before there were two incomes so it wasn’t such a big deal. Now I have to admit when I do not get an extra bonus it directly affects our month and budget. I am in sales so sometimes I am doing well and sometimes not so much.

2. Every night I take over bath time, etc to give my husband a break: Some days my husband looks cool, calm and collected. Other nights he looks like he has been shot over and over with a pellet gun. The pellet gun being my toddler son and baby daughter. When I get home from work no matter how tired I feel I jump in take the kids while he is cooking and I take over the night-time routine. I know it is not nearly as much work as he has done during the day with the kids but it also gives me one on one time with my children.

He deals with this ALOT, lol
He deals with this ALOT, lol

Max crying

3. I am so thankful for my husband and his patience: I have said it before and will say it again, I am not made to be a stay-at-home mom. I do not have the patience that my husband or countless other amazing stay-at-home mom’s have. Reality is I am not much of a kid lover. I LOVE MY KIDS but have never been a huge kid lover. I know it sounds weird but that is the truth. So I am extremely thankful for a partner who has patience to be consistent, loving but stern all at the same time.

Patience of a saint
Patience of a saint

4. Male or Female, the stay-at-home counterpart will feel like they are undervalued: For the most part my husband has loved being home but there have been one or two times he has brought up that he feels like I do not help enough. Stepping back from being exhausted, I have to realize he is probably more exhausted. He is literally the primary caregiver to our children, and as parents we all know how hard this is. So I try to step up my game, especially on the weekends, with cleaning, and cooking.

5. I push my husband to have alone time: I try to push him to do things for himself. Although I am working I do get to be an adult and not be bombarded by children all day long. Case in point – I have basically pushed him out the door on more than one occasion to either go for a ride on his motorcycle,  play some basketball, take a guys night out….just about anything to let him get some “me” time so he comes back happier. Some days he is so tired it doesn’t happen but when it does I can see the effect it has on him. He  comes back relaxed and refreshed.

Just like anything in marriage it is an ongoing process and takes constant work and attention, which can be hard with two little people constantly grabbing at you. So far this arrangement seems to work for us. Finger’s crossed it continues to work well but I am sure I will blog about it if it doesn’t LOL.

7 comments on “Primary breadwinner second edition”

  1. I’m a working mom with a husband who is likely soon to be a SAHD. Unfortunately it’s not really by choice, but due to a job loss – we simply can’t afford to keep the kids in daycare without both of us working full time. I’ve always been the bigger breadwinner so that aspect of it is nothing new, but it will be an interesting change for our family to go through! He’s a very patient and caring dad and I know he’ll do a great job with our girls – probably a better job than I would in the same role.

    He was working a horrible job that had him commuting a long distance and working long hours for a pretty crummy paycheck; the bulk of the care of both kids fell and much of the housework fell on me in addition to working full time (I took 12 weeks of maternity leave after our 1 year old was born). The situation stressed me out immensely and wreaked havoc on our family life, only for us to not even financially break even after the cost of child care and commuting and wear and tear on his car and everything else was taken into consideration. His layoff was a blessing in disguise in that regard because it forced us to evaluate the big picture and think more long-term for our family’s financial position. Once the kids are in school (we may go for a third – which probably wouldn’t be possible without him being a SAHD anyways) then the financial balance will change again.

  2. Katie, I am really fascinated by your family’s experiment in exchanging traditional roles. First of all, I think it will be a terrific lesson for both of your kids. Secondly, you are providing to us some insight into what the traditional men must feel (your mention of the pressure of being sole provider is something I think men have felt for centuries, and I never really thought about it). Thirdly, I love your brave confession about not being a “kid lover” — I understand completely because I feel the same way. MY kids and MY nephews, yes. Random kids, generally no. I wasn’t even sure I would feel a strong pull towards my grandson! He’s someone else’s baby! Luckily that worked out. Anyway, it takes guts to be a woman who admits she’s not a universal kid lover, and you certainly have guts! You are one spunky mom! One more thing — OY! about the motorcycle. Tell your wonderful husband to be very careful, or to take a nice long walk instead. 🙂 I love reading about your adventures.

  3. I think it’s so valuable that you can see his challenges and exhaustion. It’s important for your family, but also simply as the spot on, compassionate perspective stay-at-home parents need and deserve.

  4. Wonderful post. I am also a working mom with an amazing stay-at-home dad for a partner and I can say everything you mention is spot on, especially pushing him out the door to get some time for himself. I am thrilled every time I can get him out to go golfing or trap shooting. He needs it!

  5. Good to hear yo appreciate all he does. My husband’s consulting assignment ended last September and unemployment benefits expired in April. It has been very challenging. I work at a non-profit and pick up hours at another on weekends. Hubby is doing some side work but needs a full-time job. So much pressure and I am the one who mkes more money. Although 2 incomes are needed for the mortgage to get paid.

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