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Who is the breadwinner?

  • poll: Who earns more money in your household?
    We earn about the same : (21 votes)
    19 %
    I earn more : (30 votes)
    27 %
    My partner earns more : (60 votes)
    54 %
  1. MrsSCB

    pomelo / 5016 posts

    @LCTBQE: Less interesting content, but better pay and schedule -- can't complain too much! And yes, very early, but due in April I can't believe your second August baby will be here so soon!

  2. Corduroy

    grapefruit / 4852 posts

    DH’s salary is almost double mine. He covers health insurance and has a pension. He works from home most days so he handles sick days. He works 4/10s and does laundry and chores on his day off. I do drop off and pick up daily.

    His career is prioritized because his earning potential is much higher but he has passed up jobs with significantly higher salaries for work/life balance. I recently interviewed for a position with a longer commute that would not allow me to do pick up and drop off. DH would not get on board. Logically I know that makes sense but I’m not over it yet.


    nectarine / 2162 posts

    @2PeasinaPod: damn, you guys sound like you're in really, really good shape!

  4. DesertDreams88

    pomegranate / 3822 posts

    We earn about the same, but I have always earned slightly more because I work in a better-paying but more challenging district, and I have had more opportunities for stipends and extra paid jobs (tutoring, summer school). I also have better benefits.

    It doesn't affect household dynamics except he doesn't want either of us to leave our jobs / districts because he likes where he is but he likes the opportunities and benefits of my district.

    He starts and ends an hour earlier, so I take care of the kids for an hour in the morning and he does an hour in the afternoon.

    I do a lot of household work and he does a lot of yard /pool work, that is our preferences. He also has a side job because it blossomed out of a hobby, and I don't have side job opportunities because I'm nursing an infant.

    We both do appointments, and DH regularly takes LO1 on errands all the time. For example, DH has a weekly allergy shot, and always brings LO1. We try to avoid solo parenting with 2 as much as possible, we either work together or do one-on-one.

  5. IRunForFun

    pomelo / 5426 posts

    I make roughly 12.5% of what DH makes, but I work very, very part time. The majority of my work is done in the evenings and/or overnight, so I largely consider myself a SAHM. Since we don't have daycare costs, we are able to throw whatever I make (it's variable) into savings and our Roth IRAs.

    I'd say house maintenance is probably 60/40 with him being the 60 and me being the 40. I do the daily cleanup but he does more of the deep cleaning and all the outside chores. On the flip side I handle the majority of the finances and all the family organization stuff - appointments, taking inventory of what we have vs what we need, etc.

    Sometimes I think DH gets annoyed that I'm "home all day" and there are still so many chores that need doing on weekends, but it's the season of life we are in, and it works for us right now.

  6. periwinklebee

    GOLD / pomegranate / 3367 posts

    @LCTBQE: You are going to do awesome with two! It sounds so intimidating (to me at least) but I think is the sort of thing where you make it work at first because you have to, and in the process gain a bunch of new parenting and household management skills and before you know it, it will be the new normal.

    Daycare will do snacks (when they're old enough for finger foods) but no lunch. It's so annoying, between dealing with a zillion bottle and pump parts (LO is already on a pseudo bottle strike and I don't want to make it worse by ditching doctor browns...), starting to pack solids, and I bring my lunch as well.

    I am so lazy about stains. Poop I treat right away and scrub out, but if there's a food or other daycare stain that doesn't come right out, meh. The kid is growing like a weed anyway, he can look like a ragamuffin at daycare before he outgrows it in another week

  7. periwinklebee

    GOLD / pomegranate / 3367 posts

    @MrsSCB: Congrats!!!

  8. QBbride

    pomegranate / 3104 posts

    We make about the same but I work 0.69 and my husband works full time. I plan kids’ appointments around my days off so neither of us have to miss Work for appointments but I am always the one to take them (doctor, dentist etc).

  9. JennyPenny

    pear / 1538 posts

    DH and I make about the same now. When I started full time I made more because I had advanced degrees. We work in the same field at the same company so have all the same policies for time off, promotion, etc. He's caught up and slightly surpassed me since we've had kids and I think if we didn't have kids that wouldn't have happened necessarily. I take on significantly more doctors appointments, sick days, etc. than he does because I am the bearer of 90% of the emotional labor of the household. I would like to figure out how to balance it but I just don't know how.

  10. muffinsmuffins

    kiwi / 669 posts

    DW earned quite a bit more for a long while but I’m catching up so not a huge discrepancy. She has our benefits and pension, sick leave, etc which I only have vacation time and some sick day flexibility. It’s easier for her to take time off at the last second as she can work from home and I need to rebook clients, so she takes usually the first day or two and if more is needed I will take a day.

    In terms of split, I do all the shopping, cooking, outdoor work and on my later days I do the heavy cleaning like vacuum and bathrooms. Maybe a little more of the emotional labour but not much. She does the finances, laundry, car stuff, vet appts, clean up from dinner and more of the care of our son (playing and occupying him while I cook or cut the lawn or whatever) We try to split up appointments evenly or schedule them the mornings I go in late. We split dog walking and bedtime routines, though she is solo 2 nights per week so I try to do more bed and bath when I’m home.

    Overall we really strive to split 50/50 and either is good to jump in where needed or to give the other a break. There might be some discrepancy or resentment but we usually figure it out easily. I’m super aware of how many of our friends have resentment to their DH over an unequal share and we want our son to see both of us as fully capable for all tasks in the household. Traditional/old fashioned gender roles don’t apply to us of course.

    I think it gets difficult if one person works way more hours rather than one person making more money. We both work 40 hrs so have the same hours of time in a day to split up which makes it easier to keep even IMO. Neither of us are workaholics either.

  11. Becky

    kiwi / 657 posts

    @LCTBQE: Just wanted to add that it’s gotten so easy with 2 that my husband has convinced me to go for 3! I work 40 hours per week (42.5 with lunch break) and he works closer to 60 (today he will be gone from 6:15am to 9 or 10pm). There was a huge turning point when DD2 was just shy of 2. It gets so much better!

  12. 2PeasinaPod

    pomelo / 5524 posts

    @LCTBQE: I think we really started to get into a grove once LO2 turned 2. He was a little more self-sufficient, and LO1 entertained him a lot more so that the two of us could get more done together. Our rule is that one one relaxes unless everything is done for the night, so we motor through until we get to that point. If someone isn't feeling well or has something going on for work, we take it in stride. For a while there, I was traveling a TON for work, so I was focused on really trying to give DH a break from the kids when I was home.

    Don't get me wrong, having 2 rocked our world. No one properly prepared us for it, and the first year of DS2's life was tough! We both felt exhausted all the time, and he didn't sleep through the night until he was 15 months. So we were struggling with sleep...but for the last year, we've been on a roll!

  13. LCTBQE

    nectarine / 2162 posts

    @MrsSCB: walled you

  14. pachamama

    pear / 1775 posts

    @periwinklebee: My husband makes almost 3 times making what I make. I'm a teacher and I make like literally $50 more every year it seems and he's a major account salesman for a national food distributor.
    But he hates his job and I love mine and I get 2349328 days off so... I feel guilty kind of.
    I am very happy with him making more money than me! We are both realistic that "just enough plus a little" is good for our lifestyle and we have no one to impress so life is very good.
    I do the appointments because for god's sake I can leave school at 2:40. I have the summers off so I do a ton then. But DH can stay home very often if my son is sick so that has been great! It's not easy for teachers to call out and DHs job is flexible. I love his salary (ha!) and hours; too bad he is unhappy there!

  15. babypugs

    persimmon / 1082 posts

    I make more, but the gap has been closing the past couple of years and I think that he will out-earn me within five years. He actually does almost all of the cooking, house work, and yard chores, but I watch the kids during those times so...kind of equal in my book. I also do almost all of the "household maintenance" like remembering and scheduling doctor visits, pest control, budgeting and bills, birthdays and family events, etc. I am mostly happy with this arrangement and am secretly happy I make more, ha!

  16. LCTBQE

    nectarine / 2162 posts

    @Becky: @2PeasinaPod: I have always always heard that the hardest year marriage/life balance-wise is the first year after the second baby is born--I'm due in 2 weeks and I'm scared because I already thought we had our hardest year ever, haha. But I am optimistic that it'll get better, like you both say (maybe by the time I'm 40!)

    @Becky: that's awesome, good luck!
    @2PeasinaPod: omg I would *love* this "no one relaxes" rule in our house. that's my mentality but my husband is a major procrastinator with nagging dumb stuff like dishes, so we end up bickering a lot over what we do and when. I think it must be so much smoother if you're married to someone with similar motivation who you don't have to constantly negotiate with.

  17. LCTBQE

    nectarine / 2162 posts

    @babypugs: yes, the years where I earned more I was so secretly proud of myself! like a lot of the pp's we do have the "one big pot" arrangement and it works well for us, but still

  18. periwinklebee

    GOLD / pomegranate / 3367 posts

    @LCTBQE: major procrastinator is the perfect description of my husband when it comes to housework. The regular pattern is procrastinate, then fall asleep, and it doesn't get done - I care more now that I need those pump parts and bottles for the next day!

    His perspective is "what's your deal, I said I'd do it. I'm going to do it, why do you care when? You don't have any faith in me - what do you mean I'll fall asleep and not do it, why are you accusing when I haven't even done anything wrong yet." And then after falling asleep "I don't know what happened, I was going to do it..." Lol, so I try to encourage doing stuff together...

  19. MrsSCB

    pomelo / 5016 posts

    @periwinklebee: Thank you!

  20. periwinklebee

    GOLD / pomegranate / 3367 posts

    @JennyPenny: That's tough... ugh, I feel like if my husband and I had the same career path and I could see him advancing more because he took on fewer household duties or less emotional labor, I would struggle more than with totally different career paths, even if the imbalance was the same....

  21. LCTBQE

    nectarine / 2162 posts

    @periwinklebee: ugh I love him but we're married to the same man the accusations of mistrust you mention are hilarious because I'm like, yes, you're correct, I do not trust you to do all this mundane shit. then we bicker because he doesn't like to be nagged, and I'm like, listen, I DID ask you nicely the first fucking 12 times I asked you to do this. the 13th time might have a tinge of hostility, yeah. oh and the bottle washing used to make my head explode, although he did take that more seriously than most of the dumb stuff.

  22. periwinklebee

    GOLD / pomegranate / 3367 posts

    @LCTBQE: I completely sympathize

  23. Alba4

    nectarine / 2881 posts

    I’m the bread winner by 50%. He is a part time SAHD. His flexibility in working has made life so easy and daycare much more affordable. He also does all the yard work and cooks the majority of the time. I do most of the cleaning, as well as the appointment making, shopping, & laundry. We divided the labor pretty evenly and by what we enjoy.

  24. irene

    nectarine / 2851 posts

    I used to earn more before having DS for almost 10 years and I was so proud of it DS came along and it changed everything. However, DH is always the one who takes care of all of us on health insurance, I guess the health insurance card trumps everything. Now he's the bread winner for sure (until he gets laid off / loses his job. ha)

  25. Mrs. Lemon-Lime

    wonderful pea / 17051 posts

    I’m pretty sure DH earns more, but honestly when we total bonuses and other benefits IDK. His base is higher. We are on his healthcare, but I do the dependent case FSA. I take off from work when LO is sick and manage the services. DH pays the bills and does the taxes.

  26. nana87

    cantaloupe / 6060 posts

    Dh makes much more, because until recently I was on a phd student stipend and he has a "real" job. This next academic year I'll be an adjunct prof so he's still making more than me. When I eventually/hopefully get a good job we;ll be more equal again--eventually I could make more than him, depending on the position.

    I wouldn't say our earnings affect our household balance, but my flexibility does--he has a 9-5 type office schedule, whereas besides teaching my schedule is my own to set. he works from home, so things like laundry/cooking are on his task list, but I do more the sick days and other child care, and I organize all the home stuff and do most of the mental/emotional labor. Like, my girls' daycare is about to be closed for vacation for like 5 weeks (aaaaaah the one bad thing about our daycare and it's super inconvient!) and I'll have to be the one watching them/not working

    eta also our girls have only been in part-time care up until now/while i was in school, i always had at least an extra day home with them. part of why i do more of the child care responsibilities--i have wanted to! this next academic year will be the first time my 4.5 yo will be in full-time care

  27. psw27

    pomelo / 5031 posts

    My DH earns at least 3x what I do. He works way more hours but has the ability to work from home (since they expect him to work nonstop/always be available for calls from other countries, etc.). I work a straight 9-5 with more sick and vacation days but no flexibility (i.e. if I'm a half hour late, I have to take the vacation time. ugh.). I do most of the household management stuff, DH simply doesn't have enough time but he is hands on at home when he is home. Every once in a while I lash out when I'm feeling burnt out from doing every pick up and drop off and all the laundry and cooking that I actually work more than he does but I try to keep it in perspective that he's working hard for the greater good of all of us too.

  28. Ajsmommy

    nectarine / 2764 posts

    For the first 4 years of our marriage I was the breadwinner. DH was even unemployed for about a year (illness/laid off). Since then, it was a blessing in disguise bc DH switched industries and now he makes 3x's what I make. The amount of money we make has no effect on how our household duties get divvied up. I feel that we are 50/50, there are things he does and things I do.

    He does the dishes but I put them away. He does his own laundry.

    I do my laundry and the kids and put it away. I pretty much do the entire evening/nighttime/bedtime routine by myself bc sometimes DH isn't home yet or if he's home he's working... So bath time is all me.

    We outsource a lot too which helps. We have a cleaner come every three weeks. And we pay a kid to mow our lawn.

    DH takes out the trash and recycling.

    I tidy up after the kids and am responsible for picking up their rooms and play areas.

    As for dinners... we used to split it pretty evenly. I feed the kids but sometimes they'll have nuggets and veggies while DH cooks he and I steak or pork chops on the grill. So we kind of split... we also try to do some precooked/left over meals to help when he's working or not home yet.

    I make and do most dr appts unless its a sick one, then DH and I figure out who can cover.... we both have pretty flexible schedules with some days having more important things than others... soo it depends on what each of us has going who will take a day. I like to comfort the kids when they are sick so I tend to take off more but if need by DH would take the same.

    DH does our finances bc that's what he does for a living but I have daily input into what we are doing with what.

    Benefits come out of my check

    We both do HSA and child care


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