Growing up, my parents made about the same amount of money, which wasn’t all that much; we were solidly on the lower end of the middle class. As far as I was concerned, we were fine and when I would picture my life someday as an adult, I never imagined or aspired to make a significant amount of money, let alone to be rich. And when I reached the age where day-dreaming about my eventual romantic life became a regular pastime, I never considered that I could or would have anything different than the setup my parents had. My husband and I would contribute 50/50 to the household; it wasn’t even a question.
Years later, as an independent single woman, I’ve of course realized that there are many ways to divide up responsibility in a household. I’ve also realized that my earning potential is beyond what I ever thought it could be, even as recently as five years ago. I am profoundly lucky. That, along with my status as a single 30-something with a strong desire for children, has made me think long and hard about how different my role as a hopeful wife and mother might end up being in comparison to what I had envisioned. Female-breadwinner households are the subject of Time‘s cover story this week, which examines how this trend (which is likely to be more common than male-breadwinner household in the next generation) has affected male and female relationships. The piece resonated with me because one of the things I have concluded is that, in the right situation, I would be happy to be the primary earner in my family. Keep reading »