When You Earn More Than Your Man

  • By MP Dunleavey
  • April 11, 2012

MP Dunleavey

Here’s a confession from a breadwinner wife: I’ve been guilty of referring to my own hardworking husband as a stay-at-home dad—when he’s not.

My husband has worked part-time, consistently, since our son was about six months old. Yet in my mind, and sometimes out loud, I leave out that valuable fact.

I use the phrase "stay-at-home" as shorthand, but not only is it inaccurate—it’s unfair to him and dismissive of his hard work and financial contribution. I guess if I were going to be honest (the whole point of this “confession”, right?), I’d have to say that I’m being a little hostile. Or envious.

My husband got to see our son walk first. He’s attended more story hours and moms groups and kissed more boo-boos than I have by about a thousandfold. My son, often, calls me “daddy,” because it’s the go-to name.

Resentments aside, I have to ask myself whether I’d ever, really, trade places with my husband--then or now? 

My career has flourished—while my husband’s has, not exactly suffered, but not blasted off either. Would I want to be in those shoes?

I know the answer, but that doesn’t mean the answer is always clear.

Muddle through. If you’re the primary earner, how do you deal with resentment?