When You Earn More Than Your Man

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?