Female Breadwinner Effect

When interviewing my parents it was extremely interesting to hear their different perspectives on how successful that they feel they are. My mother sees her success primarily from the role of a mother and wife, “I feel extremelydylan4 successful. Your father and I have been married for 29 years. We have our ups and downs, however he has my back, and I have his. I couldn’t ask for two nicer children. We were able to experience children at 25 and 35, which are completely different experiences—looking at things in different ways. I feel successful lots of times through you guys—just from my pride of you both. My father on the other hand sees himself as less successful because of a greater connection to his own work life, “I feel okay. I feel very successful when it comes to our family. We are all doing well; you and Ryanne are both very smart and successful. I love your mother and we have a great relationship. However, I don’t feel very successful in terms of a job. I think I could have done much better for myself.”

This difference I think can be explained by my fathers familial structure and the societal expectation of the male to be the primary earner in the family, which was alluded to the movie, The Evolution of Dad. With my father growing up in a traditional family model, with his father being the breadwinner, it is reasonable dylan5to believe that he wanted to emulate that part of his father’s life. In addition, the fact that he doesn’t meet societal expectations can lead him to feel slightly emasculated.

While this has led my father to feel less successful, I think it was very beneficial for me. While I do believe that my father would have still played a large role in my life, the fact that he isn’t the primary earner forced him to adopt a model of equal parenting with my mother. In the Deutsch reading we learned that this model of parenting is the most successful for the children as well as the relationship between the couple.

My parents have an amazing relationship, one in which they rotate certain parenting, and household roles. I think this fact was an integral part of my ensuing success because it allowed me to receive equal attention and support form both parents. I also believe that it is extremely important to have two parents that are completely on the same page, both in terms of how to raise their kids and on how to carry out their own relationship. In the end, my parents may not be the most successful or intellectual individuals, but they did a hell of a job raising my sister and I.

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