What to Do When She Makes More than Me?
This morning, NBC News and MSNBC.com featured the topic of women who outearn their husbands. In traditional marriages, where women have more home and childcare responsibilities than men, men's salaries have logically been the biggest (if not the only) source of family income. But a direct result of more women going to college and graduate school has been their ability to reach higher paying positions (at least the women who haven't been sidelined by years at home). According to MSNBC, this phenomenon can cause psychological problems for some men who feel they aren't doing their share of what they have always thought was their territory. And it is causing additional pain for higher-earning women whose partners are not picking up the slack at home and with the kids.
For those of you who not only aren't threatened by the fact that your wife could make more money than you, but may even be happy with this turn of events, you may be able to appreciate the impact of equally sharing childraising and housework with her. If this trend in women's salaries continues and eventually results in both genders overall receiving equal pay for equal work, we're going to need to let go of our identity as family breadwinner. Rather than think of ourselves as he-men providing financially for our families, we can begin to redefine ourselves as the male version of worker, parent, spouse, maintenance guy, and fun person.