Saturday, March 15, 2008

Being a breadwinner

I recently started our taxes for last year, and was quite surprised to see my partner's income: two-thirds of my salary. I don't know why this surprised me; I've done our taxes every year we've been married, and for the past three years (since we moved for my job) I've made more than him.

So, if he lost his job, we wouldn't build up our savings as fast, or eat out as much, but would basically be fine. If I lost my job, we would really struggle. I guess that makes me the breadwinner.

He's never been very comfortable with this, although he doesn't make a big deal out of it, either. I thought my feminist self was above that kind of feeling, but I guess the information was uncomfortable enough for me I just blocked it out of my mind.

Being the breadwinner has another implication. I would like to have a child or children, but I have no desire to balance a full-time career with parenting. I would be happy to work if my partner took on the main childcare responsibilities: but his personality is not suited for staying at home or being the primary caregiver to a child. So having a child would mean I'd have to significantly cut back my work hours: not something the breadwinner is generally supposed to do.

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