Viewing category ‘Relationships & Marriage’


Having only one child: Why is it such a crime?

Categories: Balancing Act, Parenting & Family, Relationships & Marriage, Your life


My husband and I have one daughter, who is four years old.

At this point we’re not planning on having another child. I never say never for anything in life — having learned enough lessons — but it’s not in the short-term or long-term plans.

When people ask me when we’re having another (and I’ve noticed that it’s almost always “when” and not “if”) I say that we might just be done with one. This is usually greeted with utter surprise or treated as a joke. “No way, really?!” (Unless of course the question is asked by my parents or grandparents, in which case the answer is greeted with a long lecture about how they need another grand/great-grandchild or how crazy we are to not have another great kid like the first one.)

But a few times in the past year when I said that we’re likely having only one child what I heard back wasn’t just surprise, but judgment, and harsh one at that.
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Breadwinner moms, listen up!

Categories: Career Talk, Money, Relationships & Marriage, Working Women Issues


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while (and if you haven’t, what’s wrong with you!?) you know that I have always been the main breadwinner in our household. This changed dramatically when I left my nicely paid investment job to launch this here, Work It, Mom!, but until that point I had always made a multiple of my husband’s salary. As I’ve written before, while I am proud to have been able to support our family I’ve often felt resentment at having so much pressure and my husband and I have had more than one “heated discussion” (why does this sound better than a fight?) about our situation.
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Want your husband to help out more? Get your friends’ husbands to help out more.

Categories: Balancing Act, Relationships & Marriage, Working Women Issues


family-walking-park.jpgLisa Belkin has written another uber-piece in the New York Times Magazine about couples attempting to equally share childcare and household responsibilities and I’ve just had a chance to read through it. (Her original uber-piece being The Opt Out Revolution.)

It’s long, but if you’re married or have a partner or have been married or are just interested in family dynamics, you should read it. It is way too rich with detail for me to summarize, but a few things stuck me:

According to one researcher Ms. Belkin talks about in the article, “…the single-most-predictive factor of how equal a couple will be… is how equal their friends are.”
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Work-life balance, the marriage edition

Categories: Balancing Act, Relationships & Marriage, Your life


couple-moving.jpgI had lunch with a friend recently whose husband has been offered an amazing job… abroad. They have both worked abroad before and loved it, but this was before they had two kids. My friend had a super successful career in business before she took a bit of time off to be a mom, but has spent the last few years starting up a business of her own. It was just starting to pick up steam when this awesome job offer for her husband came through.

The decision to uproot your family and move a thousand miles away is never easy when you have kids (hey, we moved from New York to Boston and a year later, I am still recovering.) So much goes into consideration — living arrangements, schools, activities, work, etc. But when moving involves one spouse taking a dream job and another potentially slowing down her own career or business, it’s much more complicated.
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Breadwinner moms — do you have breadwinner resentment?

Categories: Money, Relationships & Marriage, Working Women Issues, Your life


piggy-bank-on-top-of-cash.jpgI had a completely different post planned for today, but after glancing through the Elle/MSNBC Reader Survey about money I couldn’t resist this topic. (I should also use this opportunity to brag about my awesome husband, who bought me a copy of Elle, my guilty pleasure magazine to which I’ve forgotten to renew my subscription but which does a great job of putting my stress on the back burner for a few minutes.)

Anyway, back to the money survey. There are some fun bits on there — like the fact that 1 in 3 women said that they feel less pressure to have sex with the guy if they pay for their share of the date (which implies that 2 out of 3 do?) — but what caught my eye were the stats about women who make more than their partners. Here are a few:

  • 1 out of 3 breadwinners resent paying for shared expenses
  • 16% of breadwinners think that men should always be primary earners
  • Breadwinners are more likely than other women to think that the primary earner should have more power in the relationship

Would celebrating Valentine’s Day for the first time ever be good for my marriage?

Categories: Just For Fun, Relationships & Marriage


illustrated-couple-walking.jpgI’ve never celebrated Valentine’s Day. Not in the 11 years my husband and I have been together, not with any guy I dated before then. It always felt too commercial, too artificial. (OK, in the interest of full disclosure, my high school boyfriend brought me a dozen carnations one Valentine’s Day and we got in a fight; I thought carnations were insulting.)

But I read this article in the New York Times tonight and I am re-considering my anti-Valentine’s Day stance. According to several studies mentioned in the article, the secret to keeping a marriage going and keeping it happy is to do new things together. Just spending quality time together — which for working parents is tough enough — isn’t the answer. You have to try new things, experience new things, go to new places.
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Would you marry for money?

Categories: Money, Relationships & Marriage, Uncategorized


piggy-bank-on-top-of-cash.jpgIf you said no, then you’re in the minority, according to a new poll. A wealth research firm (I had no idea these existed) polled more than 1,000 people nationwide and asked them this question:

How willing are you to marry an average-looking person that you liked, if they had money?

Two thirds of women and half the men said that they were extremely or very likely to do it.

Are you surprised? I have to be honest, I was. I know no poll is entirely accurate and the way the question is stated it doesn’t necessarily mean that money would be the only or even the primary reason to marry this person. (Hey, I know many marriages where two people who liked each other and were reasonably good looking decided to tie the knot, and neither had much money.) But it does suggest that many women and men feel that money is a good reason to marry someone.
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What happens when you run out of time to fight with your husband?

Categories: Balancing Act, Relationships & Marriage


battle-of-the-sexes.jpgAccording to this article in the New York Times women who don’t speak up when fighting with their husband run the risk of having some pretty serious health issues. (We featured the article in our Media Watch and a few members shared their thoughts on the topic - check it out.)

But how many of us simply don’t have enough time or energy to argue with our husbands or partners due to the many demands of work and family and not enough time to get it all done?

I had lunch with a woman recently who told me that by the end of the day when the kids are in bed she is just too exhausted to raise issues with her husband. She thinks he is too and so they just let them go, choosing to watch TV or go to bed rather than have a heated discussion. I would be lying if I said that this never happens to me and my husband.
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Is keeping the house clean in our genes?

Categories: Balancing Act, Relationships & Marriage, Your life


retro-woman-with-vacuum.jpgSomething must be in the air related to women and housework. We’ve been talking about it here and here and here on Work It, Mom! and now I find this article and a great reaction to it online.

First, the article. It’s titled Women’s Liberation Through Housework and in it the author writes that when women went off to work by the millions a void was left in the home — the men did not step up to help with housework and with turning the home into a peaceful refuge for the family. Rather than concluding that men need to step up more — or that we, as working women, should put more pressure and/or demands on them to do it — the author uses the fact that women continue to do more around the house as evidence for it being part of our genetics:

…be it genetics or societal brainwashing, 40 years of liberation has not changed the fact that the female of the species is most often the one who cares about matching towels and well-equipped kitchens… Many of us for a few decades there refused to admit it, but deep down, we have a perfectly respectable desire to create an attractive, peaceful haven for our families and ourselves.

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The scull-crushing stress of being the primary breadwinner

Categories: Career Talk, Relationships & Marriage, Your life


I’ve made more money than my husband for as long as we’ve known each other, right up until the point when I took the plunge and gave up the security and fat paycheck of my finance job to do something I’ve always wanted to do - become a full-time entrepreneur. I’ve always worked in business or finance, where people make a lot of money, my husband worked in several industries where average salaries are much lower. It never bothered me.

And then our daughter was born. I was happy to go back to work - I like to work, I want to work, and I have to work - but as time went on and I struggled to be a mom and keep up my stressful big-money-making career, I began to feel some resentment. I’d catch myself in envy of moms who had less stressful and lower paying jobs which they could afford to have because their husbands were the primary breadwinners.

Mixed in with this resentment was a tremendous feeling of betrayal and even shame. I felt like I was betraying the feminist ideals that I’d achieved through very hard work - becoming a successful woman in a male-dominated career field and doing it on my own terms. Here I was, a super-achiever by most standards, and the stress of it, the pressure of it was crushing me. Why wasn’t I strong enough to handle it? Why was being the primary breadwinner stressing me out so much instead of making me proud of the fact that I was able to support my family financially?

I was so happy to read a recent blog post by Self-Made Mom about this very issue. She is a successful professional and a mom, but her husband is the primary breadwinner for the family. And she wrote about the fact that she is happy about this, that right now, she really appreciates having the ability to have a job that she has (which includes some flexibility to work from home) and not have to worry about making the majority of the money for the family.

We put so much pressure on ourselves as women - to be incredible moms, great wives and partners, successful and high-achieving professionals. The modern woman is supposed to be able to do it all - superwomen, high achievers, trailblazers, Alpha Moms are terms we see so much in media stories talking about all the amazing things women are achieving. And by many accounts, we are doing it all - recent data suggests that more and more women are becoming the primary earners in their households.

But boy, do I wish I could give myself a break sometimes. I will likely always be the primary breadwinner in our family and I am OK with that; what I wish I could be OK with is the fact that sometimes I wish I weren’t.

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