Yes, men do earn more than women, statistically – but, what happens to the family dynamic when Mom starts to earns more? And, what happens to the relationship when ambition overcomes society’s expectation and Dad’s left doing the laundry?
It’s no secret that I love the work that I do and I am very ambitious. My success has allowed me to enjoy a very good income. That doesn’t always make life easy for a household funnily enough.
It actually requires a little personal growth from both partners in a relationships, in fact it sometimes takes more than a “little”. Even though there are more and more Women in society pursuing their careers and being a real success, it is still a tough subject for many. Most people are OK with it, but the real test is when it actually happens in your house.
Like all women, I’d been exposed to the subconscious programming that Males are dominant income earners. Although we’re seeing a huge turnaround of this recently revealed by journalist, Hanna Rosin who exposes women actually surpassing men in several important measures.
But, this doesn’t address the reality of a household when women are unavailable for their assumed domestic roles and men face the judgement of doing ‘women’s work’.
This is not because we have an insecure partner, but rather has a lot to do with our deeply ingrained belief systems, that often we aren’t even consciously aware of.
When we shift into that mindset it’s not really about who makes more money, instead; who’s going to do the dishes, laundry, cooking, book the holidays, handle the household emergencies – the domestic roles a family requires.
You’ve got to be totally ok to realize your value. That’s why I say I love making money. It’s not to portray some villain from a disney movie – it’s a powerful, proud declaration that I’m worth it.
And, as women, we’re making tons of headway in equality. Yay for us. But, when we come home it would be nice to have dinner on the table too.
As a woman, I’d been conditioned to earn less and be the domestic one. My partner had to overcome the fear of being less of a man if he’s not living up to society’s expectation of him.
A mindset is defined as, “the established set of attitudes held by someone”, and it’s exactly this attitude within us, as women, men and within our marriage that has to be reset.
It doesn’t always look pretty!
Our Defining Moment
My daughter Madeline had a sports camp coming up. Both myself and Wes completely forgot about the start date and it wasn’t until that morning at breakfast that we suddenly remembered!
Not only did my moment of peace get shattered, as I suddenly realized the huge day I had coming up with work, but so did my mood when my husband – from a cultural conditioning said, “You’ll take care of it, right babe”?
It was a really weird moment because we both just stood there looking at each other – no there were no daggers flying – it was just a moment where we looked at each other and knew exactly what we wanted to say to each other.
That was the moment where I no longer had to explain, that I needed help here, because I had a massive team to manage and I could no longer just drop everything as I did in the past and take care of all the domestic issues.
To be honest I felt really weird and I think for him as a male he may have been a little crushed. The reality though, was we both knew that discomfort was only because we were challenging our old belief systems.
It’s one thing to break the income glass ceiling and bring home a bigger pay check than my husband. But, seriously – it’s not totally smooth sailing yet. We have to meet in the middle and manage our time and expectations of each other as partners in the household – not gender-based roles of the home.
Creating an equal home is a two-fold mindset. For women with careers; matching and surpassing your man’s income, and for men establishing neutral role expectations in the home: meaning there’s no assumption women’s careers are dispensable.
It starts with one family, one mindset, to make the changes in what will be a revolution of equality seen inside the home and to reverberate into workplaces, communities, states and globally.
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
Image courtesy of Pictures of Money.