Q: In our house, the wife makes more than the husband. That’s causing some stress. What advice would you give us?
A: Listen to Nancy tell her story:
“My husband and I are having a disconnect in our goals in terms of my work. Somehow along the way I have surpassed his income and my job is very stressful. I work a lot, including some time on the weekends. I feel like a bad mother. I’m never around. Grandma has always got our kids. They just don’t have the benefit of their mother watching them at sporting events or even dropping them off at school or picking them up. Since the beginning, I didn’t want to have children if we couldn’t provide well for them. Now that I can do that, I want to be there for them when they get off school. I want to participate in their school activities. I want to be more involved in their schooling. But my husband is afraid of losing my income—and frankly, so am I. We need me to work, but I’m hurting inside every day.”
For the wife to be a mom as well as the primary income causes her to carry a huge load. Many women are in the situation of working full time, and in some cases, their income is higher than their husbands’ income. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, many couples will find that there is a price to pay because moms, in particular, hurt inside when they have to put work before their kids. If a wife is working full time and even on weekends and missing out on activities and events with the children, she probably needs to slow down and think about a few things. First of all, she shouldn’t label herself a bad mother. If the Holy Spirit is speaking, then it would be wise to listen and consider what can be done to make some changes so that she will not have any regrets when the kids are suddenly grown and out of the house.
Women, think ahead. When you stand at your child’s graduation, you will want to be satisfied in your heart that you didn’t miss the important events along the way. Of course, you can’t be at all of them, but you need to make your kids a priority now. They aren’t going to be in this stage for long. Blink, and it will be over.
It may take some creative thinking. It will take lots of prayer. Let God know your heart. Understand your needs. Work on your budget. See if there’s a way you can work fewer hours so that there’s still an income but so that it’s not taking away from the family. Talk to your boss. Communicate with your husband. No matter what age your kids are right now, if they’re still at home, they need you and will benefit from your extra attention. Believe us, you’ll feel real satisfaction if you can work to tailor your job to make this possible.
*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It's available in our online bookstore!