Archive How to Overcome the Challenges of Being a Female Breadwinner?
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What Does It Look Like to Be a Female Breadwinner?

Rana Mazahernasab

Rana Mazahernasab

Table of contents:

    If you’re the female breadwinner of the whole family, this blog is your guide to overcoming the challenges you may face and finding success in both your career and personal life. This role can be both empowering and tough to handle. As women continue to break barriers in the workforce and take on roles as primary earners for their families, they tend to have obstacles and pressures.

    In this blog, we’ll explore the common challenges of female breadwinners and provide practical tips and strategies to overcome them. We’ll also discuss how to make your relationship work if you’re the primary earner. So first, let’s see what it exactly means to be a breadwinner as a woman.


    What Does It Mean to Be a Wife Breadwinner?

    Due to various reasons, women may decide to be the only or partial earner of the family, either by choice or force. In this dynamic, the wife takes on the role that is traditionally held by men as the primary source of income for the family. At the same time, her spouse may have part-time or no jobs and take on caregiving or managing household responsibilities. Those single parent families where the woman is only in charge of providing resources deal with similar issues, as well.


    Can a Relationship Work If the Woman Is the Breadwinner?

    Being the only breadwinner of the family as a wife brings some obstacles requiring both partners to discuss and manage. Because of the economic downturns within a country, many modern couples have found that having a female breadwinner can lead to financial stability, bringing in more resources for the family. However, this only works out when both partners have jobs and income. In fact, the work status of the man matters when discussing the challenges of a relationship when the woman is the breadwinner.

    Referring to a study by Helen Kowalewska and Agnese Vitali, The Female-Breadwinner Well-being ‘Penalty’, when the woman earns more and the man doesn’t work, both partners are less happy. However, if the man works part-time, the happiness drop is smaller. This could be because even a part-time job gives him different opportunities like socializing and independence. It can also help the woman feel less overwhelmed by the stress of bringing money.

    The study also found that couples with a jobless man and a working woman often have other challenges, like low income and health issues. This is especially witnessed in countries where women being the only breadwinner isn’t socially accepted.

    All in all, this study shows that when women are the only earners of the family. both partners’ happiness can be affected, potentially putting their relationship at risk. With the wife and the husband bringing in income to the family, this dynamic will lead to a happier relationship and a healthier family.


    What Are the Challenges of Being a Female Breadwinner?

    Due to some factors, such as social expectations and gender stereotypes, a woman who is the primary breadwinner may need to deal with judgments and biases in the workplace and society. Moreover, feeling the weight of providing for their family’s financial needs, while struggling to find time for themselves and family can impact women’s mental and emotional well-being.

    As mentioned earlier, depending solely on one income can make the family more vulnerable to financial instability. Based on a report in Statista about the number of single-earner-female couple families in Canada in 2020, by number of children, about 96,960 Canadian female breadwinners had two children. These statistics alone indicate that a considerable number of these women have children they need to provide resources for. Therefore, women whose partners are jobless tend to experience more anxiety during economic crises and deal with higher parenting stress.

    Despite these challenges, many female breadwinners find fulfillment and success in their roles. With resilience, support, and strategies to address these obstacles, they can overcome these challenges and thrive in both their careers and personal lives.


    a mother having difficulty working from home and answering calls while taking care of her child


    How to Successfully Handle Being a Female Breadwinner of the Family?

    Successfully handling the role of being a family breadwinner as a woman involves a combination of practical strategies and mindset shifts. Here are some suggestions to help these women overcome this major challenge in their lives.


    Shared Responsibilities

    Do not hesitate to openly talk about sharing household and caregiving tasks equitably between family members. A fair division of labor leads to maintaining the family’s well-being. This also reduces the burden on the breadwinner.


    Financial Planning

    It always pays off to develop a solid financial plan that accounts for saving, budgeting, and investing. If you think you can’t handle it alone, it’s better to consider consulting with a financial advisor. This way, you can ensure that your family’s financial future is secure and aligned with your goals.



    More than an active breadwinner, your family needs a healthy and strong wife and mother. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize self-care to maintain your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You can set aside time for activities that mitigate and alleviate your stress, such as exercise, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones. This will also help you practice mindful parenting skills, leading to being a good mother to your children.


    Seek Support

    As a breadwinner for the family, you should know you are dealing with a heavy burden on your shoulders. Therefore, it’s okay to seek help from others. You can surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or fellow female breadwinners whom you can comfortably get help from. It also feels comforting to have people around you who understand your experiences and can offer advice and encouragement.


    Tips for Overcoming Female Breadwinner Resentment

    Apart from the activities suggested above, we have gathered 7 tips for breadwinner wives feeling the strain published on Forbes. Using these solutions, you can ensure you’re on the right track to supporting your family and protecting yourself from resentment.

    1. Be proud of your accomplishments as the breadwinner of the house and never bother to apologize for earning more.
    2. Understand your feelings about the situation and accept them to prevent resentment from growing.
    3. Communicate openly with your partner to address any anger or resentment you may be feeling.
    4. Constantly talk with your partner about how things are going and the plans you have for the future.
    5. Always respect each other’s contributions to the relationship, both financially and emotionally. Clarifying expectations helps maintain this healthy dynamic.
    6. Seek advice from other couples who have experienced similar situations and successfully overcome the challenge.
    7. Always set aside time to enjoy quality time together and do activities you both enjoy.


    a female breadwinner working from home while his husband is taking care of their children


    Final Word

    Being a female breadwinner comes with challenges, from handling societal expectations to balancing work and family responsibilities. However, you can manage these obstacles by sharing household responsibilities, seeking help, being transparent with your partner, and setting time aside for your self-care.

    Among the issues and difficulties of balancing work and family, parents still face an additional challenge: ensuring their children’s safety and well-being in an increasingly digital world. That’s why we’re proud to introduce Safes, our parental control app. Safes provides parents with peace of mind by offering monitoring and management features to safeguard their children’s online experiences. From filtering inappropriate content to setting screen time limits, Safes allows parents to protect their children in the online world.

    You may have tried built-in settings of your devices, such as parental controls on Android to track your children’s online activities. However, Safes is an invaluable resource, offering every practical feature that parents need to protect their children, all in one app! This app enables parents to strike a balance between work, family, and their children’s safety in an ever-evolving digital age. With Safes, parents can confidently embrace their roles as both breadwinners and guardians, developing a secure and nurturing environment for their families to thrive. You can download the app for Android and iOS and benefit from our free trial to test how it works.

    Rana Mazahernasab

    Rana Mazahernasab

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