Alison Strobel Morrow works three jobs. She's a full-time middle school language arts teacher, she writes women's fiction, and she runs a home-based health and wellness product business.
Her husband is a part-time church newsletter editor and primary caregiver for their two children, ages 4 and 7, whom he homeschools. He handles most of the housework, although Alison pitches in occasionally.
Alison is just one of many women who are the primary breadwinners for their families. Each family has a unique story yet is part of a larger trend: a steadily growing number of women who out-earn their husbands.
"For the most part, I'm okay with my role," she says. While her close friends understand, she admits, "I get a lot of weird looks from people when I first explain our situation, but I'm over caring whether or not people approve. I'm immensely relieved to have a job and insurance at all."
40 Percent and Growing
Some 40 percent of wives now earn more than their husbands, a trend which challenges the traditions of American society and has stirred debate and commentary about its sociological implications (with publication of books such as Hanna Rosin's The End of Men: And the Rise of Women, and Liza Mundy's The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love and Family). Because of the growing number of women earning advanced degrees and ascending the corporate ladder, that percentage is growing.1