Being a breadwinner basically means being the sole financial provider for your family. In many situations, it is not by choice.
Circumstances may force an individual to take up that responsibility. And while the term can sometimes be used loosely, it is important to understand that being a breadwinner for your family is more than just collecting a paycheck at the end of the month.
A number of factors can force one into becoming the breadwinner, like:
- Death in the family. When a parent who was the sole provider in the family dies, the responsibility of providing for the family doesn’t go away. In some instance, youngsters have had to quit school and go out to find work so they can support their family.
- Single parents. Let me try and paint the picture: a single mom with three kids just got divorced and has been left to look after the household without any support from the dad. Mom has been forced to become the immediate caregiver.
- Poor Health. In some situations, a parent would quit their work to help raise the kids, or to look after an aging parent, while the other spouse is left to carry the full brunt of the financial burden.
Over the years the role of being a breadwinner has changed. The financial responsibility of a family is now carried by women more that it is by men. However, while this is all good and well, it has put women under more pressure in the workplace and at home. While women bring home the bacon, they are still expected to conform to traditional domestic household tasks.
Therefore, it is important for anyone going through such an experience, to seek guidance. Here are just some kinds of people to consider:
- Life Coach
The going gets tough sometimes, so speak to someone outside of your network that can support and guide you through the rough patches. A life coach will be more objective in assisting you as they are not invested in you. They can help you map out a clear road of your life, where work, family and finances are concerned.
- Talk to your “dependents”
Let your dependents know of your needs. And how you would like them to help you manage being the breadwinner. A lot of times, especially with women, you don’t speak up enough and expect people to automatically know of your needs. When you voice your needs you are able to be clear and decisive about your expectations.
- Talk to your employer
Inform your employer about your situation and together you can find a better way to handle your work load. That way you don’t jeopardize your breadwinner responsibility.
Something to consider
- Outsource your responsibilities at home. This is especially useful for single parents who are tasked with the responsibility to cook, clean and look after little ones who can be quite demanding.
- Look for jobs that offer decent salary and have growth perspective. That way no matter how much a household load you have to carry, you will be relieved knowing that you can increase your income and improve your situation in time.
- Have an open conversation with your dependents about where they can help. And how they can contribute toward the survival of the family. Encourage them to come up with their own ideas of supporting the family.
- Keep a positive mindset. Remind yourself that your situation is not unique and that there are other people who are also going through the same experience. And that you too shall overcome.