The need to compensate for the lack of money

I was thinking about my mom’s situation versus mine and I wonder if women have a need to compensate elsewhere if they cannot contribute financially to the household.

Nowadays, I am feeling like attitudes have shifted drastically in regards to a man’s role in the household taking on more responsibility alongside a woman’s.

(Traditionally speaking, that is, as I recognize there are other types of families that don’t have a man and a woman.)

Men are given the choice to be stay-at-home dads, women are going back to their careers after having kids and learning how to be a guiltless mom, and so on.

Let me explain:

My mom was a part-stay-at-home mom who also went to school to get her degree to be able to get a job.

She couldn’t contribute 50% of the expenses to the household, so she overcompensated by working extra hard with other things.

She took on a lot more in feeding, cleaning and clothing the family than my father ever did. My dad would come home, do nothing and wait for my mom to scramble to get everything ready to eat.

This didn’t happen all the time, but it was 90% of the time, which meant my mother was constantly exhausted.

In contrast, I contribute 50% of the expenses to everything we spend on (including travel).

The only times I don’t pay 50% is:

  • when I treat him with a dinner or something (I pay 100%)
  • he treats me (I pay 0%)
  • if it’s stuff specifically for our families (E.g. birthday dinner for my mom, I’d pay 100%).

It’s a pretty simple system, and quite fair. Not at all rigid in my opinion.

It forces us to talk openly about each expense because we have a 50% stake in what we buy as a couple! πŸ™‚

As a result I do expect BF to carry his half of the weight as my equal partner.

He cooks and handles the organization of the household (very weighty!), and I clean, do the dishes, laundry and eat. πŸ˜‰

So it made me wonder if women (or men!) overcompensate in the household by doing EVERYTHING just because they feel like they need to make up for not contributing 50% to the household.

I have no study or any article I read to back me up on this.

All I have is a theory I came up with while thinking about how a woman’s role in the household has changed over time (okay, so I was a bit inspired by ‘Mad Men’ too ;))

What do you think?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.