Much has been written about offering more support and empathy for the stay at home parent who gives up his or her job to take care of a child full-time. Being a full-time parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world because so much is at stake. Full-time parents deserve all the respect in the world.
However, little attention is paid to the plight of the sole income earning parent. The sole income earning parent seems to have it relatively easy because s/he doesn’t have to be on call 24/7. S/he can slack off at work with no devastating consequences. S/he can even attend the occasional company boondoggle and have stimulating conversations with adults over copious amounts of free alcohol.
However, any emotionally competent sole income providing parent faces the following difficulties:
- The constant stress of knowing they have to provide for the family with no financial backup
- The constant guilt for being away from their child because of work
- Not being able to find support because a day job is considered the easier job
- The expectation of having to do an equal amount of parenting after a long day’s work
Many couples fight over this division of labor. The sole income provider often wants to come home, have a drink, eat dinner, and maybe watch some TV and relax, before jumping into parenting duties, especially after a rough day.
But the stay at home parent, who has been going non-stop since not-at-home spouse left the house, resents this expectation because nothing is as energy sapping as caring for an infant. The sole income provider is resentful for not being allowed to take even half an hour to unwind. Problems ensue!
Let’s see if we can help the sole income providing parent get him or her get to a happier place.