Mom's the 'Breadwinner' for 40% of US Families

But in many cases, it's because she's a struggling single parent

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 29, 2013 10:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – You kids had better respect your moms: In a skyrocketing number of American homes, she's the one putting food on the table as stay-at-home moms become things of the past. Women are now the primary or only income source for 40% of US households with kids, according to a new Pew survey. But that number might not be the cause for celebration it sounds like, because much of that 40% is made up of struggling single moms.

About 37% of these "breadwinner moms" are married women who earn more than their husbands, and their families are doing quite well, with a median income of $80,000—well above the national average. But the other 63% are single mothers, with a median family income of just $23,000. One sociologist also tells the Washington Post that the trend may owe something to the disproportionate job losses suffered by men in the great recession. And the public is divided on whether working motherhood is even a good thing, with 51% telling Pew that kids are better off if mom stays home. (Maybe guys feel that way because female breadwinners are more likely to ditch them.)

Working moms are getting a lot more common.
Working moms are getting a lot more common.   (Shutterstock)
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