Mothers are the primary breadwinners in four out of 10 U.S. households with minor children, a record number driven up by growing populations of single moms and married women who make more than their husbands, according to a report released Wednesday from the Pew Research Center. …So we have a combination of things. More single moms with children and more moms earning more money than dads/husbands. What is the great concern is the disparity between the married and unmarried. The unmarried tend to earn less than half the married women, barely above the poverty line, and suffer the extra burden of being the only adult in the household and therefore carrying the full burden of the household responsibilities alone. Who said marriage is bad for women? It seems just the opposite according to these statistics.
Disparities between the two groups are sharp. The married moms are more likely to be white, educated and older, making a median income of $50,000. While the unmarried mothers are frequently younger, either black or Hispanic, and bringing in a median income of $20,000.
“The growth of both groups of mothers is tied to women’s increasing presence in the workplace,” the study states, pointing out that women make up 47 percent of the labor force and that more mothers work outside the home today: 65 percent according to 2011 census data, compared with 37 percent in 1968.
One concern, however, is that men are increasingly marginalized. Not only are there a great many more households managed by single women, but even in households where the husband is present he is often the less significant wage earner. The fact that 65% of moms work outside the home and constitute nearly half the work force indicates that children are consigned to day care or home alone. This is not a good sign for our children. Add to this the stress of dealing the all or most of the household responsibilities on top of working and being the parent and we have more tired, worn out, and on the edge moms than ever before. Which goes to my main point. The stats tell us that the family is in trouble and when the family is in trouble we feel it in the Church, in the neighborhood, in the community, and in the society as a whole. This is something you do not have to say to those who try to find Sunday school teachers, lead youth groups, hold Bible studies, etc... We have been seeing the disappearance of women from these roles for a long time. Again, my point here is not to place one more burden or guilt trip upon women but to acknowledge that this has been going on for a very long time. The stress in the Church is not merely or even primarily to find people to fill those roles ordinarily held by women; the stress in the Church is providing care and support for increasingly stressed women and families.