Am I a failure? — The Bump
Working Moms

Am I a failure?

I am an attorney and mother of 3 small children (8, 5 and 2), and work 24-30 hours week, making between $70-90K per year, depending on how good the year.  I have two degrees from a prestigious university, but receive constant criticism from my H regarding my salary, who says I have nothing to show for my education.  This will be a $70K year.  Am I a failure?  

Re: Am I a failure?

  • I hardly think that salary is the yardstick by which to measure success. Is your family happy and provided for? Are you fulfilled by the work you do? Do you feel you have a good work/life balance? These things are far more important and more difficult to quantify than salary. Perhaps his criticism comes from dissatisfaction with his own career or work/life balance or the pressure of being a primary breadwinner (I’m assuming here). I certainly think that it requires more of a discussion than it seems you’ve had. And if it bothers you or you disagree with his opinion, then speak up for yourself and say so. Don’t just let him put down your achievements because your paycheck isn’t 6 figures.
    DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
  • I hardly think you’re failure. Success isn’t judged by a salary and even if it was $70k is more than plenty of people make. 
    I think that’s a pretty awful thing for your husband to be saying 
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  • Oh goodness you are not even close to a failure! You have taken your life and made it the most perfect combination of career and motherhood and have an amazing salary for it! You are working and contributing to society using your education all while balancing your family and making them priority. My heart broke at the thought of being away from my children 45 hours a week but I wanted to work. I chose the same amount of hours but my salary was way less. I am so thankful I was able to balance my life that way. I do not regret not bringing home a huge salary. I did not need stuff, I wanted time with my kids. If you have peace, do not let anyone shame you, especially over money. I think what you are doing is perfect.

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