On Breadwinning, Caregiving, and Purpose
Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Catholicism says that the purpose of marriage is making a family. Let's pretend I am catholic for a second. Within this assumption:
Breadwinning pays for the household but the family is built by the caregiver.
True, if one earns enough bread, one can pay for caregiving and the lifelong therapy sessions. Just as we can build hospitals for the wounded after an unnecessary and petty war.
Thus if the purpose of marriage is to build a family, then breadwinning is the secondary task. An intermediary goal that gives the main task the resources it needs to shine and reach its purpose.
A tragic comedy: How our lives unfold, and our institutions grow as if the opposite was true.
Corollary: In a chauvinistic patriarchy, single-mother households should be more common than single-father households. because exceptional caregivers can get bread more easily than exceptional breadwinners can break free of their Iron Cage of patriarchal oppression.
PS: Beth Kelly's tweet sums this best: "You are totally replaceable at work. You’re not replaceable at home.Home is your real life. Keep that perspective. Always."