Rise of the Female Breadwinners: Sarah Brooke Lyons
Published: August 21, 2013
How has being the primary breadwinner affected your relationship(s)?
I think that because I’ve had to take on a lot of responsibility, I don’t find a lot of excuses in life. I appreciate it when people are able to make a life for themselves without letting the excuses get in the way.
Yeah, I guess that a typical girl in her 20s might have a focus on relationships in a different way than I have. I’ve been responsible for providing everything in my 20s. I’ve had to be more focused on my career and more focused on my child and less focused on relationships, so it’s definitely affected it in that way. I see a lot of girls my age having had relationships that I haven’t experienced so it’s definitely something I haven’t been able to really put energy into—they take so much time and energy and focus and I just don’t have any of that extra to give.
How do you think society views female breadwinners?
I think typically there’s this sense of empathy, like there’s a necessity to feel sorry for them or feel like that they’re missing something in life. Society seems to allow me to feel sorry for myself. Like I’m given this sort of pass, like I can make excuses and I find that really frustrating, that I’m supposed to feel like there’s something lacking in my life or that I’m allowed to make excuses for things. I think that society tends to have this sense there must be a reason to pity me.
What does “having it all” mean to you? Do you think you have it all right now?
Having it all to me means a sense of security, I guess, a sense of peace. Having it all to me means being able to be at peace in the moment, without anxiety and without worry. I think there are moments when I feel like I have it all and there are moments when I have to continue to let go of my expectations. I don’t think it’s necessarily related to a certain income or life situation, I think it’s more something internal that comes with peace and being able to let go.
Do you have parenting and childcare support from your family and friends?
I have incredible support from my family. I have a mom who helps me with my daughter. I have two brothers and my sisters-in-law live in San Antonio, they help me with my daughter and they love us and never make me feel like there’s nothing I can’t do, they just make me feel like I can do anything in the world. And they help take care of my daughter when I need help.
Has having kid(s) altered your career path?
If I didn’t have my child I don’t think I would have any structure in my life at all. I’m not a naturally a very structured individual and she’s given me a reason to have goals and to have structure in my life and a reason to be driven. And without her I don’t think I would have taken my life or my career seriously, I would be kind of a wandering gypsy without any real sense of goals.
How do you feel like our job market accommodates working mothers?
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