There was this marketing survey I answered recently upon the invitation of some colleagues. While the survey’s subject was interesting, one thing struck me more than anything else.
One of the questions at the beginning of the survey asks about the respondent’s share in the household income — whether you’re the breadwinner, one of the contributors, or none at all.
One word stuck in my head: Breadwinner. And it did since that point.
Little did I realize back then that I was already the breadwinner of our 2-member family-household. I never thought that I’d be in this position, thanks to this pandemic.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines “breadwinner” as “the member of a family who earns the money that the family needs.” Okay, let’s emphasize that — he (or she) is usually the only person who earns for the family. Now that’s a huge responsibility.
My wife’s architectural profession was already starting to pick up in the first quarter of 2020. Unfortunately, that’s when COVID-19 picked up pace to a point that its spread was much faster than that of her projects, causing her to put them on hold.
She and her workers are among some 27 million Filipinos who went out of work during the pandemic, and I feel her struggle, since I know the feeling of joblessness. No wonder our eyes rolled when the presidential spokesman said he was “happy” that not everyone lost their livelihood.
Having stayed with my parents for a long time, I’ve gotten used to being among the contributors to the household income. Running the affairs of the house, especially if you’re the sole provider, is a whole different ball game.
Coming at the heels of a confirmed recession, it’s frightening to uncover what the future holds. We may have a job today, but maybe not tomorrow. We’ll never know. And with that history of joblessness, I can’t help but fear. I’d be lying if I denied it.
Not all is lost for us. First of all, we’re thankful that I have a source of income and that I’m able to provide for my family. Second, we’re thankful that her projects are slowly moving. Yeah, slow, but still moving. Third, we’re thankful that her online business is picking up (thanks to the help of investors, including yours truly).
(Shameless plug: If you’re interested, she sells scented products for your home or workspace. Just click here for our product catalog.)
Bottom line: I choose to be hopeful.
As I wrote in a reflection-cum-testimonial recently, having a job amid this crisis is like possessing gold or something you treasure. We do our best to protect that wealth we have. There surely are challenges along the way. We face struggles. Sometimes, we’d wanna run away. But this pandemic will surely make you face them. Because that’s the behavior of a breadwinner.