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LIFESTYLE: Breadwinner Blues

March 28, 2019 Kae Luna

Filipino Breadwinners rock! It’s fulfilling but of course, they have the tendency to have “Breadwinner Blues” and here’s why!

I started working for my family as soon as I graduated from college. And I know I’m not alone! It’s a fairly common thing with Filipino families where the eldest child becomes the breadwinner of the family. I think this is because we Filipinos have closer family ties. We don’t leave the nest at 18! And it is always suggested that we give back to the family when we can. Filipinos value the hard work that every parent puts in to raise children. That includes feeding them, giving them a good education, and molding our personalities for us to be well-rounded individuals. I know some people will argue that these things are rights and not privileges, but there’s nothing wrong with being grateful to your parents for raising you properly. We tend to see it as a privilege because, in the Philippines, not every kid gets to experience this, which is sad knowing that a good life and education is a right. But let’s not stray off-topic.

I also know a lot of people who became breadwinners as soon as they got their degrees. Now, being a breadwinner is fulfilling and all, but we can’t deny that at times, we get the blues for it. Let me get this clear, I’m not writing here to complain. But sometimes, it’s just comforting to know that we are not the only ones experiencing this. Here are some things that I’m sure every breadwinner can relate to!

You become a second parent to your younger siblings.

Which is cool, by the way. I get to treat my siblings out, buy them stuff when we have the extra funds. It’s fun! Some people are mindful about their money and there’s nothing wrong with that (actually, teach me how!), but in my experience, money really isn’t an issue when you’re in your 20’s and when it comes to your younger siblings. They have a special ability to melt your heart even when you try not to agree to their wishes.

Also, you’re expected to fund their education. If you have Filipino parents, at one point, I’m sure they have told you, “Ikaw ang magpapaaral kay bunso,” or something along those lines. Sometimes you just want to remind them that these are not your kids, but you don’t talk back to Nanay out of respect.

Marrying in your 20’s is a distant dream.

No, you can’t marry at that age yet. You still have to support the family. And it’s not that your parents force this on you, but subconsciously you know and accept that this is how things would go down. I mean, unless you’re wealthy, starting a new family when you’re still supporting your first and immediate family can be hard. Somehow you think of not leaving them yet, at least not until they can manage without you.

You become very strategic.

Working for your own living is hard enough, and working to support a family can be a huge struggle, especially when you’re trying to make ends meet. I know a lot of breadwinners who become very strategic when it comes to their jobs, working side jobs too! Some do online shops and other on-the-side things you can do while working to earn extra. And for me, that’s something to be proud of!

Lastly, you prioritize your family over anything else!

I know it’s common for Filipinos to be family-oriented, but breadwinners are a different breed. They are willing to go lengths for their family. Sometimes even sacrifice their own leisure. Family always goes first.

I am blessed to have a family that doesn’t force me to do such things, but when you’re a breadwinner, it’s sort of ingrained in your system. It’s just something you want to do. And no matter how hard it gets sometimes, seeing your family healthy and doing okay is a more than enough reward.

 

Are you a breadwinner or do you know one? Let us know in the comment section below if you can relate! You can also send us a message on our Facebook or Twitter @UDoUPh. We’d love to know what you think!