Current conversations about the gender pay gap tend tend to focus on one thing: money earned within one generation. But the reality is that men and women can accomplish achieve much more through family and business within a unified home over generations. In this episode, Nathan describes his experience co-laboring with his wife Jacqueline to build a thriving home and successful businesses, and he explains why he believes women are creators of infinite compounding value.
Hello, this is Nathan Spearing with the Life on Target podcast. As always, I hope this episode finds you convinced that you have a mission to accomplish here and now, and that no one else can accomplish that mission but you. No one else has been given the unique set of talents and experiences, and how you spend your time now is critical to your ability to accomplish that mission.
I’m glad you’ve chosen to spend a little bit of your precious time with me and I’m producing this episode to give you knowledge and wisdom from my unique perspective, to enable you identify the right targets for you to take aim, and to hit the mark.
I want you to live your life on target.
My Experience Watching 4 of My 5 Kids for a Week
So, the past week my wife took our oldest son snow skiing to celebrate his 13th birthday. This kicks off a new tradition in our home where mom’s going to take the kid on a special trip for their 13th birthday. And then when the kid turns 16, dad’s going to get a chance to take them somewhere special.
While my wife was gone on this trip, I got to take care of the other four children. And this required me—the entrepreneur—to temporarily and deliberately shift my mindset from the majority of my daily tasks, those being managing and growing our different businesses, to at a minimum, keeping the kids alive. And then ideally I’d be able to create some memories for the four of them that would enable them to continue to get closer to being able to execute their mission in life as they become adults later on.
We decided to camp out on our land, and I took them to violin lessons, piano lessons, prayer meetings, et cetera. I noticed that as the week progressed, my kids got visually more dirty. When we were sitting at prayer meeting, my youngest was sucking his thumb and twirling his hair like he does, and I just saw dirt caked around the edges of his fingers. We had spent the previous night out at the land. He slipped his boots off and was sitting in the chair next to me barefoot, and his feet were caked with mud.
This made me realize that while I was doing the minimum—keeping them alive—I was not really able to attend to things like hygiene and other things. And the conclusion was that I was kind of in reaction mode or, you know, was identifying that I was able to keep the different construction projects going, but it was a struggle to keep up with things. And the environment that I created while trying to run my businesses and record my podcasts and take care of the kids, et cetera, was far from an environment that would enable my kids to thrive.
Birth Rate vs. Gender Pay Gap
At the same time my wife was away I became aware of some online conversations that were happening around birth rates and the gender pay gap. And I was kind of in an interesting time of my life experientially to look at this conversation. One social media personality posted two things back-to-back and came to some bizarre conclusions. And I want to go ahead and play the thing that she posted now.
I think one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low growth rate and the rapidly declining growth rate. It is, it is. And yet so many people, including smart people, think that there are too many people in the world and think that the population is growing out of control. It’s completely the opposite. Please look at the numbers. If people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble. Mark my words.Elon Musk
So, this is from Elon Musk and this guy, obviously, as many of you know, has invested a significant amount of his energy and effort to making the human race interplanetary and providing ways to do things in life with alternate energy sources versus relying on natural resources that are in theory limited and depleting. Maybe not in theory, but we’re using it up and there’s not more being created. So, the fact that he is also speaking of society’s woes being lack of birth rate is a little bit cool to just kind of see that these tensions, that we’re consuming things on earth. We need to be interplanetary. We need to have renewable resources, but at the same time, we can’t neglect having babies.
Now, you know, obviously that sits well with me, a guy that has five kids, but it’s also interesting to think about. And from a Christian perspective, from a perspective of stewardship, I’m not going to let the environmental movement, which is predominantly political throw me off track from what I am supposed to do as a Christian who is supposed to exercise dominion over the earth, is also supposed to be preservation-minded, stewardship-minded for the earth.
So, the next thing that this particular social media personality posted was an article from 2018 on Vox.com. And it’s entitled “A stunning chart shows the true cause of the gender wage gap.” And there’s a lot of interesting charts and just like any kind of data, you are able to make varying conclusions based on what data you include. But I think it was interesting to kind of sit with this from a guy who, you know, is with a wife that stays at home and raises the kids and me being a guy that’s running businesses for the majority of my days, but wanting to stress here on the podcast and continue to enlarge all of you, the listeners’ mind mindset, to view this less as “man’s income plus woman’s income equaling, you know, a number that shows how successful you are as a household,” but instead to view “man times woman and man plus woman, and the ability that you have with a household to, to create value, not necessarily money, but value generationally.
So, the article states that “a growing body of research suggests that what we often think of as a gender pay gap is more accurately discussed as a childbearing pay gap or a motherhood penalty.”
And that motherhood penalty—I mean that way of phrasing it just hit me pretty hard. But you know, what the article is really saying is, and what the charts kind of show is that women and men starting out maybe have some little bit different pay gap, but then when a woman has their first child, we see this dramatic drop in their earning potential.
And I didn’t dig into the data enough to know whether or not that equals averaging out all the women that went to zero income and ended up staying at home, or if it’s just women that are working in different families. And that’s one way that you probably could manipulate the data one way or another at face value. But anyway, it’s not surprising that taking care of kids and raising kids and deciding to have children equals taking a hit as a woman to your salary.
Assessing the Gender Pay Gap Over Three Generations
But what I went ahead and did was took the info that she put out—the wages. For the article, they were saying the median male pay was $50,383. And a median woman’s income after having a kid was $39,621. So essentially 78.64%, or they rounded it to 79% of what a man makes.
So, for the sake of argument, I created four different scenarios. And in the interest of thinking about things as a household, not as an individual, not as man versus woman, man a lone singleton, woman singleton, but as a household combining unique skills and strengths together, what is that equal as far as value creation or money earning over time?
Scenario 1: Single Woman
So I went ahead and did four different cases. So, we have in the original case is just a singleton woman. It has her making about $1,500,000 gross in her life. And I basically said working 25 years old to 65 years old. So, during a 40-year period making what they were talking about for 40 years, you’re making $1,500,000. And that is, is your essentially your gross earning potential averaged out as a woman alone.
Scenario 2: Woman with 1.93 Kids (Three Generations)
Then, I took a woman who has 1.93 kids, which was the 2020 birth rate in America and said, okay, she’s making that wage, that 79% wage. And then she’s having 1.9, three kids. And then those kids are having 1.9, three kids each. So that’s three generations, the woman making what she made, which is the same, the $1.5 million. And then I subtracted out what the cost is assumed to be, to raise a child to age 18. So, it’s said that $267,000 is what’s required to raise a child to age 18. So the woman that has 1.93 kids makes a gross of 1.5 million. It costs her $515,000 to raise those 1.93 kids. So, her net is a $1,000,000. that puts her, at the first generation, behind a woman who stays single.
So, she’s only netting a million and the single woman is making $1,500,000. But then if you take it to the second generation and then the third generation, her kids, the 1.93 kids making the average—what I did to adjust this for male and female between kids, I just averaged out the earning between that $50,000 and $39,000 to a $45,000 salary. So, I hope this isn’t getting too crazy. So just say, she has these kids. They make on average $45,000 each. The woman that has 1.93 kids that also have 1.9, three kids.
The total earning of their family is 650% or 644% what a woman who stays single earns. And that’s subtracting out what it costs to raise those 1.93 kids each generation.
Scenario 3: Five Kids Having 1.93 Kids
If you go to five kids and those five kids have 1.93, because you know, in my family, not everyone has had as many kids as I have had, so I wanted to do that. So, that’s 1400% more earning than a woman that stays single.
Scenario 3: Five Kids Having Five Kids
If your five kids have five kids, on the third generation, it’s 2917% more earning. So obviously none of those numbers talk about what the man is earning. If she’s married, any of that stuff, we’ll get to that in a second.
So, this takes me to the book, The Millionaire Next Door, which is essentially some researchers trying to figure out what makes people rich in America and coming just some surprising conclusions.
So, this is from The Millionaire Next Door:
Who becomes wealthy? Usually, the wealthy individual is a businessman who has lived in the same town all of his adult life. The person owns a small factory, a chain of stores or a service company. He has married once and remained married. He lives next door to people with a fraction of his wealth. He is a compulsive saver and investor and he has made his money on his own. Eighty percent of America’s millionaires are first-generation rich.
So, they narrow it down to seven things about who is wealthy and what the factors are. So, I’ll read those real quick:
- They live well below their means.
- They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently in ways conducive to building wealth.
- They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status.
- Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care.
- Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.
- They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
- They choose the right occupation.
That’s stuff that we’re passionate about at The Life on Target podcast and Spearing.co, my blogging and all my stuff that we’re doing outside of my regular businesses is figuring out how to enable families and individuals to do these seven things.
And we’re not going to go down those different rabbit trails, but essentially the things that I want to point out here was married and stays married and their kids, their parents didn’t give them economic outpatient care after they were older, and their kids don’t need it.
Kids of Engaged Parents Make More
So, let’s go back to the numbers. And that is something that led me to another Vox.com article that says, “Two parents, not just two incomes, are what help kids get ahead.”
Two parents, not just two incomes, are what help kids get ahead.
And the article essentially says parenting behaviors like spent time reading to kids account for a much larger share of the gap between kids that don’t have two parents and kids that have parents. The article says a 7.5% percent difference when they have parents spending time reading to them and doing things like that. So, if we take that 7.5% and say for the woman that has five kids and she doesn’t work, so she’s making, let’s just say zero, she’s getting married right out of the gate, having kids, not making any income, she is actually way behind the first-generation woman at a negative $1,300,000 from the woman that is having zero kids. But essentially the woman having five kids that have 1.93 kids each, or the woman having five kids that have five kids each and you add 7.5% to the kids’ earning potential, not working the first generation, putting that into your kids equals 1600%—if you have five kids that each have the average 1.93. Or 3000% more earnings as a household, moving into the third generation for five kids, having five kids.
Sacrificing and putting it into your kids now equals highest percentage of wealth within your family on the third generation, given that they 7.5% more than their peers.
How Home Formation Happens at My House
So, this is going to transition me into talking about how that works out in our household and providing some insights. So, my wife was the third born of eleven children. Her family adopted six and she has forever been going against the typical narrative of “a woman can and should be able to do anything that a man can do.” She had a 95, 98 percentile SAT score, could have gone to any school she wanted to, and actually gotten paid to go to most schools—full ride—but she chose to stay actually beyond graduation and help her mom homeschooling their adopted children.
She now homeschools our kids. Instead of it being a burden, she views it as an opportunity to, in a blank slate, do whatever she wants to do with them and to cause them to love learning, to love studying what is true, good, and beautiful. And she does a fantastic job at that. And she has recently been just speaking to me about how a lot of women who are begrudging the homemaking stuff are probably, she said, humbly doing it wrong. So, I wanted to, from my perspective, maybe we’ll get her on the podcast at some point, but from my perspective, wanted to highlight how that can help in your family.
Why My Wife is My Most Trusted Counselor
So, my wife is my most trusted counselor because she knows me better than anyone. Having her in my life and seeing me and having watched me go through all my different experiences and seeing me at my best, seeing me at my worst, she has an accurate filter that she’s able to look at what I’m saying and what I’m doing—not based on what I’m saying to her—but with actual evidence about me and she is able to understand what I’m capable of, and she’s also unable to understand what is kind of a squirrel, if you will, that I’m chasing with my ADD and my endless good ideas, and be encouragement in both of those. And that equals all of our businesses thriving, not only because of what I’m able to do, but because of what I am able to do because of her counsel and wisdom.
And then I’ve spoken about this in the aesthetics podcast, her ability to make our different Airbnbs, short term rental properties, beautiful, her ability to talk to these people in a gracious way, to cultivate these spaces is a six-figure business for our family. And, you know, while it wouldn’t have been possible without my ability to renovate and do these things on property, she is the vision behind that. And she has created that in a way that a man can’t do, honestly, and it’s something that only she can do. Not to mention that she’s also birthed five children and she’s raising them to be helpful and effective adults in society instead of a drain on society, which is what a lot of kids out there these days are.
So let me give some practical advice to you husbands out there. You need to go to your wife, and you need to thank her for what she does, because everything that you do is because of her.
There’s an old story about how the Bush pulled into gas station in Texas. And, his wife, Barbara, got out and was talking to gas station attendant and Bush Sr. said, “Hey, who is that?” And she said, “Oh, I went to high school with that guy.” And he said, “Imagine, you marrying that guy, and you’d be a gas station attendant’s wife versus being the wife of the president.” And the story goes that she said, “Oh dear, if I would’ve married that guy, that guy would’ve been president.”
And I agree with that in a lot of ways, not in a “girl power” way or in a whatever, but just my experience has been that my wife amplifies, magnifies, multiplies, whatever, everything that I do in just profound ways. And if you don’t recognize your wife as doing that for you, then you’re an idiot. My line that I tell my wife is from Proverbs 31, you know, “Many daughters have done well, you excel them all.” And I’m not just saying that. She says, “You know, you’re just saying that” and I say, “You look beautiful” sometimes. And it’s what you have to say or whatever, but I’m literally astounded by the ways that she does well, and she excels at what she’s doing. You guys should follow her @homeformation on Instagram.
She is, uh, thankfully putting out a little bit more content. Point your wives to follow her, and maybe they can have some conversation about different things with the household. But that’s what she views her work as: home formation, forming homes, forming households, forming things that are generationally impactful.
Tend to Your Wife and Her Interests
At the same time as a husband, you need to understand what gives your wife energy, what builds her up, what causes her to flourish and grow and be excited as a human being. Every one of us has = essential needs. You know, if you look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you know, food, shelter, clothing, kind of being the initial level, but then kind of progressing up through self-actualizing and having the ability to do these things and be, be thriving and excelling. And that’s, in a sense, what agency is. We’ve talked about that agency, having agency, having the ability to self-actualize in your life, the, the tools, the abilities.
And I feel like even though there is some dispersion between, or some difference between how much I help with the kids and how much she does, or how much she does in business and how much I do in business, that we both as humans have a need to thrive and to self-actualize. And there’s things that we can do in our life that make that easier. As a husband, enjoying your work, enjoying your job is a pretty big deal for you feeling fulfilled. And we’ve talked about out that—if it’s not something that’s fulfilling you and it it’s life sucking or whatever to realize, okay, this is ultimately, this is work. This isn’t the “do what makes you happy” Insta-culture that we talk about, but also some of the reason why you may not like your job or may not be doing what you’d like to is because you’re just comfortable.
You want to play it safe. You don’t want to go for that idea that you’ve had for many years. You don’t want to start that business. You like the steady paycheck, and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you are feeling like you have a mission, like we talked about the beginning, and that mission involves doing this thing, and you’re putting it off because of risk and things, then get over that hump. That being said, your wife needs to be fulfilled and have things that sow into her. And you as a husband need to be doing things that enable her to thrive and to have energy.
I had to read the book Quiet about introverts and to understand my wife and what it actually is like, because I just get energy being around people and hanging out and doing things I do in business. My wife needs time to reflect, to contemplate, to read a book, to do music by herself, things like that. And so, a lot of times I am trying—maybe not as often as I should—to come and take the kids and to just go and to spend time with them on the land, to walk into town, there’s a convenience shop to get some candy. We did this last night. She is taking cello, which is something she’s picked up just a few years ago. We had to buy an expensive cello and bow and musical instruments and pay for lessons for her. And that also equals me coming home from work early or structuring my evenings so that I can take the kids.
Now, admittedly, confessing, I forgot the time. I thought her lesson was at 5:30 and it was actually at four and I showed up happy, like, “Look at me, I’m the great husband. I’m here to take the kids.” And she’s looking at me like it’s always been four o’clock. How did you mess that up? The kids already were making a ton of noise, but I was able to do my lesson anyway.
Anyway, ideally you have a joint calendar that is updated and is correct. And you’re getting these notifications and you’re not having to be told over and over and over again, like I am as a husband to be where I’m supposed to be and what I’ve committed to do for her but making that a priority. It’s something that I had to work through, admittedly, as a man. [At first, I thought] I’m the one that’s—you know—these four o’clock lessons. Ridiculous. You know, I should be at the office at least till five or at six, which is Industrial Revolution, factory model shift work. That’s not true.
You don’t have to stay till five. You got all your stuff done earlier. If you’re a good entrepreneur, if you’re a good business owner, you got it done faster. And realizing that what I am doing is an investment in the household. Not necessarily an investment towards salary; it doesn’t shouldn’t hurt the salary if you’re living productively, like we just talked about.
But how does your wife, what does your wife do on a regular basis that’s life giving, that’s energy giving for her, and structure your life so that she can do it. Don’t fall into the Industrial Revolution model that “I go off to work and make the money. I give you a bunch of the money. I wanna keep a little bit of it, because I have to have my hobbies, and you take what I give you and you do the stuff with the house with it.”
You know another thing that as far as money goes is women saying, hey, they don’t have this power. cause they don’t have the gender pay gap where studies repeatedly show that they spend the majority of the money of the household and that they actually have economic more power than a man who’s working because she’s taking and spending that money.
“He Who Finds a Wife Finds a Good Thing”
And we see that in Proverbs that “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing” and that’s in Proverbs 18:22. And we see in Proverbs 31, “The heart of her husband trusts in her. He will have no lack of gain.” So those Proverbs point back to trusting your wife, having someone in your household that is co-laboring with you, that is taking what you do, amplifying it, making it beautiful. Your glory as a man, your wife is actually—like we talked about just even in a very truncated state with that spreadsheet—amplifying, multiplying what you do as a man, and you can trust her with that.
That, generationally, that pays more than what a woman by herself can earn or a woman with an artificial womb—don’t even get me started on that—can do having kids sending them to the state, to do all the child raising and education. Ridiculous. get married early, have a bunch of kids, figure out how to do businesses that you and your wife can work together on, that you can amplify each other’s output so that you can have multiple businesses thriving, that you have control over your time to each do things that are life, get giving for you. And that allow your kids to see you thrive and explode in their earning potential to then repeat it. Productive, self-sufficient, thriving households. That’s what we need.
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