At the age of 28, Sally Field had already starred in three TV sitcoms. From Gidget and The Flying Nun to the lesser-known The Girl With Something Extra, the actress had made a name for herself in Hollywood. However, Field recently revealed that she struggled to earn enough money to pay for childcare, despite her fame.
Back in 1974, Field was a single mom of two boys. At the time, she was raising her oldest son Peter Craig, 5, and Eli Craig, 2, on her own. Although the actress had been a household name since first starring in Gidget when she was 18 years old, she still found it difficult to make ends meet.
‘I Never Had Enough Money For Childcare’
In a recent interview with Bustle, the award-winning actress opened up about her struggles as a working mom during the 1970s.
“I had two little boys and I wasn’t married,” the actress said. “That was basically my life, trying to take care of these two boys and be the breadwinner.” Even so, the actress “never had enough money [for childcare].”
Although she was a successful sitcom actress, Field simply couldn’t afford to pay the costly childcare fees. Thankfully the actress had a “fabulous mother” who took care of her children so that Field could work.
Without her mom’s help, the actress doesn’t know how she could have supported her children as the primary breadwinner for her family.
Single Moms Continue To Face Financial Hurdles
It’s a difficulty that many women across the country still face today. Without free or inexpensive childcare, many single mothers struggle to make ends meet for their families.
According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 30% of single parents live in poverty. Plus, single mothers are more likely to be poor than single dads.
Luckily for Field, her mother lived nearby and was able to care for her children as the actress continued to pursue her career. It’s a good thing her mother was able to do so because Field has previously revealed that even as the star of Gidget, she often made less than the extras.
As a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2012, Field shared that she “made $500 an episode” for her role in Gidget. In fact, “There were lots of times when the extras—they worked a lot because we had a lot of big beach scenes—they made more than I did,” the actress admitted.
Although the actress went on to have a successful acting career and has a large net worth today, Field’s comments prove that single mothers have it tough regardless of which career they choose. Nearly 50 years later, isn’t it time that we fix this problem?