I really wish you would stop assuming that I have the same values as you, just because we have the same job. I wish you would stop sidleing up to me in the park, waxing and waning about how stay-at-home moms somehow have superior (smarter/more well adjusted/whatever) kids to working moms (as your kid bops mine in the head). I wish you would stop sounding off to me about the evils of daycare. I really, really wish you would stop intimating that women who make the choice to work outside the home are selfish. (And don't even get me started on how annoyed I am that no one ever says this about fathers that work outside of the home). It all kinda makes me want to kick you in the knee. Hard. Really.
For starters, my choice to stay home is just that. A choice. What is best for me, my partner and my children. Not all women. All partners. All children. Though we are making a considerable financial sacrifice by having one stay at home parent, I recognize (and I wish you would too) that even having the ability to make this choice is a luxury many, many parents simply cannot afford.
Daycare is not evil. It's a great way for kids to socialize and to learn. Of course not all daycares are created equal. But the good ones rock! (Maybe if our backwards conservative government would make children more of a priority, there would be even more good ones available.) And for the record - I often worry that my kids are missing out by NOT going to daycare.
And though working parents don't have as much one on one time with their kids as us stay-at-homers during the week, I often wonder whether the time they do have is better quality time than I have with my tots, because although they may be tired from work; they might be less annoyed, frustrated and frazzled at their kids at the end of the work day than I am. (Ie. They spend less time in the day yelling at their kids than I do and probably feel excited to see them at the end of the day, whereas I generally want to stuff mine in the closet by 5 p.m.).
Every choice is a trade-off, with positives and negatives. In the end, the thing that matters is this. Happy parents = happy children. Unhappy parents = unhappy children. Though I am frequently jealous that my partner gets to leave the house every day and talk to adults, I feel content, fulfilled and rewarded (more days than not) to be at home with my kids. But not all people feel this way. Some people feel caged, held back and frustrated (more days than not) working in the home. This doesn't make them bad parents. It means they have different needs, aspirations, desires than you might. Period.
Taking for granted that all moms should want to stay home with their kids is like saying everyone with money should want to be an accountant. (All accountant jokes aside). Do we judge people for not deciding to be an accountant? No. Do we assume that all non-accountants make bad financial decisions? Nope. Well okay then.
There's been this itsy bitsy little movement known as feminism...