". . .it is very clear to me that the reason women think they have to "choose" between work and family is because (1) men don't; (2) employers expect employees to have no other major committments in their lives; (3) we've developed a nice healthy backlash culture against educated white women in which we now allow them the right to work, but hold them to ridiculous parenting standards that were heretofore unknown. . .[W]omen who stay home with kids are taking an enormous financial risk. . . Staying home means you earn less social security; it means you have no income of "your own"; it means that god forbid you end up divorced, or your husband drops dead, or even once your kids grow up and you're ready to move back into the work force, you. are. [screwed]. It means you likely have little or no retirement income--even though you are probably going to live longer than your husband. It means you have no "work history," no wage history, no "marketable skills." Now, this is [bull], of course, and there's good work out there (including Crittenden's own book If You've Raised Kids, You Can Manage Anything) pointing out that running a home does indeed involve marketable skills, but basically, yes, you are going to have to overcome that issue in the minds of future employers, and you are going to be way, way behind on the life wages scale. Which means, again, less social security, less money to retire on. . . . I do wish that, as a culture, we could look beyond easy simple arguments like "choice" and talk about what the consequences and effects of different "choices" are." [from: BPh.D.; changes in brackets are mine to make the language at least PG if not G-rated.]
I will just say that my Mom stayed home with me and my siblings and it was wonderful for us to have her there. We're all grown up and on our own now. Mom is facing a return to the working world in order to beef up her own Social Security earnings. So, this is a real issue.