Is raising kids a job? Do moms (or dads) who stay at home with their children contribute to society, even though they may not be contributing monetarily? Is full-time at-home parenting valuable? Are children better off, if possible, at home with a parent during early years or should they be in a daycare/babysitting situation so that both parents can work? Is it better to live on a smaller, single income (again, if possible) in order for children to be with one or both of their parents as much as possible during early development?
I've got a BFA, but I graduated six months pregnant and we wanted our son to have a parent at home. Sometimes I wrestle with the 'validity' of what I do here, especially when finances are tight. I know that I'm qualified to do other things, but they require me to put our son in daycare and we don't want to do that.
We don't really have any friends our age with children, so when I hang out with other married couples, they are talking about work, how they want to be making more money, kids aren't even really on the radar and I sometimes feel like people think that staying at home is a cop-out for greater responsibilities, that it's lazy or that I somehow think I'm better than other people who aren't able to stay at home with their kids or choose not to.