I really enjoyed reading this and agree with so much of what you have to say. I have absolutely no beef with stay at home moms and I have a massive beef with employers, who naturally discriminate against families by not allowing part-time or flexible working conditions — and this is in the UK, where there’s laws about this. I wanted to work after having a baby, but not all the time, for the exact reasons you say above. I value my time with my child, and I didn’t want her to spend 5 days/week in childcare for 10 hours a day.
But after my maternity leave was up, when I wanted to work part-time, mostly from home, and even though my job is completely compatible with doing that, I was told no by my employer and basically forced to quit because I refused to work full time. Luckily I found someone else who was like, HELL YES come work for me. From home. 3 days/week. I’m still in that job 4 years later. Even if I were to look around for a new job today, every position is full time. This is not compatible with most moms (ok, dads too but mostly moms), even if there kid is in school, because guess what? School is out at 3pm.
So a lot of moms are stay at home. And good for them. I personally feel incredibly lucky I ended up in a position from home, doing the hours I want, so I can see my kids. I admit at times it has been hard and my priorities have gotten screwed up. My kid didn’t come first, I lost my temper because I was stressed at work and so on. But then I get my head on straight and remember she is more important than a deadline.