I think we need to remember that we live in a society where work is thought to be everything, where we are brainwashed to think so. Where if you don't work, and especially choose not to work, there has to be something wrong with you. You must be a lazy good for nothing who simply just don't want to get off your behind and provide for yourself and your family, and help provide for society by paying taxes. Clinging to social well fare, making others pay for you. Here in Sweden this idea is spreading like wildfire, the politicians using it openly to cut and cut and cut into the lifeline of the unemployed. Arguing that if there was truly a will, they would work even if they know unemployment is steadily raising because companies are firing but not hiring.
Then there is the second idea. That work is what makes you have worth. Without work, you have no direction. You have no goals. You are not moving forward. You just are. And just being? Most people just don't get it. They think that without work, you must lack something to do. You must be driven out of your mind with mindless boredom, since there's no way for you to fashion yourself without a job as your tool. It is as if missing half your self.
Oh, and then we can't forget about the feminist movement either. For a woman to want to stay at home is according to this movement to succumb to the patriarchal pressures and thus being weak.
We need to remember these ideas, amongst others, when people question our want of being SAHP with a frown on their faces and a sharp remark on their tongues. Very few people will understand that it can be preferable for a child to grow up with at least one parent always present even if it means no computer of their own and no-name shoes on their feet. Since people equal happiness with things, which frankly is just so sad.
I will forever be thankful that my parents choose to be freelancers, even if it meant a very uneven income, since it meant they were and still are always there for me and my siblings. Sure, we had and have no economic stability in our family and often me and my siblings have to pour our savings together to pay bills etc. Especially now when the work market is what it is. But we have something that is so much more valuable in our family than economic stability, that I think is lost in most families because of there really being no time of getting to know each other in between work, activities and bedtimes. That thing is solidarity and a solid friendship. No matter what I have grown up in the knowledge that I am loved and liked for being me, and always will be, and I think that is the single most important thing any parent can ever give to their children: the knowledge of what unconditional love is.
Personally, I don't think many people in our society can understand this. That love and support really is much, much, much more important than being able to afford letting your son play football and send your daughter to scout camp. That it is worth sharing a room with all your siblings, your parents sleeping on a bed sofa in the living room, if it means you actually get to be there for each other. Parents for children. Children for parents. If it means that by the end of a school day when you have been haunted through the forest by the bully gang you get to collapse on your bed crying, a comforting hug instantly there.
So, when people make snide remarks. Pity them. Because if they had grown up in a family where their parents had willingly chosen to sacrifice the economical comforts of life for love they would get it and be happy for you. Pity them, because they do not realise that there are things that much more important in life than being able to have your own bedroom and two cars. How empty is not such a life, filled with the need for things rather than the need for love and caring for each other?
In conclusion, don't mind the people who don't understand, and be grateful that you can make the choice. Since as above posters have pointed out, some people just can't be it because they are single or because they are already struggling even finding money for the bare necessities.