I know staying at home is not for everyone, nor would I suggest it is the best route. But I'll tell you for *me*, it is vastly easier and I am miles happier. It is impossible to describe the stress involved when a child is sick and you and your DH are having a fight at 5 in the morning over who has to be the one to stay home, when all your heart wants to do is take care of your sick child but there are pressing work obligations. For years I juggled the craziness of trying to be there for every play, and every school concert, and leaving the office at noon to race home and retrieve a homemade ice cream cake from the freezer to bring into DD's school on her birthday, and then race back to the office. Running out to grocery shop at 9:30 at night after the kids are asleep (with DH home, o' course). Cleaning my house at 10:30 PM and making lunches at 11 PM for the next day. Extracting myself from my DD's arms as she cried "don't leave me!" to go to work. Thinking about my kids all day at work. Dreading the occasional business trip. Having weekend and evening commitments so that I missed out on soccer games, bedtimes, and so on. Coming home and needing to focus on your kids, but simultaneously needing to put dinner on the table. Oftentimes working late at night after everything is clean and kids are in bed, to make up for all the work left undone when I raced out of the office at 5 PM. I just found it really, really difficult and painful. Things are much easier and happier now for me, and I'm really grateful to be out of the rat race. It feels like such a luxury to only have one area of focus, instead of being torn and always feeling like a bad mother and bad employee.
Great post - you really paint a great picture of the hard part of WOH with kids. This is exactly why I quit my job.