I stayed for 2yrs and a half home with my dd after she was born. I really felt awful when I had to return to work, not because I didn't like it but because I saw how happy she was when I was around. Fortunately, we moved to a smaller city where my parents live and when she was three and she started preschool, my mother was able to pick her up at 1pm, go with her to the park, give her lunch and try to put her to sleep (with not much succes however :)) and at about 17:30, my husband would be home from work and take care of her.
Problem is now, I do feel super guilty because not only I work full time but during the last two years, my working schedule got from bad to worst -I do know what time I start but never when I finish and it's all up to my boss. I cannot plan almost anything because I never know what time I get home. And sometimes I get really late :(. Here they don't pay extra hours but you're expected to stay as long as needed. Yes, I also have time for other personal things during working schedule -like writing on Mothering lol (but it depends on the projects I have) but I'd rather not and have a strict 8 hrs schedule. And lately my daughter is asking more and more of spending time with me. I also feel guilty because if we moved somewhere else in Europe or even here, my husband would have had a salary that would allow me to stay at home for a few more years. But then again he received some really good job offers which unfortunately included extensive travelling and he doesn't (nor do I) want to be a week-end daddy.
I don't know what will happen in the future, but we planned for a second child and hopefully I'll be able to stay at home again and have a great time with both -if/when I get pregnant :)