I love staying home because it feels like I am doing something important. I love that I get to have all this time to invest in my kids. I am able to pay attention to detail. I like being the one who teaches them all the things they need to know.
For my bigger kids, it means more independence because there's a greater part of their day where I say yes or no to them asking to do something. I did after school care for a girl a few years ago and she wasn't getting nearly as much practice at certain life skill as my kids do because since I was being paid to supervise her, that's exactly what I did! There are more opportunities for my kids to go explore the pond or collect empty pop cans to return or anything else they decide to do, because I am there to say "Yes, you can go." right after school instead of a few hours later when it may be getting dark or there's not time left for that sort of thing between supper, homework and showers, etc.
I am more patient with getting 'help' making supper or doing laundry when I am not rushed. I think if I was tired after work every day, I wouldn't be in the mood to include the kids in chores. I'd just want to get stuff done as quickly as possible, which in this house means doing it myself without interruption. Of course, I have days like that but at least it's not their regular life.
For my little one, I like that I am the one who is with her during the days when everyone else is at work and school. I can bring her on the bus to see her dad at lunch time, so she gets more time with both her parents. I can see what she is interested in and put a bit more of that into our days. She is very interested in vehicles so we go on our front porch and watch cars go by. She likes numbers so we count everything. She hates clothes so she can run around in a diaper. I think I am way more considerate of her wants than a daycare provider would be. She gets all the individual attention she needs, from someone who loves her. Her tantrums or grumpy moods aren't a hassle to me because my attention isn't split 5 ways.
I take care of all the household jobs like laundry and cooking so that when my husband gets home, we can just relax. He's got diabetes and lactose intolerance, so healthy meals take a little extra thought and planning. His health would suffer if we were always in a hurry.
I feel like my family's quality of life would go down if I went to work. Any other job would feel empty next to this.