Okay, regarding not encouraging a woman to have a child "without a support system in place." I know of women who are single and intend to have (or have had) a child. Now, these women may not have the traditional support system that's called a husband, however, they do have alternative support systems that do work for them. I totally agree that it's incredibly difficult to do it on your own. I don't think I would choose that route myself. However, I know one person that felt she had the choice to do it alone or never do it. And she's a wonderful, loving mom. She knew it would be hard but she was prepared...and brave!
Quality v. quantity -- again, I'd argue that point even in regards to time spent with your children. One of my pet peeves is seeing a parent at the park, playground or just walking down the street with their child and they've got the cell phone glued to their ear. Not exactly quality time and you can imagine what that could do to a child's self esteem. Again, I totally agree with you that spending time with your child is so very important. It's how one chooses to use that time that counts. And I think we all agree that this is just one component of parenting.
Last one - consumerism, etc. I'm not blaming the big, bad corporation. In fact, I'm looking at the state of the country today and its economic realities more than consumerism. Once upon a time you could buy a house on one parent's salary. That was before homes became a commodity/investment versus a necessity and housing prices skyrocketed. And there has been a considerable change in the number of hours that one spends at work; it is no longer a 40-hour work week. Not very family friendly. And considering the fact that there are so many families with both parents working or single parent families, why don't we see more changes in the workplace that allow for things like on-site child care? Or what about all those "telecommuting" jobs that were supposed to have popped up, allowing a parent to work at home? I just feel that business doesn't place much value on family or children, therefore there is no incentive and no effort made to integrate those realities into the workplace. (Truth is, production would probably increase if the efforts were made.) Unfortunately, I think children are seen as a liability more than an asset (parent must leave work for sick child, leave work right on time to pick up child from child care, etc.). So I guess it's a change in perception on the part of business that must happen with more value placed on the needs of the family.
Believe me, I strongly believe in having one parent at home if it is possible and if that's what the parents are able to choose. Dh and I live very simply and quite close to the edge financially because it's important for one of us to be home raising our son. We're very fortunate we can do it. We make the sacrifice and, sure, we're broke, but we're all happy!
Just so you know, I'm not trying to be argumentative here, but just present some other sides to the story.