Wow. I'm a long-time lurker who read this entire thread and was moved to post. I thought that this would be the one place if any for nonjudgmental support for both moms who stay home (as well as moms who don't). For the most part this community seems supportive, but why squabble over whether staying at home is a privilege? If it is or isn't, I plan to do it either way. And my husband *does* make *less* than $30,000 per year, in response to the poster (Amber something, sorry I don't remember the poster's handle exactly) who said that making $30,000 per year would be too little for a family to live on. In fact, he's in graduate school for a PhD, so it's significantly less. As for women who choose to work: power to you. In a different life I might have been working too. But I'm not, and I'm scared of seeming invisible in society. I came here for reassurance and respectful discourse (just as I respect moms who work).
I am saddened by the fact that privilege is inequitably distributed in society, and I'm sad that some moms who would like to stay at home can't. I've worked as a social worker for many years to try to ameliorate social injustice of various kinds, and I plan to volunteer my time as well. But, whether or not staying at home with my kids is a privilege has no bearing on my decision to do so. What does that matter? I'm not saying everyone should stay at home, just that I am. My heart goes out to those who want to and can't.
But life is too short to fight with strangers on the internet. So, let's continue supporting each other.
I've appreciated the different viewpoints on this thread and hope I find a group of moms to hang out with during the day. It seems like most people here have experienced a lot of judgement from their communities, and I think maybe it comes from other people's ignorance about life as a stay at home mom. As in, maybe it's just really hard for an outsider to understand that being home all day makes the house so much dirtier or that housework/caring for children is like a gaseous substance that expands to fit the container you put it in. What I mean by that is that things seem to take as much time as you have to do them, and nothing ever seems done.
I better stop now as this is so long. Thanks for this space, everyone. I have learned a lot from these forums.