I was so delighted to find a blog that reflects my personal experience, that I am sending you the link to read it yourself:
When my first child was born, IBM had just hired its first female researcher. Being a working mom was new and exciting, but challenging. Many “glass ceilings” had to be penetrated.
With all due respect to those mothers, I was a stay-home mom. I was educated, and I left my career behind; staying home was not a “default” choice. I wanted to be a stay-home mom, and I did what was necessary to be able to afford to do it.
Many experts warn women that a choice to stay home with one’s children is a step backwards, career-wise. I would like to differ: The time a woman takes to stay home can allow her knowledge to ripen, sharpen her people skills, and deepen her understanding of the problems she love to solve. Stay-home moms have the opportunity to read widely and deeply, to gain more complex perspectives on any number of fields, and to be able to come up with an interdisciplinary view of issues–and so to become more powerful and creative when she chooses to return to her career.
Maybe the return will not be into the corporate world–a loss to the corporations, but not to the women. But there is a growing trend of entrepreneurial ways to monetize one’s expertise and establish, grow, and nurture reputation.
So, I say: Go for it, stay-home mom! Create the new image of what women can do, so that childraising will not be kidnapped by “professional child-rearers”!