As a working-at-the-office mother and now as a new staying-at-home mother, I've thought an awful lot about this subject and I think it all comes down to values and to the Foolish and foolish choices that people make for their lives. I actually know few families who really need (financially speaking) to have both parents working (IMO), but of course there are as many definitions of "need" as there are people. Perhaps if you elect to drive a 30K SUV, you "need" to work to afford the payments. On the other hand, if you drive a beater, you might be able to afford to stay at home, and so on and so on. Personally, I worked for all those years not out of immediate financial need but out of perceived future financial benefit for my family (Social Security, 401K buildup, etc.). Eventually though, the more immediate needs of my children (and my longing to be far more involved in their lives) drowned out my logical arguments for continuing to work. So - now I'm home - until my husband decides he wants a new SUV (and then we'll have a chat). :>) -Blue
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