Occasionally, my wife feels badly that she didn't go out and get that big job so we'd have tons of money and spend it here, there, and everywhere, like some of our friends have over the years.While I agree with bill2975's overall idea that there is great value in being a full time stay-at-home parent, I can also see where the feeling of "freeloading" would come from, and why the panic. The 60's raised lots of issues for women, inner conflicts that our mothers and grandmothers may not have had to face. "Modern" women are more likely to have acquired post-secondary educations, trading money for skills that may only be applicable in a business environment. There may be guilt associated with the perception of "a wasted education." We are more conscious of the economic vulnerabilities incurred by the ending of a marriage, through divorce or death, which might dissuade us from becoming totally dependent on our spouses. We are also burdened by the fear that, once we've left the workforce, we may become obsolete and unable to ever support ourselves effectively. There can also be emotional concerns, fear of losing one's independent identity because you no longer have the same level of independent interaction with the outside world. (How many mothers feel that they aren't people so much as a pair of hands dispensing juice and giving baths and grocery shopping?) The stay-at-home issue is not so cut and dried as some would like to believe.
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