I like to look at old magazines from the 50's and 60's. I like the advertisements with women all dressed up and with a pretty apron on looking thrilled about their new kitchen appliance. I like that all the men wore suits and ties and came home at the end of the workday for a fine supper cooked by their wife (with the new appliance!).
When I had my first daughter and faced going back to work, I longed for those days. What I mean was, I didn't WANT all the choices I had before me. I wanted everyone to expect that I would stay home and raise my daughter instead of constantly asking, "When are you going back to work?" From what I read, I understand that women of that time felt "trapped" and longed for the choice of working or not. I'm not so sure I believe that story though. I think there were plenty of women who were quite happy keeping house and felt forced into leaving by all the changes around them. Feminism roared loudly and women started listening. The first women who joined the workforce, even single mothers, were not thought highly of, from what I understand.
Flash forward a few years and you will see a little group of "rebels" who decided to chunk all that they had and go back home. And now you can choose either and feel equally despised by one group or the other. What choices we have today! :)
I have been on both sides of the door on this one, so to speak. I have worked full-time with 2 children, I have worked from home, I have worked part-time, and now (soon) I will stay home full-time. Everyone says it doesn't matter what you decide to do--it's between you and God. Even Christians say that each lady can decide to do what's right for her particular family. I won't talk bad about your decision if you won't talk bad about mine. But I'm not so sure.
We have a day care in our church and every day I watch children being dropped off only to be picked up again 8-12 hours later. I see some parents bring their children to day care even when they themselves are off of work. When the day care closes for a holiday, some parents get mad! On the other side of the coin, some parents obviously hate leaving their children and rush straight from work to pick them up, kissing on them and talking to them all the way out the door. Each of these families has made their own choice. Some do not have a choice. Is it just all OK? Does God want some women to stay home, but He wants others to go to work? Is this what He wanted for our families?
I think the answer is to start praying. Pray that God will show you His plan for families. His plan for YOUR family. Read scripture and then pray again. Don't listen to any messages from the media, your friends and family, or even other Christians. Only listen for God. Then pray that He will get you there. If you are stuck, pray. If you really like your job, pray. Just pray to know what God wants for your family, then pray it will happen.
Because folks, I'm here to tell you. He will answer.