Okay lots has already been said about this. I have to admit that after my first was born I worked part-time and I have not worked at all since my second was born. I know that for some families it is just not a choice. Some women need to work and all of the research shows that kids do fine in daycare. For me, although the transition was rough, I wanted to spend more time with my kids after it took so long to get them. I always thought that the real advantage was that you had a better life pace as a SAHM. It was not a crisis if some one was sick and you could give someone a day at home when they needed one. Sometimes when you are little, it is just too much and you need a comfort day at home.
But I just read an article in Macleans that was very interesting, sorry no web link was available. The author Katherine Mecklam argues that it is unwise to be a SAHM because of the huge financial impact. If your husband gets sicks, dies, loses his job or divorces you, you can have a huge decline in your standard of living. With divorce rates at about 50%, you need to know that a women who stays out more that 3 years has very little chance of a salary close to her previous earnings. In Canada you can have 7 years at home per kid without it affecting your average salary for the government pension, but your earnings are unlikely to be a anything close to your previous level. Very Interesting.
Of course, I cannot imagine that my husband and I would ever divorce and good financial planning means that we are in good shape if we have other problems. It is information that I would want to know if my relationship was rocky.
I have been looking for a part-time job and cannot imagine working full-time. We really do punish women and children.