Mel is kind of living my dream: teaching and raising her baby. I think she might be onto something with this idea of our inclinations being a reaction to what we saw growing up. What do you think?
I think sometimes this choice [of working vs. staying home] is a reaction to what we see when we're growing up.
My grandma was really poor, so she always wanted to work, and she worked when my mom was growing up.
Some bad stuff happened to my mom while her mom was working, so she said, "I will never leave my kids," and to this day has never really worked.
But then when I was growing up I thought my mom got trashed by my dad too much and had no options and no respect, etc. so I said "I will always be my own person and I will always be equal to my spouse," which was something I never thought I saw in traditional LDS relationships. And that has been what I have chosen. I'm lucky to have an awesome spouse and an easy kid and the talent and opportunities to have a job I love and still be very much the primary caregiver. I get both right now, and I'm very happy. But it is very much driven by the inequality I saw in my home growing up.
By the way, your thoughts on this will change over time. For me and my good friend, the conflict peaked when our kids were four months old. She came to my house when her kid was four months old and cried and cried about finishing her PhD. My kid was twelve months old at that point, and I was like, "Dude, a few hours away feels great sometimes!" But I remembered it didn't feel great at four months. (Not saying you'll want a few hours a way at twelve months; It isn't for everyone.) I'm just saying be open to change over time. Your mom/infant relationship will be different that your mom/toddler relationship. And that's normal!