@delirium for me, the thing is the very specific question in this thread is about what we want for our children. I think that comes down to happiness and security for most of us. Our own personal life experiences probably have us valuing one more than the other right now.
I would be worried if *my* son ended up living at home with no work history and no education because society is getting harder and harder to break into if need be. I think if we are honest most of us would worry about our child ending up alone in the world and destitute, because as parents we find things to be worried about and are adept at finding things that may go wrong. We have knowledge and experience that our children may not have gained yet.
Now I'm not for a second saying that SAHMs have no education, no experience, no prospects etc. What I feel is that if my DS were a SAHP, then there would be a risk associated with that that would be something of concern to me.
I would, though, also be worried if he had a job that made him miserable with a nasty boss and no work/life balance. I'd be worried that despite working hard he'll end up unemployed and homeless.
I will worry when he decides to spend a year backpacking around the world.
I'll just worry, I think. That's not the same as being disappointed.
If you asked me if I would be disappointed in my friends if they chose to be SAHMs, then my answer would be as long as they're happy I don't care. And ultimately I feel that for my son, except that my role in life is to help him to be aware of and navigate potential pitfalls.
It is not a criticism of SAHP to acknowledge that there may be some downsides or possible future issues that people need to consider when making their decision. Just as when you decide whether to accept any other type of work.
I want to be clear that saying things like 'I'm afraid that this may happen for MY child' doesn't equate to saying another person who is a happy SAHM is a person who is my 'biggest fear', and I don't feel like anyone is criticising the way people are raising their children, as was expressed elsewhere.
I have the utmost respect for everyone who has commented on this thread so far - all different examples of mummies with varying degrees of outside/home employment who have made strong choices for what works for their family. That's all that matters in the end.