Writes Dorothy Pomerantz (in Forbes), whose 7-year-old daughter said to her "When I’m a mom I’m not going to get a job. I’m just going to look after my children." Asked why, the daughter — at age 7 — showed a dramatically astute understanding of economics: She's going to marry a guy who wants to work full time, and if she works too, they'll have to hire a babysitter for their children.
At this point, you'd think the mother would praise the young girl for thinking on such a sophisticated level. Instead, she frets first about whether the daughter has perceived the mother's inadequacies and failed to learn that a woman "can work and be fulfilled professionally and have children." Then she goes on about the importance of changing the workplace "so that both parents will be recognized as equal caregivers and employees will be encouraged to find balance and have lives outside of the office."
What's so bad about division of labor, with one parent out in the world making the money, competing vigorously, and the other home-based, controlling and avoiding expenses? Especially if you consider the tax consequences — which the 7-year-old probably hasn't analyzed yet — it's much more efficient for the husband and the wife to adopt different roles. Either the husband or the wife can be the home-based spouse.
And note how Pomerantz assumes that careers are fulfilling. Often, they are not. And anything you do consumes your time and energy. If you do one fulfilling thing, you're doing less of something else that might be fulfilling. I should think many women — and men — would get great satisfaction out of avoiding a life of money-making and concentrating on conserving the money the career-spouse brings home, raising lovely children, cooking delicious meals, developing the couple's social connections, and so forth. The benefits to the working spouse in that arrangement are obvious.