First, I did not mean to suggest that these women were casually choosing to stay home. Reading back over my post, I used the word "flippant" to describe the assumption that pregnancy would occur easily at the time they desired it to. Having made that assumption myself, I am learning the hard way that babies have a way of arriving when (and if) they want. As far as trying to figure out wehter to stay home with kids or not, I know this is an incredibly hard decision. So far I've found that the decisions surrounding when to have a child and how to balance this with my chosen career have been much much much harder than the other big decisions in my life (e.g. who to marry, where to go to college, what to pursue after college). Not that those decisions were easy, but this has been agonizing.
Second, of course there are differences between those of us whose moms worked and those who had stay-at-home moms. I desperately wanted to be on the swim team in elementary school and my single mom simply did not have the bandwidth to drive me to practices in the evenings and the summer. Nor did I have home baked cookies waiting for me when I got off the bus. And my mom was always tired and occasionally crabby. But I did get to grow up with the role model of an incredibly strong, professional, scientific, woman and the lessons (good and bad) that I learned from her have been a fantastic advantage for me so far. I think my ride through college and grad school would have been significantly harder had I not had her footsteps to follow (or avoid). But the problem I had with the article was that these women seemed to be saying that they were better off because their moms stayed home (or, conversely, worked). And I don't know how you can objectively weigh the advantages of one or the other. I guess I should be glad that these women were proud of the choice their mothers made and wanted to follow their path. Just as I am.
Finally, you're right (as always!). I do believe that women have a stronger bond with their children then men do. I think our genes code for it more than men's do. I guess I just wish that men would rebel a bit more against their "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" genes and play a greater role in raising their children and helping with household responsibilities. If by choice (as in this article) or by economic dictates, a woman is in the workforce, then I think her partner really should pick up more of the responsibility for the kids. Again, I think my perspective is totally colored by my own experiences. I would love to be able to have the choice to stay home or work part time once I have kids, but we'd starve. I love my husband, but his breadwinning skills are hard to depend on. So to make the best of the situation, I am plowing through graduate school and heading into a field where 60+ hr workweeks are de riguer for the years that I'll have young children. And I think I'm just scared that at the end of a long work day, I'll be the one to pick up the kids from day care, heat up the dinner and do the dishes and laundry afterwards. And I don't think I'm the only young professional woman that wakes up in the middle of the night wondering what she's gotten herself into.