I stayed home when my children were young. I took them to playgrounds and talked with other mothers with no shared interests except having children at the same playground. I was a den mother for five years and volunteered in the school. I was bored, but thought I was doing what was best for everyone involved.
Part time work came and I stopped being bored. But the adjuncts where I taught were underpaid and had little impact on such things as curriculum and choice of textbooks. I eventually became full time and loved it. But by then, my children were long gone and my husband went to part time work and eventually retirement.
I never had to deal with day care. When the school called about the sick child, I was usually at home. By the time I worked full time we could afford a maid service every two weeks. I have never lived through what young mothers are facing today.
I asked a colleague who is the mother of two young children how she did it. She said “You have to marry the right man.” Her husband shares in the childcare and housework. One takes the morning and the other the evening. She described her husband’s contribution to household tasks as “more than his share.”
I have no proof that it is better for children to have two parents, but it is certainly better for one parent to have another parent to share the burden.