I'm posting this in response to one of the other threads on here where people have been discussing the issue of women and college, and I'm really interested in the discussion and what everyone thinks.
I myself am currently dealing with the financial consequences of having gone to college and yet aspire to be a SAHM, at least while my kids are young. (I am not yet married.) I always knew I wanted to stay at home, but felt that I couldn't necessarily count on getting married. I figured if I didn't that I would at least have a degree and be able to support myself as a single person. So I went off to a small Catholic college, and it was the best experience of my life. I grew in maturity and spirituality, and never doubted that it was the right place for me. I do believe that if I had not gone there I would not be as faithful as I am now, nor as grounded. However, even with scholarships, it was expensive and I am now in a significant amount of debt.
To top it off, the jobs I could find afterward were so awful (both salary-wise and otherwise) that I was compelled to return to graduate school. Though I had dated in college I wasn't in a relationship- I left my job, went back to school, and then began dating my current boyfriend. I didn't incur much debt as a grad student because I had an assistantship and lived with my parents, but going two years without an income made things worse anyway.
Anyway, this is all to say that now I am wondering whether I even CAN be a stay at home mom, because of all the debt I bring to the relationship. My boyfriend doesn't really support this, and thinks that it's going to be essential that I work. (He has no debt.) I am willing to sacrifice to be able to stay at home, and I think he would support that if I didn't have so much debt. But since we'll be starting off in the red, I just don't know what is fair to expect. I feel terrible that I will be weighing us down financially, and I don't know whether it's unfair of me to expect to stay at home or not.
I guess I am looking for some perspective and insight from people who have either been in this situation or will be. Or from anyone who has something thoughtful to say, really :)