Anne Theriault sez:
As a culture, we have a weird obsession with women being "selfish." Mothers especially are prone to accusations of selfishness any time they make a choice that doesn't directly and obviously benefit their children. Even when mothers are encouraged to practice self-care, it's often approached with the idea that feeling happy and rested will make them better partners and parents. And while that may be true, why can't a woman ever just be happy for her own damn self? Dudes don't need to come up with excuses for why they should be able to do things they enjoy, and women shouldn't either.
I take issue with the idea that parenthood - motherhood in particular - entails "sacrifice". The article Anne is talking about takes the position:
Lovric's counter to all of Emmons' selfish reasons for working includes the following:
"I stay home because although writing and radio did make me extremely happy, I knew that you seemed happier when I was around. And your happiness was more important to me than my own. And making you happy also made me happy."
"I stay home because I want you to learn that family and love are more important than material possessions. A large home or fancy sneakers will not make up for an absent mother."
"I stay home because I want you and your brothers to be proud of me because I gave up something I truly loved in order to put you first."
In short: a healthy relationship dynamic between a parent and child does not involve the parent supporting their child financially by working outside the home, but does include expecting your children to appreciate the fact that you made the ultimate life sacrifice for them.
Anne herself talks about sacrifice in motherhood, just not to the same degree or quite the same kind. I've always found that sort of odd. I don't feel like I've "sacrificed" anything for my kids... My life is different with kids than it would have been without them, but that's not a sacrifice.