Right? I mean, come on. They're mainly just to lazy to get a real job and or to have direction in their own lives. Not true. But still I think it.
A few Sundays back a nice woman from Eastern Europe (I think) spoke in church and later on (in the nursery room before sacrament meeting was over=reverence fail) I was talking to her husband. He was going to be staying at home with their little girl while his wife got her doctorate in piano performance. First I had to resist the instinct to say "Oh and what will you be doing?" (he mentioned later that he would be staying at home). I also found myself saddened to realize that he had lost standing in my mind, although subconsciously, for letting his wife decide the direction of his life.
He was really a great guy and obviously had a great deal of love for his family and I was really disappointed by my instinctive response. If I, who am in the exact same situation as he is and am happy with the place that I am going, what if I were on a much more traditional path? Maybe it is some expression of inner self-doubt about my path, and there is some of that, for sure.
However, I feel that a lot bigger part of it is how I've been socialized. Both in my church and my culture I've been taught that the main value of a man is in his ability to provide for his family through employment. Sure, men are expected to help out around the house, but anything more than doing the chores that are hard for a woman due to differences in physical strength, such as home repairs and major landscaping. Everything else they do, i.e. cleaning, cooking or child-rearing, etc. are just bonuses, charitable entries into the woman's realm.
Of course, I would like to say that I don't need any outside confirmation of my path in life, but that simply isn't true. I'm comfortable that God approves of our path (as comfortable as I am about saying anything definitive about God), that it is best for our family and that I have no real desire to pursue a life of nine-to-five monotony. But still, I know people, even people I care about and am close to, will judge me for making the decision to stay home, and that is, of course, inevitable for anyone outside of the established cultural norm. This is sad, but not sad enough to make me want to change my mind.