Most of the time I do not have an inferiority complex about staying home. I have a college degree and I always thought I would go back to work in my chosen field after Alan was in school. That said, both DH and I really wanted one of us to stay home when the boys were young. As I had worked fewer years than DH and made less money there was never any debate about which of us would stay home. I have never felt that DH looks down on me for staying home. On the contrary, he has always been very supportive and occasionally jealous. Sometimes I get jealous that he "gets" to go to work because the boys can stress me out but other days, I realize I am lucky because I get to work on my hobbies or go out to lunch with friends or whatever. So overall we have a good balance, I think.
Then something happens ... in this case my Dad invited me to join LinkedIn. This is a professional network and as I am not working in a profession I resisted for a long time. Then a fellow hobbyist invited me to join her professional network and I accepted. So naturally I was curious as to what had happened to my fellow classmates. OK, now I have a bit of an inferiority complex. Actually it is less that than the jealousy of how my life might have been. If I hadn't had two special needs kids would I now be manager of this or senior director of that? Maybe. But I might also be divorced as the boys' problems have definitely brought DH and I much closer. We really have to pull together at times in order to survive.
I read this blog recently (Autism Strains Yet Strengthens a Marriage) and totally understood it. Yet while reading all the comments below the article I was appalled. People actually made comments that hinted that these people were living in Hollywood. They never said their marriage was perfect and nor would I say that about mine. But the title alone says a lot. Raising special needs children is a strain but if you work together it can also strengthen a marriage. But (and this is huge) it takes two people who are committed to making it work. It can be hard work but with a sense of humor and a heck of a lot of stubbornness, it can happen.
Sometimes DH and I like to joke that we could never get divorced because we would spend way too much money in a custody battle -- only in our case we would be fighting to give custody to the other person! A lot of marriages do end in divorce especially when there are special needs kids involved. Sometimes one parent or the other cannot deal with the special needs and that is really unfortunate. In general I think parenting is easier when you can tag team and that is even more critical when the children are high maintenance.
So today while I might wonder what it would be like to be a big shot in the working world, I am also thankful that I don't have to be out there trying to do it all alone.