On p. 119, Judith Warner in Perfect Madness tires to argue that women didn't really "choose" to stay home:
Redbook also noted that a 1999 Yankelovich poll had shown that 55 percent of women aged twenty-five to thirty-four agreed with the statement "Having a career is not as rewarding as I thought it would be." The issue, then, for most women wasn't the idea of work (or the idea of stay-at-home motherhood) but the reality of life in the workplace. ... Despite these inconvenient nuances of fact, the story that women were "choosing" to go home in order to be better mothers to their kids stuck, and soon became de facto reality.
Thinking back on my decision, I would say, Yes, I was a little bored with my work and its schedule and yes, a large part for the reason I decided to stay home. My other excuse was to "explore other options". In the end, I went back to work full-time and we got a nanny for about 3 years, and then I decided to stay home again and got onto a part-time track. In both cases, my ideals were not quite met, but never mind about that since in some measure this situation has worked out in the best for me. "Exploring other options" is going too slowly -- my excuse now is that I have to work. Life's full of excuses.