I think it's essential to a child's well-being for a parent to be around and available at ALL ages, particularly when they get home from school. For most of my life, my mom stayed home. There were times I liked her being around all the time better than others, but looking back on it now, it really was a nice time in my life. She was always there to help with homework, she made dinner every night, and sometimes she just hung out with me and my friends.
When I was 16, my parents divorced, and mom was no longer able to stay at home with me. She was in a full-time training program so she could obtain employment and I always came home to an empty house after school. It was quite a change. By the time she got home, it was dark, and she was too tired for me or to fix dinner, so it was usually "fend for yourself." I became very lonely and started spending way too much time with a less than desirable boy. The second I was able to, I ran off with him.
It took a few years for me to sort out the mistakes I made as a result of doing that. I've learned my lesson and am now married to a wonderful man and we have two kidlets. I've decided I will stay home with them through all their years of schooling. I want them to always feel like there is someone there for them, whether it's going with them on a field trip, taking them to practice or making them snacks after school. I've listened to you since I was a child, and you've helped shape me into the woman I am now.