It is a pity that intuitive and anecdotal evidence carries little weight. Sometimes it is an important indicator. Research is very often structured to conform to current theory and is designed to support and uphold that theory. The presuppositions of the researcher blind him or her to the evidence that does not fit the underlying paradigm.
Remembering the horror of being left in a day-care centre during my early formative years, so that my mother could go to work; remembering the years of being a latch-key kid during my school years, and coming home to an empty house and having to bring myself up; remembering the hell of relating to a mother who could not speak in a civil way to her children because she was so tired from a day's work has convinced me that the real heroes of our society are the stay-at-home mothers. They are heroes because our contemporary society advances little assistance, and accords no dignity to their high calling.
Perhaps there could be some research conducted that looks at the social and personal advantages that children gain when the are sent off to school each morning and are greeted in the afternoon by an affectionate, listening, nurturing mum. Perhaps there might be some debate about the need to raise the status of stay-at-home mums, and in some way ensure that the families with stay-at-home mums are not financially disadvantaged for their courage (tax breaks to the working dad because of the savings to the society in decreased policing, health and social welfare requirements from such families).