You touched on the constant disagreement I have with my sister. She works full-time, as does her husband so that she can have vacations, two new cars, and so her kids "won't have to want for anything." She thinks my husband and I are foolish to risk financial insecurity "just so I can stay home and bake cookies." It leaves me at such a loss when talking to her that she can't see the real reason we do what we do - it's also hard to explain to her exactly why I am home with the baby without insulting her choice, I guess.
We aren't that close, needless to say. And for the record, my mom stayed home with us and baked cookies. I don't remember much about what we got for Christmas, Birthdays, or other gifts. I just remember Mom being there in the afternoon so she could read to me. I want the same for our son. :-)
Please allow me to thank you on behalf of your son. I chose to do the same for my boys. Speaking of which, I think it's time we do some cooking baking.
Obviously, one thing that draws a family (or even friends) together is shared activities. Your sister's family is more affluent, but her children will not have the happy memories of doing things with her. Their memories will for the most part involve doing things with other people In the long run, it will be more difficult for her to form a close bond with her children. Also, she is setting a bad example of making money paramount. When she is 80 years old she shouldn't expect her children to personally look after her. Hopefully, they'll take the trouble to find her a good nursing home.