I learned on my maternity leave that it is absolutely critical for me to work. So, my working improves our marriage. We are in the same line of work, and so we discuss interesting and perplexing parts of it. We give each other advice ... and I sometimes tell him that he's wrong. (ha ha)
When I was on maternity leave, I definitely felt like the inferior half. My husband would come home and fuss about the incompleteness of the house cleaning, dinner, etc. I was also internally a bit frustrated because instead of being stimulated by academic discussions, I was dealing with a (very) fussy newborn and reflex whipping out the breast.
Don't get me wrong: motherhood is definitely important work, and I DID feel a sense of accomplishment when we'd have successful visits to the Pediatrician ("baby doing well," "wow ... high octane breast milk,"
but it's not like having professional accomplishment FOR ME. I've learned that I need both, and my marriage is better this way. (So, I feel a sense of accomplishment that I am working AND still breastfeeding/pumping at the six month mark) I don't know if this even makes sense. ha ha ...