While she was working, Alice easily made two or three times what Bob made, and her job was very prestigious.
Alice goes back to work, but she cuts her hours so she has more time to be with her child.
Alice asks if she can telecommute instead of actually going to the office.
Alice wants to spend time with her children, and finds childcare and housework fulfilling to her personally. Furthermore, the household can survive on one income.
In this society, married women usually don't work, instead relying on their husbands to provide for them.
Inverted: Alice hasn't worked outside of the home in a long time (or perhaps ever), and decides that in order to provide a better life for her family, she is going to get some job training or go Back to School, or at least find a new job.
But then finds that her job isn't as fulfilling as taking care of her kid.
Or her job has been given to someone else, and they won't give her job back.
Alice's job is something "feminine," such as teaching or nursing.
Just before the leave period is up, Alice changes her mind.
Zig Zagged: ???
Alice goes back to work after she has her child.
Alice has no kids.
Alice has kids, and lives in a society where working moms are almost unheard of.
Alice reads an article in ''Fretful Mother'' magazine, and worries that her child's developmental milestones or psyche or overall well-being will suffer if she isn't there 24/7.
Alice feels that the household won't survive on just Bob's income, and that she should go back to work.
Alice knows that she still loves her child, and will make the most of the time she does spend with her family, and that her child will have a wonderful and trustworthy caretaker during the day, be it a nanny or a daycare center or a relative or a neighbor.
Deconstructed: This works best if the household can survive on just Bob's income. If the story is set in more modern times, with a very high cost of living and raising children, that may be more difficult. And what if Bob gets laid off or fired, or something happens to him? There may also be a Brain Drain in the workforce, if nearly half its potential employees leave. Also, not every woman finds being a Housewife appealing, or is suited for the role. And what happens when "the nest" is empty; if Alice has based her entire identity around being a wife and mother, what happens when the kids leave...or Bob leaves?
Reconstructed: Whether Alice chooses to stay home with the kids or to go back into the workforce is her decision and hers alone. She does what she feels is best for her family. Alice takes classes (online, by correspondence, or by actually going to a local community college) to keep her skills sharp. She develops hobbies and friendships to keep occupied when she isn't doing housework, and gets involved in her community.
Played For Laughs: Alice has no career and no hobbies, but at least she finds time to do things like scrub the driveway!