One particularly pervasive myth is that women who work outside the home are focused on money and status at the expense of their families (which is ridiculous, of course, since men are rarely accused of the same fault). I've even heard of women who have high-status careers being criticized for the type of work that they do--as if they should have planned to stay home and, when that didn't work out, they should have worked for minimum wage and kept their families in poverty to show that money didn't matter to them like proper charity cases would do.
The truth is that even women who don't work as waitresses have principles. Many teach, lead, govern, or help because that's what they feel called to do.
This article calls for more women in public service. In the career world, there seems to be some sort of unnecessary division. If you're smart and have an advanced degree, you'll head for Wall Street, medicine, or law. If you've got a good heart and want to make a difference in the world, you'll work at a non-profit for peanuts. But nonprofits need leadership and even high-ranking positions as much as the private sector does. I don't think the non-profit and for-profit words are as neatly divided as the perception.
Some of the old-fashioned career ladder ideals haven't died out yet (move up the ladder or die), but the line between doing good and making money is blurring. Many people move sideways or take a pay cut in order to perform a job they love--and they learn valuable skills while they're at it. Many people want to support their families and make the world better at the same time. Even in the corporate world, there is more pressure than ever before for companies to give back and to show a high level of corporate responsibility, whether that comes from customers, clients, or potential employees.
So if you have to/want to/feel called to work, don't listen to all the guilt inducers who think you're selfish. You don't always have to choose between giving and money. Your work might be doing some good in the world. And maybe your family can learn a thing or two about giving from you.