It’s confession time. I have recently made a much-needed attitude adjustment toward my wife. She is a stay-at-home mom and I financially support our family through my job. The problem was that I began to believe that my wife has an easier deal than me. After all, she gets to be home all day with our 1-year-old daughter while I have to suffer the toils of going to work! I now realize that although I am the one who earns money, we both work. I was wrong about how easy I thought it was to be a stay-at-home mom. Dead wrong.Like many others tend to do, I marginalized one of the most important jobs in the entire world: being a mom. Stay-at-home moms are simultaneously belittled for having an easy time at home and pitied for choosing such a mundane existence. What a gross misunderstanding of motherhood! I now firmly believe stay-at-home moms to be among the most hardworking and least appreciated people in our entire society.MORE: Be a Super Mom, Not Super StressedVirtually everyone complains about chronic busyness. We all seem to agree that our jobs or school schedules leave us with no free time. Are any of us willing to look a stay-at-home mom in the eye and make such a complaint? Stay-at-home moms have no breaks. None. Between feeding, changing and generally caring for their babies, the free hours of their days are drastically reduced. Furthermore, very few of us have job or school responsibilities that literally demand that we wake up in the middle of the night and take care of them. Stay-at-home moms deal with such responsibilities every night. Without exaggeration, they are on call 24/7.Stressed out employees and students feel as if there is always something more to do. Whenever they finish with a project, two more sprout up to take its place. Stay-at-home moms feel your pain, and then some. Most of us know what it’s like to manage a household—you need to do some routine cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, pay some bills, and so on. Imagine trying to do all of these things on top of being responsible for one or more children that demand nearly constant care and attention!Many women thrive in pursuing their professional careers and manage to balance family life while they are at it. This is a fine accomplishment and I commend any woman who does this. However, it is highly misguided to feel sorry for women who willingly and enthusiastically choose to be stay-at-home moms. They lead rich and meaningful lives that are critically important to the structure of our society.MORE: Caregivers Need Care, TooA vast collection of research from a range of social sciences unanimously concludes that the role of a mother is indispensible in our lives. We are more likely to be healthier, happier and more successful if we have a dedicated mother, relative to those who do not. In addition, stay-at-home moms enjoy a special relationship with their children characterized by intimacy, satisfaction and pure joy. To be sure, these feelings are counterbalanced with frustration, hopelessness and anxiety. Nonetheless, countless mothers march onward and would do it all again in a heartbeat.Stay-at-home moms, thank you! Many of you knew very early in your lives that you wanted to be moms, first and foremost, and we applaud this courageous decision. You make motherhood look easy, but only because you are so good at it! You are strong, wise, gentle and desperately needed. Enjoy the happiness that only women like you can experience. You deserve it.