Our three adorable kids are the best thing that happened to me and my husband. But they are also vicious little monsters who will keep you on your toes all day long.

They are yet to start elementary school, and my husband and I were working before they came along. But when they did, we sat down and weighed our options.

It would cost almost as much as I earned to pay for daycare for the three of them. So, we came to a mutual agreement that I would quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom.

The decision made sense and we were happy with it. But, for some reason, I felt like I was doing less for the family because I was no longer working.

But those bad feelings were nothing compared to what he made me feel now that he was bringing in a paycheck and I wasn’t. Three little kids under the age of three can be a lot to deal with.

I was working harder than I ever did at any office, and dealing with highly demanding toddlers, a lot of messes around the house, laundry, and a million other things just to keep things in control.

The worst thing was that he did not appreciate this. To him, he was working, and I wasn’t.

And though he was wrong, I realize it’s like that everywhere. When you stay home with kids, people do not recognize your contribution to the family.

To many people, you are just lazing around having fun with your kids. And when you come to think of it, people stay at home for reasons like being jobless, being unable to work, not wanting to work and so forth.

According to society, you stay at home because you can’t work or because you don’t want to work. Many people reason that there is nothing to do at home but relax and have fun.

But that is totally wrong. Staying at home with your kids is your way of contributing to the family. You should not even have to explain yourself to anyone.

I say this knowing that people who stay at home  have to put up with a lot of slack for their decisions. But people who have stayed at home like me know how demanding housework can get when you throw a few kids into the mix.

It gets lonely, and the work never ends. On top of all this effort, you not only fail to get appreciated, you might actually be made to feel guilty for staying at home ‘doing nothing’ while everyone else is out working.

Why people think the parent who leaves home in the morning and comes back in the evening has the worst of it is beyond me? Is it because the parent at home spends her day in a t-shirt and sweatpants with the kids pulling at her from every side?

Parents who stay at home should be appreciated for their huge contribution to the family. Those who don’t think being a stay-at-home mom or dad is a ‘real job’ don’t have the slightest idea about being a hands-on parent.

I think the notion that staying at home means not working makes stay-at-home parents overcompensate by working more. They feel a need to prove that they are doing something to help the family.

But they already do.

However, they let the ‘working parent’ sit around, apparently ‘too tired’ to pitch in.

The stay-at-home parent gets exhausted and drained for having to do dozens of things every day, round the clock.

You have to deal with out-of-control kids, homemade meals, laundry, doctor’s appointments, feeding the kids, shopping for groceries, reading bedtime stories, doing the dishes, and other back breaking and draining work.

Parents who stay at home are made to feel like they should apologize for the privilege. But they don’t have as good a time as everyone seems to think they do.

These parents are still contributing to the family. And often, they do more work than their ‘working’ counterparts.