Alhamdulillah, a visit from family (my husband's parents, sister, and her two sons) taught me an important lesson. I knew that it was allowed, even recommended for women to pray at home instead of at the masjid, while men are strongly encouraged to pray in the congregation at the masjid.
Until the family visit, my understanding of this subject had been purely academic--sure, women can pray at home or can go to the mosque. But I didn't realize what a mercy and blessing that is. My understanding went from "Yeah, it's nice," to "SubhanAllaah, this deen is amazing."
When my sister-in-law was visiting, with her two sons, whom I love dearly, I realized just what it might be like for a mother watching children at home. Children demand attention all the time. They don't take breaks, and sometimes like to misbehave even though your schedule doesn't really have time for it. With just two boys, it was difficult to find time for us to pray--though there were three women in the house to watch the kids! I simply can't imagine how she handles them on her own. And it's not because they boys are just being bad or trying to cause trouble, they just require lots of attention and supervision. Neither of these can be had from a mother during prayer.
In addition, taking care of a household full of people (as a newlywed, my house is not so often full) requires time--a lot of it. Things require cleaning--not to be "spic-n-span" but just so they aren't dirty. Like what? Like bathrooms, so they don't stink; tubs, so the water drains; dishes, so you can eat off them; pots and pans, so you can cook in them. Cooking meals for several people daily means constantly cooking, or cleaning in the kitchen. Then there's laundry, and the rest of the house to maintain.
Without children around, I can find extra time around my prayers to go to the mosque--but with children, the 5-10 minutes each way (10-20 minutes each prayer) will add up, and would be a tremendously difficult burden on women, if they had to go to the mosque for each prayer.
If it's hard enough to find time to pray at home, how much harder to find the time to get children ready to go pray as well--especially young ones, who need to be diapered, dressed, and fed with the help of their mothers? I didn't realize, until this last visit, how much of a blessing it is for women that they are encouraged to pray at home, their minds at ease from the difficulty of praying at the masjid.
It also pretty much negates any concept that women have an easy life, or that their jobs (as mothers, and caretakers of the house) are less important than men's. It seems like the job of women is so important that while she does take a break for prayer, she has the benefit of being able to do it at home, so she can devote more of her time and energy to her responsibilities.