After 10 years in my professional field, I returned to a major Research University to complete a PhD. At the time, my children were quite young – ages 3 and 4. The professor who interviewed me as part of the admission process said “Well, this is a VERY challenging program. Who will take care of your children? Don’t they need you at home with them?”
I assured him that their FATHER was the stay-at-home parent, all the time thinking “Isn’t this illegal?!?”
18 years later, he is STILL an Associate (mid-level) Professor, on his third marriage, and I hold the rank of tenured Full Professor and am a Dean at a comparable research University in another state.
Oh, and my kids are JUST FINE.