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Raising children can be a thankless job

The sacrifices that men and women make to raise their children are not always immediately seen. However, when looking 10 or more years down the road, they are stark.

The duties that come with child custody is a tall order, even when spouses are still married. Within married couples, one spouse will inevitably have to trade in his or her professional career in order to stay home and raise children. The other spouse is often able to continue their career and become the default breadwinner. Traditionally, the wife becomes the homemaker in these situations, but those traditional gender roles continue to evolve.

A popular novelist dubbed the process of ditching a career and handling domestic duties as "the 10-year nap," meaning a parent is absent from a job outside the home for a decade's long stretch. This decision usually seems like the right choice for the betterment of the child, but many parents who embark on this "10-year nap" do not realize what it costs them until they get back out in the real world. Raising children does not generate income and there is little to show for it, other than healthy, happy children.

According to statics, following this fabled "10-year nap" is when many divorces occur. The most common period for divorce is when children go off to college.

Statistics prove that, 50 percent of the time, courts rule in favor of fathers who are vying for primary custody. Some of these fathers are stay-at-home fathers, but many others won custody over women that chose to abandon professional lives, stay at home and raise children.

These facts prove how today's American culture tends to undervalue stay-at-home mothers. This does not encourage mothers or fathers to readily quit their jobs and stay at home to tend to their children. But, this is a necessary part of parenting. Luckily, financial arrangements such as spousal and child support are built into divorce laws so that a parent who opts for a domestic role will not be left with nothing.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Mothers Without Children," Kate Baldwin, Nov. 26, 2012

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