Guess what? It is normal to have children. They are one of life’s greatest joys. I cannot imagine life without my three wonderful children. There is tons written about the challenges of being a professor with children, but I think it is an easier job to have with kids than many. After all, if they are sick you can usually work from home. You can schedule a doctor’s appointment at a time that works.
There are lots of different ways of melding a reasonable and fulfilling family life with an academic career. The one that resonates the most for me involves bringing the kids along. Include them in your day, in your travels, even in your research whenever possible. I like to think of all the parties we went to in Venezuela where kids were always there, also dressed up so nicely. These parties often lasted into the night and so did the kids. There were events at Hotel Maracay that we were not a part of but watched as the families arrived to party.
I checked many a wasp nest with a baby on my back. We brought the kids to Venezuela many times. In Italy we had a little hollow under some bushes where our youngest could read while we babysat videocameras on wasp nests. Of course there are times when children and their parents need to be separate for a few hours. Daycare, play groups, grandparents, and co-ops help fill these needs. Scientific meetings are better in some fields than others when it comes to child care.
GetalifePhD has some useful advice on talking about children and faculty hiring. I remember how well my kids used to look forward to departmental parties and seeing the other kids at them. Bringing the kids along is not always the solution, but lets just keep in mind that families are normal and wonderful and a part of life completely available to academics, male and female.