Out of work gaps.
First of all, understand that having out-of-work gaps is not a big deal by itself. People are not comfortable with it because it looks like they were not productive for sometime, and that implies some sort of failure. Nothing could be further from the truth - but the custom remains to hide or 'close' the gaps in the CV to have a continuous work-line. What can you do if you have gaps in your work line that you cannot really explain in lucrative terms? Easy - get them to lucrative terms:
You may like to say that you have been self-employed for some time, trying to set up a business for a friend, brother, father, etc - be prepared to answer some nitty-gritty's of the business you were self-employed at. Be careful to have a plausible explanation as to why you are seeking employment again. A good reply here would be that the business is now successfully handled by the friend, partner, father (or someone who could take over) and you are looking forward to pursuing your main career goals
Another idea is to say you had volunteered to raise funds for some cause such as an orphan home, local community clean up, get a library fund, and so on. Here too be prepared for a lot of questions - so it will be good if you have some data and people to back you up on this.
You may also say that you are/ were in-between jobs and did some odd jobs to keep yourself afloat financially, until the right job came along. In this case, you will need to have the list of the odd jobs you worked at during the in-between period.
It is also possible and legitimate (as well as acceptable) to adjust against your spouses' demanding career in order to support your children. Hence, you could always say that you had decided to stay with the children who were young, so your spouse could pursue his/her career. Now that the children are older, you are again looking to fulfill your career goals.
As a last resort - and not one that I would personally advise anyone to do - you could just fib saying that 'from the year so-and-so to present I was working in the following capacities' and enumerate your jobs without giving the years. It is possible that the employer assumes that your work is uninterrupted. However, such deceptions (however mild it may seem) can create a deep sense of mistrust when found out - hence it is advisable to always use the truth in your answers.
Look for normal, legitimate ways to bridge the gap. However, you should not worry too much if you cannot really carry it off- in that it is better to tell the truth directly (such as you could not get the right job) and highlight the fact the you would be a valuable asset to the company (do not be over eager when you say this - just act confident and sure of yourself).