Originally Posted by BlissfullyLoving
I am a SAHM. We knew that was our plan before any children, so we never considered my income in our lifestyle.
I don't actually work at the moment, and we manage to get by on DH's salary. If nothing were to change, we could go on like this just fine-- we live very modestly, other than sometimes splurging on organics. The problem is our house. We have a teeny-tiny little townhouse with two bedrooms (one of which is used as an office by DH, who works from home several days per week), no attic, and no closets. We're already desperate for storage space, and the babe isn't even here yet! We're planning on cosleeping at first, but eventually we're going to have to add onto the house, or our DC won't have a bedroom of his/her own. Which may not sound like a problem to some people, but it's not just a matter of having a place to sleep-- we need some place other than our own (very small) bedroom to store childrens' clothes, toys, books, etc. With the money I'll earn starting in January, we can afford to add on a 3rd story, which will give us an extra bedroom and a large closet/small storage room. Definitely necessary if we're not to go crazy. Problem is, if my income suddenly disappears, we won't quite be able to pay off the addition, let alone cover the extra expenses associated with a child. Moving is not an option, either-- this house was very
cheap by Dutch standards, and we definitely can't afford anything bigger.
|I thought the Netherlands is really generous for parental leave. I thought you could get a year paid parental leave when you have a baby and part payment for up to three years?
It's generous compared to the US, but it's not that
great! We get 4 weeks of paid leave before the birth (non-negotiable... you have to take off whether you want to or not) and 12 weeks at full pay afterward. If you've been working for the same company for at least a year (which I will not have), then you're also entitled to an additional 520 hours (about 13 weeks) of unpaid
leave, which you can use up all at once, a day at a time, or even use to work half-days. I won't be eligible for this, and unpaid leave won't solve our problems anyway, so I'm pretty much limited to the 12 paid weeks after the birth.
|Is the work flexible as a translator? Can you work an hour to an hour and a half per day, all week, to make up one day's work?
At the risk of making this post into a novel, work as a translator is somewhat flexible, in the sense that you can do it from home, but not flexible at all in terms of the timeframes involved. I couldn't stretch a day's worth of work over the course of a week, because customers generally expect fast turnaround. You pretty much have to be ready and willing to work whenever you get stuff sent to you. Not really compatible with caring for a babe.
On the other hand, the company I'll be working for is very family-friendly and has lots of women who jobshare, work parttime, work from home, etc. I'm hopeful that my boss and I can come up with some workable solutions if it is indeed necessary for me to continue working after our DC is born.