Without going into too many specific details about my situation--I'm a pharmacist. My husband and I would love to move to an isolated area (we have a specific area in mind). This is our pipe dream and I think I would like to at least pursue it, whether or not it ends up working out.
I am eyeing a few pharmacies in our target area. I would probably be the primary breadwinner if he can't find work in that neck of the woods, and I'm okay with that. But FMLA eligibility is only for companies with a certain number of employees or over. If I work for some tiny outfit, am I going to have trouble getting leave to have another baby? I would like one or two more kids. Should I just wait until I'm done having babies? Any thoughts? We are both employed where we are now, so this isn't a jump that we need to look into making right away.
I think this depends on how soon you are going to have more kids. You have to be with a company for at least a year in order to get FMLA at all. If you are going to have another very soon then moving might not be a good idea yet. You may also find that you are very reluctant to move your child once they are established in their school with their neighborhood friends. Making new friends at a new school is very hard, my dd has had to do it twice and it really isn't a decision I made lightly.
You might also want to consider the quality of education your child is likely to get in the small town you are choosing and what kinds of activities are available for children as they age. Small towns sometimes have limited options for parents who find the education level seriously lacking. They also tend to take who they can get when it comes to teachers and that doesn't necessarily lead to a situation where high quality education is guaranteed to take place. There are no guarantees anyways but in a bigger town you have more options when one isn't working. The activities are important, especially for teenagers, because kids tend to make up their own fun when they are bored.
There are many down sides to living in a city also and kids can run into some of the same problems but there are typically also a lot more options for preventing and redirecting them. I have found thatnit is really hard to consider moving an older child from a school much less a whole town. For a long time I planned a move to a different city that I found I couldn't follow through with because it would have too much of a negative impact on my dd. I think it would be a good idea if you sit down with your dp and come up with a list of things that you think will be important for your children's lives 10 years from now then look at the area you are thinking of moving to to make sure it will be compatable with the opportunities you hope your children will have.
I work at a new-ish pharmacy school in a pretty isolated area (as admin staff, not pharmacist), and I've seen some of our pharmacist faculty come and go after only 1 or 2 years. Mainly because their partners can't find any work and feel unfulfilled, even though it's ok financially. Actually, I may be following suit as well, because DH is finishing up his MS and can't find work here, and would be really unhappy to be not working in his field.
Regarding FMLA, have you looked up the state regulations in that state? I know that my state laws aren't as strict as FMLA. Also, I imagine that re-hiring for a pharmacist is a big deal, so that even though a small employer wouldn't HAVE to keep you while you were out for FMLA, they might WANT to keep you.
Mama Bear , Papa Bear and Baby Bear (8/11)
It may be easier to get coverage during your absence in a larger city, and it may be simpler not to be on your feet all day if you have any issues with pregnancy. Which area has better OBGYN or midwifes? Can you buy a vacation home/land in the target area and spend long periods of time there beforehand to make sure it your preferred area.
Thanks ladies. I have been mostly wondering about the career implications of this decision. We've considered the tradeoff in terms of our lifestyle & the kids'. This is something we have been contemplating for years, but it wasn't an option until I finished school. I asked on a group of pharmacists that I am on and they all voted for now over later, so I'm going to give it a shot. Worst that can happen is I end up in the same position I'm in now.
'it may be simpler not to be on your feet all day if you have any issues with pregnancy'
This made me laugh... I know you didn't intend it that way. This is not a consideration that is unique to one area! :D
I live in an isolated area, few employers would qualify for FMLA here. Maternity leave still happens, it might not be paid but I've yet to hear of anyone that didn't get time off that wanted it. I work with new moms so I hear about maternity leave frequently. Now getting any time paid time off might be another thing. Rural living is certainly a trade off but we really enjoy the benefits
I have never qualified for a FMLA with any of my 3 kids because I was part time so I never met the hours. You can also qualify for a leave under the disability act and can get up to 3 months off with that. The only issue is that you only get the amount of time that your provider will certify that you are "disabled." My first was a midwife who just put down whatever I wanted, but the other two, my doc would only put down for 6 weeks after a vag delivery. Luckily, my work let me take up to 6 additional weeks for "baby bonding" time, but I don't think that was protected by law. I guess some of it depends on how much time you are going to want/need to take off. If you are the primary income, will you be able to go without pay for more than 6 weeks?
Whether my mat leave is paid or not is less of a concern for me. If I don't get paid mat leave I can sock away some money in the months leading up to the birth. That's what we did with this baby. I'm not sure what other laws would get me any mat leave other than FMLA, but I suppose the kind of employer who would boot me because they don't have to be FMLA compliant isn't probably anyone I want to work for anyway.
We're debating, or re-debating, this because it turns out that my husband hadn't given much thought to the ups and downs of leaving his job, and figured he would think about it later, but I'd really like him to think about it before I start looking in earnest, so that I know he's on board. We are really torn on this decision, though I'm now pretty clear that IF we do decide to go, I'll be looking for work sooner rather than later. I am more marketable now and it's easier to move one child under two than to move, oh, three children under six (or whatever combination we have four or five years from now).
It basically comes down to whether we want to live in this other area with its benefits and drawbacks enough to justify giving up the life we have built here. I suppose that is the perennial concern.
Oh, plus I won't get paid mat leave in my current job (I don't work enough hours), and I will maybe barely qualify for FMLA. If I don't, I qualify for unpaid "personal leave", but am not guaranteed my position when I return (which I guess means if my boss hated me he could swap me to an equivalent position in another city to get rid of me, but I'm not seeing him doing that). So I'm pretty sure we'll be living at least partly out of savings in the post-baby period with the next one, regardless of where we live.
But yes, I can definitely see the benefit of moving with only one kid vs. three, it will be much easier in that respect now. Good luck!
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13