Mat leave options influencing decision for more children? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-22-2014, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mat leave options influencing decision for more children?

Hi there,

First off, I am Canadian where most employed folks get a full year of maternity leave benefits. However, as a midwife in my province I am considered "self-employed" and therefore am not entitled to any and am required to fund my own mat leave. I don't mean to offend any mamas who only get 6-12 weeks as I know is often the case in the US! The demands and "schedule" of my job are so demanding and sometimes draining so that factors in. And my DH has been a SAHD after our two previous children were born (when I was a midwife/on call) which made it easier for me to go back at 4 and 8 months, respectively. Now he works FT, mostly from home with flexible hours (and is happy to participate in child-wrangling when available) but there is some requirement for quiet and travel.

We really want 1-2 more children. Our youngest is 5 so we feel that the time is now. However, all we could swing financially if we were to conceive now is a 5-6 month mat leave. I am by far the primary bread earner and our family would really struggle if I took longer than that. Then our plan would be to hire a live-out nanny a little less than FT (perhaps 25-30 hrs/week) to give DH ample time to work since although my job means I have to be available at the drop of a hat I am often home just watching my pager. I am slightly heartbroken at the thought of someone else looking after my 5-6 mo baby, since it has always been DH when it wasn't me, but I am comforted by the fact that he/she would be at home, I would be home lots of the time, and dh would be available a lot of the time if the s*** was hitting the fan.

So my questions are:

Would only being able to afford such a short mat leave with this type of job make you reconsider having more babes even if you felt your family wasn't yet complete?

Does anyone else have unconventional or unpredictable work schedules (for both parents in our case) and what child care options have worked the best financially and logistically?

Thanks!

Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful_maia View Post
Hi there,

First off, I am Canadian where most employed folks get a full year of maternity leave benefits.

So my questions are:

Would only being able to afford such a short mat leave with this type of job make you reconsider having more babes even if you felt your family wasn't yet complete?

Does anyone else have unconventional or unpredictable work schedules (for both parents in our case) and what child care options have worked the best financially and logistically?

Thanks!
Sigh... This really makes me want to move to Canada!!

I only have 2 kiddos, and the cost, and care of newborns has pretty much kept me from having more. I was able to have my sister move in with me for the first baby. This was a great arrangement. Baby had round-the-clock family member care, even though not directly from me. For the second baby, we hired an au pair. The kids got great care, but it was very expensive, and draining to have another adult living in the house.

I work a lot of nights/weekends, so childcare is usually challenging. Its a lot easier now that both kids are in school. The family live-in thing worked the best, but is definately not feasible now. I think we will decide to be happy with the two kids that we have.


" rel="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/familybed2.gif">familybed2.gif  DD1 12/05, DD2 12/08


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Old 08-24-2014, 07:58 PM
 
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The situation you're describing definitely wouldn't make me pause. It sounds better than what most of us have in the US, which I know you already acknowledged, but it totally sounds workable. A nanny or caregiver that is consistent and available to your baby/children, can become a well loved part of the family, even if that person is not live-in.

Our child care providers have become dear friends that love our children too! It doesn't have to feel like an "other." In many ways I wouldn't even give up that 'extra' relationship my children have had with someone who cares deeply for them.

 
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:24 PM
 
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No, that would not make me pause. The cost associated is another matter. Because we are having our second & will need care for her I will have to take my son from a very loving montessori private school & put him in public starting in kindergarten. That makes me so sad.

Like Lauren said, we've been lucky to find fantastic care providers. As someone who prefers to work I value the other adults who form relationships with my children.

Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:52 AM
 
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Mat leave options influencing decision for more children?

Also would not make me pause. We are trying for another & I will be lucky to eke out a 5-6 month mat leave. I'm the primary breadwinner & get no paid mat leave through my employer. But I'm determined to beg, borrow & steal (ok, not steal) to get 6 months.

I went back to school when my son was 4 months. I was probably away from him for 4 full days per week. He was in a nanny share. It was great & I agree with all the other mamas who have said their children's care takers were an important part of the family & their children's development. My son was loved, safe & exposed to all sorts of neat things I couldn't have given him. I think he's the great kid he is today because of his "team".

I understand, though, that your unpredictable schedule would add a complicating factor. But still, at 4-6 months, a new caregiver should be no big deal & still allow for routines & healthy attachment.

Good luck!!

Mama to my little busy bee. 


Last edited by t2009; 09-19-2014 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ladies so much for your input! I am becoming more comfortable with the idea and we are actively TTC now!

Any more thoughts welcome!

Peaceful mama to three blissfully-birthed and incredible small people: dd10, dd7 and ds5. Always awed and so thankful to be a midwife.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:15 PM
 
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I just wanted to say thanks for this question and all of the great responses. I'm a mama to an amazing 14 month old little guy, and I've been so lucky to be home with him since his birth. I'm currently applying for jobs and will likely be going back to work soon. This time "off" has been really difficult for us financially, and I'm fairly certain that we won't be able to do it for future children. I have a lot of heartache about that, even though we're not even thinking about #2 yet. So reading this discussion was really helpful to me. Thanks. And best of luck with your decision!
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:54 PM
 
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It sounds like dh is self employed also? If not, working fathers are able to apply for EI (employment insurance, which all employed Canadian citizens pay into) and get about 35 weeks of parental leave (in lieu of the mother applying)...as long as they have accumulated the minimum number of hours required in the past year. Good luck in your decision! I'm sure the money issue will solve itself :-)
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:14 PM
 
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"Would only being able to afford such a short mat leave with this type of job make you reconsider having more babes even if you felt your family wasn't yet complete?"

Definitely not. Though i too am a self-employed Canadian and although i really don't want more children (the idea of it makes me shudder) I sometimes wonder if this is partly because of how hard it was on us financially (and still is with them both being under 3).
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