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Here's the situation, and I'm not good at being succinct, so I apologize in advance: I'm having a baby in the fall. My dh will be able to get up to 37 weeks of leave, 35 of those paid at 93% (or so) of his regular salary -- which is decent, it meets our needs, but we're not wealthy by, you know, mainstream society's standards. I'm a sahm. He is currently working for the gov't here in Toronto, getting good benefits, and his job is very stable, as he has been hired on a "permanent" contract. But it is an almost-entry level position -- he's managing a team that is part of basically a call centre for business tax questions, and not exactly what he wants in a job. We've been trying to move to the Ottawa area, where our families live.<br><br>
Now, by the time this baby is born, we will need to have moved out of our 2 bdrm apartment, as this will make us a family of 6. Our options, as we see them right now, are<br><br>
1) Move now, stay in Toronto after the baby is born, and do what we like for 9 months. Travel, visit family, relax, enjoy the break.<br><br>
2) Stay where we are for now, and move to Ottawa after the baby is born (we're on a month-by-month lease, so we just need to give 60 days notice), and dh looks for a job there. It would, financially, need to be another public service job, as the gov't "tops up" his EI payments (which would be about 50% of his current salary) to the 90%, but if he doesn't return to a gov't for a certain amount of time after his leave, he has to pay back the extra. If he doesn't find a job there, we find a new place in Toronto, and he returns to his job here.<br><br>
3) Dh studies for the GMAT during his leave, and then takes Care and Nurturing (or whatever it is called) leave -- this is up to 5 years of unpaid leave for anyone with a kid under I think 6 years of age -- and goes to business school (if he passes the GMAT). He would have his job with the gov't at the end if he didn't find something or it didn't work out. We would be further in student loan debt -- dh has been out of school for about 5 years now, and so far, we've qualified for interest relief (the gov't pays your interest if your loan payments are too high relative to your income and number of dependents), but in about a month we'll have to start repaying them. We have enough money saved up to pay off about 3/4 of the student loans up front, and if he returns to school, he gets interest relief on his current loans and will (I assume) qualify for more loans -- so we would be in debt, but not as badly as we might be otherwise. Dh has had the idea of going to business school in the back of his mind since he started university and knew people in the business school there. I'm not sure that it's really something he's interested in, other than the higher income potential.<br><br>
4) Dh starts a business during his leave. He has been drawn to being an entrepreneur (did I spell that right? seems like a lot of "e"s) for quite a while. His dad owned his own business, and so does my dad, so it's not a scary thing to me. But he doesn't really know what he wants to do. Now, luckily, he worked answering people's questions about setting up businesses and taxes and such for a year before being a manager there, so he's pretty sure he knows how to go about doing it; it's a matter of figuring out what he wants to do first. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
5) Dh has also thought about getting his A-Z license (not sure if it's called the same thing in the states... basically, you can drive anything, maybe not a motorcycle) and finding someone else to do the same, like my brother, and do long-haul trucking. Again, I don't think this is something he's particularly interested in -- though he is somewhat of a "driver" and would enjoy the travel -- but he sees it as a way to make more money than he's making now.<br><br>
I guess I'm looking for input on these options -- do they sound crazy? is there anything that we aren't thinking of that would make one preferable, or that makes any unreasonable? -- and any other options you can think of. Dh has a BSc in Biology, and has thought about being a pharmacist (which would mean more school, too). He is often frustrated at work, but he likes solving problems and helping people there, and at his last job (manager at a tech support call centre, after working there as an agent) he enjoyed making up spread sheets and such for data management and analysis to solve problems the site had, and he was good at it. He is good with numbers and writes well. But, he's not crazy about the idea of having an office job forever -- he says ideally, he would work in an office 3 or 4 days a week, and do something physical outdoors -- construction work or collecting garbage or something -- the rest of the week. Of course, when I suggest that we have a small farm to help support us and he work there and work elsewhere part time, he's not so crazy about the idea. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
So if you made it this far, thanks for reading, and for any suggestions you might have!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"> I am speechless. Just wow. I didn't get past the Canada giving 37 weeks paternity leave.
 

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Is he bilingual? If not, I'd be very cautious about moving to Ottawa in search of another public service job, as it is extremely difficult to get one there without French. Then if you had to move back to T.O. again, that would be a lot of back and forth for all of you.<br><br>
If he's not all that interested necessarily in business school, I don't know that I'd embark on a new round of student loans to finance it.<br><br>
It sounds to me like you all enjoy spending time together and like each other's company (yay!), so long-haul trucking sounds potentially rather brutal. You'd probably miss each other, and you could feel isolated back home with four (?) kids.<br><br>
He could look at starting his own business, and mess around with that during his parental leave, without risk. If he's not all that thrilled with his current position, he has in-service status for applying for other public service jobs, right? Down the road, even if his current position is not that great, being in the public service offers mobility and lots of great benefits, so I would look at sticking with it. (Yes, I'm jealous!).<br><br>
My dh took a full year when our daughter was born, as I wasn't eligible for maternity benefits as I was a full-time student. It was so great he ended up being a stay-at-home dad for what will soon be 6 years! I do wish I worked for an employer that topped up mat leave for the full year, though, since I'm the breadwinner.<br><br>
My jaw drops everytime I contemplate what our neighbouring families to the south have to deal with - I cannot imagine....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jazzharmony</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7967228"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"> I am speechless. Just wow. I didn't get past the Canada giving 37 weeks paternity leave.</div>
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I know, we're incredibly lucky. I was hesitant to post all of this, thinking how very spoiled we are. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> With our last child, he took 6 months of leave, but it was at 55% of his salary (regular EI -- employment insurance) as he wasn't with the government. It was wonderful. It is parental leave, though -- it can be shared by both parents, but they get 37 weeks total, not each. Not that it isn't still amazing...<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mammastar2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7967357"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is he bilingual? If not, I'd be very cautious about moving to Ottawa in search of another public service job, as it is extremely difficult to get one there without French. Then if you had to move back to T.O. again, that would be a lot of back and forth for all of you.</div>
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He is bilingual -- that's how he got the job he has now, and how he managed to be hired on a permanent contract. That's another thing I'm grateful for -- though he learned his French in Belgium, not Canada <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If he's not all that interested necessarily in business school, I don't know that I'd embark on a new round of student loans to finance it.</td>
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Yes, this is my worry too... I think he's really not sure if it's what he wants to do, but hasn't managed to find out too much about it yet. But it seems like a lot of jobs he looks at/applies for (he kind of job hunts regularly) require a business school degree, so he thought it might be useful.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It sounds to me like you all enjoy spending time together and like each other's company (yay!), so long-haul trucking sounds potentially rather brutal. You'd probably miss each other, and you could feel isolated back home with four (?) kids.</td>
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We do enjoy spending time together, but we both find that when he's running back and forth to work every day, and has the daily stresses of work to deal with, the time we get together is rushed and such. He figures if he did long-haul trucking, he would get longer chunks of time at home, which would be more enjoyable. Plus we would be moving near family -- his parents are retired, and my mom is about to retire -- so that might help.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">He could look at starting his own business, and mess around with that during his parental leave, without risk. If he's not all that thrilled with his current position, he has in-service status for applying for other public service jobs, right? Down the road, even if his current position is not that great, being in the public service offers mobility and lots of great benefits, so I would look at sticking with it. (Yes, I'm jealous!).</td>
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He has been applying to everything he can, definitely taking advantage of that. One of our worries, though, is that the process takes so looooooong -- he started applying for this job a year before he was hired, and he's actually in a pool for a job in Ottawa that he started applying for before that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> Also, job postings are often restricted by your geographical location -- most of the ones he finds in the National Capitol Region are restricted to those currently residing there. So moving would help, even with the hassle.<br><br>
Thanks for the input!
 

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Hey, FYI, I think that the Conservatives have changed it so folks in any geographical region can apply for federal positions in the National Capital Region, by the way.<br><br>
Would his current employer kick in any funding towards a business degree?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mammastar2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7968020"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hey, FYI, I think that the Conservatives have changed it so folks in any geographical region can apply for federal positions in the National Capital Region, by the way.</div>
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I'll look into that... I tried googling, but man, I'm not good at gov't lingo <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> But he has only been working there a year, and he says everything he has found so far that was in the NCR was restricted to those currently living there.<br><br>
ETA: It looks like that was just for officer-level positions. Not sure what they means, but I guess dh wasn't applying for those. It's kind of frustrating -- the rationalization given for areas of selection is "cost effectiveness" -- but really, we don't want any money to cover our move or the cost of travelling for interviews or paid time off for them or anything. But, since they compensate for things like that, it's more cost-effective to limit how far away you can apply for another gov't job. Sigh. I wish you could opt out of the compensation... but there are probably complications to that which I'm not aware of.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Would his current employer kick in any funding towards a business degree?</td>
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That's a good suggestion... I know they were offering to pay for courses that related to your current job, but they rejected the ones he wanted and suggested he take one he wasn't really interested in. The beginning of the fiscal year probably isn't the time to ask, though -- he missed the March spending spree <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 
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