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Poll: As a freelancer, do you sometimes have trouble finding time to spend with your family/children?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:57
SITE STAFF
Apr 7, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "As a freelancer, do you sometimes have trouble finding time to spend with your family/children?".

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Ekaterina Chashnikova  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:57
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes Apr 7, 2011

But it depends on what you mean by "sometimes". Once a week, once in a few weeks? I guess, everybody, not only freelancers, sometimes have rush jobs and no time for family.
UPD: Or not enough time for them.

[Edited at 2011-04-07 11:40 GMT]


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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:57
Member
German to English
+ ...
No Apr 7, 2011

My children are young enough that I have to adjust my working hours around them. I work while they are at school (occasionally while they are asleep) but don't allow work to get in the way while they are around.

That's the theory, at least.


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Caroline Lakey  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:57
French to English
Ditto Apr 7, 2011

Mary Worby wrote:

My children are young enough that I have to adjust my working hours around them. I work while they are at school (occasionally while they are asleep) but don't allow work to get in the way while they are around.

That's the theory, at least.


My situation is exactly the same as Mary's. I work before my son gets up, whilst he is at nursery school/the childminder's during the day, and often after he goes to bed. I don't ever work whilst he's with me. He's 3, so let's be honest, I couldn't work with him around, even if I wanted to!


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Annie Estéphan  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:57
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
No Apr 7, 2011

No, I only work when both of my kids are in daycare.

Occasionnaly, I take some really small texts while they are home, and daddy stays with them for an hour or two while mommy is working, but usually I don't work when they are home, or sick, or have an appointment.

With a regular in-house translation position, I wouldn't be able to decide to take a day off in the middle of the week, or to finish one day at 2pm, the next day at 4 pm, etc.

I think that freelancing is really good for mommies who need to manage their time; however, if their kids don't go to daycare, it is really unconceivable to think that they can work as freelancers while their babies are around...they need so much attention, and when they finally fall asleep, mommy also needs to sleep

But, as soon as they go to daycare, it is more conceivable !



[Edited at 2011-04-07 12:38 GMT]


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Anne Carnot  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 21:57
Member (2009)
English to French
Same here... most of the time! Apr 7, 2011

Mary Worby wrote:

My children are young enough that I have to adjust my working hours around them. I work while they are at school (occasionally while they are asleep) but don't allow work to get in the way while they are around.

That's the theory, at least.


I have 3 young kids, I mostly work when they are at school, or in the evening once they're in bed I sometimes have to work a bit at weekends, but I try to limit this as much as possible


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Ines Goncalves  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 19:57
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Apr 7, 2011

Since I don't have any children and live apart from my family this question does not apply to me. However, if I think about the time I have to spend with my friends, I must say that sometimes it is quite hard to do so...

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 7, 2011

N/A. My family live in Scotland and I live in Spain. We see each other when we can. Usually just for holidays.

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Carla Catolino
Italy
Local time: 21:57
Member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
It's difficult but.... Apr 7, 2011

I have a 10 year old daughter and a 5 year old daughter. They are in school until 1pm and then home in the afternoon. They are pretty good with playing with eachother and while they play in the next room (so that I can hear them) I am busy working. It is difficult finding time to spend with them and sometimes I feel guilty for all the hours that I work but....

I rather be a freelance translator. I used to work as an ESL and was gone most of the day. I like that my kids know where mommy is if they need me.


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Mónica Sauza  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, it's somewhat difficult.... Apr 7, 2011

...to juggle work and spend time not only with family but with friends as well (more so when the kids have already become adults). I sincerely appreciate their understanding.
Quoting another colleague who sometime ago posted: "our profession is a bit different from others, making us animals of a different kind", thus we indirectly become some kind of loners.


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Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 02:27
German to English
It's bad for men too, occasionally... Apr 7, 2011

With the possible exception of Nielmac, I find that most of the colleagues who've responded with comments are women.
I can understand this, since the burden of looking after children is often more theirs. I for one would find it very difficult to work if I had a three year old son needing attention so much of the time, like Caroline. I really admire these colleagues for the way they balance their professional lives and family commitments.
There are times though when it applies to men as well... not being able to be present at your childs' sports day at school for instance because you have this deadline...

Then again, as Ekaterina wrote " I guess, everybody, not only freelancers, sometimes have rush jobs and no time for family."

Cheers

neilmac wrote:

N/A. My family live in Scotland and I live in Spain. We see each other when we can. Usually just for holidays.


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Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not any more. Apr 7, 2011

I worked around my children for years and years, sometimes catching up with work when they were in bed. Freelancing meant I could stop when I needed to and make up the time when I could. It wasn't always smooth but better than working to someone else's timetable.

Now they have left home, and my very ancient dog reminds me to go out for walks and remember that the sea is out there, and so are my friends.


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Benoit HUPIN  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:57
English to French
+ ...
Quite difficult Apr 7, 2011

Hi all,

After my divorce, I decided to take care of my son alone. It is rather difficult to make time for everything (work + child + social life). Hopefully, I do not need to sleep a lot (around 4 hours per night). Thus, I can work late at night and enjoy my son when he comes back from school and during the week-ends. I am lucky enough to apply above average rates, which enables me to chose the projects that best suit my personal organization.

Regards,

Benoit


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Magdalena Altieri
Argentina
Member (2010)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Not only women, but mainly women... Apr 7, 2011

So happy and touched with the comment of Benoit... I admire so much your decision.
It's not easy to balance family/work, mainly when you have young children. My son is 3, and I have always managed to work freelance (since his birth, and also before), but the golden rule is the one my colleagues have shared before: no work at all when he's at home!! I work when he sleeps (for example, now!), or very early in the mornings, and of course, when he is at school. My husband also has flexible working hours, so we can manage it all quite well. That's why I have chosen "No" in the poll! Not easy at the beginning, but absolutely possible, and very natural nowadays.


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Dave Bindon  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 22:57
Member (2010)
Greek to English
I said "yes", but... Apr 7, 2011

...I don't have children, and don't really wish to spend time with what little family I have (I rarely saw them even when I still lived in the same country as them!).

However, I have trouble seeing friends as much as I'd like to (and my friends are my family, which is why I answered "yes" to the poll). Most of them work normal 9-5 Monday-Friday jobs, whereas I work weird hours (partly by choice and partly because of the different time-zones my clients are in) and I often end up working weekends for various reasons.


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