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Poll: Did your professional life as a freelancer change when you had children?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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SITE STAFF
Dec 17, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Did your professional life as a freelancer change when you had children?".

This poll was originally submitted by Carla Lopes. View the poll results »



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Paula Hernández
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:46
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Dec 17, 2013

Everything changes.
Time is more limited now as I work when he's asleep or when his dad is here to look after him. Sometimes, if he's very interested in something in the room, I can also work a while, but that doesn't last long.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 09:46
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Dec 17, 2013

I started freelancing full-time after several years of doing it part-time (along with a regular job) and by then I was a single parent with 3 children. I couldn't have done any of it without the help and support of my mother…

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:46
Member
German to English
+ ...
Somewhat Dec 17, 2013

It mainly affected my working hours and my ability to take on spontaneous urgent translations. As they are getting older, I am becoming more flexibly again.

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Texte Style
Local time: 10:46
French to English
Completely, totally, utterly never mind drastically! Dec 17, 2013

It was the point in time when I found I had to earn my living at home since I couldn't bear leaving my babies to go to work. A friend offered me a translation and there I was hooked!

Apart from that, it changed my whole life drastically in all other aspects - for the better. If I had to live a year of my life again, I would choose one from that period.


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Kathrin Caiger  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:46
English to German
+ ...
Lots of changes, but great ones. Dec 17, 2013

I always wanted to become a translator so I could work from home and raise my children, which became reality last year when I had my baby girl. Before, I had been working with languages too, but in an office job. During the pregnancy, I switched to self-employment, which has turned out to be the right decision.

Working as a translator is not always easy when you have a child around, but with the right combination of commitment, self-drive and passion for both, it enables you to be there for your children and combine career and family life under one roof.

It goes without saying that the 10-hour days of translating with tight deadlines are now virtually impossible, but as it stands, I am happy with my volume, income and the amount of time I can dedicate to my daughter's upbringing. It is quite tricky to find the right work/life balance at first, and sometimes I still re-arrange and re-think my work schedule to tailor it to my girl's needs. It has been a fantastic process and I would not change it for any other job in the world.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Dec 17, 2013

For me, the question puts the cart before the horse. I was a parent long before I became a translator or freelancer. I would surmise that most people's lives, professional or otherwise, are changed in many ways when they become parents.

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Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 11:46
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Some changes inevitably occur. Dec 17, 2013

Thanks to your flexibility as a freelancer you can help your spouse a lot - much more than full-timers can.

You are much closer to you kids - not just a strange and tired man coming to the mom every evening to just demand meals with this do-not-bother-me face.


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Claudia Cherici  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 10:46
Member (2010)
English to Italian
+ ...
interpreting Dec 17, 2013

I used to do a lot more travelling/interpreting pre-daughter...but since I much prefer translating, no harm done really!
And as others have pointed out, our profession allows for margins of flexibility that are unthinkable in other working situations. So basically, no dramatic changes!


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:46
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
I must be much more disciplined today Dec 17, 2013

I can't any more pull an all-nighter and then recover another day...

BR


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Eileen Ferguson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:46
Member (2012)
German to English
+ ...
I became a mom before I started freelancing Dec 17, 2013

As a single mom, I tried to juggle going out to work full time and being a full-time mom for a number of years. My desire to become a freelancer was driven by my desire to spend more quality time with my child, without my income or my career aspirations/job satisfaction suffering too much.

Freelancing has changed things for the better in many respects for everyone concerned. By far one of the best decisions I have ever made.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 18:46
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
More late nights Dec 17, 2013

Like Vadim, being an indedendent translator instead of working regular 9-5 hours allows you to be more flexible at home and help around the house, helping to take the burden off the missus and playing with the kids during the daytime.

I also became Chairman of the Board of Directors at Kyoto International School for three years as a result of increased involvement with the little 'uns.

However, I found that I had to work later on in the evening and at night more frequently to make up for lost daytime hours. But this really never bothered me because I got a lot of enjoyment out of spending more time playing with the kids which was reaaaallly worth it.

Small edit

[Edited at 2013-12-17 12:25 GMT]


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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:46
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
That's when I became a freelancer Dec 17, 2013

I started doing freelance work when I had children, so that I could organise my working life around my family. It's certainly not easy, especially during the school holidays, and I do often end up working late at night to make up for time spent doing other things during the day, but I definitely prefer it this way. If a child is sick, or I want to go to the school play I don't have to grovel to my boss, and I don't have to worry if the school run takes a few minutes longer than usual.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:46
English to Spanish
+ ...
Children, the unexpected clients Dec 17, 2013

Clients for the most part can be a zoo to maintain, and some are necessary evils (insert evil laughter here).

But children can be a demanding lot. I only speak from observing my siblings' kids in action.

Having said that, I wonder if the situation is very different when you have a pet (or pets). Any thoughts?


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Alan Corbo, CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 06:46
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
I made the choice... Dec 17, 2013

... of quitting my 8 to 5 job and get full time into freelance translation when we started planning to become pregnant. That allowed me to be home and actively involved in all things related to welcoming our first daughter into the world. I was able to go with my wife to every single doctor appointment, redecorate her bedroom, attend prenatal classes, and actually be there when she needed me. Wouldn't change that for the world

Now Olivia is 1 year old. My wife has gone back working several months ago, so most of the day is Olivia and I in the house. Easy? Not at all. Especially now she's started walking and trying to explore every single corner of the house (power outlets being one of her favorite "tours", haha). Would I change it? Not in a million years. In fact, we're getting ready for the second one




[Edited at 2013-12-17 12:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-12-17 12:04 GMT]


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