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Poll: How much do you think your productivity is/would be affected by having children?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:59
SITE STAFF
Jan 18, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How much do you think your productivity is/would be affected by having children?".

This poll was originally submitted by Juan Arroyo Crejo. View the poll results »



 

Edith van der Have-Raats  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:59
Member (2016)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I wonder who those 6.2% mentioning 'not at all' are ... Jan 18, 2017

... perhaps they are sperm donors?icon_wink.gif

 

Maria Dimitrova  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 19:59
Member (2011)
Bulgarian to English
+ ...
Children compensate the time they take by making you more focused Jan 18, 2017

I would say that having children has moderately affected my productivity largely because of the new skills I have developed after having them. They do take a lot of time and distract me from working, but, on the other hand, they have forced me to become more organised and focused, so that I can now produce larger volumes of translated words per unit of (undisturbed) time.

 

Constanze Deus-Konrad
Germany
Local time: 18:59
French to German
+ ...
it depends Jan 18, 2017

It depends on the age they would have.

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Massively increased Jan 18, 2017

I have to earn more money in less time

 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:59
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
more than a lot Jan 18, 2017

I found it impossible to work with my kids around and couldn't afford to pay for someone to mind them. I was just starting out as a translator when pregnant, not the best time. So it took ages to build up my business.
I certainly did have a very steep learning curve as far as focus and multi-tasking and getting organised were concerned, I have many memories of working into the night with a half-asleep baby hanging on my breast. Touch typing with a baby in the crook of your arm is quite a talent. Baby now in her twenties, it's the cat who takes advantage of this skill nowadays!


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:59
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other (not at all) Jan 18, 2017

Edith van der Have-Raats wrote:

... perhaps they are sperm donors?icon_wink.gif


Perhaps, like me, they have grown-up children who have left the nest. Anyway, some 20 years ago when they were still at home I had to work much more in order to earn more money…

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I feel compelled to add:

I started translating quite late in life as a complement to my full-time work when my children were already in their teens and I was the only breadwinner in our family and though from time to time they did interrupt me with some pretty silly arguments and quarrels I still remember fondly hearing in the background my eldest son say to his sisters (they call me Nina): “Please don’t make any noise! Nina is working…”

[Edited at 2017-01-18 13:13 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:59
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Depends how old they are... Jan 18, 2017

If I had started translating before my son was born, my productivity would have dropped dramatically.

Simply the lack of sleep after having a baby means some people only have a very limited capacity for work. My son was a happy little soul, but it was impossible to leave him alone for long. When he did sleep, I usually crashed out beside him - HE could manage on five hours sleep in the day!!!

I honestly don't know how families cope with a colic child. My son was ill a couple of times and grumpy for a day or two, and one night when he woke me AGAIN, I was seriously tempted just to put him out in the snow and leave him. Then he smiled... and that is how such infants survive!

I did not have any grandmothers or anyone else who could help look after the baby, and my husband was working long days, but I certainly could not work much myself the first couple of years.

Other babies do sleep, and later on my son was fine at looking after himself and letting me get on with my work, but for the first three years it was a struggle, and I could NOT have earned my own living!


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:59
Romanian to English
+ ...
Depends on how old they are Jan 18, 2017

Christine Andersen wrote:
I did not have any grandmothers or anyone else who could help look after the baby, and my husband was working long days, but I certainly could not work much myself the first couple of years.

Other babies do sleep, and later on my son was fine at looking after himself and letting me get on with my work, but for the first three years it was a struggle, and I could NOT have earned my own living!


Their age is a major factor in this. Obviously a tiny baby who needs breastfeeding every three hours and other care won't allow you to work too much.
But once they are pre-school age, you can work almost, if not completely normally while they are at pre-school.

I agree with Maria: having children will make you more focused during the hours available for work. Having the kids helped me a lot to organize my working time better. Before having kids, I had worked when I felt like it, even ten-fourteen hours a day regularly. If deadline permitted, I could always leave some or even a lot of work for the evenings.
With kids around, that's no longer the case and I'm very happy for this. I work during what society defines as usual working hours, the evenings are free for reading and relaxing after a hard day's work. Although I've always been a nightowl, which I can no longer afford to be, I feel much-much better mentally.


 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:59
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
A lot Jan 18, 2017

At the moment I estimate my productivity is approximately halved by having children around, as my time is divided 50/50 between work and children. I work flat-out during school hours (as long as there are no school concerts, sports matches, dentist appointments or children at home sick), but evenings, weekends and school holidays are a difficult balancing act.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
A lot Jan 18, 2017

I suppose they really mean younger children. However, my "child" is now in her thirties and no hassle whatsoevericon_smile.gif

 

Edwige Thomas  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:59
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Gender gap Jan 18, 2017

Interesting. Only women react to this poll. I don't think the only reason is their large representation in our industry...

 

Linda Ildevert  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:59
Member (2004)
French to English
A lot! Jan 18, 2017

Especially when they are small but, now my girls are teenagers, I spend a lot of time driving them around rather than working...

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:59
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Technically... Jan 18, 2017

tomtom88 wrote:

Interesting. Only women react to this poll. I don't think the only reason is their large representation in our industry...


I am a male, so I can't "have children". My wives (one at a time! - I don't have a harem) had them, breastfed them, etc. The way this question is phrased seems related to pregnancy, delivery and early care.

Children don't last forever as such, unless a couple can't stop making more of'em. It seems that they were born yesterday, but my children are aged 37, 33, and 15, plus a stepson who is 28. I'd reckon that grandchildren might impair a translator's productivity, since they usually don't live under the same roof. Their visit is always a major event, and they demand full attention.


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:59
Member (2006)
German to English
Not at all Jan 18, 2017

Edith van der Have-Raats wrote:

... perhaps they are sperm donors?icon_wink.gif


Why should they affect me? If this is concerning work hours, we are self-employed, we do what we want as long as the work is done.
If I have to look after the children in the afternoon until my wife comes home from work then this is all planned.


 
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