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Poll: Do you think that raising kids can be an obstacle to succeeding as a freelance translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:17
SITE STAFF
May 21, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think that raising kids can be an obstacle to succeeding as a freelance translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by m.phili. View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes May 21, 2017

From experience, my colleagues who are still in the process of rasing their offspring are often unable to commit to "urgent" jobs with shorter deadlines - which is about 80% of any work I might be able to pass their way. The situation is even worse for single parents.

 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:17
Member (2006)
German to English
Nope, but then and again, we do not have baby goats;-) May 21, 2017

But raising the children is no problem at all. My wife has a "normal" job but we always duscus the working time stuff and have never had any problems with any "extra" work that may come in for me, or her fora matter of fact.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:17
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends on the circumstances! May 21, 2017

I’m a single parent of three kids, but when I started freelancing (at first part-time) they were not small kids anymore (my youngest was 10) and they all knew what my work meant for all of us as a family. Still remember my eldest son whispering, sometimes even shouting, to his sisters: “Please be quiet, Mummy is working…”. Anyway, it wasn't easy, but I did it!

P.S. I also had a lot of help from my mother!


 

Ana Vozone  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:17
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Absolutely not (well, not for me, anyway)! May 21, 2017

I became a part-time freelance translator in 1974, full-time in 1979, and my aim had always been to become "my own boss" and manage my time as I pleased. I always wanted to be a "stay at home Mom" and when my first child was born I did exactly that. I had to accept a job as an in-house translator for a short while when we moved back from a period in the Algarve, but quickly became a freelance translator again. I then had my second child, and I can say that raising my children was never an obstacle to my career. I enjoyed the combination immenselyicon_wink.gif

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:17
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I wouldn't know May 21, 2017

Michael Harris wrote:

Nope, but then and again, we do not have baby goats;-)


Just what I was going to say...

Children can be an obstacle to any career. My son had flown the nest before I started freelancing, and I actually work in what used to be his bedroom, but I wish I had been able to start while he was young.
With flexible hours and less commuting, I might have been a better mother and just as good a translator.

However, children are tough, as the old nurse told me in the maternity ward after he was born...


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:17
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other - define "succeeding" May 21, 2017

I didn't have children, but I'm sure it depends on your goals.

 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:17
Member (2008)
English to Italian
other May 21, 2017

I do not know what success mean in this case, anyway...

I have two kids, and my wife works from 9 to 5, so I take care of them during their homework time (after lunch) and usually I am the one who drives them to their activities in the afternoon.

I work from 6 am to 8/9 pm, or better, I try, and during these horse I try to put all they need.
Success? My success is that I thanks to my job I can rent this place, and do stuff with my family.


 

Martha Schwan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:17
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Sacrifice to raise a kid May 21, 2017

In my opinion that is a big obstacle, as I took years raising a child (not working) and now I am not respected or valued as a mother.

 

Tommaso Martelli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:17
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
Superb idea of success! Thumbs up Gianluca! May 21, 2017

Gianluca Marras wrote:

Success? My success is that I thanks to my job I can rent this place, and do stuff with my family.


Totally agree with you Gianluca! If you love your family that's the best success you can pursue. And your kids will love you for this.
They couldn't care less how successful as a translator (or physician, or lawyer, or street cleaner) you are, if you do not spend time and have fun with them.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:17
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Balance May 21, 2017

Balance is always possible. I raised three kids, and it did not hinder my career. It did take a bit longer and I had to slow things down when they were small, but if you consider the word used (obstacle), it's too heavy, as it would imply a stop in the career, which is certainly not the case. Both my wife and I worked regularly with three kids at home.

[Edited at 2017-05-21 15:31 GMT]


 

ikeda45  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:17
Member (2007)
English to Japanese
Other May 21, 2017

I have no kids and am not interested in having kids at all, but I would despise myself if I ever think them as an obstacle to my career or anything in my life.

 

Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:17
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Agree with Muriel May 21, 2017

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I didn't have children, but I'm sure it depends on your goals.


Define success! I do have children, and didn't send them to boarding school, so they have delivered their share of joy and anxiety, inspiration and exhaustion. Clearly, if you have been up all night with a child who's ill, you are not going to be as productive as you usually are the next day. In a child's first -6-8 years of life, you can expect an onslaught of viruses and childhood diseases that certainly will impact your productivity, both the first time around when you lose sleep, and then when the same viruses attack you... And then there's adolescence with a different set of challenges.

So economically speaking, there was a definite reduction of my success for quite a few years.

However, as far as my abilities as a translator, I believe they may have improved, because few things stretches your imagination and opens your mind quite in the same way having kids does.




[Edited at 2017-05-21 18:42 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-05-21 19:23 GMT]


 

Juan Pagola  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 23:17
English to Spanish
+ ...
Havig kids does matter May 21, 2017

I have kids and, and of course, they do take up time that could otherwise be used to translate, so you're less productive. Add a disturbing atmosphere, and you're on your way to be even less productive. Take it from me, I've been translating for over 12 years, and my single days were by far the most productive of my career.

[Edited at 2017-05-21 19:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-05-21 19:14 GMT]


 

maryblack  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:17
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
children "get in the way" of any career May 21, 2017

Still, I was able to be a single stay-at-home mom, raising my daughter very hands-on, bringing her home for the two-hour Spanish lunchtime several days a week. Freelance translating was an outstanding choice that made my (single-)parenting infinitely easier and made me a much better, more attentive mother, despite the fact that my daughter had to learn when mama was working!

 
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