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Thread: How do you have it all?

  1. #21
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: How do you have it all?

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    TBH, I found the idea of an extended maternity leave to be a bit superfluous--I'd rather have toddler leave...or just more time off or reduced hours until they start school. After the first 6-8 weeks (for body healing purposes), babies are really pretty easy until they start crawling.
    Yeah, but you get a total of a year here (14 months if you're a single parent or the husband takes at least 2 months of his available leave), and you can organize it however you want. That means that you can take part time leave for a longer period of time, and all that jazz. Women only get 14 weeks of full-paid leave and after that, the couple can split the partly-paid leave however they want as long as the person claiming the benefit doesn't work more than 30 hours per week. You can also take an additional 2 years of unpaid leave after that, if you want. Although it's unpaid, parents who have young children who stay at home are entitled to a care-givers benefit from the state.

    We're moving towards a state-supported daycare program for kids who aren't in school yet. Technically, every child older than 12 months old has a right to a spot in a daycare. The cost of a state-funded can be as low as 70 Euros per month, but cost and access to these daycare facilities depends on the area. Parents also get a tax break for children to help offset childcare and rearing costs, and get a child allowance of around 180 Euros per month per child until the child turns 18 (you get more for your third and fourth children, too).

    Germany has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, so they're really, really trying to get people to have babies. Women sort of shunned the idea for a long time, because for a long time, women were still socially expected to give up their jobs when they had kids, and most of the childcare responsibilities got shifted to the mother. Now, things are changing, slowly. Germany is trying to get fathers more actively involved in childcare, and trying to ease some of the burden that families have while raising kids. I don't think we're "there" yet, and some of the reforms will probably take decades to really work their way into society (like the majority of fathers taking leave), but I think we're taking the right direction. I think having kids here still involves a lot of compromise, but from reading this entire thread, I think it's a LOT easier here than it is in other countries.

    Basically, there's a really big reason I'm reluctant to leave this country while we're planning on having a family. The benefits given to families here are amazing and it's really hard to find countries that offer as much.

  2. #22
    Silver Member iris's Avatar
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    Re: How do you have it all?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanieMarie View Post
    Yeah, but you get a total of a year here (14 months if you're a single parent or the husband takes at least 2 months of his available leave), and you can organize it however you want. That means that you can take part time leave for a longer period of time, and all that jazz. Women only get 14 weeks of full-paid leave and after that, the couple can split the partly-paid leave however they want as long as the person claiming the benefit doesn't work more than 30 hours per week. You can also take an additional 2 years of unpaid leave after that, if you want. Although it's unpaid, parents who have young children who stay at home are entitled to a care-givers benefit from the state.

    We're moving towards a state-supported daycare program for kids who aren't in school yet. Technically, every child older than 12 months old has a right to a spot in a daycare. The cost of a state-funded can be as low as 70 Euros per month, but cost and access to these daycare facilities depends on the area. Parents also get a tax break for children to help offset childcare and rearing costs, and get a child allowance of around 180 Euros per month per child until the child turns 18 (you get more for your third and fourth children, too).

    Germany has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, so they're really, really trying to get people to have babies. Women sort of shunned the idea for a long time, because for a long time, women were still socially expected to give up their jobs when they had kids, and most of the childcare responsibilities got shifted to the mother. Now, things are changing, slowly. Germany is trying to get fathers more actively involved in childcare, and trying to ease some of the burden that families have while raising kids. I don't think we're "there" yet, and some of the reforms will probably take decades to really work their way into society (like the majority of fathers taking leave), but I think we're taking the right direction. I think having kids here still involves a lot of compromise, but from reading this entire thread, I think it's a LOT easier here than it is in other countries.

    Basically, there's a really big reason I'm reluctant to leave this country while we're planning on having a family. The benefits given to families here are amazing and it's really hard to find countries that offer as much.
    Our system works much the same, though I don't know if the maternity leave can be split with part time work.... I don't think it can. But we do have state funded daycare, and it works quite well. Until about age 3 they're in smaller institutions or private homes, and then they move to kindergarden... I have to look in to how our maternity leave works, because germany sounds pretty awesome.
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  3. #23
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: How do you have it all?

    Quote Originally Posted by iris View Post
    Our system works much the same, though I don't know if the maternity leave can be split with part time work.... I don't think it can. But we do have state funded daycare, and it works quite well. Until about age 3 they're in smaller institutions or private homes, and then they move to kindergarden... I have to look in to how our maternity leave works, because germany sounds pretty awesome.
    I'm not sure either, and to be honest, I don't know exactly how it works here other than the fact that you can't work more than 30 hours per week. I think they wanted to encourage people (especially women) who didn't want to take a year of full-time leave to have kids.

    I think Denmark's system is pretty awesome too, though. Denmark is on our "green list" of places we'd move after my boyfriend finishes school (it's a really short list that basically includes Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands haha).

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    Bronze Member Munin-Hugin's Avatar
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    Re: How do you have it all?

    This thread has been on my mind this morning. I don't think that you can, in fact, have it all. At least, not fully. It's not having it "all", it's about having "enough". It's about reaching that point where you can be contented with what you have. It's a problem that you see every day in the news, in the car next to you. People want more and more, not because they need it, but just to have it. Learn to love what you need, what you already have, and you'll find that you don't want much else.

  5. #25
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: How do you have it all?

    What if all you want is enough? Like, I actually don't want more than I have. I'd like to move to a house when we have kids, but based on real estate prices in the city (where I currently live) vs. the areas of Brandenburg surrounding Berlin, that's a totally doable thing. I don't want a car, or different stuff, or more things, or more travel. I'm happy with what we have now. When we have kids, I'm sure there will be some compromises in terms of career, travel, friends, and other things, but I don't really feel like having "enough" is any less desirable than having it "all." We already have it all. When we have kids, we'll still have it all, but in a different way, because we'll have less of some things (time with friends, time/money to travel) and more of others (family).

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    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: How do you have it all?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanieMarie View Post
    What if all you want is enough? Like, I actually don't want more than I have. I'd like to move to a house when we have kids, but based on real estate prices in the city (where I currently live) vs. the areas of Brandenburg surrounding Berlin, that's a totally doable thing. I don't want a car, or different stuff, or more things, or more travel. I'm happy with what we have now. When we have kids, I'm sure there will be some compromises in terms of career, travel, friends, and other things, but I don't really feel like having "enough" is any less desirable than having it "all." We already have it all. When we have kids, we'll still have it all, but in a different way, because we'll have less of some things (time with friends, time/money to travel) and more of others (family).
    This is my feeling. Well, most of the time. I go through phases, usually when I'm feeling depressed anyway, when I get frustrated at my lot. Most of the time though, I feel glad that I've at least gotten this far. I'm comfortable, well fed, warm.. able to keep my mum off the streets, and I'm well-loved (I'd argue it's not deserved, but I've managed to find a few folk mad enough to love me.. not least of all that silly old JP!). I will allow my wants to change as and when my financial situation changes. What I consider necessary for a good life, being dependant on what I can afford. That way, should we ever be wealthy enough to give a child a good life, I may well change my opinion on having children. Right now though, JP and my special little fur baby, are all the family I need... And I'll continue to justify that choice with my rants about population growth and child poverty..
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  7. #27
    Supporter kalynraye's Avatar
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    Re: How do you have it all?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanieMarie View Post
    What if all you want is enough? Like, I actually don't want more than I have. I'd like to move to a house when we have kids, but based on real estate prices in the city (where I currently live) vs. the areas of Brandenburg surrounding Berlin, that's a totally doable thing. I don't want a car, or different stuff, or more things, or more travel. I'm happy with what we have now. When we have kids, I'm sure there will be some compromises in terms of career, travel, friends, and other things, but I don't really feel like having "enough" is any less desirable than having it "all." We already have it all. When we have kids, we'll still have it all, but in a different way, because we'll have less of some things (time with friends, time/money to travel) and more of others (family).
    I agree. I am not looking for more just a way to balance it out. Like I have stated previously I love my job and what I do. I am more then happy with what I own, and I love the life that my husband and I have made. There are days when life isn't perfect, when I am completely stressed out but those days are few and far between.

    I know my "having it all" are doable, men and women do it everyday. They make adjustments and changes and yes even sacrifices on a regular basis. And that's what I wanted to know. How do you manage to "have it all"? This all being your life. How do YOU and your family manage? How do you make it work? I see stay at home at home mom bloggers on a regular basis showing off their crafts and the fun things they do with their children. You can read about what they give up to do that and that is awesome. But what I want to see are those moms/dads who work 40 hours+ a week, that still make time for their kids and spouse.

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    Probably relevent to this conversation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/0...n_7645988.html
    Yes to this. I think about this a lot actually. Another position has opened up and I want that promotion but we have also talked about possibly coming off birth control in September. I am applying for it regardless but the thought of getting it makes me wonder if I should come off my birth control. It makes me wonder if they will doubt my ability. Its nice to see that there women out there who face similar problems (I know they do but reading it is nice)
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  8. #28
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: How do you have it all?

    I get where you're coming from now. It sort of seemed like more of an "is it possible" kind of question.

    We don't have kids, but we are in a long-distance relationship, which involves a lot of planning and compromise. So right now, my life is more about work and "together time" than it is about friends. We make time to talk every night. I usually call him before I go to bed, but sometimes I leave Skype on so he can call me (I'd leave it on all the time, but my computer tends to turn itself off after a while and I usually forget). We schedule visits every couple of weeks or so.

    I freelance, which means that I can work when I want, where I want. That might sound easy, but it's actually not. You can easily get into workaholic traps when you freelance, where you feel like you should be working all the time. I try to avoid that, because I tend to burn out after a while. I keep my sanity and health in good shape by setting goals each week and delegating most of my work to "office hours." That being said, there are nice parts to working at home. I don't have to spend time going to and from work, which gives me about an hour or so of extra time per day. It's also a lot easier for me to cook all of my own food, which I have to do because I'm allergic to ready meals (pretty much all of them).

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