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So this has been a pain point since before moving to the US. I knew that one of the sacrifices we'd be making is the 52 week mat leave in Vancouver (Canada) versus a measly 16 weeks in California.

My husband and I have been talking about it a lot lately. We're planning on starting our family in about 2 years. When I started working again, I was lucky to get back into the same industry at the same level I'm use to. However, now that I am in a 'nesting' frame of mind... I realize that I want a career or a way to contribute to our family, but it's important that I raise our children. We looked at day care in our area... it'd cost us $3000+ for 2 kids (depending on age). We want to have 2 kids and I have a huge history of twins in our family (my mom is a twin). It's not a confirmed thing that I'd have twins but knowing I'm at an increased probability, we are planning on multiples.

When we bought our home, we made sure that all expenses could be covered on one income. The other persons income would be put in savings or travel etc. We are doing okay right now. Flexibility is a huge thing... the lack of mat leave in the US has really pushed me to think about starting my own business. My husband supports me and believes I should do my own thing because I've done it before and he believes I can rebuild it here. We sometimes laugh that if I were to work a standard 'job' (8-5, 5 days a week) that i'd be working to afford someone else to take care of our kids.

The struggle is real.

So I'm interested to hear what other Canadians have done when it came to having kids after getting married and moving down here.


AOS

2014

July 05 - AOS package sent

July 14 - NOA 1

July 25 - Biometrics Appointment Letter

July 28 - Walk in Biometrics successful

Aug 27 - Request for Expedite on EAD (Job Offer)

Sept 12 - EAD approved and in production

Sept 12 - AP is approved but USCIS status is in 'Post Decision Activity'

Sept 18 - EAD marked as mailed

2015

April 09 - Interview - Delayed due to sealed package from civil surgeon not at local office

May 07 - GC in production

May 18 - GC in hand!!!

2017

Feb 9 - ROC 

Feb 14 - Check Cashed

Feb 16 - NOA 1

Feb 25 - Received Biometrics Appointment

 

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I can understand your frustration with the maternity leave as a friend of mine and his wife who he brought from Canada are having now. When it comes down to the maternity leave, it all depends on how much you make a year. Obviously someone that makes $100,000/ year will not sacrifice that money to stay home to save for daycare cost which is roughly $12,000/year for 1 child. On the other hand if you make $30,000/ year and your spouse makes a decent income, it is much rather better to stay home as mom to take care of your two children.

Currently my friend will have his wife stay home once, he gets promoted. Financial it is much better for them.

So this has been a pain point since before moving to the US. I knew that one of the sacrifices we'd be making is the 52 week mat leave in Vancouver (Canada) versus a measly 16 weeks in California.

My husband and I have been talking about it a lot lately. We're planning on starting our family in about 2 years. When I started working again, I was lucky to get back into the same industry at the same level I'm use to. However, now that I am in a 'nesting' frame of mind... I realize that I want a career or a way to contribute to our family, but it's important that I raise our children. We looked at day care in our area... it'd cost us $3000+ for 2 kids (depending on age). We want to have 2 kids and I have a huge history of twins in our family (my mom is a twin). It's not a confirmed thing that I'd have twins but knowing I'm at an increased probability, we are planning on multiples.

When we bought our home, we made sure that all expenses could be covered on one income. The other persons income would be put in savings or travel etc. We are doing okay right now. Flexibility is a huge thing... the lack of mat leave in the US has really pushed me to think about starting my own business. My husband supports me and believes I should do my own thing because I've done it before and he believes I can rebuild it here. We sometimes laugh that if I were to work a standard 'job' (8-5, 5 days a week) that i'd be working to afford someone else to take care of our kids.

The struggle is real.

So I'm interested to hear what other Canadians have done when it came to having kids after getting married and moving down here.

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Obviously someone that makes $100,000/ year will not sacrifice that money to stay home to save for daycare cost which is roughly $12,000/year for 1 child.

Not necessarily.

Two weeks ago, one of my directors submitted her resignation after discovering she is pregnant with her second child. She decided that staying home with her 1yo and going through this pregnancy without the pressures of her job were a priority for her. She indicated she may restart her career in five years or so.

Her job paid her approximately 175k per annum, so it isn't always about the money. Money comes and goes. Very difficult to recoup lost time with a child.

Edited by novedsac

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I agree, not all the time. But I can guarantee you that more people send their kids to daycare than stay home. The daycare industry is booming, and every family different place different things on their needs. I know families that both parent work and send their kids to day not because they can afford but it is the means of survival,. If one spouse stays home, although no day care cost. They will be living pay check to pay check. With no absolutely extra money to buy food etc. To some people is a means of survival.

Not necessarily.

Two weeks ago, one of my directors submitted her resignation after discovering she is pregnant with her second child. She decided that staying home with her 1yo and going through this pregnancy without the pressures of her job were a priority for her. She indicated she may restart her career in five years or so.

Her job paid her approximately 175k per annum, so it isn't always about the money. Money comes and goes. Very difficult to recoup lost time with a child.

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When I moved down on a K1 visa I couldn't work anyway (due to both needing my EAD permit and also having some health issues) so we had everything worked out to live fine with my husband's income. I ended up pregnant almost immediately after our wedding so by the time I had permission to work I was visibly pregnant and didn't think it was worth it to try to get a low paying job for a few months. Right now I'm at home with our 19 month old and we're expecting #2 in July. The reality is that daycare costs in Washington are so expensive I would barely make more money than to pay for daycare if that for 2 kids after taxes etc etc. We also value having someone at home with them especially while young. So in the end for us it was a combination of planning finances and preference. We wanted to make it work. I would rather stay home than leave them in daycare and maybe make a few dollars a month after costs. Works for us! May work differently for you. I think a lot depends on how expensive your local area is. The rates here shocked me.


VeeNDee

April 23, 2013 - AOS interview - Approved!

January 26, 2015 - Mailed off ROC Application

June 30, 2015 - 10 year greencard in hand

January 25, 2016 - N400 Application Mailed

May 11, 2016 - Citizenship Interview + same-day Oath ceremony!

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Nothing helpful to add, I am past having kids (3 now in their 20's), but I can see the struggle and feel so bad seeing coworkers coming back to work sometimes as early as 6 weeks. I cannot imagine because I had baby-brain/mommy brain and couldn't focus on much else. At 6 weeks I considered it a successful day if I showered and had semi-real clothes on much less getting ready for work dropping a newborn off at daycare (perish the thought).

Working from home seems like a good option for some (I am in IT so it can be done), but its not overly professional if your child is home while you're working and can be heard in the background of calls).

Good luck - I hope this thread continues with some good ideas


Wiz(USC) and Udella(Cdn & USC!)

Naturalization

02/22/11 - Filed

02/28/11 - NOA

03/28/11 - FP

06/17/11 - status change - scheduled for interview

06/20?/11 - received physical interview letter

07/13/11 - Interview in Fairfax,VA - easiest 10 minutes of my life

07/19/11 - Oath ceremony in Fairfax, VA

******************

Removal of Conditions

12/1/09 - received at VSC

12/2/09 - NOA's for self and daughter

01/12/10 - Biometrics completed

03/15/10 - 10 Green Card Received - self and daughter

******************

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I can understand your frustration with the maternity leave as a friend of mine and his wife who he brought from Canada are having now. When it comes down to the maternity leave, it all depends on how much you make a year. Obviously someone that makes $100,000/ year will not sacrifice that money to stay home to save for daycare cost which is roughly $12,000/year for 1 child. On the other hand if you make $30,000/ year and your spouse makes a decent income, it is much rather better to stay home as mom to take care of your two children.

Currently my friend will have his wife stay home once, he gets promoted. Financial it is much better for them.

Not necessarily.

Two weeks ago, one of my directors submitted her resignation after discovering she is pregnant with her second child. She decided that staying home with her 1yo and going through this pregnancy without the pressures of her job were a priority for her. She indicated she may restart her career in five years or so.

Her job paid her approximately 175k per annum, so it isn't always about the money. Money comes and goes. Very difficult to recoup lost time with a child.

This is where I am at. I have a really good job and so does my husband. We can get by on his income alone... but I do want to contribute. I may not be bringing in my $90k in salary with health insurance but I am okay working PT (preferably in my own business) bringing in ... $50k/annually (just saying).

Like Novedsac mentioned, it's not really about the money (though I have always been really independent so it's hard to step away from it) but planning for the flexibility that you want. As the mother, I am the one who has moved and my parents are back in Canada. And as much as I appreciate my in-law's help, my SIL kind of abuses that already with her two kids. My in-laws will always want to help (my mother in law is semi retired) but I want to be the one who raises my kids.

The thing with Canada is that you can take mat leave for 52 weeks... so you have the time to adjust and then see what comfort levels you're okay with. After a year, if you want to go back, then it's your choice and you are somewhat protected. Here, they give you weeks and it's like you give birth, try and be a first time mom, and then before you know it... back to work. I don't think I can do that in 16 weeks.

Working is never the problem. I enjoy it and want to work. But I want the flexibility. It currently takes me over an hour to get to and from the office. I do get days where I can work remotely, but it's not always an option. It's usually never an option. So I'll be missing my kids from 7am - 6-7pm every day, if I continue where I am right now.

I guess it's more than a mat-leave conversation... but a 'entering parenthood options' conversation. The short mat leave doesn't give much time for parents to adjust, let alone think of their options. I guess i'm luckier with planning 2 years ahead... but I still have this feeling of being stuck with little options.

When I moved down on a K1 visa I couldn't work anyway (due to both needing my EAD permit and also having some health issues) so we had everything worked out to live fine with my husband's income. I ended up pregnant almost immediately after our wedding so by the time I had permission to work I was visibly pregnant and didn't think it was worth it to try to get a low paying job for a few months. Right now I'm at home with our 19 month old and we're expecting #2 in July. The reality is that daycare costs in Washington are so expensive I would barely make more money than to pay for daycare if that for 2 kids after taxes etc etc. We also value having someone at home with them especially while young. So in the end for us it was a combination of planning finances and preference. We wanted to make it work. I would rather stay home than leave them in daycare and maybe make a few dollars a month after costs. Works for us! May work differently for you. I think a lot depends on how expensive your local area is. The rates here shocked me.

We live in Orange County, so it's pretty pricy. Living off my husbands salary will be comfortable but a bit tight. We would be giving up a lot of extra's like vacations, etc. and I want our kids to travel. I traveled with my family as a child and it was the best thing they did for me.


AOS

2014

July 05 - AOS package sent

July 14 - NOA 1

July 25 - Biometrics Appointment Letter

July 28 - Walk in Biometrics successful

Aug 27 - Request for Expedite on EAD (Job Offer)

Sept 12 - EAD approved and in production

Sept 12 - AP is approved but USCIS status is in 'Post Decision Activity'

Sept 18 - EAD marked as mailed

2015

April 09 - Interview - Delayed due to sealed package from civil surgeon not at local office

May 07 - GC in production

May 18 - GC in hand!!!

2017

Feb 9 - ROC 

Feb 14 - Check Cashed

Feb 16 - NOA 1

Feb 25 - Received Biometrics Appointment

 

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Would your job allow you to come back part-time for the rest of the year or permanently? Many moms I know do this, so it's worth asking. And then once number 2 comes along, some become SAHMs, others do part-time, others go back to full time. Would starting your own business really be less time-consuming?

In home daycares or having your child watched by a stay at home mom is usually much cheaper. If it makes you feel better, I'm pretty sure daycare would cost the same in Vancouver.

And FWIW, there can be lot of judging in the SAHM world in Vancouver, so at least you're missing out on that part. :)


K1 Vancouver

AOS

4/4/15- AOS/EAD/AP sent

4/6/15- Package received

4/9/15- NOA1- text/email

4/13/15- NOA1 hard copy EAD/AP (NOA1 dated 4/7)

4/14/15- NOA1 hard copy AOS (NOA1 dated 4/7)

4/17/15- Biometrics Letter received

4/29/15- Biometrics completed

6/23/15 (Day 77)- Service request

7/2/15 (Day 86)- Service request complete, email of approval of EAD (approved on June 30)

12/29/15- Interview

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The Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 months unpaid leave, job-protected leave for qualifying medical and family matters. I'm not sure if there are conditions like having worked been employed for minimum length of time, etc. But something which may be of interest to some looking for an extended break from work to spend with their newborn but also expecting to remain in the workplace.

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Would your job allow you to come back part-time for the rest of the year or permanently? Many moms I know do this, so it's worth asking. And then once number 2 comes along, some become SAHMs, others do part-time, others go back to full time. Would starting your own business really be less time-consuming?

In home daycares or having your child watched by a stay at home mom is usually much cheaper. If it makes you feel better, I'm pretty sure daycare would cost the same in Vancouver.

And FWIW, there can be lot of judging in the SAHM world in Vancouver, so at least you're missing out on that part. :)

I wouldn't be able to go back part-time. The job I do has a lot of overtime. If I were to go back PT, they'd need someone else. So they'd have to look at hiring someone to balance me out, which probably wouldn't make fiscal sense to them.

Starting my own business and running it for the next few years will likely take more time. I feel that's why I have to make that decision and take that risk now... I have 2 years to build it and when I do have kids, I could hire an assistant or entry level person in my field, to help me with the day to day.

Oh I know. I was born and raised in Vancouver. Worked practically full-time after graduating high school and bought my first apartment when I was 21. Changing gears is really really new to me... and very weird. Ask me a year ago and I'd tell you i'd always be a corporate mom. I had great traction in my career. Now I'm outweighing that because a nice title, cushy office, and salary is not worth the sacrifice of not watching my kids grow up. I see women in my office cry because they miss all the "firsts". First words, steps... It's tough!

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 months unpaid leave, job-protected leave for qualifying medical and family matters. I'm not sure if there are conditions like having worked been employed for minimum length of time, etc. But something which may be of interest to some looking for an extended break from work to spend with their newborn but also expecting to remain in the workplace.

I will definitely look at that!


AOS

2014

July 05 - AOS package sent

July 14 - NOA 1

July 25 - Biometrics Appointment Letter

July 28 - Walk in Biometrics successful

Aug 27 - Request for Expedite on EAD (Job Offer)

Sept 12 - EAD approved and in production

Sept 12 - AP is approved but USCIS status is in 'Post Decision Activity'

Sept 18 - EAD marked as mailed

2015

April 09 - Interview - Delayed due to sealed package from civil surgeon not at local office

May 07 - GC in production

May 18 - GC in hand!!!

2017

Feb 9 - ROC 

Feb 14 - Check Cashed

Feb 16 - NOA 1

Feb 25 - Received Biometrics Appointment

 

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I wish I brought 50k to the table annually. Whatever you do as a home business... sign me the heck up!


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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This just in: http://www.theonion.com/video/report-many-companies-now-offering-women-permanent-37140

More seriously, I hear you. I am in a similar situtation. Average cost of daycare in Mass is 19K, so even with a good income, it is a big chunk of money - and I feel that under 2 years old, there is nothing better than mom/dad or immediate family. Deal is that husband tops my Roth IRA + savings while I am off... which is nothing like Quebec parental leave, but better than a big zero.

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I wish I brought 50k to the table annually. Whatever you do as a home business... sign me the heck up!

NLR, you are great at writing, helping others, doing research for others here on VJ. You are generous of your time and conscientious about the information you give. You can find a well paid position.

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To the OP:

Read the FMLA rules carefully - I do believe it is 12 weeks within 12 months (not 12 months of unpaid leave) so verify that - and remember it is UNPAID LEAVE. Start planning now because the qualifying rules are sticky too.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires larger employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to employees

When do I qualify for FMLA leave?

Employees qualify for FMLA leave if they work for a company with more than 50 employees working within 75 miles of their workplace. Federal, state, and local government workers also qualify.

Employees must have worked at that company for at least 12 months. They also must work at least 1,250 hours during the previous year.

Several links:

Department of Labor - straight from the horse's mouth:

http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/

also helpful:

http://fmlaonline.com/fmla-pregnancy/

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 months unpaid leave, job-protected leave for qualifying medical and family matters. I'm not sure if there are conditions like having worked been employed for minimum length of time, etc. But something which may be of interest to some looking for an extended break from work to spend with their newborn but also expecting to remain in the workplace.


Wiz(USC) and Udella(Cdn & USC!)

Naturalization

02/22/11 - Filed

02/28/11 - NOA

03/28/11 - FP

06/17/11 - status change - scheduled for interview

06/20?/11 - received physical interview letter

07/13/11 - Interview in Fairfax,VA - easiest 10 minutes of my life

07/19/11 - Oath ceremony in Fairfax, VA

******************

Removal of Conditions

12/1/09 - received at VSC

12/2/09 - NOA's for self and daughter

01/12/10 - Biometrics completed

03/15/10 - 10 Green Card Received - self and daughter

******************

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We live in Orange County, so it's pretty pricy. Living off my husbands salary will be comfortable but a bit tight. We would be giving up a lot of extra's like vacations, etc. and I want our kids to travel. I traveled with my family as a child and it was the best thing they did for me.

On the topic of vacations, we tried to take a quick 2 night trip to a local island with our daughter when she was about 11 months. It was a disaster we do not wish to repeat anytime soon haha. The crib the hotel had was not familiar to her and she would not sleep in it. She would only sleep in bed with us, except she kept trying to roll off the sides and we never slept like that before so I was basically awake all night putting her back to sleep over and over and making sure she was okay. The drive there and back was full of way too much crying - took us about 5 hours for a 3 hour drive due to having to stop. Naps - you could forget about those. Long story short we cut the trip off a day early and just went home. We've sworn off 'vacations' until the youngest (whoever that ends up being) is at least 3 (aka not needing naps and sleeps through the night) so it'll be awhile! That doesn't include family trips of course but while I love travelling and have in the past, I'm okay with waiting till they are older anyway.

Now my brother and sister in law on the other hand have gone on multiple trips with their 3 and 1 year old already, including a 24 hour drive with a rest in the middle. Some kids are just better travelers so maybe you'll luck out! Or maybe they are okay with the frustrations and value the trip more than the inconveniences.

We're not too worried - I don't really remember anything before age 5 anyway. Hopefully we can go camping - cheaper and some of my favourite memories growing up too. And maybe a big trip to Disneyland someday. We can dream! :D

Anyway, I know this comment is kind of derailing the topic but just rambling about kids and vacations!


VeeNDee

April 23, 2013 - AOS interview - Approved!

January 26, 2015 - Mailed off ROC Application

June 30, 2015 - 10 year greencard in hand

January 25, 2016 - N400 Application Mailed

May 11, 2016 - Citizenship Interview + same-day Oath ceremony!

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