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Holly2234

Working when you have children

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My husband (the USC) and i will be moving back to New York State when the long wait for the visa is over. He has a job lined up to go to already but i really want to work too. We have a daughter who is 15 months old. I wanted to work 2 to 4 days a week. Nothing major, just something to keep me sane and meet new people. Does anybody have experience of how daycares work and how much they cost? We would also like to have another baby after we get settled and have insurance. I understand the maternity benefits dont last very long and i feel slightly uneasy putting a young baby into daycare, probably because its just not what im used to!(My daughter first went at 6 months in the UK) Is that the normal thing to do or do the mothers (or fathers) leave their jobs to take care of the baby while they are young?


CR-1
07-01-2011 : Married

05-10-2012 : I-130 Mailed to London (DCF)
05-11-2012 : I-130 Delivered and signed for at Embassy
05-18-2012 : NOA1 Email
07-26-2012 : NOA2 (69 days)
07-28-2012 : NOA2 hard copy received
08-10-2012 : LND Case number received. Letter dated 08-07-2012
08-15-2012 : DS-230 and DS-2001 mailed to Embassy
08-23-2012 : Medical
09-14-2012 : Emailed Embassy and confirmed DS forms have finally been logged (After 29 days)
09-22-2012 : Interview letter received. Dated September 19th.
10-03-2012 : Interview - Approved!
NOA1 to Interview - 138 days.
10-10-2012 : Passport with Visa delivered two hours late at 8pm.
10-22-2012 : POE Philadelphia
11-15-2012 : Green Card received in mail
12-11-2012 : Went to the Social Security office to apply for SSN after it did not arrive.
12-15-2012 : SSN Arrived in 4 days.

05-09-2013 : Left USC Husband.
11-28-2013: Filed for divorce.

05-01-2014: Divorced

05-08-2014: Sent I-751 petition to VSC

05-13-2014: NOA1 (was not postmarked until 5/22/14 and received on 5/24/14)
06-18-2014: Biometrics in St. Albans, VT

11-21-2014: RFE. Received on 11/24/14.

01-22-2015: Interview notice mailed out. Received 1/26/15

02-12-2015: Interview in St Albans, VT - Approved during interview!

CRBA
08-16-2012 : CRBA in London for our daughter - Approved!
09-11-2012 : CRBA and Passport arrived.
09-25-2012 : SSN Arrived. Mailed from MD on 09-17-2012

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Quality daycare is pretty expensive, if you want to work 2-4 days a week your income would probably be spent entirely on childcare. You can probably google "daycare in ___" the city you live in and get information about the rates and programmes available.

A better option for meeting people would be play groups, and other community activities?

I'm slightly biased since I've stayed home with my son...but I live abroad and work from home so my experience is not yours.


June 2007: Met

Dec 2007: I moved to Mauritius!

February 2008: Nikkah

June 2008: Legal Marriage

September 2008: Our son is born

Living Happily until we decide it's time to move...

July 26 2011: Mail packets with I-130 and I-129F forms to my mother for her to post from the US.

Aug 8 2011: Packet received by Mom

Aug 9 2011: I-130 mailed to Chicago Lockbox

Aug 11 2011: Email recv'd advising I-130 received, case number received

Initial Review Status Sent to California Service Centre

Aug 16 2011: Check cashed

Aug 22, 2011 NOA 1 for I-130 recv'd (hard copy)

Aug 23, 2011 Sent I-129F packet to Texas

Sep 02, 2011 NOA 1 for I-129F recv'd via email (USCIS.gov says they recv'd it on Aug 26, 2011)

Let the waiting begin...

Sep 06, 2011 Touch (adding I-129F to USCIS case tracker online I assume)

March 06, 2012 NOA2 recvd via email for I-129F and I-130 :D (also switched to ir-1)

April 3, 2012: Paid fee for AOS with CEAC...

Took us a while to get civil documents together because I failed to notice that the police certificate needed to be sent in :(

May 18, 2012: Paid IV Bill

Aug 7, 2012 INTERVIEW @ NAIROBI!--APPROVED!!!

Sept 3, 2012 POE @ Minneapolis

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Here in the US my experience with friends having kids is, maternity leave is roughly 3 months. A lot of families can't afford to stop working so they continue to go back to work and have a friend or family member look after their kids. Of my friends that DO have child care 1. got it for free because she was low income (she was a USC though) 2. pays $8 an hour to her babysitters. Some places will offer a discount for having the child there for a certain period but it really depends on your state and then even town.

I completely understand your stress. On the one hand having the ability to get out and make friends will make your adjustment to the US go a lot easier, but on the other side I agree that putting such a young child in day care just seems odd to me too (coming from a country where maternity leave is MUCH longer and we have government support)... but I know here some people have no choice.

There is no "normal thing", it's whatever makes YOU comfortable. Some mothers think the mother should stay home until the kids are in school, some think until they LEAVE school, some think going back to work ASAP is the way to go... You just need to decide where you lie. I always thought I would stay home until the kids were in school, then get a part-time job where I can drop them off at school and pick them up afterwards... whether that is financially viable.. only time will tell.

One thing I learnt from here is this website: www.meetup.com You will be able to find groups in your area that will help you meet new people. I've joined a book club and activities club. I haven't been able to go as much as I would like (it's an hour away) but I'm hoping one day I'll be able to get back into it (money helps of course).

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I'm really wondering how we'll sort this out once Aaron gets here. We'd both like to have kids soon-ish, and I have good maternity benefits and paid leave at 70% for 13 weeks at my job. However, the cost of daycare in this area is completely crippling. I earn a pretty decent salary (plenty for my living expenses and enough left over to save quite a bit) --probably quite a bit more than Aaron is likely to earn immediately upon arrival-- but in talking to coworkers and other people I know with kids, some of the daycares their kids attend would cost my entire take-home pay. There are probably cheaper centers/arrangements elsewhere, and there seem to be some programs to subsidize the cost somewhat, but it's really worrying either way.


Joy (& Aaron, who doesn't read/post here yet)

Dec. 27, 2010: First met each other in Entebbe, Uganda while I was visiting my friend/his cousin (12/27/10-1/10/11)

Jul. 2-9, 2011: I visited again

Dec. 24, 2011- Jan. 9, 2012: I visited again (engaged 1/7/12)

K-1

Feb. 18, 2012: I-129F sent (delivered 2/21 per USPS & USCIS)

Feb. 23, 2012: NOA1 notice date (check cashed/email/text 2/24)

Aug. 9, 2012: NOA2!!! [NOA1 +168 days] (reached NVC 8/17, left NVC 8/20; @embassy 8/24; embassy confirmed receipt 9/5)

Oct. 24 - Nov. 8, 2012: I visited again (Nairobi: medical 10/31; interview 11/5 [NOA1 +256 days]; result--APPROVED!!!!!!!)

Nov. 15, 2012: Visa in hand (was ready for retrieval 11/12)

Nov. 20, 2012: POE, Boston!!!

AOS/EAD/AP

Jan. 12, 2013: Married!

Feb. 4, 2013: AOS packet sent (delivered 2/6, NOA1 text/email & check cashed 2/11 midnight)

Feb. 11, 2013: NOA1 notice date for I-485, EAD, AP (I-485/EAD NOA1 hard copies & biometrics appt letter arrived 2/16, badly mangled AP NOA1 arrived 2/27)

Mar. 4, 2013: Biometrics: done

Apr. 3, 2013: EAD & AP approved (received card 4/11)

Aug. 16, 2013: I-485 approved & green card production ordered!!!! (card arrived 8/26/13) (193 days)

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Thanks everyone. Ive tried googling but its a small town so everything is basically through word of mouth or in the local newspaper so theres not a lot i can do right now. Even if all or most of my pay went on childcare, it is ok for me. I could stay at home if i choose, but its not what i want to do. My daughter is extremely sociable and absolutely loves her daycare and spending time with other children (she only goes one day a week) and i dont want to take that away from her. Plus I very much feel the need to be an independent person for at least a few hours a week!

Its more the second baby that is the part im going to have trouble with. I dont think i will want them to go to daycare by the time any maternity leave i get ends and there is no family who doesnt work themselves to take care of the baby. So waiting to get a job until afterwards may be the best way to go for us or possibly leave my job when the time comes and get back in to work again when im ready whether that be in 6 months or 5 years.

If anybody has any experiences they can share, im sure a lot of us will find it helpful :)


CR-1
07-01-2011 : Married

05-10-2012 : I-130 Mailed to London (DCF)
05-11-2012 : I-130 Delivered and signed for at Embassy
05-18-2012 : NOA1 Email
07-26-2012 : NOA2 (69 days)
07-28-2012 : NOA2 hard copy received
08-10-2012 : LND Case number received. Letter dated 08-07-2012
08-15-2012 : DS-230 and DS-2001 mailed to Embassy
08-23-2012 : Medical
09-14-2012 : Emailed Embassy and confirmed DS forms have finally been logged (After 29 days)
09-22-2012 : Interview letter received. Dated September 19th.
10-03-2012 : Interview - Approved!
NOA1 to Interview - 138 days.
10-10-2012 : Passport with Visa delivered two hours late at 8pm.
10-22-2012 : POE Philadelphia
11-15-2012 : Green Card received in mail
12-11-2012 : Went to the Social Security office to apply for SSN after it did not arrive.
12-15-2012 : SSN Arrived in 4 days.

05-09-2013 : Left USC Husband.
11-28-2013: Filed for divorce.

05-01-2014: Divorced

05-08-2014: Sent I-751 petition to VSC

05-13-2014: NOA1 (was not postmarked until 5/22/14 and received on 5/24/14)
06-18-2014: Biometrics in St. Albans, VT

11-21-2014: RFE. Received on 11/24/14.

01-22-2015: Interview notice mailed out. Received 1/26/15

02-12-2015: Interview in St Albans, VT - Approved during interview!

CRBA
08-16-2012 : CRBA in London for our daughter - Approved!
09-11-2012 : CRBA and Passport arrived.
09-25-2012 : SSN Arrived. Mailed from MD on 09-17-2012

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Look on the local craigslist for ideas what's available in terms of daycare and rates; prices will depend hugely on where you life. A small home-based daycare may suit an infant better (also significantly cheaper), but for toddlers and older I prefer a center based daycare, with lots of other kids to play with.

My main concern with putting small kids (babies) in full time daycare is that they sleep so much at night that you'd hardly see them- I know several kids who became more focused and obedient to the daycare provider than they were for the parents, because they daycare lady/ teacher had them for 9+ hours, whereas the parents only had the kids for 3 hours of awake time a day during the week. Also, most places don;t take kids when they were even slightly sick (run a temp, coughing), so one of the parents would still need to take a lot of time off work, which isn't compatible with most jobs. That being said, I sent my kids to a "mom's day out" program since they were 18 months; it's basically a short day )8am-2pm) once or twice a week. They get socialisation, some academics and kindergarten readiness, and I get a little time to run errands difficult to do with three kids in tow, or even a nap. I've not worked outside the home since the twins were born, but now my youngest (the one in my icon) is 2.5, I am starting to look around.


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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What part time job comes with maternity benefits?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Another option for work is to find something you can do from home.

I work from home managing a news website. It's part-time and paid under a freelance rate so I don't have any benefits of any type. I started working the week I got pregnant and the company agreed to let me have 4 weeks unpaid leave after the birth. I worked until I was in labour - actually for about 4 hours into it.

The benefits are I get to stay at home with my little girl but I am also still working in my field so my CV won't look too empty when I look for full-time work when she is older. The downside is it's really hard to work a shift at the computer while caring for a toddler - it was easier when she was a small baby.

For her socialization (and mine)we joined a few baby and parent groups - found via meetup.com and local word of mouth. This year she will be going to a pre-school class for 2-year-olds for 4 hours a week. We also pick a class or two every quarter to do - swimming / ballet etc to do things with other people.

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Thanks everyone

Penguin, i agree with the centre based childcare. I really like the structure of things and because there are so many children, there are a lot more facilities and activities. That was my first choice when i was choosing childcare over here. Definitely with you on the concern of babies in childcare too much. Thats not something im willing to do, i wouldnt want my child away for long. She goes now from 8am to 2:30pm once a week, sometime she stays a full day until about 5pm (its paid until 6:30 but i pick her up early) it really doesnt feel good because she goes to bed at 6pm! I dont plan on changing bed time until i have to either. Id rather change work time.

Boiler, im not looking for benefits. Its the time off that is allowed while they still keep your job open that is the concern.

Lynne, thats a great idea. I honestly think i would get fired after a week though! My daughter is very active and doesnt nap at all and gets mad if i pick up my laptop! So i dont think its right for us. Definitely great that you can do that though! :thumbs:


CR-1
07-01-2011 : Married

05-10-2012 : I-130 Mailed to London (DCF)
05-11-2012 : I-130 Delivered and signed for at Embassy
05-18-2012 : NOA1 Email
07-26-2012 : NOA2 (69 days)
07-28-2012 : NOA2 hard copy received
08-10-2012 : LND Case number received. Letter dated 08-07-2012
08-15-2012 : DS-230 and DS-2001 mailed to Embassy
08-23-2012 : Medical
09-14-2012 : Emailed Embassy and confirmed DS forms have finally been logged (After 29 days)
09-22-2012 : Interview letter received. Dated September 19th.
10-03-2012 : Interview - Approved!
NOA1 to Interview - 138 days.
10-10-2012 : Passport with Visa delivered two hours late at 8pm.
10-22-2012 : POE Philadelphia
11-15-2012 : Green Card received in mail
12-11-2012 : Went to the Social Security office to apply for SSN after it did not arrive.
12-15-2012 : SSN Arrived in 4 days.

05-09-2013 : Left USC Husband.
11-28-2013: Filed for divorce.

05-01-2014: Divorced

05-08-2014: Sent I-751 petition to VSC

05-13-2014: NOA1 (was not postmarked until 5/22/14 and received on 5/24/14)
06-18-2014: Biometrics in St. Albans, VT

11-21-2014: RFE. Received on 11/24/14.

01-22-2015: Interview notice mailed out. Received 1/26/15

02-12-2015: Interview in St Albans, VT - Approved during interview!

CRBA
08-16-2012 : CRBA in London for our daughter - Approved!
09-11-2012 : CRBA and Passport arrived.
09-25-2012 : SSN Arrived. Mailed from MD on 09-17-2012

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It would be unusual for an Employer to keep open a full time job. Never mind a part time one.

Maybe if you worked for a Government entity?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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I have read about some employers keeping jobs open for 12 weeks. Which would be a good amount of time. If not, i will just have to find another job when i want to go back to work.


CR-1
07-01-2011 : Married

05-10-2012 : I-130 Mailed to London (DCF)
05-11-2012 : I-130 Delivered and signed for at Embassy
05-18-2012 : NOA1 Email
07-26-2012 : NOA2 (69 days)
07-28-2012 : NOA2 hard copy received
08-10-2012 : LND Case number received. Letter dated 08-07-2012
08-15-2012 : DS-230 and DS-2001 mailed to Embassy
08-23-2012 : Medical
09-14-2012 : Emailed Embassy and confirmed DS forms have finally been logged (After 29 days)
09-22-2012 : Interview letter received. Dated September 19th.
10-03-2012 : Interview - Approved!
NOA1 to Interview - 138 days.
10-10-2012 : Passport with Visa delivered two hours late at 8pm.
10-22-2012 : POE Philadelphia
11-15-2012 : Green Card received in mail
12-11-2012 : Went to the Social Security office to apply for SSN after it did not arrive.
12-15-2012 : SSN Arrived in 4 days.

05-09-2013 : Left USC Husband.
11-28-2013: Filed for divorce.

05-01-2014: Divorced

05-08-2014: Sent I-751 petition to VSC

05-13-2014: NOA1 (was not postmarked until 5/22/14 and received on 5/24/14)
06-18-2014: Biometrics in St. Albans, VT

11-21-2014: RFE. Received on 11/24/14.

01-22-2015: Interview notice mailed out. Received 1/26/15

02-12-2015: Interview in St Albans, VT - Approved during interview!

CRBA
08-16-2012 : CRBA in London for our daughter - Approved!
09-11-2012 : CRBA and Passport arrived.
09-25-2012 : SSN Arrived. Mailed from MD on 09-17-2012

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Here in the US my experience with friends having kids is, maternity leave is roughly 3 months. A lot of families can't afford to stop working so they continue to go back to work and have a friend or family member look after their kids. Of my friends that DO have child care 1. got it for free because she was low income (she was a USC though) 2. pays $8 an hour to her babysitters. Some places will offer a discount for having the child there for a certain period but it really depends on your state and then even town.

I completely understand your stress. On the one hand having the ability to get out and make friends will make your adjustment to the US go a lot easier, but on the other side I agree that putting such a young child in day care just seems odd to me too (coming from a country where maternity leave is MUCH longer and we have government support)... but I know here some people have no choice.

There is no "normal thing", it's whatever makes YOU comfortable. Some mothers think the mother should stay home until the kids are in school, some think until they LEAVE school, some think going back to work ASAP is the way to go... You just need to decide where you lie. I always thought I would stay home until the kids were in school, then get a part-time job where I can drop them off at school and pick them up afterwards... whether that is financially viable.. only time will tell.

One thing I learnt from here is this website: www.meetup.com You will be able to find groups in your area that will help you meet new people. I've joined a book club and activities club. I haven't been able to go as much as I would like (it's an hour away) but I'm hoping one day I'll be able to get back into it (money helps of course).

Thanks Vanessa, I just showed my NZ husband this site, this will definitely be useful.


11/13/2011 POE LAX ( My love is finally HOME!)
11/19/2011 Married (6 days)
11/25/2011 Filed Marriage License (6 days)
12/08/2011 Sent AOS Packet ( I-485, I-130, I-797 (13 days)
12/12/2011 NOA ( Packet received) (4 days)
02/16/2012 RFE (70 days)
02/20/2012 Sent Requested Evidence Back (4 days)
02/24/2012 Notice of Receipt of Evidence (4 days)
02/25/2012 Production of EAD/AP Combo Card (1 day)
03/02/2012 Mailed EAD/AP Combo Card (6 days)
03/05/2012 Received EAD/AP Combo Card In Mail (3 days)
03/14/2012 Received Interview Notice for 4/18/2012 (9 days)
04/18/2012 Interview at 10:50 am APPROVED (4 days)
04/18/2012 Notice of Approval for GC (35 days)
04/23/2012 Card in Production email (5 days)
04/24/2012 Card in Mail (1 day)
04/26/2012 GC in hand YAYAYAYA! (2 days)

Removal Of Conditions

02/03/2014 Collect all paperwork for I-751 and over nighted to Vermont Service Center

02/05/2014 Notice of Acceptance Online (2 days)

03/12/2014 Biometrics Appointment ( Went Smooth) (35 days)

05/09/2014 Waiting!!! (58 days)

08/01/2014 I-751 APPROVED ( 142 days)

08/07/2014 Received the approval letter ( 148 days )

Naturalization

11/22/2016 Over nighted N-400 to Lewisville Texas

11/29/2016 Check Cashed!

12/05/2016 NOA

12/20/2016 Biometrics Appointment

01/30/2017 In Line for Interview

04/03/2017 Interview day! Approved (134 Days)

04/07/2017 Received Oath Ceremony Letter (137 days)




Total of 148 days in the ROC process!

Day 137 of Naturalization after starting this whole process 6 years ago.... here we go again.

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I have read about some employers keeping jobs open for 12 weeks. Which would be a good amount of time. If not, i will just have to find another job when i want to go back to work.

12 weeks is on the end of the scale - you'd be lucky to get this with a new employer over here.

When you think that 2 weeks of vacation is often seen as normal over here you will begin to understand just how different the culture is over holidays, taking time off etc.

Attitudes to taking vacation is also different, even when you have the allowance many people feel as though they should not take it over here as it doesn't 'look good' to their bosses.

It's one of the big things I miss about the UK - taking a 2-week holiday to travel abroad is just not that unusual over there.

There's a post in the UK forum with several Mum's in UK/USA couples sharing their experiences of having a baby over here. You might want to ask there for other people's experiences of maternity leave etc over here to gain a wider picture.

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/260120-british-bun-in-the-oven/

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Thanks i will have a read over there :) Yeah ive noticed the holiday times are really reduced! Most places ive worked in the UK give at least 4 weeks paid leave a year. And maternity leave is something like up to 52 weeks! Which i do think is insane and i would be bored out of my tree by then. I went back to work when my daughter was 4 weeks old but my husband was looking after her so it was ok. Is there any limit on how long you have to take off? I know here its 2 weeks before you can return after a natural delivery and 4 weeks after a c-section. He will be at work next time though and there is no more family that doesnt already work. Its looking like my best option is to just leave work and find a new job when im ready which is fine by me :) Thanks for the insight everybody!


CR-1
07-01-2011 : Married

05-10-2012 : I-130 Mailed to London (DCF)
05-11-2012 : I-130 Delivered and signed for at Embassy
05-18-2012 : NOA1 Email
07-26-2012 : NOA2 (69 days)
07-28-2012 : NOA2 hard copy received
08-10-2012 : LND Case number received. Letter dated 08-07-2012
08-15-2012 : DS-230 and DS-2001 mailed to Embassy
08-23-2012 : Medical
09-14-2012 : Emailed Embassy and confirmed DS forms have finally been logged (After 29 days)
09-22-2012 : Interview letter received. Dated September 19th.
10-03-2012 : Interview - Approved!
NOA1 to Interview - 138 days.
10-10-2012 : Passport with Visa delivered two hours late at 8pm.
10-22-2012 : POE Philadelphia
11-15-2012 : Green Card received in mail
12-11-2012 : Went to the Social Security office to apply for SSN after it did not arrive.
12-15-2012 : SSN Arrived in 4 days.

05-09-2013 : Left USC Husband.
11-28-2013: Filed for divorce.

05-01-2014: Divorced

05-08-2014: Sent I-751 petition to VSC

05-13-2014: NOA1 (was not postmarked until 5/22/14 and received on 5/24/14)
06-18-2014: Biometrics in St. Albans, VT

11-21-2014: RFE. Received on 11/24/14.

01-22-2015: Interview notice mailed out. Received 1/26/15

02-12-2015: Interview in St Albans, VT - Approved during interview!

CRBA
08-16-2012 : CRBA in London for our daughter - Approved!
09-11-2012 : CRBA and Passport arrived.
09-25-2012 : SSN Arrived. Mailed from MD on 09-17-2012

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I work full time before in a restaurant of a hotel, but since I went back to work from maternity I work now only during weekends when my husband home where he can watch our baby. I work total of 12 hours in a week lol. Thought better than not working at all and just home. It's hard to find a job right now, so I thought I want to keep my job even just in less hours. Works for me, still making little bit of money and still more time with our baby.


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Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.

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