Sunday, October 05, 2008

Long parental leave

After quite a bit of soul-searching, I have decided to take all of the paternal/parental leave that the government allocates me. Since I live in Québec, I qualify for the Régime Québécois d'Assurance Parentale, which pretty much means that the government is willing to pay me money to be a full-time dad for a fairly extended period of time. More precisely, the Québec government pays 70% of my salary for 12 weeks, and then 55% of my salary for 25 weeks, for the total of 37 weeks (9 months).

Of course, this means that we'll have to be pretty careful with money, especially with all the baby-related expenses coming up, but we should be able to do it. The birth of your first child is something that you only get to experience once, and I intend to take full advantage of the opportunity that is available to me.

I'll still do the Fedora things, of course. :) In fact, I'm debating whether this would be a good time to do some Sugar/OLPC hacking -- I've been wanting for a while now, but it requires quite a bit of effort and time. The trouble is, I don't actually have one, and I'm not sure I'd be willing to spend $400 to get one.

We'll see -- my wife is not due till late January, so I have some time to consider volunteering opportunities. Now I just have to announce my intentions at work -- and boy, is that going to be interesting. :)


Anonymous said...


If you are serious about wanting to do some OLPC hacking, let me know. We can get you one for free, I'm sure.

joshuadf said...

Congratulations again and glad you live in a country where this is not only possible but supported by society!

Unknown said...

@gregdek Hmm... sure, twist my arm. :) My interest in kids and computing is suddenly becoming very relevant. Seeing as I already know Python pretty well, I think that I should be able to help out quite a bit. Perhaps not in the first couple of months of the leave, but definitely later on.

I'll keep in touch when it gets closer to January. Thanks!

quaid said...

That sounds like a great choice to make. I believe you are right in your feeling about the situation. I get sad when I see people working away the early years of their child's lives. (Honestly, it's one of the reasons I always practiced attachment parenting and now homeschool, to allow my kids to be as close to us and the family as they *want*.)

You may also find that the shift to being at home saves you nearly enough money. After a few months you can get in to cooking a lot from scratch and seriously reduce your food bill. Commuting, lunches out, even stopping by the store to get an electronic treat are greatly reduced. :)