Find us on Facebook   WebLab News RSS-Feed
Part-financed by the European Union
(European Regional Development Fund)
South Baltic WebLab - Header Grafic

South Baltic WebLab

From Warnemünde to the USA - Blog

Some more about how to combine being a scientist with enjoying a private life…

03.03.11, 09:01 (comments: 2)

Fortunately I live in Rostock which has the locational advantage that the daycare of little babies is neither a moral nor a practical problem. It´s normal here that a woman has a full-time work and a little baby. Many women around you have the same problems as you and often reassure you when you run into daycare problems.

The most important prerequisite for all these women for going to work full time are cribs with employee-friendly opening times. My crib opens at six o´clock in the morning and closes at six o´clock in the evening ( Each child may attend the crib ten hours daily, giving parents the opportunity to drop off a child, go to work for eight hours and pick up the child in time, encountering at least thirty minutes driving each time. This gives you a lot of flexibility and I feel sorry for my brother and sister in Cologne and Bonn who have to deal with very antiquated daycare institutions!

So when my son was six months old I started to evaluate data again and my son started to go to the crib part time. This was a good timing because he easily gained full confidence in his two earlychildhood educators and till today never started to cry when my husband or I dropped him off. I worked at home, having access via the internet to my data at work. I submitted two articles during my parental leave time but more importantly, I, too, gained full confidence in the daycare system with highly educated early childhood educators here in Rostock. This experience prepared me well for my full-time work later on.

Today I work eight hours per day and have full confidence that my child is happy in the crib without me. In that first half year I also learned that a full-time place in the crib is not enough to handle my work and my child. We additionally depend on my mother-in-law, a choice of three babysitters, and I still have to stay home every time the child is too sick to be taken care of by someone else than its mother or father. Normally my husband drops off our son by bike at half past six or seven in the morning so that I can be in the office at that time. In the afternoon I leave the institute around three o`clock to pick up my son by car at half past three to four.

The consequence is that our working group’s meeting time was changed from the afternoon to the after-lunch time. Furthermore, our equal opportunity commissioner sensitized the different sections’ leaders to move the institute’s seminar to the after-lunch time, too, so that people who have to start early in the morning can listen to the talks as well. All those things make it easier for me to combine both job and private life!

Go back

Add a comment

Comment by Marianne Arndt-Forster | 16.03.11

Thats sounds really great. Unfortunately not every mother is favoured by fortune like Natalie. My experience as the manager of IBZ Guesthouse, where some guest researchers live with their children is that it's really not easy to find an place for your child when you have come to Rostock recently. The waiting lists downtown in Rostock are long and the method of allocation can hardly be understood.

Comment by Natalie Loick-Wilde | 17.03.11

Dear Marianne,

I agree that there is still a lot of improvement necessary in order to guarante rather than to find a suitable daycare solution by chance. The process is still far too complicated for such a basic need and I´m aware that we were very fortunate. However, as far as I know, the situation is worse in many other cities compared to Rostock. But it is still a long way to go. Many institutions solve the problem for guest researchers by buying daycare places in near by kindergardens or even have their own kindergardens. I think some institutions in Rostock do the same. Maybe the University of Rostock will become even more professional and attractive for international research in the future by guaranteeing excelent working conditions for researchers with children. People have the right attituted for this change here, which I think is an important prerequisite. I soon will find out how GATECH in the US  handles this topic.

Best wishes,

Comments are being moderated. It might take up to a day before a comment is authorized.