One of those days… the school is closed today due to a planning day, and suddenly the kids follow half a day to the office. I appreciate their company, but don’t expect that you get anything done! So, they do some drawings and we are listening to Samir & Viktor while I try to write this text.
This morning, I promised them to visit my office and to make a session at the microscope to have a look at plankton. No, no, I am not one of those nerdy scientist-parents that try to introduce the kids to natural sciences at early age. The shark book by Sarah Sheppard that my kids received as a gift for Christmas a few years ago did the job much better than I do – so, they really ASKED to have a look at plankton!
Is it possible to balance work and family life as a scientist? I have eight years of personal experience, and had to learn a few things:
(1) Kids decrease the number of hours you spend in the office, but increase your efficiency (“good-enough approach”).
(2) You have to learn to say no (I am still can improve there).
(3) In case your parents live abroad, it is a tremendous advantage to have parents-in-law nearby which are willing to sort out some impossible days.
(4) And, let’s face it: your scientific output will – at least temporarily – decrease.
Any reason to complain? No. After all, also the life as a scientist is all about choices… Let’s go for ice-cream now!