I was at the maths department at the university of Zurich to listen to the results of a piece of work.
I already knew what the discussion would be about, they were to discuss the possibility of a polygon spinning evenly in an ellipse. But I have to admit that frankly, I didn’t understand any of it.
One could ask why I spend my time at a discussion where I don’t really understand what’s going on and what I don’t really want to understand in detail.
The reason is my younger daughter. She was presenting her masters thesis and I couldn’t miss it even if a lot of it wouldn’t make any sense to me. I saw how she flawlessly presented her topic (she is a born teacher) and how she didn’t let herself be intimidated by any of the questions. I was proud, incredibly proud.
With wonder, I think about the time when I carried her around as a toddler, when I told her bed time stories every evening up until her teenage years. How I bought her pets and then had to develop my knowledge on how to provide a comfortable life for the animals. The bad memories linked to illness or accidents have faded and the good ones remain. It seems just like yesterday when she went to kindergarden in her colorful blue dotted dress. Today she stands here, as a young woman with a colorful dress and talks about topics that I can only remotely comprehend.
I just want to say that time flies. It seems like yesterday when she was a kid and now she’s a young adult lady (and mathematically talented).
When my two daughters were still little, when I brought them to day school and afterwards to university I never even had the time to think whether I’d miss anything. I couldn’t have done it any other way. I love my kids and I love all of them to the same extent, even though I didn’t believe that it was possible to love several kids to the same extent. But I couldn’t have stopped working. I also have to be busy in an occupational and entrepreneurial sense.
Without those activities I wouldn’t be happy, if I was not happy, I hardly could be a good mother. There have been many situations where society told me I must be a terrible mother if I don’t want to spend twenty-four hours a day looking after my kids. There have been many years where I was punished financially by the law system for my decision of being a working mom.
For instance, when I had to spend my entire salary on childcare but my salary wasn’t enough to pay the taxes because the child care costs could not be deducted from the taxable base.
For me it was the right decision to have kids and to work and it continues to be true, even if it brought me to the verge of my strength. I bet my kids will want to do the same. I also don’t feel that I have missed anything in my children’s life and in my job it wasn’t my kids that slowed down my development every now and then but only the glass ceiling.
I was at the maths department of the university and listened to my younger daughter’s masters thesis presentation and was very proud, even if I cannot really explain why one can spin a polygon evenly in an ellipse.