Stefan makes an admirable stay-at-home daddy, who has even taken on the pretty much futile task of folding my T-shirts and pairing my socks. I meanwhile am back sitting in seminars, talking physics over coffee, sorting though piles of papers. Unfortunately, I still seem to spend a lot of time on the phone with the social insurance who still hasn't paid a single cent of my parental benefits. It turned out that they mistakenly believed I had moved out of country. The good news of the week is that I received a letter confirming I am indeed still insured with them and hope now things will finally be sorted out. It's about time since my account balance has been monotonically decreasing since October and the pain at the pump is substantial.
If you're a parent it is almost unavoidable that friends send you all sorts of baby-related information. Here are some of the more interesting articles that I came across: If your baby sleeps more than usual, expect a growth spurt, Statistically, mothers of twins live longer than other moms (it's a correlation, not a causation), for women with jobs that require a high skill level, having children significantly reduces their average lifetime income, and Nature Jobs reports that the gender divide in physics spans the globe:
"Balancing motherhood and work continues to be the biggest career challenge for women. Carola Meyer, an investigator at the Peter Grünberg Institute in Jülich, Germany, and vice speaker of the German Physical Society's gender-equality working group, says that although institutes and funding bodies provide career breaks for people who wish to have children, such schemes don't necessarily ease the balancing act. Women hold 17% of the 42 positions at her institute — a relatively large proportion, says Meyer. Yet all are under 40 and have no children. Those who want to rise within the scientific community can't consider having children until they are established, she says."
That stinks like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Let me clean up the stink by a quotation from the (otherwise cute but unremarkable) movie "Little Miss Sunshine" (that I watched on a flight on the way to some conference):
"Do what you love, and fuck the rest."