Okay, so neither the running nor the dieting are going very well. I just finishing a two and a half hour run when I heard a snap near my butt. No turtlehead this time. Just a tendon that had gotten so tight it had to move. Now I've got sciatic pain so badly that I can barely walk. Since the marathon, I've had nothing but a slew of injuries.
And the scale said 51.0 this morning. So, those of you who guessed 2 weeks were (unfortunately) wrong.
So, I've decided to talk about something I'm a little bit more excited about. That's being a mommy returning to work. I started my "praktik" (or unpaid doctor work) last week in the Ophthalmology department. There are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to get paid here as a doctor, but I should start getting an income in March. Yes, the kind of "surgical resident" I was in the US was an eye surgeon (not an optometrist, grrrrr).
Anyway, a small part of me wants to just hang out with the Lorax and be one of those stay-at-home moms. Then I could run and swim and do as I please. Perhaps an easy and comfortable life. But I just could never do it; it is not how I was brought up. And being back in an ophthalmology department reminded me why I got a good education and how excited I am to start again.
But, according to SR, being a stay-at-home mom in the United States is just "normal." I remember him infamously saying to me before we started dating that he thought women should be stay-at-home moms (of course he just wanted to see my reaction). But can it possibly be true that it is "normal" to just stay home? Is America still so far from equality between the sexes? Or is his perspective biased?
I had to do some research (of course). It turns out that over 90% of Danish mothers work. While in the US, 58 % of mothers with children under the age of six work, and about 75% of those with children between the ages of 6 and 18 work. The percentage of working mother peaked in he US in the 1990's and plateaud since then.
Why the discrepency between the countries? For one, employees of daycares in Denmark have a long, formal training before they can begin to work. The public institutions are extremely successful in the social, emotional and intellectual development of children (so much so that in the paper today it was annouced that daycare will be compulsory for immigrant children). But in the US, there is no consistency in the quality of daycare. An NICHD study of early childcare showed that children who were placed in high-quality childcare settings had better language skills and social/emotional development than those who were placed in centers with poorly trained adults or a high number of children per adult caregiver.
Despite those findings, the US has not started following the Danish model. And the inequality between men and women in the workplace will thus persist.
Is the high percentage of working mothers in Denmark one of the reasons it's considered the "happiest" country in the world? I tend to think there's a correlation.
Running song of the day: We are Blind and Riding of the Merry-Go-Round byAlaska in Winter
Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.
"Children are fascinated by the ordinary and can spend timeless moments watching sunlight play with dust. Their restlessness they learn from you. It is you who are thinking of there when you are here. It is you who thinks of then instead of now. Stop. Let your children become the teachers and you the student" - William Martin