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Between Computers and Bedtime Stories — Parents at SimScale

Sabrina Hannappel
BlogAbout SimScaleBetween Computers and Bedtime Stories — Parents at SimScale

Working parents must equally co-parent, coordinate activities, and find ways to facilitate their child’s school events, rehearsals, and sports practices. Today we would like to introduce some of our parents at SimScale and share how they combine their daily routine with kids and work. Keep reading as they speak about their day-to-day lives, what they love about parenting and why SimScale offers a great environment for working parents.

Name: Kanchan Garg
From: Mumbai, India
Position: Product Manager 
Time at SimScale: 10 months

How many kids do you have?: Two girls, Misha (4.5 years old) and Viha (3 years old) 

What does your morning routine with your kids look like? I start waking them up at 6:15 AM and we need to leave for school between 8:20 and 8:30 AM. The girls like to spend the first 40-45 mins of their day with their grandpa doing exercises, morning walks, or just goofing around until they are called in for a bath and getting ready by 7:30ish. Having girls is like having your own little dolls to dress up 🙂 — though it has its challenges. Our mornings are full of drama from ‘Who gets dressed first?’ to ‘I don’t like my hair like that!’ Both my husband and I are working remotely, so one of us drops them off at school before we get back home to start our own morning routine. 

Who is responsible for putting your kid(s) to bed? We are pretty flexible about this as my husband and I can be busy around this time. It’s either me, my husband, or my mum-in-law. Thanks to their grandparents; without them, my husband and I would not be able to pursue full-time jobs! Usually, I am the one that can get them into their night dress, so I usually get this done when I am on a break from work. They enjoy a story (the Mr. Men series is a current favorite) and a craft video or a recipe on Pinterest (we love watching cake decorations). Some days, the girls fall asleep within minutes while other days, there’s a lot of chit-chat, tumbling around, and general mayhem before they finally calm down.

What do you love about parenting the most? The least? I love their curiosity. I love looking at the world through their eyes, and how very uncorrupted and simple it is. For example, our daughters cannot look at a baby animal without asking about their mum and dad, because for them, the world is a projection of themselves. It’s tricky to explain, but it also cannot get more innocent than that! And I love the cuddles, their baby smell, and their laughter. 🙂

They are both going through rebellious phases where everything has to be explained many times and yet, they won’t do it. I wouldn’t mind not having long discussions about everyday tasks like washing your face, clothes (the need to wear them sometimes!), basic hygiene, and maybe having them be a bit independent in this respect. 

How do you combine working at SimScale with your family life? For 4 years before SimScale, I was working reduced hours because that was the only way I could care for my babies. The remote working setup at SimScale offers me the flexibility to structure my work day around my kids. My team is made up of like-minded people who are very understanding of my general situation. Recently, when I had to unexpectedly take time off due to a family emergency, I received immense support from my team who covered for me in different ways. Of course, having a supportive spouse and family is very important because I can prioritize my work when I have to without worrying or feeling guilty. I don’t feel pulled in two different directions and I think that’s really crucial for working mothers. Notwithstanding all the juggling and running around to get things done on all fronts, I don’t have to choose between pursuing a career or having a good family life.

kanchan garg and her two daughters
Kanchan with her 2 girls, Misha and Viha

Name: Robert Roseberg
From: Scotland, United Kingdom
Position: Director of Revenue Operations
Time at SimScale: 1 year

How many kids do you have?

We have a girl Sophia (3 years old) and a boy August (6 years old)

What does your morning routine with your kids look like? 

Our morning routine starts at 7:00 AM. The kids are usually awake around the same time and they watch morning cartoons and eat snacks. My wife Marika usually prepares some breakfast and gets the kids’ school uniforms ready. The kids usually get dressed around 8:00 AM; I prepare August and do his hair whilst Marika helps Sophia to pick her dress. At 8:45 AM, we all leave the house by car and drop August off at school and Sophia at nursery. 

Who is responsible for putting your kid(s) to bed? 

We both are. Our kids have different bedtimes so we usually end up putting August to bed first and later Sophia.

What do you love about parenting the most? The least? 

I enjoy seeing the kids grow up and spending time with them. They are full of energy and joy that they radiate. I don’t really like it when kids throw tantrums.

How do you combine working at SimScale with your family life?

Because I mostly work remotely, it is very blended. I don’t need to commute, so I have gained more time with my family than ever before. Being able to take kids to school/nursery, have breakfast and/or lunch with them, or just occasionally chat with them whilst taking a screen break without negatively impacting my work or productivity is amazing. Don’t get me wrong, it is not easy, but the pros outweigh the cons. 

Name: Sabrina
From: Germany
Position: Recruiter
Time at SimScale: 1 year

How many kids do you have?: I have 1 son. His name is Max and he just turned 3.

What does your morning routine with your kids look like? During the week I get up around 6 AM and my husband or myself wake him up at 6:45 AM because kindergarten starts at 8 AM. We have a light breakfast together since he usually eats in kindergarten, too. After that, he plays with his toys for a bit, and then we get him ready for the day. Since the kindergarten is only 2 minutes away, we leave the house at around 7:45 AM, so I can start working at 8 AM.

Who is responsible for putting your kid(s) to bed? We don’t have a fixed schedule and share this responsibility. Usually, Max goes to bed at around 8 PM. Of course, sometimes earlier and sometimes later. During summer, we really like to enjoy our evenings outside in our garden. My husband is a genius at bedtime stories and Max loves listening to them. He always makes up a great story.

What do you love about parenting the most? The least? A friend once told me that your life changes completely but for the better. She was right, kids bring you so much happiness and joy. I love playing with them, singing songs, and being silly. It reminds me of my own childhood. 

What I find challenging at the moment is that Max is in the middle of the defiance phase. Sometimes, it’s very hard when he is “Mad Max” and won’t listen to what we say or does everything against our rules. This drives me crazy. 

How do you combine working at SimScale with your family life?

SimScale gives me the opportunity to do the job I love and still be flexible. I am working part-time, 20 hours a week. I can focus on work while my son is in kindergarten and be a mom when he comes home. For me as a working mother, it’s the perfect work-life balance. Another huge benefit for us is that our parents and relatives live close by and always offer to fill in during kindergarten break or if there is a time overlap with work. This is very helpful and I call myself lucky to have a luxury like that.

sabrina hannappel and her son
Sabrina and Max

Name: Erwan Donat
From: France, living in Munich
Position: Team Lead Customer Success
Time at SimScale: 1 year

How many kids do you have?:  One daughter, Olivia (1 year old)

What does your morning routine with your kid look like?
Olivia usually wakes up around 6:45 AM and we bring her to our bed for her first bottle of milk. That’s usually the time when our dog takes the chance to jump in our bed too (should I really put this out there) and attend the royal breakfast of the princess! 😀
I must say, I tend to appreciate a lot of this “chill out” family time before a busy day!

Then one of us starts working from home, early around 7:30 AM, while the other one does everything else: dressing Olivia, bringing her to the daycare, walking the dog, and then finally heading out to the office. We switch roles every other day.

Who is responsible for putting your kid(s) to bed? 

There is no rule and we actually switch often. This is another quality time of the day, with our evening routine: kid podcast, songs (Olivia has her own Spotify playlist of course), and reading stories before bed.

What do you love about parenting the most? The least?
Being a parent gives you a purpose in life — there is absolutely nothing better than a smile on Olivia’s face or hearing her laugh. I just love spending time in our garden to show her how things naturally grow and develop (sounds cliché?). On the weekend, I love bringing her places to discover new environments. The Isar river is our #1 favorite spot! 

What bothers me the most is constantly switching languages. My wife is half German/half American so she speaks German to our daughter, I speak French to her (but “German” to my dog), and my wife and I speak English to each other. This gives me headaches at the end of the day!

How do you combine working at SimScale with your family life?
From literally day 1, SimScale has been amazing to support me in my parenthood. Our daughter was born extremely premature, just 1 week before I started my job at SimScale. She definitely had a bumpy start, being born more than 3 months early and weighing only 800g. But, I could be next to her and my wife, fighting together for months thanks to the great flexibility SimScale has given me. Olivia is now perfectly healthy, and since this time everything else is easy to handle.

erwan donat and his daughter
Erwan with his daughter Olivia

Name: Jon Wilde
From: England, living in Munich
Position: VP Product Management
Time at SimScale: 4 years

How many kids do you have?: 2, although it sometimes feels like 10. They are 6 and 8, and their German is already better than ours (we’re both English).

What does your morning routine with your kids look like? We wake up at 5:30 AM and they have to be out of the door for school by 7:10 AM. We need all of this time to get them fed and ready to leave. Some days it’s smooth sailing, others are total chaos — it’s a lottery. On the weekend, we always anticipate a lie-in, which never happens. But you can’t succeed as a parent without infinite hope. 🙂

Who is responsible for putting your kid(s) to bed? We have fallen into a pattern, with our youngest more attached to my wife. She puts our daughter to bed and I put our eldest, our son, to bed. We usually read together, alternating German and English nights with both of us taking turns to read, to help raise both of our German skills. We’ve recently read ‘A Study in Scarlet’ together (I honestly didn’t expect him to stick with it). I’ve also read a lot of Stephen King (mainly ‘The Dark Tower’) to him but had to skip through some of the less kid-suitable parts. He is very keen to get started on my Peter F Hamilton collection but he’s going to have to wait a little longer (too complex, too much violence, and too many ‘birds and the bees’ parts). Once we’ve read together, he’ll listen to some podcasts (he would certainly recommend ‘Fun kids Science Weekly’ – I would too, I’ve learned a lot!).

What do you love about parenting the most? The least? I think parenting teaches you what love really means. I have learned a lot about myself in the last 8 years too; you see a lot of yourself reflected right back at you! I love almost everything about parenting, it’s an amazing experience. What I love less is how insanely stressful it can be and just how unbelievably stubborn a kid can be. It is truly mind-boggling how long it can take someone to put on a pair of shoes.

How do you combine working at SimScale with your family life? Someone once told me (and I remember who it was but won’t call him out here) to ‘embrace the chaos’. That’s the key. You never know what is coming next and as long as you have the space to put family first, it’s okay, it will work out. I have the time to be flexible and I try my best to provide the same for my team. Family first. I think this is the only way now, with the society we have built for ourselves, relying on one or two adults to support a family (rather than living in communities where everyone can share the load), we must allow flexibility for parents, that way, everyone can win.

“It’s not wrong to be passionate about your career. When you love what you do, you bring that stimulation back to your family”

Allison Pearson

Did you know that it is important for parents to work? It actually helps our kids to have a more mature outlook on their lives. As both parents have to go out to work, they most often have very few hours to spend at home with their kids. This teaches the children that time is indispensable and doesn’t come back once it slips away.

At SimScale, we embrace flexibility and offer our team members an environment where it’s easy to combine personal responsibilities with work. Another nice benefit for our parents is that we provide nursery or kindergarten care benefits for every child; the subsidy is included in the monthly salary payment. 

Are you a parent yourself and looking for an environment like SimScale? Then check out our job openings and follow us as we share more insights into our culture!

We really hope you enjoyed the post about our parents here at SimScale. Please stay tuned for more spotlight articles from our employees and see what the team has been up to on our @lifeatsimscale Instagram feed. Want to start your own SimScale story? Make sure to keep an eye on our careers page for possible openings!

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