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Danish class was a break from changing diapers

Slovenian PhD student found peace of mind in her language class

Urska Sadl’s first decision to learn the language came suddenly on a family visit. While her Danish sister-in-law’s two small kids milled around, proffering big questions and little insights, she was unable to respond.

Then, on maternity leave from her law PhD in Copenhagen, her motivation to learn the language was reinforced.

See a profile of Urska and her PhD here.

»I was getting bored, because I didn’t speak any Danish, and I couldn’t take part in any of the activities that mothers with children take part in,« she explains.

So she started taking Danish classes.

Exams just after giving birth

Maternity leave is a tough job already, but her workload during this time would leave most of us struggling for breath.

»Taking Danish was the high point of my maternity leave. The little one slept well during the night and during afternoon naps. So my husband came home, and I could take off to class twice a week. I had my homework done, my notes reviewed.«

»My classmates, exhausted from their own jobs, made fun of me. They said: ‘Here she is with all the time on her hands.’«

»But I found it relaxing to be in Danish class for four hours, with people talking, not screaming, and with nobody needing a diaper change.«

What are you? Some kind of a superwoman?

»No, but maybe I am a bad mother! I took my exams two weeks after I gave birth to my second kid,« she says.
Now the first is in nursery, while the second is taken care of by a nanny.

»There are weeks where I am exhausted. Sometimes you don’t know whether you have slept or not. But with a little help from friends and grandparents it is feasible. Just when you think you can’t handle it anymore you get an easy week, and you start all over again«.

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