The Rüttgers Family

Christian Alexander is having a mid-day nap. It's time that has to be used, because as soon as the two-and-a-half-year-old bundle of energy wakes up again, it will be difficult to carry on a conversation. "Christian can be pretty wild," laughs his mother, Sibylle Rüttgers.

She can still remember when she and her husband moved to Luchsingen four years ago. "If we're going to have children, it should be here," she had said to her husband when they stood before their new home. "The quality of life is just right, we have enough room to live and a wonderful view of the Tödi," Sibylle Rüttgers gushes. And her husband agrees:  "We sort of fell in love with the landscape at first sight." Plus, he adds, you feel safe in Switzerland. In Germany there were moments when they'd been afraid of terrorist attacks.

But the move was anything but planned. It took only two months for Sibylle and Jörg Rüttgers to strike camp in Düsseldorf in order to move to the Glarner countryside. "We were at a point where we'd achieved a lot of goals, my husband had his own medical practice and I had a good job. Suddenly we asked ourselves if this was it," Sybille Rüttgers remembers. They decided to start again somewhere else.

A patient of Jörg Rüttgers who knew a doctor in the Höhenklinik in Braunwald finally set things in motion. One day the Rüttgers' telephone rang and they received a job offer in Glarnerland. "The job was interesting to me as a general practitioner and a practitioner of acupuncture and homeopathy," Jörg Rüttgers reminisces. They made a quick decision, left the vibrant city life behind them, and exchanged it for the countryside. 

"Some time ago we were in Germany again and when we came back to Glarnerland, we said, 'Oh, it's so nice to be home again.'" Sybille Rüttgers laughs: "As a child I had two aunts who lived in Switzerland. We always went to visit the 'aunts in Switzerland' on holidays, which was a highlight for me. Because they have passed away since then, now I'm the 'aunt in Switzerland.'"

Today, Jörg Rüttgers practices medicine at the Meinradsberg centre in Einsiedeln. Sibylle Rüttgers doesn't work. "Because of the residence permit, I couldn't work for the first half-year," she explains. As someone who studied legal and political sciences, it's difficult for her to find work nearby, so she decided not to throw herself into a job search right away:  "Assuming I could find a job in Zurich, Christian wouldn't have any time with us, since my husband also commutes pretty far."

Even though his mother doesn't work, Christian can visit the crèche in Schwanden three afternoons a week. "Since Christian is an only child, it's very important for him to have contact with children of the same age," Sibylle Rüttgers says. "He also benefits a lot from the 'Kinderburg.'"

That also leaves his mother time to take care of the household, go shopping, do office work, and sometimes even have a quick browse through a book from the pile that enthusiastic readers always have next to the stove. "Since his grandmother doesn't live nearby, I'm pretty happy that Christian can go to the crèche every once in a while." And Sibylle Rüttgers adds with a smile, "I used to think I had a stressful job. Being a mother is a lot more challenging."

Source: «Die Südostschweiz»