I have been stalking…I mean following Nadia from @my2to4 for a long time now and we have both found it odd how similar be are in so many aspects of our lives. In fact its almost creepy. However it has been amazing to connect with women all over the world and I am truly grateful to have found this absolute gem of a woman. She is a hilarious mum of 2 boys and a decent looking husband #bydecentimeansmoking.
Check out the hilarious guest blog that she generously did for me and let us know what you think and who’s up for moving to Holland?
Dutch mom’s do it Better!
Wow, that’s a very judgy title, isn’t it? Can I say that without implying that there are moms out there who do it…well… less good? I can? Ok, then I will continue.
As a new “dutchy”, I have to say I spend a lot off time simply admiring how these Amsterdam moms always seem so hmmm…. well… happy…and no matter the culture you are from. happy mummy equals happy family.
So, what do Dutch moms do that is different from the rest of us?
Let us start from the very beginning; Dutch women (well, over 40% of them) give birth at home, only with a midwife making their first moments of motherhood as natural and familiar as possible.
After a few months, only 22% of them decides to go back to work full time and about the same percentage actually decided to be a stay at home mum. The other bigger half is working aprox 20 hours a week; enough to step away from the mummy world, but not to much so that they can still spend one day a week with their babies and be in time to pick them up from school at 15 every day.
Dutch mum do not hover over their kids; while you are “helicoptering” over your toddlers wobbling steps, they are just sitting and peacefully reading a book (yes, an actual book) in the park.
They are also the first ones to leave because by 6pm their kids are fed, washed and ready for a bedtime story. This leaves them enough time to spend a nice, intimate evening with their partner or even have friends over.
Yes, Dutch moms are very big on sleep and rest. By rest, I also mean that they do not tend to overstimulate their babies since day 1 with all sorts of pedagogical bs and baby gyms and baby swims and baby play dates… No, they believe in leaving enough time in each day for kids to be bored… Yes you read it right – to be BORED. And I will be the first one to admit that I do not allow that enough. Letting your kids to be bored actually inspires them to unlock their imagination and to play independently… hmmm…and I wonder why my almost 5 y old insist I race cars with him…
I guess it has a lot to do with our own confidence, because God forbid our kid wasn’t amongst brightest at kindergarten ? Here, they just do not care!!!
They want to raise a happy and content human being, not a future Ivy league student.
Also, kids here are given immense feeling of freedom at the very early age; they play unsupervised in the neighborhood park at the age of 4, they drive bikes to school from the age of 6 and they get to have romantic sleepover with their boyfriend/ girlfriend at their own house when they want to- better that than sneaking out, no??
Hell yes… only that if I tried that anywhere but here, I could probably risk an “encouraging minor for sexual activity” lawsuit from my neighbor. Please, like teenagers need any encouraging today???
But yes, Dutch moms do it better because they do not live in a society that expects them to “do it all” or to be perfect in any way, but as they often say here in the Netherlands: “Just be normal, that’s already crazy enough”!