Parenthood in the Netherlands: advantages and challenges

Being a father or mother isn’t any piece of cake, regardless of the place you’re from. Nevertheless, the best way you select to tackle this nice journey can differ relying on the tradition and nation the place you grew up.

As an expat, listed here are some benefits and shortcomings I’ve encountered in relation to elevating a bit one (or little ones) within the Netherlands:

Freedom of house

There may be a lot house for a kid to run round, play, cycle… you title it! The Dutch city panorama comes with a number of playground choices and open areas usually. There may be even a superb probability you reside near a forest, you’re simply left hoping for some respectable climate.

It’s tremendous cute to observe whole households on their bikes simply having fun with a pleasant Saturday morning. I really feel that my little dude is actually privileged for having the ability to expertise all this and I’m very grateful. This nation is, unquestionably, an amazing place for a child to develop up.

Baby security within the Netherlands

The primary time that I noticed Dutch mom on her bicycle with one toddler on the backseat and a bit child on the entrance one (and no helmets) I’ve to be trustworthy, I freaked out!

I perceive that biking tradition is deeply rooted on this land however I feared this was taking issues a bit too far. Not lengthy after, I realized the way to spot the expat dad and mom — those that put helmets on their kids — clearly. This isn’t a judgement, simply pure quaint tradition shock, I suppose.

Photo-of-child-on-bike-with-parent
Not many individuals cycle with a helmet within the Netherlands! Picture: Magdalena Laas Images/Equipped

To at the present time, I can not carry myself to hop on a motorcycle with my son. There… I mentioned it, not even a bakfiets (mother bike) will persuade me to take action.

Attentiveness

Okay guys, work with me. I come from Mexico, a Latin American nation the place household tradition could be fairly overwhelming; by this I imply SUPER overprotective and, at instances, overbearing (I really feel like you’re sensing the sample right here).

Whereas this all derives from love, it will probably additionally end in being too apprehensive in relation to watching your youngster having enjoyable and the craziness that discovering the world brings with it (happening the slide headfirst involves thoughts).

Dutch moms and dads alternatively, could be discovered casually strolling by way of the park with espresso in hand, chatting away their morning with different dad and mom; or perhaps sitting on a bench with out a care on the planet, and their kids you may surprise?

Most likely tripping over a ball, one other youngster, or touchdown on his/her butt after making an attempt to climb the swings. At first, I’ve to confess I used to be not getting it in any respect, after which time made me realise that maybe that is simply their method of elevating robust people.

I admit I may stress loads much less over this matter, however how about all of us simply meet in a cheerful center floor?

Daycare within the Netherlands

Let’s see, it is a sensitive topic. Whereas I 100% love the daycare my son goes to, I really feel just like the Dutch system doesn’t cater for all types of life, circumstances and situations.

As an illustration, the childcare allowance “kinderopvangtoeslag“ is great, for people who meet the necessities. If you end up with a contract author job for different international locations (*cough*) otherwise you occur to be employed by an organization inside thee European Union and stationed right here, however circuitously in a Dutch firm, properly… you don’t qualify for mentioned profit.

Daycare within the Netherlands could be fairly costly. Picture: qiangxuer/Pixabay

In consequence, you’ll have to break the financial institution as a way to pay for daycare. No surprise it’s unusual for a kid to attend 5 days every week.

READ MORE| Dutch major faculties and childcare to reopen on February 8, cupboard decides

Nevertheless, as soon as you will get previous the truth that the month-to-month bill is as a lot as hire, there are lots of upsides. For instance, the educating methodology (normally some kind of Montessori/Reggio Emilia/Waldorf fusion), the wholesome natural meals (largely vegetarian, Yei!), music class, yoga class, and so forth, makes me nearly overlook how a lot cash we may very well be saving (ouch!)

The Dutch work life stability

Having mentioned this, it’s also exceptional how a traditional workweek within the Netherlands can appear like 20/24/32 hours and it isn’t frowned upon in any respect. Even higher, it’s completely regular for males to do the identical and work 4 days every week leaving house for “papadag” (daddy day).

This clearly means a lot more healthy work life stability, and subsequently, extra high quality time together with your tiny human.

Like every thing in life, being a father or mother within the Netherlands has its professionals and cons; it’s as much as every particular person to determine the way to deal with the problem.

How do you’re feeling about parenting within the Netherlands? Tell us within the feedback beneath! 

FeatureImage: Kate Emslie/Unsplash

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