Going Dutch

The weirdest thing I find about having children in Holland is the help you receive once they have been born. A nurse or rather, home help, comes around and basically stays with you all day. In theory they are there to look after the mother, who is on a semi enforced week of bed rest, and the baby. If you have other children they are also supposed to help with them. They do the housework, and even cook for the family if needed.

All of this is of course in a theoretical world.

What we once again seem to have is a woman who comes, sits and drinks coffee, and does a few things with the baby, makes the bottles or gives a bath, something I (and my wife) are perfectly capable of doing, and then she goes home.

She vacuumed yesterday morning around 10am. Now in a house with three kids aged under 5, all of them home for the day, vacuuming that early is either pointless or part of a multi-staged process. This woman however simple continued to state. “Wow, this floor is dirty again.”  and so once she left for the day, I got down to the cleaning work.

Now, I don’t want.. well, I guess more don’t expect her to be a maid. But the job description is to make lunch for the kids, and help in the house. This is our fourth experience with the “Kraamzorg”  and once again they have failed thus far to live up to their supposed reputation.

I don’t particularly like having a stranger in my house all day. I mean, you take something out of a cupboard, how hard is it to put back in the same place. Apparently, for these people it is very hard, because everything just gets moved. It irritates me.

She doesn’t even sit upstairs with my wife, but down on the sofa.

Before Damon arrived, we had called them and explained about our son Logan and his autism, and they said that it would be taken into consideration. Yesterday when the woman arrived, I sat down to explain things to her, about his routine, but she barely even listened, and ended up just kind of moving away to do something else. Later on, while he was doing something, she just kept saying, ” Logan, don’t do that.”  and seemed to have absolutely no understanding of the situation, and no interest in learning about it.

Luckily it is only for a few days, and she is more friendly that the woman we had when my daughter was born, but still, if you have a job to do, I would very much expect you to do it, or at least make it look like you are.

I don’t know if any other countries have this. I know that the UK don’t. If you ask me, it is a bit of an annoyance, and more than anything, the woman is in the way. I would rather they just come twice a day or a short period, bath the baby or do their checks and then leave. That way I can get on with my life, and get things done in the way that they always are.


2 thoughts on “Going Dutch

  1. Gosh, when I read the tag for this I was so impressed- how much would I have enjoyed that service when our children were born? But now I’m not so sure! It reminded me of when my girls were 3 and 2 and I smashed my arm up (I have to say it like that or it sounds like I was being pathetically feeble) and I had a home help for three hours a day to help me dress the children, prepare lunch and all the things that get a bit tricky with one arm. The lady was so alarmed with the state of our house, she took it upon herself to spend the three hours tackling one room at a time! The living room was immaculate, alas my children were not – nor we’re they fed. Thank goodness for friends is all I can say!

  2. I know we have services for the aged but we don’t have anything for new mothers. Maybe the service was designed for women at home alone? I’m guessing that not all men can take time off work for parental leave? Anyway, I can relate to you not liking having a stranger in your house. I think I’d hate that.

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