Skip to content

‘It makes no difference to a child whether he goes to daycare ten or forty hours a week’

The question: ‘Can you send a child to paid childcare five days a week?’ is causing quite a stir.

I was told by the midwife: ‘Are you sure you will continue to work full-time with your third child on the way?’.

I wondered: Would my husband ever get such a comment? Probably not.

In the Netherlands, we believe that mothers of children under the age of four should not work more than 28 hours a week. Only 11 percent of couples with children ‘do it’ full-time: both the father and the mother work 36 hours a week or more. And those children usually go to a nursery.

‘It makes no difference to a child whether he goes to daycare ten or forty hours a week’: is that the case? Or is there a limit to what a young child can handle? I took my twins to a shelter a maximum of two days a week for the first four years of their lives. The fact that I don’t like taking my baby or toddler to a crèche five days a week doesn’t mean that I understand that sometimes there is no other way. If you need both incomes, and there are no grandpas or grandmas to babysit, how do you solve it?

And what is there to say for women who want to remain financially independent? Is that possible in these expensive times with a part-time job?

I realized something beautiful: there is no right or wrong answer. You can see motherhood separately from your career. That has to do with what they are so strong in psychology.values‘ to call. As a human being you have norms and values ​​that determine your behaviour. It is important to me that I am sweet, caring, reliable, gentle and accessible to my children. At work, I find it important that I am effective, efficient, successful and social. Those values ​​you have as a human being don’t count hours a week.

In the hours that I am at home with my children, I try to be who I want to be: that sweet, caring and involved mother who is not constantly on her laptop or phone. Then I’m really there and I enjoy every ‘mamamamamama’ I hear. At work I try to be who I want to be there; that employee who performs and who undertakes and innovates with enthusiasm. The great thing about values ​​is that you can always fill this in your way and it doesn’t matter whether you spend ten or forty hours a week on it. I can be just as productive in a four-hour workday.

You can also be that good mother in fewer hours a week.

Be there when you are, wherever you are. Children of full-time working mothers are just as happy as when their mother works part-time. That matters more than the dilemma of the hours in your contract. Because as long as men still earn more than women, I support every working mother who can invest her own living. Do not let them get to you.

Tessa Heinhuis (33) is a child psychologist, mother of Bodi and Daaf (4) and lives in ‘t Gooi. She works as editor-in-chief of Mama Magazine.

Post Views: 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *