Tag: parenthood

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Creative freedom

This was my Easter egg competition entry, age 8. Next to this photo in my album, it says, ‘My Easter rabbit-egg – made by me’. I didn’t write those words – and I didn’t make the ‘Easter rabbit-egg’. It was my mother’s idea, and she was also responsible for most of the execution. I did […]

Flor de Pascua – Madonna – M.C. Esher

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How long can the baby blues last?

Five and a half years ago, as spring was just starting, I was at home on maternity leave with my beautiful baby girl. Early troubles with feeding were behind us, and I could spend my days in a gentle rhythm of feeds and naps. After each feed, I would prop her up on my knee, […]

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Breast is best – or is it?

I firmly believe that breast milk is nutritionally better than formula. It contains natural antibodies from the mother that help the baby to fight infection – something not contained in even the best bottle milk on the market.  I am more doubtful about the studies showing links with everything from increased intelligence to being a […]

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But the second one is easier, right?

These words were uttered to me by a colleague who was shortly to become a father for the second time. His tone was joking, but I could see the panic in his eyes. He desperately wanted – no, needed – me to say yes. Well, on the one hand… The practicalities are certainly easier. Whereas […]

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Cyberchondria

My daughters love to play ludo, but I have learned to dread it. In Dutch, the game has the telling name: ‘Mens erger je niet’, loosely translated: ‘Man, don’t get upset’. It is certainly appropriate, because it almost always ends in a furious tantrum, sometimes with board and pieces flying across the room. One of […]

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What a lovely age!

When I moved to the Netherlands to live, I was given the humorous book, “Act Normal: 99 tips for dealing with the Dutch”. One piece of advice for making conversation with a parent was to ask them how old their child was. No matter what the answer, you should respond with ‘Wat een mooie leeftijd!’ […]

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Waiting for a smile

Everyone knows that the first months with a new baby are hard. Lack of sleep, a demanding feeding schedule, the stress from a crying baby. Everyone knows that. Of course. But, until you’ve done it yourself, you don’t really know. The punishing schedule is the first part. A newborn baby needs feeding about every three […]

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It’s not rocket science – unfortunately

‘Rocket science’ is a synonym for ‘terribly hard, perhaps impossible’. I am emphatically not a rocket scientist. But scientific or mathematical problems have never seemed like insurmountable obstacles to me. While, on the one hand, the prospect of making a phone call fills me with panic, on the other hand an equation that needs to […]

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Gravida 3 para 1

Simply writing the title of this post causes my throat to tighten and a pricking to start behind my eyes. It is probably incomprehensible to most people. It appeared at the top of my pregnancy record when I was pregnant with my second child. ‘Gravida’ is the number of pregnancies the mother has had, including […]