Have you heard the news? Dutch moms are happy. Like seriously happy – and not that fake/smug type of happiness that seems to pops up all over your Facebook feed. They are, well, oddly content. Want to have some of what they are smoking this year?

Read on for our top 5 tips to make you as happy as a Dutch mom in 2017: 

1. Quit it with the helicoptering

Dutch moms are great at letting their kids be kids and enjoy their freedom without an anxious, overprotective parent hovering nearby at all times. As a result, Dutch kids learn to navigate and manage complex social situations on their own from a young age. And guess what? Dutch parents are a lot more relaxed as a result. Sounds like a winning situation to me – so kids: swing, climb, and wade off for some independent adventures. Stick your fingers in the sticky stuff, jump on that wobbly, unsupported object and pat the cranky-looking beast. Mama’s hanging up her aviators and letting you have all the independent fun you crave. I will, however, be here with the bandages and boo-boo kisses, in case you need them.

2. Loving space ♥

A Dutch midwife once said mothering is, ‘Just like being on an airplane. You must put on your air-mask first before the baby’s. Otherwise everyone suffers’. Wise and grounded words. 2017 should be the year of the “me-time” parent. I could do with a few massages, a regular gym date, and a spa trip or two. Take care of yourself first and feel no guilt in the process. Your kids will thank you for it. Now, where did I put the number of that travel agent in Bali?

3. Channel the zen

We’ve seen them in action. We’ve collectively marvelled at their calm parenting skills. This is the year we are going to channel the ‘Dutch-mama-calm’. All together now – ‘OHHHhhmmmmmm’. But remember: shouting obscenities in your head is cheating. Ok? You’ve got to channel the calm until you are the zen Dutch mama herself. Of course the fact that the majority of Dutch moms are able to work part-time does help considerably in achieving the zen-like state. So, if you can somehow manage to work a little less in 2017, go for it!


4. Banish the guilt

When my kids are miserable I go through the catalogue in my head of what I could have done /avoided/ changed to ensure my cherub’s eternal, blissfully contented state. The late night guilt is currently taking centre stage, and seriously comes between me and my Zzzzzzzs. Dutch moms feel less guilty, and that’s a good thing. This year is, ‘So long guilt-gremlin. Hello wine, Netflix and a solid 8 hours fret-free sleep.’ I’m looking forward to packing my guilt fairy’s bags and sending her on a solo journey to the land of Somewhere Else. 

5. Sprinkle sleepy dust on the kids

Ever complained to a Dutch parent that your kid doesn’t sleep only to have them look at you bewildered and ask, “Why? Are they sick?”?! Well this is the year of the sleeping baby, so buckle up and apply the magic three-code Dutch trick to happy sleeping baby: rest, regularity and purity (Rust, Regelmaat en Reinheid). Get them on a schedule, keep them calm, clean and well fed. Shhhhhhhh don’t wake them. There’s nothing more beautiful than a sleeping child.

It turns out “going Dutch” in 2017 might just be the best parenting advice yet. Why not give it a try yourself? And no, you don’t need to move into a windmill and wear wooden clogs while doing so…unless you really want too. 

p.s. Our new book – Stuff Dutch Moms Like – investigates why Dutch mothers are so darn happy and how they truly manage to have it all. Filled with amusing anecdotes, tips and tricks, Stuff Dutch Moms Like takes an inside look at parenting in the Netherlands.


4 Responses

  1. Boo

    What country do you live in? Dutch mums are a little irresponsible and irritating their kids grow up to be cold selfish creatures like the breeds that plagued the earth before them. You are right about the “me time” I suppose, that part is correct. But they are just lazy parents, and every child should be allowed to express themselves and explore the world around them. This article along with many others are just plain lies, it is admirable to glorify the Dutch and their viciously nationalistic ways. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I have been hanging around in the wrong bars, maybe I should smoke what you have been smoking. Fijne dag!

    • Mariette Bac

      Well Boo, thank you for calling me a cold, selfish creature. As a Dutch mom I try to raise my children to become responsible, empathetic, social skilled, loving and lovable people. They can explore the world and I will help them where needed. Both my children are the opposite of cold and selfish and are allowed to make mistakes on their own. They grow up knowing that making mistakes is not the end of the world and that you can try again. The also learn that it is not a sign of weakness tot apologize to somebody. I would say, a nice example to follow.

    • Cora Liefertink

      A fine example of Dutch complaining. Boohoo everything is bad it used to be better in the old days. People nowadays are lazy, selfish and plain wrong!
      Volgens mij zijn Nederlanders nergens zo goed in als in klagen.

  2. Miranda Overbeek

    Dutch Mama’s are the very best. Be positive! I’m a working mom of four and I sell my own babywearing coats all around the world. I make a lot of happy moms and Dutch are among the very best!


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