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Month: September 2016

Delft Mama of the week: Maya

Ten years ago our mom of the week, Maya, met her Dutch husband Erwin. Now they are parents of a six-year-old Naama and Boaz who just turned four. Maya grew up in Israel, studied and did the obligatory military service there before moving abroad. She was familiar with the Netherlands before meeting her husband, but never thought she’d be living in Holland – but as faith would often have it, it’s exactly where she ended up. Just like most expats, being far from extended family has taught Maya other ways of having a safety net around her, and she feels Delft MaMa is now her family, too. “For me Delft MaMa is one of the strongest attraction points of Delft. For all of us who don’t have a family here, this group of wonderful people is it”, Maya declares.

I asked to interview her, because not only was she nominated by some of the previous mothers, but because I found out Maya recently had started studying again. She did her bachelor’s in biology and her master’s degree in immunology back in Israel. This year she enrolled to school to get a degree to become a dietitian. Even though the field is familiar to her, it’s Maya’s first time writing scientific reports in Dutch. Not surprisingly she’s up for the challenge.

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Dutch traits

“Zuinig zijn” and other Dutch traits

Many of you have younger children. Being a mom of a just turned 12 year old, it’s another story in the book of parenthood. That is not only because my now officially teenager is getting sometimes fussy and hormonal, but also because you start again seeing your life and surrounding through the eyes and comments of such a teenager. Kids these age not only see and analyse a lot, but they also verbalize their findings very well. Well, at least mine is. And they act also upon their findings, feelings and situations. Trying to find their way through and bled in. And sometimes the way they express themselves puts things into cultural perspectives that you were not very aware off until you have heard them said by your own child. Read more

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How Delft MaMa saved my sanity

I think we can all agree that living abroad is often crazy and messy. But so is motherhood. And when you combine these two, you have a recipe for disaster. Turns out, culture shock and sleep deprivation don’t really go hand in hand.

I arrived in the Netherlands when my eldest daughter was 6 weeks old. To be honest, moving abroad was fairly easy. I’d lived abroad in multiple places, including Germany, Canada and France. A piece of cake, really.

Moving to the land of motherhood, however, was another matter altogether. I walked in a sense of constant mental fog. I didn’t know my name. I forgot who I was. And when I finally began to feel somewhat better, I did a crazy thing and had another baby. Read more

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Delft MaMa of the week, Sandra

Delft Mama of the week: Sandra

Sandra and her husband Nicola met over seven years ago when they were both fresh international students at the TU Delft. With a background in Computer Science, she made her masters in Management of Technology and is currently fully embracing motherhood with their three-year-old son Gerardo and a nine-month-old daughter Minerva. Sandra joined the Delft MaMa community when Gerardo was about half a year old but she wishes she had joined earlier. “The first few months of being a mom were really overwhelming. All the time I saw mothers on the streets with ‘omas’ around and thought I couldn’t have that being away from both families. When I joined Delft MaMa it made things easier”, Sandra says. The community made her feel welcome, but it also helped to get to know individual mothers who previously had been in the same exact position. Once she met with mothers who have gone through different phases with their children, it dissipated Sandra’s fears. She tells how her sister is about to become a mother for the second time in a city of five million people, but hasn’t managed to find a community of mothers where she would feel like home. “With DMM community you are sure you share the fact that you are an expat and you are raising children here, or maybe you are Dutch, but you are raising your children in an international way. It makes it easier for you to find people with the same ideals and goals”, Sandra joyfully says. Read more

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Welkom Hier folder

‘Welkom Hier’ – help refugee families in Delft 17th September 2016

Delft MaMa is contributing to the Refugee welcome event ‘Welkom Hier‘ on Saturday 17th September at the Theater De Veste by providing children’s activities for the children of the refugee families, as well as any children from the Delft community who are attending this free event.

Please come along to the event with your families if you would like to contribute to making these new members of the Delft community feel welcomed! Read more

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Manuela and her family

Delft Mama of the week: Manuela

Whenever I interview moms of the week, I ask them to nominate one or more mothers to feature in the future. This time I was going to meet with one of those mothers who has been recommended to me over and over again. Manuela is well known among Delft Mamas, not least because of her collaborations with other mothers for work. She’s a mother of three girls: a six-year-old Sophia, Mireya who is almost five and a three-year-old Elodie. When she moved to Delft in 2010, she knew from her several previous moves that she needed to find a community around her the sooner the better, and she was referred to Delft MaMa where she instantly found her place. Read more

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Game of Potties

There are lots of methods about potty training your children from blocking your agendas for a week, stacking up your fridge and locking yourselves in the living room – to holding your baby on top of the toilet and whistling. Whatever your method ends up being, the warmer months are possibly the most auspicious time of the year to do so. Accidents are much easier to clean up and you don’t have to worry about your children not wearing enough, or wetting their pants when it’s freezing cold.

I remember hearing about six-month-old babies being potty trained when my daughter was a few years old. To me that seemed like a distant dream and now as a mother of three, I can admit that’s what it was for us: a far fetched fantasy, not our cup of pee tea. Our process of potty training didn’t include locking ourselves in, shushing or whistling to encourage the flow, but it included so many other phases. Read more

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Renée and her two girls

Delft Mama of the week: Renée

It was a chilly Tuesday morning that was going to turn into a warm afternoon. I met our mom of the week, Renée, at café Kek in the center of Delft right after she had dropped her daughters Sophia (9) and Isabella (7) off to school. She was cycling from Ypenburg, which by land belongs to The Hague, but the phone numbers were the familiar 015 of Delft. If she could have, Renée would have bought a house that was built half in Delft and half in The Hague. Ypenburg was the closest compromise. Luckily for her, the day was going to be a warm day (warm for Dutch September). Renée wasn’t quite ready to give up her feeling of summer just yet, after having spent the entire holiday in Australia with her girls.
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