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Delft Mama of the week: Zsófia

Delft Mama of the week, Zsófia, is a mother of two little girls, Johannah (5) and Annabel (3). Zsófia met her husband while on holiday and after a couple of years of long-distance relationship, they decided to move to the Netherlands where he was studying at the time. “Initially, I felt bewildered when planning the move and wondered how we would combine my Hungarian and his Indian backgrounds. But we are in a neutral country and in many ways we follow the Dutch routine and we take the best of both of our cultures. Apart from the internationals, we also have Dutch friends; it makes it easier to feel at home. As a couple we are very passionate about other cultures and before having kids, we traveled to various corners of the world, which enabled us to learn a lot about other cultures, to meet local people and to taste different types of cuisine.”

Zsófia has a life-long interest in different cultures, languages and teaching, through which she found a way to feel a part of the Dutch society when first moving to the Netherlands almost nine years ago. “I was lucky to find work three months after I moved to Delft, which helped me feel less homesick. I gave English classes to business professionals and companies. The work was very exciting and challenging and kept me so busy that I forgot about homesickness. I worked there for 3,5 years, until our first daughter was born. I had a great time, I learned a lot about the Dutch working culture with the help of my fantastic manager who let me take time to learn about giving courses in a business environment, as it was something completely new compared to teaching school children in my home country. But the long hours and teaching in the evening were the reasons I stopped working as long as my children were small. In my field of teaching it’s easy to pick up where I left afterwards. I figured I’d focus my passion about teaching on my children. I want to spend as much time with them as possible. When they are home, I don’t open my laptop or my email.”

About two years ago when the previous coordinator of Bumps and Babies playgroup moved away, Zsófia was asked to take on the responsibility. “I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to meet new moms, share the knowledge and have my children interact with other kids. The group has been growing significantly in the last few years from a handful of moms attending to an average 10-15 moms.” Zsófia also attends the Tuesday playgroup by volunteering to open it once a month and is one of the leads in the new Delft MaMa program called SliDe, which is aimed to match newcomers to Delft with mentors who help them to adapt to the Dutch lifestyle and customs. “We trained our volunteers and applied for grants. We are expecting to get more requests when the academic school year starts. It’s a pilot program, so we need to adjust it still, but it’s going well as we have made several successful matches. So far I have been busy emailing companies, international schools and various organizations informing about this opportunity. They truly appreciate our efforts and they will make sure their parents at schools or companies hear about SliDe.”

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Delft Mama of the week: Johanna

Delft Mama of the week, Johanna, is a mother of Gus (4,5) and is expecting a little sister for him to be born in August. By the time this story comes out, this family will be landing in Canada, after living in the Netherlands for nearly a decade. Johanna’s mother-in-law comes from Eindhoven, which is the reason they ended up in Europe in the first place. “My husband Jason was born and raised in Canada and we met in university in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We thought we’d use the fact that he had Dutch citizenship through his mother to come see what it was like to live here. Our plan was, maybe a year or two, definitely move home before we have kids, and that we’d have a little European adventure. We came to Delft, because his job had a boarding program that put him up for two weeks in the Koophandel in Beestenmarkt. The bells ringing every morning and looking at the cafés on the square was my European dream. I was home.” 

The couple found a small apartment and on those early days they lived simply, just like they had been living in Canada as students. In fact their first community in Delft was a group of students and young professionals that Johanna and Jason met through the Delftians. “We all became very close quite quickly and we spent every weekend together. That first group with the international students was our community and I also needed to branch out and be a part of the Dutch community, so I joined the DDS rowing club as well. Those were my first close Dutch friends. We were lucky to be also invited to play squash with some of Jason’s Dutch colleagues and that was another Dutch community that we became a part of early on.” 

Eventually Johanna found work at the American School in The Hague and started teaching environmental science there. The importance of the work community was significant as well. New opportunities to join new circles emerged to them once their son was born. “Gus was born in 2011 and that changed the make up of our community. We started meeting international and Dutch mothers and fathers. Delft MaMa has come to my life in the last year and a half. Only this year I got really involved by doing the work with refugees. I found a really incredible community of women in Delft MaMa. I feel I’ve been able to share my gifts while also learning from the gifts of the women in that group. It’s an incredible circle of strong, intelligent women that are really empowering of each other. I’ve treasured it in the time I’ve been a part of it. I have really been involved: when I find something that my heart is in, that I believe in, I jump in full-heartedly.”

Johanna says right now Delft feels like home more than anywhere, but they are very much looking forward of going back to Canada and letting their children experience the closeness of the immediate family as well as the wilderness and the sense of space. However, going back will be a transition. “I will be looking to other Delft Mamas who made the transition back to see how they’ve done it. I believe that when we move home, the community that we find, will be an international one with more European flavor. We will be drawn to people that have lived abroad or that are sympathetic to the ideas of European life. I think it will be a different mix than what it was before we left. We left as students and we’re going back as parents, so we’re going to be setting up a different life. What that will look like, I’m not quite sure.”

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Delft Mama of the week: Anna

Delft Mama of the week, Anna, has been a part of the community for nearly 4,5 years. As a daughter of a pastor and a director of an elderly house, she grew up with a very active social life. It’s no wonder that since February Anna has been the chairwoman of Delft MaMa. She is the mother of Nátán (2), but she attended long before becoming a mother: “I was invited by a friend to one of the playgroups in the library just to meet other internationals. Eventually I had lots of friends who were mostly moms, I was also looking after kids and after two years of living in Delft I became a mother myself.” Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Anna

Positive Birth Story: Sanna

Before she was even pregnant, Sanna had always pictured of having her children in her native country, Finland, and preferably via Caesarean section. Finding herself expecting a baby in the Netherlands hadn’t been a part of the plan, but she welcomed the upcoming challenge by deciding to learn everything there is to know about the pregnancy and giving birth in the Netherlands. Just like many first time mothers, she went online to look for information, only to find herself freaked out about the horror stories. This is a story how she turned her fears into strength. Welcome to Delft MaMa Blog’s new series called POSITIVE BIRTH STORIES.Read More »Positive Birth Story: Sanna

Delft Mama of the week: Fabi

Delft Mama of the week, Fabi, is a relatively fresh face to the city and runs the DMM Instagram account since a couple of weeks. The family of three moved to the Netherlands after living in Asia for years. “I always thought about the things we have in common: we were living in China and all the things that were very symbolic to China in some point were also very symbolic to Delft, for instance the Delft Blue china.” Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Fabi

A Chance to Welcome Refugees to Delft

We have all been touched by stories of refugees travelling to Europe. Over the next year and a half, Delft is expecting 6.000 Refugees to join our community, and these families have encountered tremendous struggles that are almost unimaginable. As part of the Delft MaMa SLiDe (Soft Landing in Delft) Project, Delft Mamas have been sharing their well-known kindness and compassion to the newcoming Refugee Mamas and Families in Delft. Warm-hearted volunteers have organized activities for refugee children at events including the Taste! Christian Community Delft “Welkoms Maaltijd”, the Taste! Dutch Conversation Club, and in the future we will also provide support for the Dutch Up Your Life “New to Delft” Workshops that will soon start in Tanthof.

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You know you are a mother when…

1. You know you are a mum with double standards when… You tell your kid that he should not eat candy whilst you sneakily unwrap a chocolate bar, fly it into your mouth and wolf it down with not even moving your jaw.

2. You know you are a pram pusher when, when you walk with no pram to push, you still go leaning forward and with your arms semi-flexed and rock a shopping trolley back and forth.

3. You know you are usually cycling with your kid when… you go singing, whistling and pointing at yellow cranes even when he is not around. Read More »You know you are a mother when…

Delft Mama of the week: Claudia


Delft Mama of the week, Claudia, is a mother of Katerina (2,5) and a new born Nikolas (2 weeks). “Since I was a kid I wanted to be a mom. I used to play and care so much for my dolls like real babies. When growing up I had a closer feeling with my three younger sisters and one brother. Now I have fulfilled this dream for a second time and it feels great to think that so much of you is in them. The biggest surprise about having two children has been the behavior of my daughter Katerina.Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Claudia

Ik hou van jou – T’estimo

It was a December evening in Coimbra, Portugal. Neither of them were from the city. As a matter of fact, they were both born far from each other in different countries, yet somehow ended up listening to the same background chatter of their friends. Just one day before they simply could have passed each other on the street without knowing this other person was going to share their lives in the future. During that evening two separate European paths, one from Barcelona and the other from Groningen, merged into one.

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