“We really need to plan a bedtime with whom”

sincere: “We have two homes and four children together, and we go up and down.”

Helen: „I am a professional organizer. Some call it a clearing coach, but it’s much broader. It basically regulates one’s life. For a single person, this happens after a divorce, but it can also happen after a transition or after the death of a parent. Not only are there things that need to be removed from the home, there is also a lot of management involved. For example, not all relatives know how things like gas and the Internet are arranged. I’ll then look into all of that.”

sincere: “You coordinate and create the structure.”

Helen: “It is very important to listen carefully. The people I advise are often too busy to think carefully about things that go wrong. First I am the inventory. What is in it now? Is it in cooperation with your partner that does little in your eyes? This way I can make a plan. But it could also be around a place in the house. Suppose you two get in each other’s way in the kitchen in the morning. Who will make lunch boxes for the kids on the left and who will make breakfast on the right?”

sincere: “Of course Helen has a lot of good advice which we also applied in our lives. That had a good effect.”

Helen: „I think Frank is – for a man, I say now – quite tidy. Of course I didn’t lose anything, but Frank too.”

strict military

sincere: “We always agree on who will serve the food on what day. This sounds militaristic and strict, but it also gives peace of mind.”

Helen: “These are consistent days when we do that, especially on the days when we don’t have children.”

sincere: “It’s good to know in advance that I will take care of the food on Wednesday. I can take that into account when I go shopping.”

Helen: “We don’t have kids from Wednesday to Friday, and we don’t have kids on weekends either. On Tuesday evenings we always look: What about work and private matters, and when do we sleep with whom? We really have to plan for that.”

sincere: “On Mondays or Tuesdays, everyone sits in his house with his children. We are all in Emnes or Bilthoven from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.”

HelenThe children had not seen each other for two weeks. Even when we hang out at home, we notice that they are enjoying themselves. We often play some leisurely games, two children prepare a serving plate, and after dinner and watching TV, the youngest quickly goes to bed. ”

sincere: “We try to talk to both of us before we go to bed, and that’s very important. But you can see that the evenings get shorter and shorter as the kids get older.”

Helen: “I’m usually the first to get up on Sunday morning, around seven. The kids have to stay in bed until half past seven. They’re always the first to get up: Bram and Thomas. They set the table, I bake the rolls in the oven, and then we wait for you to wake up.”

sincere: “Around 8:30 we all have breakfast.”

Helen: “I read the newspaper for half an hour before the crowds started.”

sincere: „I don’t have it, I get up and sit down right away. I think that’s good. I want a moment to myself after dinner, then step into the garden with a cup of coffee.”

Helen: “We try to go out on Sundays, because kids aren’t supposed to be sitting inside at their screens all day. Fortunately, I live near Health and Frank’s near the woods.”

sincere: “On Mondays and Tuesdays I get up at a quarter of seven. Then it’s a quick breakfast for the three of us, and then I go to the office or to a client. My kids go to school on their own.”

bread boxes

Helen: „My own too, on foot or on a scooter. They have their own breakfast at the bar. While they are eating and talking, I prepare the food cans. Sometimes they practice a few more English words. You have already said: “If you want to play, you can or cannot do it with me.” I’m an entrepreneur, so I think the future. They don’t have a phone yet, but they do have a watch they can use to make calls. At five o’clock it’s screen time and cooking begins, after which it’s rush hour. Sometimes they have to exercise. On days when it’s not necessary, the three of us watch TV for a while. These are really fun moments.”

sincere: „If there are three of you then, you’ve had a real for a while quality time With your kids, that’s a nice side effect.”

Helen: “If we sleep together without children, we will go back to our workplace in the morning.”

sincere: “We usually get together around six or six thirty before dinner with someone who is cooking.”

Helen: “Or who brings …”

sincere: “Yes, or with whomever happens, because that’s what some do.”


sincere: “On the weekend we do more when we are together: we meet friends or we go away for the weekend. During the week we see each other in the evening and then we do sports too, so sometimes we get a little tired. We are lucky that the children’s age is close, which is what It suits them well, so they are always happy to see each other. There are no longer migrations with big children, so I think it’s a good idea to do that. We have furnished the houses accordingly, and it is only a fifteen minute drive from Emmens to Bilthoven.”

In Rush Hour, couples and singles recount how they combine work and private life. to share? Send a mail to werk@nrc.nl.

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