‘We really need to plan when to sleep with whom’

open: “We have two houses and four children together and we commute up and down.”

Helen: „I am a professional organizer. Some people call it clearing coach, but it is much broader. It’s basically organizing one’s life. For one person, it is after a divorce, but it can also be after a move or after the death of a parent. It is not only the things that need to be removed from the house, there is also a lot of administration involved. For example, not all relatives know how things like gas and internet are arranged. Then I will look at it all. ”

open: “You coordinate and create structure.”

Helen: “It is super important to listen carefully. The people I advise are often too busy to think carefully about where things are going wrong. First I inventory. What’s in it now? Is it in the collaboration with your partner that in your eyes doing too little? That way I can make a plan. But it can also be about a space in the house. Suppose you always get in each other’s way in the kitchen in the morning. Who makes the packed lunches for the kids on the left, and who makes breakfast on the right? ”

open: “Of course Heleen has a lot of good tips that we have also implemented in our own lives. It has had a good effect. “

Helen: ‘I think Frank – for a man, I say now – is quite handsome. Of course, I’ve never lost anything, but neither has Frank. “

Militaristic and strict

open: “We always agree on who will provide the food on which day. It sounds militaristic and strict, but it also gives peace of mind. “

Helen: “These are fixed days when we do, especially the days when we do not have children.”

open: “It is nice to know in advance that I will provide the food on Wednesday. I can take that into account when I shop. ”

Helen: “We do not have children from Wednesday to Friday, nor do we have children on the weekends. Tuesday night we always look: what about work and private relationships, when do we sleep with whom? We really need to plan that. ”

open: “Mondays or Tuesdays, everyone sits in their own house with their own children. We are all in Eemnes or Bilthoven from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. ”

Helen“The children have not seen each other for two weeks. Even when we hang out at home, we notice that they are having fun. We often play some games in peace, two children make the serving board, and after dinner and watching some television, the little ones quickly go to bed. ”

open: “We try to talk to the two of us before we go to bed, it’s very important. But you can see that the evening gets shorter and shorter as the children get older. ”

Helen: “I’m usually the first to wake up on Sunday morning, around seven. The children should lie in bed until half past seven. It’s always the same people who are the first to wake up: Bram and Thomas. They set the table, I bake the rolls in the oven, and then we wait for you to wake up. ”

open: “Around half past eight we all eat breakfast.”

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

open: „I do not have it, I get up and sit down immediately. I think that’s fine. I want a moment to myself after dinner, then I go out into the garden with a cup of coffee. ”

Helen: “We try to go outside on Sundays, because the children do not have to sit inside their screens all day. Fortunately, I live close to the heath and Frank close to the forest. ”

open: “Monday and Tuesday I get up at a quarter to seven. Then it’s a quick breakfast for the three of us, then I go to the office or to a customer. My children go to school on their own. ”

bread buckets

Helen: „Mine too, on foot or by scooter. They have their own breakfast at the bar. While they eat and chat, I make the packed lunches. Sometimes they practice a few more English words. I’m already saying, ‘If you want to play, you can or you can not with me.’ I’m organized, so I’m thinking ahead. They do not have a phone yet, but they do have a watch that they can use to make calls. At five o’clock screen time and the cooking starts, and then it’s rush hour. Sometimes they have to train. On the days when it is not necessary, we watch three TVs for a while. These are really fun moments. ”

open: „If you are three, then you really have a while quality time with your children, it is a good side effect. ”

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

open: “Usually we gather around six-thirty-thirty before dinner with him who cooks.”

Helen: “Or by the one who picks up …”

open: “Yes, or with the one who gets, because some do.”

Helensome

open: “On the weekends we do more when we are together: we meet friends or go on a weekend. During the week we see each other in the evening and then we also play sports, so sometimes we are a little tired. We are lucky that the children are close to age, which fits really well, so they are always happy to see each other. There are no more moves with big kids, so I think that’s fine to do. We have decorated the houses accordingly, and it is only a fifteen minute drive from Eemnes to Bilthoven. ”

During the rush hour, couples and singles tell how they combine work and private life. Take part? Mail to werk@nrc.nl.

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