Over the last 2 weeks the subject of being married to Dutch women has come up in a number of conversations with colleagues and acquaintances. Of course the following is both a generalisation and subjective, however this aspect has been a common thread in these conversations. This time the common thread has been about why, once married a lot of Dutch women don’t feel a driving need to work and contribute financially to the partnership. Now to be clear, this particular situation is more related to couples who have children. The conversations were actually prompted by the fact that with one income there is nothing left at the end of the year in savings. The one income is just enough to pay for all of the stuff associated with living in The Netherlands. There has a parallel thread to this as well. Over the last week the weather has been freakishly good, so each day I have been out for a walk and I have noticed how many women, all with baby buggies have been sitting drinking coffee with their friends and co-conspirators at cafe terraces. This is where I begin to struggle. I am not sure how people can make this ‘alright’ in their heads and that applies to both the husband and the wife. On top of this, the husband works all week and when the weekend comes, it is his job to look after the children because wife has had to do it all week! This is how it seems to be and to be honest I don’t get it. There is one complication here that is not in other countries. That is where the majority of primary schools (first schools), throw the children out at lunch time for an hour so the stressed teachers can sit back with a cup of coffee, a cheese sandwich and be ‘cozy’, which is accepted by everyone as normal. Additionally every Wednesday school finishes at 12 noon, then of course add-on all of the teachers ‘study’ days that seem to randomly pop up and then the children have to stay at home. If you are both working then of course this provides a level of challenge that is not suffered in other countries. But it still doesn’t add up to what seems to be a general attitude of “its fine to stay at home and you go and earn the money”. Last night we were sitting having an early evening drink in Amsterdam and you could hear the conversation inside (before service) from the waiters (Italian) and some friends. The whole conversation was about how Dutch women don’t understand how to be a partner and make a man feel loved. It seems to be consistent, if a man is not Dutch and if they have been involved for any length of time with Dutch women, this conversation is a common thread. But who am I to comment, all the Dutch men seem to accept it.