Moving to holland with a 2yr old & 5 week old- help!

(56 Posts)
dutchwifey Mon 16-Jul-12 09:40:12

Hi, dh has just been offered a job in the south east of Holland. He is Dutch but from the north but has lived in England for the past 6 years. I am English. We have 2dc's. We will be moving as soon as we get a house sorted over there. Any advice, tips, hand holding would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks

natation Mon 16-Jul-12 10:52:23

Which province of Netherlands do you mean? Or more precisely near which town?This are a few mumsnetters in the Netherlands, one might be near to where you are moving to.

AlpinePony Mon 16-Jul-12 11:04:34

You don't get much further South-East than me. grin I'm in the south-east of Limburg.

I have a 2 year old and a 5 month old.

VagolaJahooli Mon 16-Jul-12 11:46:03

Hi Dutchwifey, I'm in Den Haag, where are you moving to?

I'm in North Limburg, just where it meets Brabant and Gelderland. I have a 2 year old too.

Bring lots of teabags with you, strong painkillers, and fig rolls. You can't get decent English Breakfast tea anywhere here, ditto to anything with coedine in. The fig rolls are for me! grin
BBC comes as standard on most TV providers so you've still got CBeebies.

You'll be fine. The Dutch are generally a very friendly, helpful bunch, and most people speak English. I've been here ten years now, and that's by choice. We could have gone home years ago but decided to stay.

Where are you moving to? Then we can start filling you in on more details about supermarkets, traffic etc.

AlpinePony Mon 16-Jul-12 14:19:56

Oh yes, traffic - they're currently (and will be for the next 18 months of so) re-building the A2 (route from Amsterdam to south of france) through Maastricht (the only motorway in the world with 6 sets of traffic lights in a 1 mile stretch... ) - so if you're commuting to Maastricht it's a "fucker" to put it mildly. <tries not to think about tomorrow's destination>

If you're as far down south as the Baroness and I, you're in for a real treat - it's like 1950's britain.

Your husband might gasp in horror if he heard the name of the town where I live - but seriously, the reputation is misplaced. Despite living in a supposed crappy town, we routinely forget to lock the car - haven't locked the shed in months, rarely lock the back door, people leave flowers in pots (!) and garden furniture in front gardens and it doesn't get nicked! smile

Come on then, enough with the suspense - where are you moving to?

Oi, baroness - I'll bet you a slightly bruised stroopwafel she's coming closer to me than you! wink

dutchwifey Mon 16-Jul-12 14:33:24

Thank you all for the replies! We think we will be living in Venlo as that will be where my husband is based, however we did toy with the idea of living in a bigger city such as Eindhoven and commuting.
Are there a lot of baby groups as I rely on them quite heavily in the UK to meet other mums and get me out the house.
Everyone says that Holland is a fab place to bring up children and my husband is so happy to be going back as he has really missed all the snitzels, gehaktballs and stroop wafels (I apologise for my horrendous spelling!!)

Hah! I win the stroopwafel! That's just down the N271 for me. I could even get the bus. I've never been there though. I always go to Nijmegen. and Venray but hasn't everyone because that's where the dole office is

Dutchwifey I've got bad news for you about baby groups. They don't exist here. Don't worry though. There's plenty of other things to do. You'll probably find that you pop out everyday to the supermarket, or the bakers, and it's quite common to stand and chat and get to know people that way. It really is like the Fifties! Supermarkets have free coffee and biscuits, and somewhere to sit. There are also lots of events organised for children and families, all year round. There are fairs, car shows, candlelit walks, lots of things to do with sheep and tractors. Every town or village has it's own fete. Garden centres here are a day out too, and great if it's raining. Honestly, I can swamp you with ideas.

AlpinePony Tue 17-Jul-12 11:34:00

<hands over stroopwafel with tooth marks in>

Glad you said that about the baby groups, I didn't want to be the bad guy. ;) there is actually a bf group here but they only meet once a month for a coffee in V&D...

I've talked to loads of mums at the park though.

There are quite a few international firms in Venlo with a US workforce, so if you can find out where the American women's club meet, you could be in.

I love roermond which is quite close to you.

Food shopping is going to be very expensive coming from UK and I buy all my nappies & wipes from amazon as they're hideously priced here.

MainlyMaynie Tue 17-Jul-12 12:42:28

The baby groups are very different from the UK and much less choice, but I've found there is some stuff out there. There's a weekly mother and baby group in the city centre here and something called ontmoetingsgroeps, which happen all over the city. Baby classes (except swimming) don't really start until 1.5, but then there are music classes, baby gyms etc. (I'm in overijssel, so not near you but not big city either!)

Your 2 year-old will be eligible for 2 sessions a week at a subsidized peuterspeelzaal (playgroup). You might get an extra 2 to help with Dutch as well. My DS is too young, but when I walk past it does look like people chat at the gates! I'm a bit freaked out by the high ratios though (1:8). You'll probably have to wait a while for a place at the best ones too, if it's the same as here you can register the child at 1.

We don't get Cbeebies as we're not allowed a satellite dish and chose the wrong cable provider - make sure you check! I used to get nappies etc. from Amazon, but actually if you get them on special in Jumbo it works out about the same.

natation Tue 17-Jul-12 12:56:47

There is a state subsidised English medium school in Eindhoven, plus a number of expat groups in the city. You could ask there for contacts, Venlo is close enough I'm sure some children travel from that area.

www.isecampus.nl/Flex/Site/Page.aspx?PageID=&Lang=

Then there are 2 women's clubs in Eindhoven with mums and tots groups.

www.nawceindhoven.com/newsevents.htm
http://www.iwce.nl/en/activities/other-social-groups/mums-and-toddlers

<ignores teethmarks and plonks stroopwafel onto coffee cup>

Right, so that's baby and toddler groups sorted. You'll have to go to the ex-pat ones as they're aren't any ontmoetingsgroeps in Limburg. Trust me on this. I spent over a year looking and had my HVs on the case as well. They found me one in Amsterdam and told me to take the train. hmm Who's going to break the news about ovens, stairs, toilets, and the lack of hot water taps? grin

Maynie Are you really not allowed a satellite dish? There was an EU ruling that declared it to be a human right in connection with the freedom to receive information. Will try to find a link.......

AlpinePony Tue 17-Jul-12 14:39:24

Tele2 has cbeebies and ziggo has jimjam which is better than BBC tbh.

I forgot, my local pool does swimming for babies.

lagartija Tue 17-Jul-12 14:46:13

soooo jealous. Would love to live in the south of Holland. What's this about ovens, stairs and no hot water taps though?

natation Tue 17-Jul-12 14:55:17

Can't you get special satellite dishes which fit inside roof spaces so that no-one can see and object to.

I fully believe you're right about the EU directive and I bet millions were spent devising this directive telling us what our human rights are. I wish we had the human right to be paid as much as those who make these decisions :-)

AlpinePony Tue 17-Jul-12 14:57:56

mainly I thought the same but got caught out this month with a special offer from Kruidvat... the number of nappies inside the pack is vastly different! Amazon send them in packs of 80+, locally you only seem to get the smaller packs. I'm not sure of the numbers exactly, but it's not the end of the month yet and I need to buy more - doesn't happen when I buy from Amazon! ;)

Also wipes - 10 quid for 12 packs on Amazon, 10 euros for 4 (!) packs here!

I have an oven and hot water taps... my stairs are ludicrously steep though and thank god for self-assembled furniture eh!?

Graciescotland Tue 17-Jul-12 15:12:21

There is a good facebook group called Amsterdam Mamas, although the members come from all over the Netherlands. Handy resource if you want to ask a question or organise a playdate.

MainlyMaynie Tue 17-Jul-12 16:18:01

Ooh, we have Ziggo, I'll have to check out Jimjams. And recheck nappies on Amazon, though Jumbo is a lot cheaper than the Kruidvat offers (10 euros for 6 packs of wipes).

We live in a flat and the building regs ban satellite dishes. It's one of those places where the residents' association has to approve you before you're allowed to buy and we're the only non-Dutch residents... Not sure they'll care about my human right to satellite TV. We've got all the other BBC channels except CBeebies though.

I don't have a proper oven, but I do have hot water taps. I have yet to see any stairs I think aren't crazily steep.

dikkertjedap Tue 17-Jul-12 18:59:20

In addition to what has been mentioned before, the Dutch are quite strict about medication. So you will not be able to buy calprofen (ibuprofen based children's medicine) or things like Sinutab (for adults obviously, contains ephedrine or something like that which is banned in the Netherlands as you can make something out of it), so you may want to stock up on any types of over the counter Uk medication.

Same for food stuffs you are really attached too - stock up before you go or find a shop who is willing to post it to you.

Good luck, there will be lots of paperwork and things to sort out but once it is all done it will be lovely.

AlpinePony Tue 17-Jul-12 20:05:50

You can actually buy kiddy nurofen liquid in kruidvat/supermarkets now!

All that stuff is way, way, way cheaper in UK though. There's a massive 24-hour tesco in Dover which will become your best friend.

Jumbo (a supermarket) does Cathedral cheddar, clotted cream and back bacon.

natation Tue 17-Jul-12 20:24:40

For dried goods from the UK (things you don't need to refrigerate), you can order online from a shop here in Belgium and get parcels delivered at a flat rate of €12.50 to Netherlands.

www.englishshop.be/

VagolaJahooli Tue 17-Jul-12 21:29:13

Yeah you can't buy codiene over the counter here, I got a look of horror at the pharmacy when I asked for something like migraleve. Ironically, there was a coffeeshop to doors down, but I was looked at like I was a druggy for asking for codiene. Anyhoo, chemistdirect.co.uk delivers to NL and is quite cheap.

Bring some good extendable stairgates if you can find some in the uk.

You & the kids will need to register with your local council office here which you will need your birth certificates apostilised for, is that the right term ladies. If you are here and they are not done you will need to send them back to the UK to have them done.

The immunization schedule is all the same jabs but on a couple of them they have one extra, so like where in the UK they do 3 HiB here they do 4. When we first arrived my eldest had to catch up to their system and was a pin cushion. It wasn't until after it all that I discovered that if I had registered at the local international GP clinic I could have stuck to the UK system.

Otherwise the baby and child clinics are very good. I was given a Dutch 'groen boek' to replace my DS2's green book, but found out afterwards that they do have the books in English. I think my local clinic (consultatiebureau) wasn't used to dealing with English speaking mums.

We have an over and really really hot water, but our first place that we rented when we arrived had no oven.

VagolaJahooli Tue 17-Jul-12 21:32:08

Oh and when you buy or rent a house it is completely empty I mean of everything, they don't even leave light fittings.

Oh we all have ovens! What I meant was, how big are they? Come on ladies, who actually has a real oven and not a tiny combination microwave thing?

Toilets - they have shelves in so you can inspect before you flush. Think of it as an observation deck. grin

Lack of hot water taps - of course there's hot water in the kitchen and bathroom! Just not in the downstairs loo. Or at work. Or in toilets anywhere. In fact, some loos don't have washbasins at all, which is why the Dutch will eat a sandwich with a knife and fork.

Stairs - steep!

Have we frightened the OP off?

AlpinePony Wed 18-Jul-12 11:35:23

I've got a proper oven, kitchen came from Germany though, perhaps that is why!

No basin in lol, but no poo-parcel shelf either. ;)

As your husband is dutch, he'll know all about the minefields of renting, but I'd like to recommend www.vesteda.com (or is it .nl?) As being an awesome, easy to deal with, professional, no quibbles management company. I've been badly stung by a dutch landlord, but vesteda were amazing. In fact they deposited 30 odd euros in my account last week because we'd overpaid (we moved out Feb 2011!).

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