Happy Dutch Women

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while but when you decide to combine back-to-school with re-painting your kitchen and living room, things are bound to not get done.    The painting should actually be done tonight, and so my house is almost back in order, with a huge emphasis on the ‘almost’.

A few weeks ago, Macleans our Canadian news digest,  published this article about how Dutch woman are some of the happiest in the world.  I loved it.    The reason they are so happy?   They don’t work full-time!  Most of them work part-time and some don’t work at all.     One of the women interviewed in the article stated that she has only ever worked part-time… “to have time to do things that matter to me, live the way I want. To stay mentally and physically healthy and happy.”   I say, “Right on!”    Now of course this means that these women aren’t trying to become CEO’s and hold other top positions in companies,  in fact the article also states,  ” Dutch women rank consistently low, compared to those in other Western countries, in terms of representation in top positions in business and government—and rank consistently near the top in terms of happiness and well-being.”      So incredibly enough, they’ve traded working away their lives trying to reach the top, a cog in a world of faceless cogs, to  make a more fulfilling life for themselves and they are  HAPPY.  Happy, that rocks.

If you read the whole article you will see that there are those who aren’t happy about this.  They feel that women should be striving for equality in the work-place and that refusing to do so is a slap in the face to feminism (which I’m not a fan of anyway)  and to stay at home or work part-time  is setting a bad example for their daughters and the one critic also goes as far as saying that Happiness is over-rated!  Happiness over-rated??    But the Dutch women simply respond that they should be able to choose to make the life they want,  and so they should.

What I love –  being of sound mind and one-hundred percent Dutch-blooded – is that these women are prioritizing things that they love over money.   And I’m sure money is why many women here in Canada feel they need to work full-time and maybe they do,  but we are a one-income family and yeah, we probably live more simply than others, and give up somethings that we couldn’t afford, but I don’t miss any of these things.    (And I even dare-say that we are on-par financially with many dual income families)   And to have the time to make my house a home, to care for my children and husband, to bake cookies and drink coffee with my friends…  yes, I would have to say I’m very happy too.

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3 thoughts on “Happy Dutch Women

  1. Really good! I’m only Dutch in name, but what’s the point in stressing about working full time? So we have less. That’s not a big deal in the scale of eternity! I think it’s better to be happy now and reap the joys and benefits of caring for our families. Good attitude!

  2. Hi Lisa,
    Another great post – I did not realize what a great writer you are! It is wonderful to be able to stay connected with you through your blog.
    In terms of this post, I think you are absolutely right – finding a way to achieve a work / life balance is so important both to health and happiness. It come down to choice and living consciensiously (sorry, I need spell check) what are my priorities? While everyone needs money to live, how much do you really need? how can you find ways to live on less without feeling like you have less? or without letting the gren-eyed monster called jealousy or resentment run your life?

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