Both Lenneke Hol and Gjin Ceca don't find it difficult to be a parent and a Wageningen student at the same time. Lennekes' neighbours do have to back her up sometimes, though.
But for the time being, Gjin is having a hard time. 'Joris is quiet in the daytime but at night, he gets a little talkative.' As his wife doesn't have a job, Gjin manages to attend his lectures normally. 'I try to attend everything, and yet I am still a little behind.' According to the schedule, he would graduate at the end of this academic year. He is confident, though, that he can make it. 'I work hard and sleep better gradually from day to day.'
Philip, Lenneke Hol's son, is a year and a half. He was five months old when Lenneke got back to studying. After an economics education at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and eight years in a job, something began to bother her. 'My job was stressful. As personnel manager at Shell, I was responsible for 350 secretaries, but the job hardly gave me any satisfaction. I've always been interested in the environment and wanted to do more about it.' So Lenneke decided to study Environmental Sciences. She spends about three hours travelling daily between her home in Gouda and Wageningen.
Combining study and childcare works well. 'I attend lectures such that I can be home at half past three at the latest.' Philip - babbling merrily throughout the interview - goes to the crèche thrice a week. People living around chip in to help when necessary. 'If I am delayed, my neighbours are even prepared to fetch Philip.' She only has problems with project team work sometimes. 'I always have to leave early. In return, I would propose to do something, such as the lay-out, in the evening. I haven't encountered any bad feelings so far. There are many foreign students in my group. Many of them have children too and know what it's like.'
Lenneke, as well as Gjin, do not regret their choices. 'After a stressful day working with the pc, I come home and there is Joris', says Gjin. 'I'll look at him and forget everything. He puts me so at ease.'