Eva Jinek is after making the docuseries The World of Eva look differently at motherhood and the problems mothers encounter, she tells NU.nl. In this three-part series, Jinek discusses important issues in the lives of mothers: the physical problems women experience during and after childbirth, the guilt you feel as a working mother and sex after childbirth.
First and foremost: the approach of the series that Jinek has created is that motherhood is very beautiful, but that it still has a few taboos. She has learned a lot, she says. Starting with the problems that many women encounter during pregnancy. For example, one in five women experiences the birth as traumatic, a quarter suffers from urine loss and an epidural in the Netherlands is not self-evident, just like pelvic floor treatment.
The choice for the subject of motherhood was obvious for the 43-year-old Jinek, who did not only show her late night show for RTL Jinek but is also given the space to make documentaries for Videoland.
The World of Eva there is the first feat of arms. “The big change in my life in the past 3.5 years is that I have become a mother, and a working mother. It is a subject that concerns me every day.”
The feeling of guilt as a working mother is a big theme for Jinek that she wants to bring to the fore. “A scientist I interviewed explained to me how it works: we see a father’s care task as earning money for his family, a mother’s care task is taking care of her children. So if a working father does not leave his sick child can achieve, everyone thinks that is completely normal mother can’t come get her child, many people see her as selfish and cold.”
The anecdote of journalist and presenter Liesbeth Staats in the documentary is striking: her husband forgets to put a dentist appointment in the agenda. Staats later comes with her child for a new appointment with the dentist, who clearly resents her for missing the appointment. When Staats says that her husband has forgotten to report it, the dentist defrosts and forgives her everything. Because you shouldn’t burden the working father with a dentist appointment at all, should you?
‘I spend a lot of time and energy on my guilt’
“It is difficult to measure, but everyone feels it. Thanks to my upbringing, I have learned that I must ensure that I am financially independent and that my work must be interesting. It is not a hobby and it is what my family lives on. I also share those cultural values, how working mothers are viewed in the Netherlands. They put pressure on me. That bothers me. I spend a lot of time and energy on that feeling of guilt. You hear it all your life and that determines how you view yourself and your role is watching.”
Jinek does not only want to show the problems young mothers face. She says she is “a very pragmatic person” and therefore wants to see how it can be solved.
For example, a scientist tells in the documentary that when an employer approaches young fathers in the same way as young mothers, the mothers’ sense of guilt decreases. “I find that so handy, you can do something with it. So there are in fact concrete solutions. Let’s move towards that.”
Motherhood is depicted on Instagram as something fantastic and it goes without saying that a mother walks outside fresh and cheerful for days three days after giving birth, but Jinek soon realized that this is not the case for many mothers.
“I was forty when I became a mother and then you think that with all your life experience you have a sense of security. I thought: soon I will be walking with my son Pax in a pram glamorous outside and then life starts again as it was. With me it was the opposite: I had become ill after childbirth, which made me very sick, and I could hardly walk and that shocked me. I know myself as someone who always has energy for ten. Which, regardless of the time, throws the beech in. Now that didn’t work. I was sad about that.”
The presenter was not the old one in other areas either. In the episode about sex after childbirth, Jinek says that she didn’t feel as attractive as on Instagram images, but “a bit like Crocs” (the usually unattractive rubber shoes, ed.). “You can’t stand there after three days with a toned and functioning body.”
In the series she talks to people about sex, which was confronting: when Jinek asks what kind of people real sex is, they all say penetration sex.
“That is precisely something that is not so easy when you have just given birth to a child. In the Netherlands they say: if you have contraception, you can go again. But then you start building up again. Many women also feel pressure: when can I have penetrative sex again? They start to associate it with pain, and they spiral downward when there are so many other forms of sex and intimacy.”
She also notes that things are better organized in countries around us. “We may well conclude that the Netherlands is quite conservative. It may be a remnant of a thought from years ago. I hope this series opens the conversation between men and women, but also women themselves.”
‘I see the fact that I would work too little as a frame’
Although Jinek feels guilty as a working mother, she is sometimes accused of working too little. Because is it possible, do a talk show for a few months in the year and be free for a big salary for the rest of the year? She has also seen such comments on social media and shrugs.
“I see it as someone’s frame. At RTL I work even more than I did at the NPO. I certainly don’t want to complain about it, but I spend more hours with my own talk show. That starts early in the morning at 7.30 and ends late at night.”
Then Johan Derksen’s comment is currently also playing in it Today Inside. He says she has been uncollegiate. After a broadcast of her own talk show, Jinek would have shouted: ‘We have that Today Inside got it off the TV nicely after all!’, when his show stopped for a short while after his ‘candle story’.
She denied having said this to colleague Beau van Erven Dorens last week. She repeats to NU.nl that: “I enjoy my work and know that I can be tackled on what I have said. part of the game† But now it’s about things that aren’t true. I can’t defend myself against that.”
‘There has hardly been a normal talk show week’
When she looks back on the two years that she now presents on RTL4 Jinek, she concludes that there was hardly a ‘normal’ talk show week in between. “First it was corona for a very long time and then the war in Ukraine. Those are terrible things that you have to deal with in a journalistic talk show, of course, but they are heavy subjects.”
“A talk show should really be like a magazine: a mix of all kinds of things and a good atmosphere. You catch up with people before they go to bed and you also give them something nice at the end. But since I switched to RTL, current affairs have a heavy stamp on everything. Fortunately, there has been more room for other things lately.”
Meanwhile, Jinek is writing the sequel to her book dream big, in which she again wants to portray people. “Yes, I do that too, while people think I’m on vacation,” she laughs.
“The great thing about a book like this is that you can talk extensively and meandering with someone, which is not possible at a talk show table. I could imagine that I will make long interviews in my next documentary series on Videoland, as in the book.”
Incidentally, there is still a time slot available in the early evening on NPO1, now that talk show M has stopped. Is Jink interested? “I’m in very good shape at RTL.”
The world of Eva can be seen on Videoland from Wednesday.