What has changed in your life since you became a mother?
My life has become very rich, complete since Lola was born. It’s incredible that she’s now in our world. Every day is a surprise. There is always something new and enchanting about her. My life goes on and Lola has to get along with it. But she does it great. Naturally we had to do a lot of getting-used-to and the logistic is sometimes extremely complicated. Simple things like having a cup of coffee around the corner can become a true challenge. But we are on a right way.
What things do you want to teach your child/ children?
Lola is about 9 months old. So by now we simply try to do everything to make her happy and make her enjoy herself. But we make sure that she gets enough zzz’s.
What do you like most to do all together?
It’s nice to stay active. We do a lot of strolls in a nearby park, we go to the city, we go out for coffee and lunch dates. I also love biking and swimming with her. Recently we came back from a vacation in Spain. What a wonderful time it was and Lola has enjoyed it tremendously.
What’s the best thing about being a mother?
Unconditional love. It’s incredible to know that I brought her to this world.
What did surprise you about motherhood?
How quick you learn if you listen to your gut. I know exactly what Lola needs, besides she always lets me know what she needs or wants. She does it well.
What is typical about your child/children?
One day she really looks like my partner Joost and the other day she’s my copy. She changes very fast. It’s funny and nice to see your partner and yourself in your child. It’s also amazing to see how quick she develops and learns new things. In one week time she switched to crawling. Now she can also stand and she knows exactly how to get our attention. She laughs so merry and she knows how to be in the center of attention using her laugh.
How does Lola resemble your partner or you?
Lola is a little boss. As my parents laughing say that I was exactly the same when I was a baby. But she resembles Joost a lot. The have the same blink in their eyes.
What are you looking for when it comes to toys and playing?
Lola loves other children. So it’s always nice when she can play with kids. But it’s also important for me that she can play on her own. It’s yet quite difficult as she’s only 9 months old. But she can play for quite a while in her bed or in the playpen which is good. She doesn’t have yet a favorite toy. And it’s funny to see how she can play with things which are way far from being toys.
What are your favourite places to take your kids to?
I love taking her for strolls into a park. Beatrixpark is our favorite one. There’s a great playground over there and in the summer they even have a swimming pool for kids. Further than that we are yet discovering. However you learn quite quickly in a busy city like Amsterdam where to go and where not to go with a stroller. We love going to a café Brouwerij Troost and Vrijdag. I haven’t visited yet any special cafes with a kids area in there. When it comes to cafes it definitely should be a nice place for Lola but also for us. In the summer we enjoyed going to the Parade in Amsterdam. And once in a while on Sundays we go to the Pure Market.
What are the things you can’t live without since you became a mother?
Everything from Ella’s Kitchen, healthy meals and snacks for the little ones. Lola really loves it too. And it’s super easy to take them in a diaper-bag or in my handbag when running errands.
What’s the invention of the century when it comes to gadgets for kids?
Definitely an iPhone. Even 9 months old babies know how cool an iPhone is and that you can play with it. Probably it’s not an answer which will get a pedagogical approval. But iPhone definitely makes my life easier when I need to distract Lola and there are no toys around.
What’s your advice to all newbie moms?
Relax and follow your gut. When I was pregnant I didn’t follow any pregnancy courses. The only thing for pregnant I did was I boot-camp. That’s it. While in labour you’d be told what to do and it may happen that all your preparations will be in vain even if you did your super best. I just went with the flow and it worked perfectly for me.
What do you find difficult as a parent and how do you try to solve the difficulties?
I do everything what I did before. So I haven’t faced any major problems yet (luckily). We became less flexible of course. And I must say it’s quite difficult to find a good and reliable baby-sitter in Amsterdam.
How do you prefer raising your child/children, what works for you?
Well we don’t have anything specific yet. We just follow our gut and the common sense. But it’s of course very good to share with other mothers and get some handy tips. But we mainly listen to our gut. And that would be my advice.
As a mother what would you like to do differently?
Slowly but steadily I want to start planning dates for just us two (me and my partner). In the beginning I simply wanted to stay home with Lola. But now I’d like to go out more often just to the movies or for a dinner.
What’s your favourite moment of the day?
Mornings are great. Of course if they begin not at 5 a.m. getting up together and having a breakfast with the three of us is my favourite. Lola is always relaxed and rested in the morning that makes life easy and merry.
How do you unwind? What is a nice treat for you?
I try to sport as often as possible. Two times a week I go to a boot-camp called Mom in Balance. Super nice. Sporting helps me a lot to relax and this is time for myself. Besides once in a while I go to a beautician or for a lunch date with my girlfriends. And of course shopping, it always makes me happy.
What do you do to make sure everything is ‘in balance’, work, family, friends?
Well frankly I haven’t found that balance yet. But I just try to plan as much as possible and luckily people around us understand what having a young family means. But it’s crucial to have time for nice things. My partner and I we share the responsibilities for Lola and we divide the household tasks so there’s time for nice stuff left.
How do you combine motherhood and work?
Both grandparents come in turns to baby-sit on Fridays. Unfortunately they all live not so close to Amsterdam. When I was small I had my grandparents living around the corner. I loved that and I miss it. But luckily my parents and the in-laws come often and we try to visit them as much as possible. Though the weekends go so fast and there’s never enough time.
Do you have some special traditions/rituals as a family?
Nothing special I guess. We do have a ritual of brining Lola to bed. After an evening meal we bath her and we bring her to bed together. I give her a bottle when she’s in bed and after that she goes to sleep.
Name a couple of your favourite things in general.
I like the simple stuff like a nice food, cooking, traveling together, going out with Joost, meeting friends and family, having a drink, watching TV shows, shopping and readying a good book. Reading gets more and more difficult with a little bee growing fast. But during our last holiday I managed to read two books. I also enjoy enormously my mother day with Lola. We always do something, we are adventurous. As well I’d like to start going to a swimming-pool with her.
Can you tell a little about how you decorated your kid’s room?
Lola has the most beautiful room in the house. It’s a very bright room full of daylight. The room has a Scandinavian feel. We chose a stylish crib from a Danish brand and I found truly amazing wallpapers. The colour pallet is white, blue with some pink details.
What’s important to you interior-wise, when it comes to creating a home?
Space for all of us where Lola can play safely and freely. Luckily we have a spacious apartment with a terrace on a roof. We do have to climb three stair cases to get there. But we love it like it is. And we live in a very good neighborhood with a lot of things to do for kids.
Where do you shop for your kid(s)?
Voor de basics I go to Hema and Zara. But for some chic items I go to Petit Bateau and Koter & Co. Lola is yet way to small and she’s very active, she scrawls all the time. So it’s important to get her comfortable clothes which can be washed often.
What are your favorite clothing brands and stores?
My all-time favorites are J-Crew and Scotch & Soda. Actually J-Crew is my absolute number one, an amazing brand from the USA.
How do you stay in shape, physically and emotionally?
I love going to a boot-camp. It gives you all: distraction, working out outside, chatting with other moms.
What is the most difficult part about being a mother?
Sometimes I find it difficult to combine my work and responsibilities I bare for Lola. My partner and I we both have very busy active jobs, so it can be difficult to find time for each other.
What is the role of your own mother?
My mom is absolutely in love with Lola (and my dad too, by the way) and she’s helping us a lot. She baby-sits Lola on a regular basis. Plus we often bring our daughter to my parents for a night over. And of course I can always call my mom.
Which city do you like to visit and why?
Our favorite for a city trip is Florence. When I was a student I had a 6 months internship over there. Since then I try to go back on a yearly basis. Plus I have a couple of friends who live there. It’s a city of many possibilities: nice food, cozy restaurants, great shops and of course museums! The city itself is a small museum under the skies.
What’s important for you when you go on holiday with family?
This summer we went to the South of Spain. And before that we had a vacation at Mallorca. It’s great to have an apartment where you can cook if you have a small child traveling along. When it comes to Lola it’s important that we help her to stay in her own rhythm of naps, meals, etc. We had a house with a swimming pool in South of Spain and that was amazing. Lola was completely crazy about it, she loved going swimming every day. After a week in a house we went camping. That was an adventure I must say to stay in a tent with a baby.
What do you like about your partner as a father?
Joost is a fantastic dad. He’s very patient and caring.
How did your relationship change?
Through caring together after a small person we got even closer. We know that we always can rely on each other. It’s a great feeling. Of course we have less time for just the two of us. But we do a lot of things with the tree of us and that’s sure enough very important. Weekends are the family time!
SABINE IS WEARING