The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen

What has changed in your life since you became a mother?
Everything. I’m happier, healthier. I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. I never read books nor dance in clubs any more. My perspective on the world has changed.

 What do you want to teach your child?
Love strongly. Take every chance you get to show this love. Have an opinion of your own. Be kind. Be patient. Always go for the best. Love yourself.

 What do you like most to do all together?
All usual stuff. Everything became much more fun since we’re a family. But we love to eat together. Food . Good food is an important part of our lives. Besides we love walks on a beach and in the city.

 What’s the best thing about being a mother?
I think it’s hard to explain. Nothing brings me more joy than to see my two girls together. Nothing beats seeing your tiny baby grow into a beautiful human being. To feel this overwhelming love is the best part. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

 What is typical about your child/children?
Lovis Sue in only six months old, so it’s hard to say something about her character yet. But she seems calm and gentle. Pearly Lee is a different story. She is gentle too but very intense, in a good way. She is often in the center of attention without being aware of this.

 

The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen

What did surprise you about motherhood?
How hard it can be. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I feel super responsible for their wellbeing on many levels. A lot of stuff comes naturally but you never know if you’re doing things right.

What are you looking for when it comes to toys and playing?
Well, I think toys should be simple and beautiful, and safe of course. We hardly ever buy something from regular toy stores. Nowadays many toys are made to be so obvious and easy. There’s no room left for imagination. So there are no singing plastic teapots or talking dolls in our house. Sometimes I feel guilty about this because kids just love that stuff. Pearly Lee stayed at home with me until she was 2,5. We played, did a lot of crafts and read together. But I’ve always let her play and wander on her own. I have to admit I’m not the kind of mom that plays endlessly with her kids. Armand is much better at that. I’m happy we got a spot for Pearly at a Waldorf playgroup. Interaction with other kids on a daily basis is really good for her. Plus now she comes home with the best stories and songs!

 What are your favorite places to take your kids to?
Beach is our absolute favorite. And now when Pearly is older, I love to take her to our favorite cake shop and have some cake, just the two of us. Sometimes I like to daydream about the future where I will take both of my girls on city trips, just the three of us.

 What are the things you can’t live without since you became a mother?
The ergo baby carrier, Solly baby wrap, Burt Bee’s multipurpose ointment, my iPhone to take million photo’s a day and the Coffee percolator.

What’s your advice to all newbie moms?
I’m not a fan of the term me-time. But it’s important to stay sane and happy and therefore a better mama. Do something on your own every now and then, or together with your partner /friends. And believe in yourself. You’re made for this, trust your gut. And don’t look at others. Everybody has her/his own parenting style. It’s all good.

The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen

The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen

What do you find difficult as a parent and how do you try to solve the difficulties?
I find it very difficult to be strict. We’re working on that. I truly believe kids need limits. Nothing good comes from always having it your way or getting everything you want. Another thing I’m working on is finding the right balance between work and family. I was a stay at home mom for the first 2 years of Pearly’s life so I had enough time to spend with her. Now with my own shop, working from home and the second child it feels like I have no time left at all.

 How do you prefer raising your child/children, what works for you?
I don’t read parenting books, sites etc. It all comes from within. From what my parents taught me. I hope to help my girls to grow up to be brave, kind, curious and loving. I do that by giving them everything I have, which includes my love, my strengths and my weakness. I want them to feel safe with us at home, to turn to me when shit goes wrong. I want them to know I’ll always be here, unconditionally. I want them to feel like they can be kids, free and careless for as long as possible.

As a mother what would you like to do differently?
Sometime I wish I was better in having a daily routine. I think it would be easier for all of us. But somehow we never succeed at that. We’re not the kind of family that walks outside at 10 o’clock in the morning, ready for the day. We’re always late. Everywhere.

 What’s your favorite moment of the day?
I love mornings when we don’t have to get up for school and work. Coffee and books in bed followed by a delicious breakfast.

 How do you unwind? What is a nice treat for you?
I need to work on that. But eating well is one thing. I hope to have more time to do yoga and read. Meeting up with my girlfriends is a great way to unwind. We’re still adjusting to this new family of 4/ working mom thing.

The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen

The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen

What do you do to make sure everything is ‘in balance’, work, family, friends?
That part is still a bit messy. Pearls & Swines is run from our home. So I work whenever I can. Some days I work too much and others the kids simply don’t let me, because they really need me. I try to stay flexible. I try not to overstress myself. Sometimes that means people have to wait a bit longer to get a reply.

 Name a couple of your favourite things in general. List a top 5.
1. My big love, my partner Armand
2.Beach
3.Risott
4.The first cab ride in a new place/ city. Simply taking it all in.
5. Dancing.

 Can you tell a little about how you decorated your kid’s room?
Decorating is one of my favourite things to do. Although, I hardly have any time or space for it left. It’s a part of my job as well. I love bright, simple spaces for kids.

   What’s important to you interior-wise, when it comes to creating a home?
Our tiny apartment for two turned into a family home. With Pearly’s art on the walls, stains are everywhere. But it’s more perfect than ever. It’s cozy and fun. And still bright with stuff I love.

 Where do you shop for your kid(s)?
Ha! I think 95% comes from my own shop. I really sell what I love and what my own kids wear.

 What are your favorite clothing brands and stores?
Oh I have so many favorites. MarMar CPH, Mini Rodini, Noe & Zoe, Tiny Cottons, Minimocks, Pierrot la Lune. All available at Pearls & Swines.
I love Bobo Choses, Saltwater sandals, Vans and Petit Bateau. Offline shops 290 square meters, Big & Belg and Keet in Huis are my Amsterdam favorites.

How do you stay in shape, physically and emotionally?
It took me a little while before I was back in shape after Pearly, I’m not the gym kind of person or any other sport for that matter. I love ballet and yoga, but I never practice. After a 10 day detox I lost most of my pregnancy weight and my sugar addiction. 6 months later I was pregnant with Lovis and I gained again more than I wanted. A couple of weeks ago, I started to eat sugar free again and it’s going in the right direction.Emotionally it’s harder this time. Pearly is a difficult sleeper and we basically didn’t sleep for 3 years. No sleep is a killer for your sanity. Plus, having a growing business and a six months old baby definitely makes things hard. Sometimes I lose it. But after a good cry and a pep talk with Armand, my mom and/or my friends, I’m fine. Armand and I will try to make more time for us two now Lovis is older. And I keep in mind that it will get better. More sleep and more balance. And maybe some ‘me-time’ at the gym.

The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen

What was the first item you bought for your baby when you were pregnant?
Vans era’s.

 What’s the nicest piece of art you ever got from kid(s)?
Pearly made a Rainbow drawing last week, I really love it. But the best so far was a drawing of her whole family including Baby Lovis who was still in my belly.

When does your heart melt?
My hearts melts every day. But I think the first time Pearly and Lovis made a real contact was truly magical.

 Which city do you like to visit and why?
Oh I’m longing for more traveling in general. But New York and Copenhagen are on my top list.

What’s important for you when you go on holiday with family?
To have fun and simply spend time together and take in all the new stuff.

 What do you like about your partner as a father?
Armand has really surprised me as a father. It comes so natural to him which is beautiful to see. Especially for a man who never thought of becoming a dad. He’s fun and adventurous and loving.

 How does your date-night look like?
I have no idea. Haha. Probably good food, too much wine and a lot of talking.

The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen

The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen

The Mamma Stories featuring Anne-Britt, Pearly Lee & Lovis Sue - Joey van Dongen

ANNE-BRIT & PEARLY ARE WEARING:

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