The Mamma Stories featuring Karina & Liam - Joey van Dongen

What has changed in your life since you became a mother?
I think I feel more confident. I don’t feel insecure about myself and I feel strong. Like yeah I can do this.

 What things do you want to teach your child/ children?
To be comfortable with themselves and to have respect for others. To take life not too serious because when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. We always dance, it makes you happy.

 What do you like most to do all together?
Forest walks, cook (cookies), cuddle, watch movies and dance!

What’s the best thing about being a mother?
The things kids teach you about your own self and how they show you stuff which you’ve forgotten while growing up.

 What is typical about your child/children?
We have 2 boys; the oldest is the sensitive one who looks at the world in a very special way. The youngest is a joker and loves to steal the show and he’s a real daredevil (He already managed to beat his front tooth out…)

The Mamma Stories featuring Karina & Liam - Joey van Dongen

The Mamma Stories featuring Karina & Liam - Joey van Dongen

What did surprise you about motherhood?
That it is a challenge to be patient even if you had 3 hours of sleep. But these times will pass, I hope.

What are you looking for when it comes to toys and playing?
With the first kid I was really strict about toys (giving him only wooden and sustainable ones). Though at one point you have to choose your battles and don’t be too hard on yourself and your kids. So now and then we got some plastic toys/guns.

 What are your favourite places to take your kids to?
With the oldest one we could go everywhere but with our little rascal it is a big no-no. So for now we go to the places where they can be just kids and run free. Like a beach, forests, and places that have open space.

 What are the things you can’t live without since you became a mother?
Nivea wipes are the best invention ever and I will definitely use them after the kids are grown up.

What’s your advice to all newbie moms?
Don’t be hard on yourself and love is all they need.

What do you find difficult as a parent and how do you try to solve the difficulties?
The challenges you have to face together as parents when there are any problems with your kids.Health, school, sports etc. Keep talking together and talk with other parents, doctors, people you trust. Ask how they solve similar issues and most of important listen to your gut. Because mommies have that 6th sense.

The Mamma Stories featuring Karina & Liam - Joey van Dongen

The Mamma Stories featuring Karina & Liam - Joey van Dongen

How do you prefer raising your child/children, what works for you?
I love to give them a safe space and give them security, knowledge that they can talk to me about everything. I love to cuddle up with my oldest one in bed and read him old stories. I’ve noticed that at such moments he always starts talking to me about what bothers him or he tells me a funny story about what he did that day. At moments like this I think I am doing a good job letting him know that he can always open up to me.

 As a mother what would you like to do differently?
I’d love to have more time. Time management is not my strongest skill.

What’s your favourite moment of the day?
Bath-time, bedtime and of course any time my kids are being happy.

 How do you unwind? What is a nice treat for you?
Working on my business, though a day at a spa is always a good idea; or simply having a cup of coffee in a good company.

 What do you do to make sure everything is ‘in balance’, work, family, friends?
Time management is everything and unfortunately it is not my strongest skill. But a team of amazing grandparents takes me a long way. And every day in our family has a “label”, like Monday is my day with the kids; Tuesday is for work, and so on. Sunday is absolutely holy, it is our family day.

The Mamma Stories featuring Karina & Liam - Joey van Dongen

The Mamma Stories featuring Karina & Liam - Joey van Dongen

How do you combine motherhood and work?
The days are well defined for kids and I. We have a structured week when they know well on which days they are with me, on which days they are at the daycare and on which days they are at their grandparents.But if one is sick it is always the mom who comes to rescue. Both my partner and I have our own business. However Kim has a shop that he can’t close. I can work from home so this makes things less difficult.

Name a couple of your favourite things in general. List a top 5.
1. Big cities like London, New York, Paris (the crown is always on the move over there and those cities are full of inspiration);
2. Aesop hand balm;
3. My home;
4. Laughing;
5. Perfect day with the kids on the beach.

 Can you tell a little about how you decorated your kid’s room?
It is actually very neutral but with toys it looks quite colourful. Our oldest boy has a very strong opinion about things, clothes and how his own room should look like. It’s good that he’s that opinionated, it is how it should be. The youngest one is too young yet for his own opinion. So his room was decorated totally based on my own style and wishes.

 What’s important to you interior-wise, when it comes to creating a home?
That it should be a real home and not a showroom. So just let it happen, it will come naturally and you find out your own style. I love it to be a calm peaceful place where we can unwind and relax.

Where do you shop for your kid(s)?
Mostly online but I love to shop at Bon Bon on the Block, Tas-ka and Pearls and Swines.

 What are your favourite clothing brands and stores?
At this moment I really love the small independent brands like Maximinus, child-sh but I also love to mix it up with the high-street brands like Zara. Tas-ka has a kids concept store and Achtung baby is a store that has 2nd hand kids clothes with beautiful brands like Banana Republic etc.

The Mamma Stories featuring Karina & Liam - Joey van Dongen

The Mamma Stories featuring Karina & Liam - Joey van Dongen

 How do you stay in shape, physically and emotionally?
I sport regularly. It’s good for my body but also for my mind. It keeps me sane.

What was the first item you bought for your baby when you were pregnant?
A beautiful knitted onesie from Kids case and daddy bought the Vans

 What’s the nicest piece of art you ever got from kid(s)?
A clay cup for being the best mother and an aquarelle drawing that is in color and the composition is just perfect (new van Gogh).

 When does your heart melt?
When I see the love between two brothers, such an unconditional love.

Which city do you like to visit and why?
Tokyo, one day we’d like to be lost in translation.

 What’s important for you when you go on holiday with family?
That the kids have a good time and we can see them enjoying themselves; and being all together in a nice, quiet place.

 What do you like about your partner as a father?
I love watching him coming home and give his kids that special look full of absolute unconditional love. I also like that he’s active, he takes them for walks in the forest, skateboarding, playing with lego or duplo and being the scary monster who tickles them and makes them scream with excitement. That definitely makes my heart melt. I love seeing him as a father and that he’s always there for them when the kids need him most.

 How does your date-night look like?
Dressing up, going for a diner and just having a conversation that we can finish.

 Who as a mother inspires you and why?
My mother she is my oracle as I love to call her.

The Mamma Stories featuring Karina & Liam - Joey van Dongen

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