MEALYNN, RILEY & QUINN
The Hague, The Netherlands
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Family, work, what you love to do and a funny random fact 😉
I am Mealynn, 35 years old and 16 years together with Maarten, of which 11 years married. Together we have two headstrong and creative boys aged 9 and 5. I have been working at ‘Meneertje Koekepeertje’ for two years now, a natural preschool for children aged 2-4 years. I love to laugh a lot, talk a little too much and can be incredibly happy from a clean and tidy house; which is quite a challenge if you live with three men in the house.
This Mama Story has been a long time coming! I remember that I ‘found’ you because your logo was also made by ‘Alijt’ and on your instagram you told that you had quit your job and also decided to stop your brand ‘MEAS pure baby & kids goodies’ to find more balance for yourself! I thought this was a bold move, choosing for yourself and taking time to figure things out! I think a lot of moms can relate to this. Why and how did you decide to take time to find your balance?
In addition to ‘MEAS pure baby & kids goodies’, I also worked on a daycare for three long days a week. I gave a lot, like really a lot, I guess I gave a little too much. Until everything I did during the day brought tears to my eyes; as an entrepreneur, as a pedagogical employee, as a partner and even as a mother. At that point nothing brought me any positive energy. Nothing made me happy anymore. I wanted to go back to basics, to my own self, find more balance. It was not easy to take this step, but with the support of my partner I chose to quit my job as well as being an entrepreneur for ‘MEAS pure baby & kids goodies’. It was time for rest.
I quit the thought of ‘having to do it all’.
I had enough time to fully focus on the two most important
things in my life; my family and myself.
After you had quit both your job and your own brand, what happened next?
I quit the thought of ‘having to do it all’. I had enough time to fully focus on the two most important things in my life.; my family and myself. But it was not easy. Because of the slowing down, I noticed how tired I was. I needed time to first give my feelings and emotions a place and investigate what would give me energy again.
How do you feel now? Can you give advice to moms experiencing the same lack of balance in their life?
I’m feeling good. I always say to myself: « Enjoy (intensely) the things that are going well and don’t worry too much about the things that are not going well ». There is no perfect mother. It sounds so cliche, but it is really the small and simple things that make you happy.
MEALYNN IS WEARING
You have two beautiful boys, Riley and Quinn! What life lessons would you like to teach them?
Enjoy consciously and be thankful. Do not take everything you have for granted.
Black Life Matters is a big part of the current news. Do you want to share with us how you incorporate this topic in the upbringing of your boys?
I think it is important to discuss different topics in your family. I ask my children how they feel, what they have experienced or how they think about a certain subject. I try to convey to them as much as possible that every person is unique, that it is about who you are and not about what you look like.
»It is about who you are and not about what you look like. »
How would you describe Maarten as a dad?
Maarten is really a very sweet father. He really enjoys it and is really proud of his children. Playing together, watching a movie together, frolicking, cuddling, a good conversation, he does it all.
What do you like to do together as a family?
We really enjoy being together with the four of us. We can sit inside for days and enjoy our fine home, but we also enjoy going to the beach with the cargo bike, skateboarding in the park or camping.
We love family rituals, do you have any?
We eat at the table every evening. Sometimes with a candle on, sometimes we play some music. Just what we feel like. This is the time of the day where we talk and laugh.
What has surprised you most about motherhood?
How strong you are. As a mother, as a woman, as a partner.
What do you think is the best part of motherhood and what do you experience as the hardest part of motherhood?
The best and most difficult part of motherhood is making my boys happy. I can enjoy it so much when Riley and Quin are happy and enjoy the things around them. But it can also be very difficult when they are bored, angry or uncomfortable to make them happy again.
What is the best advice you have received on motherhood and what is your best advice that you would like to share with other moms?
The best advice I got was from my father: You can do it .. really! And the advice I would like to give is: Always listen to your mother’s feeling, your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, it usually is.
The best advice I got was from my father:
‘You can do it .. really!’
Who as a mother inspires you and why?
My mother and my sister (mother of three small children) inspire me. Despite illness or setback, they always continue. They are very strong women.
When was the last time your heart melted because of something Quinn or Riley did?
I love it when Riley and Quin give me a spontaneous kiss and hug and say I’m the sweetest mom in the world.
What’s important to you when it comes to toys and playing?
We don’t have many toys. With a few good items, the boys can have a great time. Creativity and fantasy is so important. Every now and then gaming is no problem, but I think it is very important that they go out and discover thing for themselves or come up with something new together.
Seeing your instagram account I guess you like interior?
I can really enjoy my home. Candles on, fresh flowers, making it cosy. That makes me really happy.
‘We don’t have many toys.
With a few good items, the boys can have a great time.
Creativity and fantasy is so important.’
We love to know a couple of your favourite things in general. List a top 5.
- Interior design
- Romantic movies
- Laughing and having fun
- Talking…. a lot!
Are there any words you live by/ quotes/ poems and if so why?
This text says it all! ;
‘Do what you love and love what you do!’