INTERVIEW: Prêt à Pregnant talks with Maaike Wegman
Maaike Wegman is a PR woman at heart and is working at FUSE communication. She is a mommy of two-year-old Bente and new-born daughter Jane. As a PR director of many children related brands, this woman knows where she talks about. That’s why we have asked her to share her motherhood tips and tricks with us.
Describe yourself as a mommy?
I think I’m a quite relaxed mom. There are so many beautiful upsides, but definitely not afraid to tell the downsides. I love my baby girls, but I do think that it is also very important to have your own social life.
But next to that I’m quite relaxed, I know that I’m a control freak as well (my friends who will read this, will know too ;-)). Once I gave birth to the first one, it became extra clear that you cannot control everything as a mother, a baby already has it’s own personality of course. But you can try to find the right structure and I strongly believe in regularity. But hey OK, I have to be honest, I think we’re also lucky that we have created two – maybe I cheer too soon now… – sleepyheads!
What do you like the most about being a mother?
I love the infinite cuddles (especially when they are sick – sorry, it is maybe not the nicest thing to say, but I know everyone will recognize it!), the happy faces when they wake up, but most of all just spending time with my 2 girls and to see them grow up and make their own steps, makes me a proud mom.
What makes someone a good mother in your opinion?
When a mother follows her own path. Just listen to yourself and your feeling. Do not blindly follow the advice of someone else. You know more about your own children than you think on forehand. I decided not to breastfeed. Everybody had an opinion about it. I didn’t listen and followed my heart. This was the best decision I made so far.
How have you survived the first six months as a mother? What was more easy than expected and what was more difficult?
I survived because I directly started to regulate the day to day program as much as possible. Not as a terror mommy (the Gina Ford book is so not right at this point – you CAN have maternity visits throughout the day, or put your baby to bath after five o’clock… ;)), but with the timing which worked best for us. And next to this, I survived because of the best partner. Because I don’t breastfeed, he directly stepped in giving the bottle as well. Then you really do it together which makes it easier.
The more difficult part for me was when they were crying and you don’t know why. You have to get to know your baby and once you know every little aspect, it makes it a lot easier to let her cry for a couple of minutes, because you know she’s not in pain, but just tired and she will fall asleep anytime soon.
Who is your inspiration when it comes to parenting?
I do not have a real inspiration, but I have several friends which I’m really proud of and can learn from. And of course my own parents. Even when they divorced when I was quite young, they managed to make it the best for me and my brothers. And they still do now as proud grandparents. Parenting will never stop I guess…!
Which celebrity mother do you admire the most? And for which reason(s)?
I do not really admire a special celebrity. If you do the best you can as a mother, everyone is a cool mom. You don’t have to be a celebrity for it. Of course we all want to see the baby pictures of celebrities, especially how they dress up their babies (OMG!), the more extreme, the more fun to watch. But you do not need to show me every little detail, every five minutes. Your baby is not your PR machine. Somebody else can do that for you.
What did you wanted to know from other mothers before you got pregnant?
We have a Whatsapp group with all my friends that is just about “babytalk”. I have asked them so many questions (and I still do – even about birthday presents, or the best mommy bike etc.) once I got pregnant. (before that I wasn’t allowed to that specific Whatsapp group ;-)). I asked about giving birth, what kind of stroller, which brand bottles, do’s and don’ts for a carrier, pacifier etc. etc.
As a marketing manager of a baby brand you have to get in that kind of group chats, if you ask me! Then you get the most honest and useful opinions of baby products.
How does your perfect day look like?
That must be a weekend day when we’re free. The best would be when our 2 girls sleep late (as a mom you are already very happy with 08.00 o’clock!). Then we have breakfast with the four of us and we go out. I don’t even mind if that is just outside in our garden (we recently moved, so we enjoy every minute in our beautiful garden) or we go somewhere, the market, the zoo, having coffee at a kidsproof café etc.. After their naps it’s great to have friends over. Almost all of our friends have kids, so the kids can play with each other and we can enjoy them and have a nice afternoon with friends at the same time. As mentioned before, it is not ALL about kids.
How do you make sure that you stay rested?
You don’t! No, that is not true ;-), you have to try to rotate the responsibilities with your partner. If you give each other the space needed and some me-time, it makes your life easier and it will make you a happier person (for your partner as well…!).
What is the ultimate me with my mini-me time?
To go out and have coffee and something sweet with my oldest daughter. She loooooves food ;-), so once we go somewhere, she has the best time with a croissant, piece of banana bread or even an apple or rice cookie.
Jane, our youngest, is just 3 months and I love it when we are together. Nobody else around. Even though Bente, our oldest, is super sweet for her baby sister, you cannot give the attention you want. So when it’s just the two of us, I enjoy every minute of her tiny hands, her baby smile and her punky hairdo…!
How would your ultimate me-time look like?
When I can spend it with my best friends! Just a coffee date or a night out with the girls.
Within a couple of months I will be visiting one of my best friends living in Dubai. I will be travelling together with my other best friends and no kids allowed! That sounds great, right?!
Next to spending time with friends, my favourite person to spend time with is of course my boyfriend. It’s very important to go out together and have other conversations than about diapers, bathing time, groceries etc.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully quite the same as where I am now. As said, we recently moved, so I hope we still live here. For me 2 kids are enough, but there is still some discussion about this at home ;-). Within a couple of weeks my maternity leave is over and I go back to work at FUSE Communication. I’m looking forward to start again. I enjoyed the time off with my 2 babies, but now it is time to have something for myself again and I love to work, so let’s go!
What is your number one tip for other mothers?
Follow your own instinct. Don’t let anybody tell you what to do or how to do it. I didn’t want to breastfeed and I’m still so happy with this decision. And if my girl wants a piece of cake at a birthday party, go ahead! I won’t feed you a carrot when others get cake. We’ll find the right balance.
And last but not least, don’t forget your partner. Easier said than done, but very important. Turn of the TV, drink a glass of wine (or two), heat up the fireplace and have US-time, because due to US… you became a mommy.
Do you have any wishes for the future?
More hours in a day….? No, I don’t have anything to wish for. Let’s stay healthy, stay happy, funny and a little bit crazy. (And don’t tell this to anyone else, but hopefully maybe once I will be having the same last name as everyone else here in our house….!)