Funkydoodledonkey blogger – an interview with Mireille Dijkstra
Mireille Dijkstra tels us about moving from Netherlands and being a tomboy as a child.
Tell me about your family and your blog?
We are global nomads, my husband and me are from the Netherlands but we move around every 4-5 years to a different country. So far we have lived on the Canary Islands (Tenerife & Lanzarote) then we moved to Rhodes, Greece. Then off to the USA for 1,5 years, back to the Netherlands, were we got married and decided to travel even more. So we felt the itch of the travel bug, and after a few years in our home country we moved to Thailand. There is it that we found the loves of our lives, our twin daughters Jasmine and Juliet. They were 3 months old when we adopted them and since then they also travel with us of course!
At the age of 16 months we moved to the USA again to stay there for 5 years before moving to South Africa, where we are now for 3 years and still counting.
I started my blog for my friends and family, but it grew out to so much more. I made so many nice connections and friends, which is a wonderful thing!
These days I have readers from 200+ countries, more than the official countries in the world.. so that boggles my mind!
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
Well, there isn’t much that I haven’t discussed or talked about on my blog, and maybe if there is a thing that they don’t know… but then maybe I should keep it that way? LOL
Hmm.. let me think for a second…
I was quite the tomboy when I was a child, and I did many naughty things. Like climbing in the Church tower and ringing the bell, stealing apples from the farm next door, throwing stones and breaking windows in empty buildings. Once the police came actually to our door for that incident, even though the building was deserted, it didn’t mean we could throw stones and break the windows. I got grounded for 2 weeks!
My girls are the opposite of me. So quite and shy, reading books and not thinking of naughty things at all… how did that happen to me? My mom always told me that I would get what I deserve later… when she was angry with me again and again. So she wished me also naughty children, so I could feel how she felt, but I am lucky I guess? LOL
But wait… the teenage years have not come yet, so maybe I am getting a huge naughtiness then… please spare me God!!
What was your biggest challenge being a mom?
Just to survive the day at first. Having twins so sudden was a bit of a shock, since I only knew 2 hours in advance and I had no time to prep myself. The birthmother gave them directly to me and it happened on the day that Jasmine & Juliet were exactly 3 months old. A phone call at 10am and at noon I was a mother of twins. So I googled that first day: ‘what does a 3 month old baby need’. I remember this so vividly, ran out to the store to buy 10 bottles, a whole bunch of diapers, and ALL the stuff in the supermarket isle that they have for babies. I had to figure out by learning what is really needed and what not.
You can imagine that there were many challenges thrown at me, but I survived by learning fast. With twins you have no time to recap, it goes on and on… But then after the first 3 years it is so much easier. My girls always have a play date and each other. Even when we move to another country, they rely so much on each other. Life = bliss!
What are the main things kids do that you wish they wouldn’t?
The lack of cleaning up after themselves… it sometimes drives me nuts to see the trail of mess they can leave behind!! Arrggh! And when I look at kids from my friends, it doesn’t get any better… Now my girls are 9, but teenagers make even more mess, at least that is what I see around me. Why?? But believe me I was the same, and now I am so neat.. so there is still hope Hopefully it will rub off on them, even if they don’t show it yet.
What common mistakes do you see moms doing that you wish they wouldn’t?
Hmm.. maybe the over protection they give with the first child. Let the child be and discover their own truths and mistakes. But that is easier said then done for some of us.
What are your top 10 tips for moms?
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Pick your battles.
- Give your child the space to be her/himself.
- Be gentle, kind and honest with your child.
- Think positive.
- Have fun and enjoy your life. Really smell the roses!
- Spend real time together, before you know it they are off to college!
- Love, love them with all your heart! And show that love in small things.
phew… 10 is a long list
- trust yourself, don’t compare. No mother or baby are the same!
- don’t forget the hubby, he needs love & attention too
What are your favorite brands and where do you buy them?
Since I lived on 4 continents so far and in 6 different countries there is really no brand I can get attached to, because before I know it I have to move again and in the new country they have all different brands. So this is a hard one for me to answer. I love love the European children clothing brands like H&M, Zara. Fashionable and reasonable, but unfortunately NOT available here in South Africa. I have to do with Naartjie, which is great, but I wish I had more variety. Sometimes living as an expat has its downside too.
What are your contact details (this is optional, email, blog, facebook, myspace, forums etc) ?
Who would you recommend and why?
If that is so, I can recommend my friend Karen from www.storyofbing.com
She is also an expat from Singapore, and writes a fabulous blog, an avid photographer, a step mother and has lots to tell.