Say hello to the awesome mama of two Marieke aka @mytoymachines. Having been long-time fans of this mama’s effortlessly beautiful Instagram account, we are super excited to have her onboard as this weeks awesome Mummy Mondays feature. Below you’ll find a beautifully honest depiction of what Marieke’s life is like at home with her family in the picturesque setting of the Netherlands. If you manage to make it at least three pictures without abandoning all plans and start scrolling through her insta, we salute you.
Where do you live, and what do you love most about it?
I live in the Netherlands, in Utrecht, a pretty city in the middle of our tiny country. I love that it has an old town centre, with canals and lovely old buildings. I Iive in a suburb, from there I can still bike into town in 15 minutes, but also walk straight into open green areas. There’s a lot of festivities around!
What inspired you to start an Instagram account?
I just wanted to keep a diary of the pictures I took and really didn’t realise there’s a social part to it until I was invited to an Instagram meet up! I try to be aware of not getting too influenced by all stuff people buy, tell you to do/ eat/ think. My IG is for me and my family. It is not a perfect picture book, nor an art show. I love drawing, taking abstract pictures, but that’s not what my IG is about… I love others for doing that, but I keep myself from not trying to do the same. It takes up enough time as it is.
When did you know you wanted to be a mama?
My love and I just one day thought maybe we should try getting pregnant, somehow thinking we probably wouldn’t succeed. And we totally forgot about it until I turned out pregnant. We lost that baby at 11 weeks while we were in South Africa on a holiday. I immediately felt a huge loss and it was such an eyeopener for us both. We then knew we definitely wanted to become parents.
How many kiddos do you have and what are there personalities like?
I have 2 and, if I had started earlier or things had been different, I would have loved to have 4. But I find it exhausting too. I like doing stuff but became the mushiest mom alive ever. I mean, cuddling tiny babies, I miss that so much! My eldest is Runa Raven, she is a very very strong 7 year old girl. She is creative, kind and has the biggest heart. She is often fragile but physically bigger and stronger than all the boys around. As her friends point out, she never excludes anyone.
How would your husband/partner describe you?
Mmmmm… hot mess? Haha! I don’t know! We were friends before lovers but we are opposites as well. He gets annoyed by my chaotic and easily distracted nature, but I’m also flexible and easy going. And we both love music, good food….
What inspires you to dress your children in vintage clothes?
I love vintage clothes myself. I’ve worn them a lot since I was 13 and in love with Jim Morrison. Now I get so excited to find a beautiful vintage child’s piece…. But clothing in general should just be comfortable and bought for the kid, not for yourself. So for the girl it means vintage skirts and skateboard wear, for the boy anything soft or with animals on it. I have two vintage coats they wore that I can’t get myself to give away. But I do feel we should share as much as we can with each other, so everything else is passed on to others.
If you could go back to any period in time, where would you go and why?
Ah that’s a hard question! As a woman there’s hardly ever been a period where woman had the chances we have now. But if it was for music and art, which I love, I’d choose to live in the sixties. I would rule as a hippie! Think about it, all the things you didn’t know are bad for you back then. What else?
Kids wiggle, what is your secret to a good shot of your little one in action?
Candy, ha! Get lucky. Watch them. And keep your finger on the button. I can’t get myself to ask them to pose, it just feels wrong.
When the going gets tough with the kiddos all in tow, what is your secret for putting the smiles back on those little faces?
Candy, again! I love playing, we play tag or hide and seek anywhere. And I don’t let them win. Also, make up stories. Look around and ask what the kids think that man/woman across the street or in the store is up to…. With who? Where? What is their problem?
What could you imagine your children doing in 20 years time?
Oh. I think Warre will be a storyteller or researcher, maybe a biologist. Runa… I’m not sure. Something where she can move! She tells me she wants to be the first skateboarding Ninja…. and I say, you never know!
What are your children’s favorite things to do as a family?
Warre loves a lazy pyjama Sunday, any day. Or go to a museum with biology features. Runa wants to go skateboarding, geocaching, just move around. She does not have the patience to stay at home. Much like me. I love all the things that are being organised around our place. Festivals, music, I love bringing them to see cultural stuff. But if I want to stuff my face I just tell them Warre hasn’t had his way in a long time and have a pyjama day.
What is the hardest thing about being a mama?
Not being alone as much. Remembering every day that life is short and we should cherish the moments together. As a teacher I come home and often I feel the need for some silence, but then the kids need attention or help with something and wanting to play. As soon as I go outside and play with them, it’s fine. But when I know there’s still a ton of mails needing (correction, waiting..) to be answered, I just get tired of having to give so much attention to everything. And I just want to be alone. Either that, or live in a sunny forest cabin with no internet where the kids can play outside all day.
And of course, what is your favorite thing about being a mama?
Hugging. Getting hugs. Watching them play and listening to their imagination.
What are some daily rules/mantras do you use for being a mama?
“Put down the phone/shut down the computer and go play”
When all the babes are in bed sleeping, what are you most likely doing?
Studying, getting food ready for the next day, reading or getting my man to hold me as he watches tv. I try to watch too, but my attention span does not seem to cover tv lately.
If you could take your family anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Oh how can I choose!? Australia, Canada, New Zealand or Japan. Oh so many people I would like them to meet! Anyway; somewhere 20- 25 degrees Celsius, lots of green, city in an hour drive, a breeze and a little creek. I would stay.
Who are some of your favorite instagram users?
I love my friend at enfantsterribles, it’s a great kids magazine I work for sometimes. I Iove so many different people on IG. Some are artists, some are all about their kids, I don’t have a type. But these people I adore:
You are all welcome to check out my ‘follow list’!