Eline, mama of the adorable Saartje and Ise, tells us more about being a busy photographer, mama and living a sweet life in the Netherlands.
Tell us about your life?
I’m Eline! I live in Boskoop in the Netherlands with my cute little family! My oldest (5) is Ise (it means Iron/Ice) and Saartje (almost 3). Saartje means little Sarah in Dutch. I’m married to the sweetest man on earth, Arjan. I’m a photographer and shoot mostly newborn babies and families – all in my own pure light lifestyle way.
Saartje and Ise are adorable – what is the magic of raising daughters?
We try to let them be themselves. Ise loves to dance and sing and is very creative, Saartje on the other hand loves to romp around and is very funny! We try to teach them to always respect other people, help wherever you can and be kind to each other (that doesn’t always work!) The world we live in is a magical but dark place too … that scares me sometimes. But their father is the best! He is the perfect example for them how a man should treat other people and women particularly.
As a photographer, you mostly have a camera ready for special moments – do the girls enjoy being photographed?
Hmmm Ise did … but the last few months it’s becoming harder for me! Saartje never really liked it, but I bribe her. When they were very little I used to take more pictures, nowadays it’s about once a month and they are fine with that.
As a mother, what do you believe is the secret to keeping a balance between family and personal passion and goals.
That’s a tough question as I still haven’t figured out the right balance myself. I keep questioning myself … should I be working this hard while my kids are so little? But staying at home makes me a nervous and unhappy mother … Arjan works about 25 hours a week and I work around his schedule so the girls always have someone at home. That’s comforting to me. This is the first season that I’m working less hours and I like it – so I probably will be doing this more. Photography is my passion, but my family is my love.
Tell us more about life in Holland – how do you spend your time with your kids?
Ise goes to school 5 days a week and Saartje is still 3 so she will be going next year (boohoo! Im going to cry so much, no more baby!) When Ise comes home, she is pretty tired! Sometimes she plays with a friend or stay home drawing, dancing and singing. On the weekends Arjan and I work, but we try to go to the market, see our friends and do fun stuff like go to the playgrounds, go boating or camping.
Any special rituals or traditions that you enjoy with your family?
Well, our schedule is so different every day that a daily ritual doesn’t really work for us. But we do love rituals that return every year like Koningsdag, Sinterklaas, Christmas and of course … holidays! The kids love going on vacation!
Raising more than one kid can be challenging – how do your girls differ from each other and how do you embrace the differences?
I think its so fun that they are so different from each other. Arjan and I keep asking ourselves whats the similarities are but the only one we could think of was that they have the same parents 🙂 We love it – but it’s challenging! Saartje is often very naughty but in a funny way while Ise is really emotional. We have a different approach to each of them and it works for us.
Tell us about sweet Saartje.
She is very funny and knows how to get what she wants! She is really tough – we think she might play sports like rugby, waterpolo or BMX. She didn’t speak until she was 3, we thought of going to the doctors! And suddenly she started to speak. She is shy when it comes to people she doesn’t know and hides behind my legs. She was the easiest baby ever!
Tell us your favourite things about the lovely Ise.
Ise is so creative – she can make a boat out of a bike! She loves to dance, sing and hum all day long (even when were having dinner!) She was a difficult baby, cried a lot and had tantrums until she went to school. She loves to cuddle with me 🙂
Where is your favourite place to shop for your daughters: Zara
Favourite place to visit with kids in your hometown: the garden centre.
The book that you read to both your kids (and they loved!):
Dikkie Dik (its about a red cat)
Favourite travel destination with kids: Asia!
You can also see more of Saartje and Ise here.
Also follow her lovely photos on Instagram here