Midwife / Mother to a beautiful boy and girl / Writer / Talks about sex and intimacy
On a grey day in March (just your usual, in Belgium), I visited Uwe in her cozy home just at the Dutch border. I was warmly welcomed into her home and we had a chat about life, becoming a mum and life with kids.
I'm doing pretty well, I'm a mother so I'm always a little tired*laughs*. I get a lot of energy from the projects I am currently working on. I am mostly known as Uwe, the midwife who happened to become a mother and writer. I have written two books on childbirth, motherhood and the growing pains that go with it. Both childbirth and parenthood. The second book is mainly about being a woman and how everything is challenged after becoming a mum, for example, the relationship with your partner. It especially highlights aspects of the identity crisis that comes with it and how you can also become a partner again. Judging by the reactions there is a lot of need for this and not enough is said about it. I also share a lot about this on social media.
I will soon be working out a course with Katrien Coolen (relationship therapist). We have noticed that there is a real need for this and that's where my heart is for now.
Soon there will also be a practice room in my home to have conversations with patients and give pregnancy massages.
At the moment, I don't work as a midwife doing deliveries anymore but once the children are old enough I would really like to do that again.
I really should get up earlier because I find that when I am relaxed I am a better version of myself but I don’t sleep very well so the alarm clock always feels painful. *laughs*
When I get up, the kids are already awake and I try to start with a glass of lukewarm water and then a cup of tea (green or white). Depending on how the night has been after that a coffee (or milk with 2 drops of coffee as my husband always says *laughs*). I never eat breakfast. After I take the kids to school I start my day. I still work part-time for Kind & Gezin and then I have structure, the rest of the days I work on my own projects.
Social media or Instagram has done a lot for me. I can now surround myself with people who are doing totally different things, so your network really does get bigger this way. I have gained some lasting friendships by doing my own thing! It is a really nice community if you follow the right profiles.
If social media didn’t exist, I would not be where I am now.
My first book did not come because of Instagram, I had a blog at the time and I had written an open letter to Tom (my husband) when we were married for 5 years, about how I have become a very different woman than the woman he had said yes to 5 years ago. That letter has been shared and Hanne Luyten let her publisher read it and then it all started to roll from there. Everything always went very organically, which I think is also part of my strength.
Podcasts also give me a lot of inspiration (e.g. Over Ons by Katrien Koolen), people who are working on the same thing, but I get most of my inspiration from my patients.
I am always available, which on the one hand is my strength, but on the other hand it is also my biggest pitfall. Especially with being a first time mom, everything is life-threatening. Becoming a mother has also made me a better caregiver. So you do want to be available at all times but it's also kind of exhausting. I then try to unwind at places that have open water. My parents-in-law have an apartment in Blankenberge and I always find peace there. I have also noticed that I can only relax when I let myself be taken care of a bit more. That's where I can recharge the best. I'm always taking care of people myself so it's nice when the roles are reversed for a change.
I also read somewhere last week "You should actually create the life you want and not run from the life you have." I really want to try that too. Often we 'run' from work, look forward to weekends, vacations but why always run from it and not create a more peaceful life?
Places that will always be very special to me are the West Coast of America, that was our honeymoon but I lost a fetus there and I also got pregnant there. I lost the fetus in Yosemite, that did bring some kind of peace so this place will always be special.
Another special one is Ibiza, that was our first vacation as a family of 4. A very quiet and nice vacation. The Bizie Lizie in Antwerp, that's where I told Tom I was pregnant. The border crossing, when we were just dating we went to a parking lot there to stand with a bottle of red wine.
But also new places. Before we had kids I didn't really care about traveling. Having kids made me really want to see the world with them.
Definitely the Dotty Daisy! I always had a thing for dots (remember the hashtag #ihavethisthingwithpolkadots), so this one is perfect for me. We recently went to Rome for the first time with two and I have the Dotty on in every picture *laughs*. The company is Belgian but I love the values and Ellen's vision. Also where the wool and production is, motherhood is expressed beautifully. There is also a real focus on women and children. Ellen's honest way of doing business is also very nice to see. The pieces are so durable and you can always wear them. Even if you're at the playground or going out to dinner at night, LN is always perfect.
Seeking connection with each other is the most important thing in life and in relationships there is often the concept of finding a happy medium. This can happen in relationships, at work, in friendships. But if at any point you feel that you're compromising to the point that you aren’t benefiting any more. If at any point you're adapting too much for someone else, you're not going to get any joy out of it either.
On a personal level, I am really happy. I did grow up with a lot of financial insecurity, so I don't dare jump to become self-employed full time. In my mind, that would give me a lot more freedom in the things I want to do.