Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
I was born, raised and proudly remain stuck in the Belgian mud. I would sometimes dream about moving abroad, but it turns out I’m quite happy staying right here. I do like to travel several times a year, mostly for work.
What language(s) do you speak?
My mother tongue is Flemish (which is basically the same as Dutch), but with Belgium being a trilingual country, I also speak French and I can understand German. Obviously, I also speak – and write – English. About ten years ago I also decided to learn Indonesian, but all I remember of it now are the words kamar kecil, which means I can actually ask where the bathroom is if I would make it to Indonesia one day.
In addition, I would love to learn how to read and write music, and to understand Amharic, the first language of our daughter.
When did you first become a mother?
This is a tricky one, because in my experience, I can call on two firsts. Two totally different ways of expecting a child, of becoming a mother, both wonderful and intense. In 2006, I first became a mother when our son was born, the one I love to call our cuddly Penguin. Five years later, in 2011, I first became an adoptive mother when we brought our two-year-old daughter home, our darling Panther.
Is your work, stay-at-home mom, other work at home or do you work outside the home?
Apart from being a full time mom, full time housekeeper and full time wannabe writer, I also have a full time job outside my home. Some might even say I’m building an exciting career as a geomicrobiologist, enabling me to go on missions abroad and to research amazing subjects, but they should know that my favorite moments are without doubt coming home, be it after a working day or a business trip.
Why do you blog/write?
I started blogging (in Flemish) during our adoption procedure, merely as a way to keep friends and relatives posted on any news we would get in those long years. Along the way, blogging became a kind of therapy, enabling me to vent frustrations and personal struggles, or to focus on optimism and fun facts. I also learned just how much I loved to write.
I kept on blogging until our daughter was home for two years. I recently decided to stop, mostly for the privacy of my children and because I felt like I was getting ‘addicted’ to blogging. It was a hard decision, disappointing to quite some readers who liked the plain honesty in my writing. But, as a go-between, I decided to start a low frequency, anonymous, English blog about life with my Penguin and Panther, and to contribute to WMB every once in a while. And in the extra spare time I have now, my newest endeavor is to write children’s books, which has long been a dream of mine.
How would you say that you are different from other mothers?
As a typically modest Belgian, I truly find it awkward to differentiate myself that way. I don’t believe I have something special about me as a mother, or a person for one. But since I have to, well, I guess I would be different from other mothers because my kids come in two opposite colors and with some extra needs. Our blond haired Penguin is an overly sensitive philosopher who understands more than is good for him, while our curly Ethiopian Panther deals with attachment, anxiety and health issues. They leave me both exhausted and enriched every single evening, but I guess that’s no difference to other mothers…
What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?
I don’t even know where to begin! Every day is a challenge, when raising children, isn’t it? One of my major concerns though, is to let our children remain children as long as possible. I strive to keep a delicate balance between guarding my children innocence and purity, and still teaching them about the need for respect and care for the less fortunate or for our struggling environment. With today’s society going so fast, having everything within reach, leaving nothing to the imagination, I try to create an island of simplicity and ‘slowness’ for our children (and ourselves!) at home, where they can develop at their own pace. But when time comes, I still want them to be able to catch one of society’s speed boats that are racing by our island…
How did you find World Moms Blog?
I just bumped upon WMB through a cartoon someone shared. I think. My kids often beat me at ‘Memory’, so I can’t be sure about it. But I do remember I started reading and reading and couldn’t stop for another hour.
This is an original interview of our new writer in Belgium, K10K – pronounce it as Ka-ten-ka and you will come quite close to her real name – from The Penguin and The Panther
The image used in this post is credited to the author.
Welcome, “K10K”! 🙂
Great getting to know a bit about you, and looking forward to your contribution to our Global Fellowship of Moms! 🙂 <3
Wauw, now I feel like being introduced to a classy, secret club. Thanks!
Welcome K10k – “my favorite moments are without doubt coming home, be it after a working day or a business trip”, that’s EXACTLY how I feel 🙂 ! I can’t wait to get to know you better!
Welcome K10K!!! We are so happy to have you join us. Our Europe team is growing!
I’m looking forward to your posts!
And thank you SO much for having me!
Apa kabar? 😀
Great to have you on board. Greetings from Indonesia.
Haha, this is way to funny!
The moment I read ‘Apa kabar’ out loud, I automatically reacted with ‘Terima kasih’
I hope this means I replied I’m feeling fine 🙂
And it also means I subcontiously remember more from my Indonesian lessons than I thought…
A warm welcome to my fellow Belgian!!
A warm thank you from the other side of Belgium!
Welcome, K10K! Love the way you write your name! And, welcome from the neighbouring Netherlands. A great interview, by the way!
The K10K is actually a remainder from my university period, a joke of one of my dorm-friends. I remembered it when I started working in the lab, as a way to label my lab-stuff. And from now on, it will be my WBM pen too!
Welcome to WMB K10K – can’t wait to read more from your side of the globe 🙂