Quick Q&A: Maxime Hofmans-Mennen
As soon as you're a mom, we consider you an expert at being one. And as we feel women are best when they help and support each other, we love to collect tips, tricks & life hacks, from one mom to another mom (to be). Here's a quick Q&A with MAXIME HOFMANS-MENNEN (32) - a pilates teacher living in Amsterdam & mom of LOUIS (almost 1).
“‘Think like a monk’ by Jay Shetty.”
“Doing nothing is not my best skill, so watching TV is not necessarily my way of relaxing. However - fun fact - binging series was my way to cope with long breastfeeding sessions (50 minutes each, 8 times a day) with Louis during his first weeks. ‘Outlander’ carried me through these sometimes intense and exhausting moments.”
“Don’t really have one specific. However, the French Alps are my favorite place to be - it cannot get more ‘zen’ for me than there, and I love being active and spending time with my family in the snow.”
Best travel destination with a baby
“Any destination is perfect with a baby, as long as you - both mom and dad - feel comfortable. My experience is that a change of scenery can do so much for your own energy level and mood - which in turn can have a positive impact on your baby. In the first 6 months with Louis we traveled to Portugal (by plane) and France (by car). We sticked to Louis’ rhythm, and it worked out just fine. The only things babies really need are a comfy bed, milk and lots of love - and those are not limited to a place!”
First thing I do when I wake up
“30 minutes of pilates, followed by a 10 minute meditation session. I don’t bother to put on active wear - pilates in pajamas works perfectly fine - and I don’t worry about brushing my teeth and washing my face just yet. I prepare my mat and props before going to bed in the evening, to minimize any obstacles that might prevent me from exercising in the morning. I have always valued time for myself, but with a baby, me time needs to take place before the rest wakes up. My morning time for myself is non-negotiable.”
"TURNS OUT YOU DON'T NEED 6 PACKS
OF NEWBORN-SIZED DIAPERS - OOPS!"
“Those 40 holy minutes dedicated to no one but me.”
Ultimate date night
“Dress up and have dinner. Sharing future plans and dreams over a bottle of wine, cycling the canals of Amsterdam and being intimate.”
“Too many clothes for your baby! I really want and need to change my shopping behavior for our kid: buy less, buy better. And by the way: turns out you don’t need 6 packs of newborn-sized diapers - oops!”
Must-have when in labor
“You don’t NEED anything. Sounds like a cliche, but you really have everything you need right there if you trust your body and the process. Don’t get distracted by external things. Do take anything that helps you clear your mind (that might be some physical object to you), so you can be present in this life changing, amazing experience.”
Best gift after giving birth
“Homemade ‘boterkoek’, Moroccan stew, a post-partum massage, a poetry book, a notebook to use as a journal, fashion magazines. All the stuff that made me feel ‘hugged’, and helped me connect to myself.”
And the worst
“There’s no such thing as a bad gift, since all gifts come from a good place. However - I would love to see a transition to more gifts for the new parents instead of the baby. And also: less gifts that are stuff, and more gifts about wellbeing.”
My mom life-hack
“Again: taking time for yourself! Away from your phone, baby, partner. Could be half an hour of breaking a sweat, reading a book, meditating - whatever makes you happy!”
"TIP FOR PARTNERS: GOOGLE HOW
A CHIMPANZEE COUPLE ACTS
IN LABOR - THE ULTIMATE EXAMPLE!"
“Coffee! Three months after Louis' arrival I had my very first cup - at the age of 31. Something to do with sleep deprivation, I guess."
Motherhood in 3 words
“Heart expanding, overwhelming, inclusive.”
Best tip for partners during labor
“Speak up for her and her wishes, protect her space, listen, observe and act. Also: Google how a chimpanzee couple acts when in labor - the ultimate example for us people!”
“My advice is not to look for any advice. Trust yourself - you’ll know exactly what to do.”