Walk with Ivana - Parents of Easywalker

In the first edition of 2021, we will take a ‘’Walk With’’ Ivana Janssens. Ivana is the Purchaser at Easywalker and the mother of two adorable girls Emma (5) and Lotte (2). In this interview, Ivana will share her lovely journey of parenting until now and how the experiences have been….

Questions

What does a normal day look like for you?

Currently, I’m working 4 days a week so these days are quite a routine… It starts with waking kids up, bring them to daycare and then enjoy a quiet and peaceful day at work and after that collect my ‘’Dragons’’ from daycare. Considering the events happening in the past few months, this has of course been very different.

When it comes to Lotte, she loves sleeping and goes to bed at 7, but with Emma you just never know what time she falls asleep and how much of a struggle it will be… So, the evenings with my husband (e.g. watching movies) are quite rare. To be honest many times we just fall asleep on the sofa (especially me).

On Wednesdays and at the weekends, I spend a lot of time in the garden with the girls. Making mud soup, giving plants water, catching frogs (me mostly watching them and trying to save the frogs from getting too much attention). As parents we try to give them lots of space just to be kids, it is great to see how much fantasy kids can have.

In what way did becoming a parent change you?

You mean if I cried about sad stories or movies before I became a mum? Not at all! Ok yes, your life changes in every aspect, all clichés happen to be true. What I never thought and no one ever told me is that you get scared for no reason at all that something might happen to your kids. Sometimes I read a story about someone’s child drowning and cold sweat rushes over my body just by imagining how this parent must be feeling.

How do you combine your career with parenting?

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Easywalker is really a nice bunch of people to work with and obviously, in our industry, you couldn’t possibly make it difficult for your team members to be a parent. So, they were very open and supportive towards me to work a day less. I guess the biggest ‘change’ for me was that I had to leave at 5:00 more often because I had to pick my kid(s) up from the daycare.

Did your priorities change after becoming a parent?

Definitely! Both my pregnancies were very different from each other. With my first daughter, I was still very focused on work and really worried about how everything will function when I will be on maternity leave. I made sure until my last working day that there is taken care of everything. But when I was pregnant with my second daughter, I let all of that go and enjoyed my pregnancy time. Because you know everything is going to be fine and are going to pick up where you left off.

I realized that there is much more in life than just work/money. Even though I really love my job, but in the end what really matters is things that make your life happier.

What is a lesson you have learned from your children?

3 plus 1 is 4, mama… Pinky Pie is crazy.

Approach people without prejudice and give everyone a fair chance. And if you don’t like them, simply walk away!

Easywalker is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. If you could give your kids some advice for when they turn 30, what would this advice be?

Make sure to get to know yourself first and what you want in life before you settle for something. For example, experience life/fall in love/fall out of love/travel/get to know people. By doing all these things you will get to know yourself for sure.

What is something that you and your child bond over?

Uhmmmmm night time cuddles for sure!

How would your children describe you?

Emma: Mama you are the ‘liefste’

Lotte: Mama bablabla blablababa dinosaurus waf waf

Favorite activity you like to do with your kid(s)?

Play in our garden, water plants, pluck berries or flowers and go for walks.

What is a Golden Tip you would like to give to Mommy’s and Daddy’s to be?

Cuddle with your babies while they are little. Don’t be mad at them for coming to your bed at night because they are scared. A day will come when they won’t do it anymore and you will miss it I guarantee! Don’t push them to grow up and let them be kids.

In addition, there’s no such thing as private toilet time once your kids are there so enjoy it now, it really is different with a kid on your lap ha-ha.

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