Real Mum Stories: Carien

Every few weeks we'll have a chat with a different mum or dad. They'll tell us how they manage to keep their life in balance; highlighting the struggles and achievements. It's time to struggle together rather than just pretending to be okay and happy all the time, right?


This week I had a chat with Carien. She shared her thoughts and experiences about being a parent, what she finds the most important, and how she goes about raising happy kids.

What does your life look like at the moment?

We (my husband, me and our 3 kids) live in the hustle and bustle of the city (centre) of Rotterdam. We are happy to own and share an old spacious house in a quiet street.


What is your philosophy about raising kids, what works for you?

I hope they will become resilient, caring and confident adults. We try to give them a certain amount of anatomy and responsibility (within limits that suit their age). We try to explain why we make certain choices or want certain things or behaviour from them.


What's important to you when it comes to toys and playing?

Each kid has different interests; we want to facilitate their choices by choosing not too many toys and choose toys that last. Our kids all love to play dress up, so we have a box full of costumes and clothing.

What's your favourite form of play when playing together?

We like to read books. Our kids too, because they do what they see you do 😉. Lately we like to play board games. What we always did and still do is go cycling, skating and stepping, strolling around the (green parts of the) city. Or kick a ball about.


What do you find most important when it comes to your interior, especially in the playroom?

I like it when a room has – what I call – “a soul”: that it is unique, has some (family) history and represents the character of the kid.

How do you use the ByAlex Playmat?

I bought two playmats in the biggest size (80x200 cm) in matching style: a jungle print and a more even print for the room of our youngest. We use them to play on, sit and get dressed on (because we have wooden floors, it is simply softer and warmer), and read books on. I use it to sleep in the room, next to his bed when he is sick and/ or cannot seem to fall asleep after waking up in the middle of the night. I have cushions and blanket lying nearby. And I use it for sleepovers, very handy.


What's the best moment that you share with your kids on a daily basis?

The moment they come down to our room in the morning, climb into our bed and start hugging and talking. The best start of any day!


How do you hope your kids will remember you when they're all grown up?

We hope that they know that they are loved, no matter what they do or say. I hope they will say we provided them with opportunities and gave them room to do anything or be anyone. That they could (and by that time still can) count on us, always.


Curious to see what else Carien is up to? Follow her: @cvdbs

If you'd like to be featured on the blog too send an email to 
and we can start chatting. I'd love to hear from you! 



Explore the full byAlex collection!

luxurious home ware made to make each day count!