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Real Mum Stories: Dorine

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 the achievements. It's time to struggle together rather than just pretending to be okay and happy all the time, right?

Real Mum Story Dorine ByAlex Playmats


This is Dorine, I had a chat with her and she shared her two cents 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 live in an old town in Overijssel; my husband, four kids, and I. Our children (two boys and two girls) are 14, 11, 9 and 7. We live in a newly built 1930s style house, in a quiet residential area where the river Ijssel passes behind our house.



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

That attention is the most important thing for the kids. Each child is unique, and each of them needs attention in different forms and shapes. We often go out with one of our kids, to give them our undivided attention. They're usually the smallest of gestures, like going to the market to get something yummy to eat. Or baking cookies together, or letting them help cook… It’s a great way to encourage conversations that may not take place when you’re in a bigger group.

We give our kids a lot of freedom but are also clear and consistent. Be kind to one another, that’s something we find very important. And remember to share whatever you have received, that’ll give you a feeling of happiness!

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

I find it extremely important that children can express their creativity, so I always make sure we have enough stuff lying around for arts and crafts. But it’s also important for them to play outside, build tree houses, go fishing…so I make sure they have comfortable wellies, a warm coat, a fishing rod. When it comes to toys, I prefer buying things that might be a bit more expensive but will last longer. It’s such a shame when things break after just one day.

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

Going outside! Skiing, hiking through the mountains in the summer, or visiting a museum together and then having something to eat somewhere. But I also love building towers with Kapla. Who will build the highest tower? Or lighting a fire outside whilst working in the garden together.

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

The most important thing is that it suits the child. Our oldest and youngest like collecting things, so I make sure they have space to put all their collectables. Like a rack on the wall, or glass pots for their crystals.

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

When they come home from school, we always drink a cup of tea together, with something yummy to go with it. And then the waterfall of stories begins! Only once we’ve had a moment to catch up do I let them go and play with friends. It’s a great way for them to process everything that happened during a long day of school. Sometimes our 11-year-old daughter brings all her friends with her, and suddenly there are 7 extra girls sitting at the table. Which is also loads of fun!

How do you stay balanced as a mum, a partner, a friend, and a hardworking woman?

It’s important to incorporate a sense of peace in your life, a moment to take five and relax. I don’t constantly fill my days with to-do’s or other activities. When our fourth child was born, I stopped working. I had been a French teacher forever. Now we have solid and relaxed foundation to build on, and so I can go on adventures with my kids. Is the weather good? Woohoo, let’s back our bags and go to the pool. Appointment-free Monday? Time for a coffee date with my granny. Or I’ll go on endless walks or take my race bike for a spin.

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

As a mother who gave them enough freedom, who they could talk to, and that home was a fun and cosy place.


Want to see what else Dorine is up to? Follow @juffrouwduurzaam and stay in the know. 
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! 



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