Interracial couples always amazed me. My husband and I came from a very similar background. We went to the same school, grew up in the same city, and we are both Bataknese. With similar background, we have our differences. Maybe that’s why I think it would be harder to marry someone who have different backgrounds, be it religion or race.
I stumbled to @dear.dewi Instagram page months ago. Raised by Indonesian parents, now Dewi, mother of three beautiful children (two of them are twins!), live in Amsterdam. I am curious of how she managed to raise three little kiddos (4 yo and 1 yo twins) and still have the time to have a spa business called DearBaby.
Her father is from Java and her mother from Bali. Her parents moved to Netherlands in their 20s. Dewi said she always worked in the digital marketing industry. She studied Bsc Economics and Msc Marketing at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.
Dewi considered herself as a digital marketer who changed her career and started a baby spa. “With the baby spa I want every parent to experience a relaxing moment with their baby, because having a baby can be overwhelming,” she stated.
“DearBaby” spa just opened and I’m sure Dewi will be busier than ever. Thank God I got my chance to ask her about parenting and baby spa business.
Here’s our interview:
Tina: What is the meaning of becoming parent to you?
Dewi: The meaning if becoming a parent is almost indescribable. It’s amazing to be able to have healthy children. And seeing your children grow up, it’s a privilege that these beautiful souls have chosen me to be their mom.
Tina: What do you think make someone a great or successful parent?
Dewi: I think a successful parent is someone who can listen to their own parental instinct. It’s that gut feeling that parents have over their children. It’s very difficult to be able to listen to it, because of other people opinions and society. But I believe that you as parent know the best way to raise your child.
Tina: As a parent, what values do you want your children learn from you? And how do you make sure your children hold that values in their lives?
Dewi: The most important value I would like to teach them is to be themselves. It’s easy to listen to other people’s opinions and to do the same as other people. But being yourself is way more worth to life.
I try to remember them as much as I can. Especially if they start in a new situation, like starting school.
Tina: I see that you have twins. What do you think the hardest thing taking care and raising twins?
Dewi: With having twins work never stops. If one is sleeping, don’t think the other one will sleep too. And if another one needs to change their diaper, believe me the other needs a new diaper too.
Tina: What is the most amazing thing about being a mother of twins?
Dewi: I’ve never thought I would have twins. So being able to do so and finding out was already amazing! But now I realise more and more how amazing it is that in life they will always have each other. In the beginning after they were born premature after a 24 week pregnancy, it was uncertain if this will be the situation. So I’m even more grateful I see them play and interact together. And that they are a boy and a girl, makes is more amazing to see the differences in personalities and how they grow up.
Tina: You also run a baby spa business. When did you start and how do you manage to take care of your children and run a business? What is your secret?
Dewi: I started with the idea of a baby spa business when my firstborn was 3 months old. I was at home a lot, breastfeeding, and I didn’t go out a lot because it’s cold here in Amsterdam too. I really needed a self-care moment for me, but couldn’t leave me baby for a long time because I was breastfeeding. That’s how I saw that baby spa’s in Asia are trending. And that was the place for parents to relax with their babies.
In the Netherlands, in that time there were no baby spa’s. However I was still working in a corporate company because I wanted to have a stable work situation to take care of my family. So I haven’t started it yet. But this always been something I aspired.
So when I had my twins almost 3 years later, i thought this was the moment to start it. I started to do my baby massage training when my twins were still in the hospital and finished it when they were only 6 months old. After that I started to give baby spa’s at home and workshops. And now my own location is already opened!
I’m able to do so because I have a super supporting husband. When I have clients or training or give workshops he and my village (parents, mother in law) help out with the children. My husband is also the one who always keep me motivated and strong.
I think my secret is my drive and ambition. And my mindset “just start doing it”. And my drive is my family. I would like to have my children see me doing what I love and work hard. And hope that they will do the same to when they grow up.
Tina: How do you think running a business make you a better parent?
Dewi: Running my own business makes me able to have something for myself and not just being a mom. And being more than a mom and have my own time makes me feel better. This makes me a happier person and a better mom.
Tina: Do you read parenting books? If yes, what is your favorite and why? If not, why and how do you learn about parenting?
Dewi: I don’t read a lot of parenting books because I believe parenting comes from the heart and is instinctive. But I do believe you can read books to gain knowledge.
I’ve read one book and is definitely my favorite: The parent’s tao te ching. It’s a sort of parent bible. What helps me have more balance in life and find even more happiness in parenting. I recommend this book to every parent.
Tina: In what moments you think you do/did parenting right?
Dewi: I think the time that the twins were in the hospital. My husband heard about a lot of risks in their quality of life because they were born extremely premature. But from the start we both decided to give them a chance and see how will do and if they’ll survive. The babies worked hard for it and we as parents did the best we could. We were definitely a team and seeing how they grow up healthy now. I’m so proud how we did it from the start.
Tina: In what way do you think living abroad shape your perspective on parenting?
Dewi: I’ve the privilege to know two different cultures. I was born in Amsterdam but raised with the Indonesian culture. Growing up in Amsterdam gave me the opportunity to see both cultures and learn from them. This way I can compare both culture with it’s own norms and values in my parenting.
Tina: What are your goals when it comes to parenting?
Dewi: To raise happy humans! That’s all I want as a parent.
Tina: What do you do when you feel like you’re being awful at parenting? (You don’t have to answer if you never feel that way.)
Dewi: Omgsh I have a tons of moments like these! I feel like I can cry. But when I’ve that feeling I try to be strong again and tell my kids I’m sorry and explain why I did so. It’s something I would like to see my children do too. But I’m the one who should give that example.
Tina: What is the ultimate advise you can give to parents out there?
Dewi: Listen to your own gut feelings when it becomes to parenting. You’re the parent, you know what’s best for your child.