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  • Writer's pictureAstrid Van Gramberen


"You know, Ross, I kind of understand why I kind of lost it today.

- You do yeah?

You see, I'm an actor. I got to keep my emotions right at the surface.

I got a lot of balls in the air, you know what I mean? It's tough, guys like me, you wander around..., you're alone...

- What are you talking about?

I'm not sure..."

(Friends, season 5, the One with the Yeti)

Eén van Maurice zijn eerste woordjes is 'bal'. (Naast 'mama, papa, dady, mamy, nee en ja.) Bal. Tegenwoordig houdt hij ervan de bal op te rapen, en vrijwel onmiddellijk weer op de grond te gooien, of over een obstakel (hekje) heen. Er tegen shotten vindt hij ook aangenaam. Het allerliefst speelt hij samen met ons, en wil hij dat we de bal afpakken (of doen alsof we hem gaan afpakken). Dan schatert hij het uit. We hebben er dus steevast één in huis liggen om mee te spelen, en eentje in de auto voor het park.

By the time I publish this post, Momo converted on of his first words 'ball' to 'bA-bOll'. His first English-Dutch-combined-word. In Dutch you pronounce ball as bAll, and in English you pronounce it as bOll, so his brain turned it into ba-boll. Clever.

This made me reflect on two things that I associate with parenting. Having balls flying around in the air (and trying to keep them in the air), and having balls.

First. Having a lot of balls in the air. Trying to keep your balls in the air.

Oooh yes. With Omicron finding it's way into our lives, one of his bigger teeth coming through, work, life, relationships, personal space, (trying to find) balance, adapting to new situations, household stuff, we have so many balls flying around here. Also, there are so many opinions about parenting, advice, so many instagram accounts that are there to inform you, inspire you, help you (confuse you?), ... Parenting is about lots of balls, isn't it? What about you? Are there any balls you can drop once in a while? Just as Momo, it is probably smarter to drop one ball before picking up another one. Or sometimes just kick it around for a bit, see if it's nicer than carrying it everywhere.

I decided I would focus my instagram account on 'finding yourself as a mother', 'being yourself as a mother', which I think is a great skill to develop once you're taking care of a tiny human. I do like (love) pedagogical theories, psychology of the child, etcetera. But I believe mums, parents (dads as well :)), find their way when they have space and support for it. When they find themselves in the chaos.

Sometimes connecting with yourself (sometimes also taking a break from (parenting) information, or even from people) gives you the space you need to make decisions that work for you, for your family, for your child.

Second. To have some balls. (Wo)Man with balls. I think it takes balls to ask for help. To admit you can't do it alone. To look for connection. And to look for a new version of yourself, the parent version. What do you consider to be 'balls' (aka characteristics you admire) and who do you look up to? And which balls would you like to add to your repertoire?

Have a great week,


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