This is Charise
My name is Charise Abigail Rozenbeek. I’m 28 years old and living in the Netherlands, Europe, with my husband of four years, our children and our cat.
We have 2 daughters. Amelle just turned 3 and is such a girly girl. She loves to dance and sing all day - preferably in glitter shoes and a skirt. Solenn is 1,5 years old and the complete opposite. My husband and I deliberately wanted the girls to be close in age so they would hopefully become best friends but so far, the only thing that they bond over is food.
Amelle, our first born was quite a surprise 3 months into our relationship. She turned out to be groundbreaking and fundamental in every decision from that moment on, not just for me as a mother but for us as a family as well.
I was born into a biracial family, as my mother is from the Philippines and my father is Dutch. I grew up in a very culturally diverse and bilingual environment, which I always loved. My husband had quite a similar upbringing, with the same set-up (Filipino mother and Dutch father) and we hope to give our children the same kind of environment and a strong connection to both of their cultural heritages.
As soon as Amelle was born, I knew I wanted the freedom to be there for my children as well as grow as a person. I wanted to create an environment where I could combine my passion for fashion with motherhood. That turned out to be VIDA+JUNE: A twinning fashion brand for mothers and daughters. It really doesn’t get any closer to my goal than that.
When Amelle turned 4 months, I left to visit factories with my first designs under my arm. It was an emotional rollercoaster as a new mother and a new business owner but I knew I was doing this for us - for our future and luckily I had a very supportive husband by my side.
In terms of juggling my career with motherhood, there really is no balance when you’re an entrepreneur with kids. There are many sacrifices, especially personally because you’re so invested in your kids and in your business. In the beginning this was my downfall. Now I try to keep the two things separated as much as I can, by working on specific days only. When I’m at the office I’m fully dedicated to work and on my ‘off work’ days I’m fully dedicated to my family.
The love I get from my kids is my favourite thing about motherhood. It’s overwhelming and majestic. Every time I see them smile or hear them tell me they love me, it makes each and every sacrifice and tear worthwhile. Amelle is 3 years old now and I love her growing into this little person that talks to me about what’s on her mind. She tells me she missed me when I come home from work, or tells me I look pretty that day. It’s the best feeling in the world.
Most challenging for me was trying not to lose myself in all of the new responsibilities I put upon myself. I was 25 when I had Amelle - the first among my friends - and sometimes it was very lonely. I never imagined how life changing it would actually be. I remember coming home from the hospital, feeling like I’d been hit by a train. I was putting the laundry in the washing machine, while there was a tiny baby screaming in the background and I just knew in that instant that my life would never be the same again. But that was ok because that wasn’t me anymore either. It’s almost like I gave birth to myself at the same time as giving birth to Amelle.
I feel like we’ve grown a lot within the last couple of years when it comes to diversity and representation. I remember being pregnant in 2015 and really there were just a handful of platforms for mothers or women, that represented motherhood on social media in the way it is represented now. So there is some kind of growth there and I love that social media has given us an easily accessible platform to encourage and inspire others, when it comes to motherhood. However, I also see that we have a long way to go. Not just within diversity and representation but also when it comes to inclusion.
I also feel like there is still too much comparing going on between mothers when really there should be compassion, love, and support!
I don’t know what the future brings but the thing I know for sure is that I will do my best to instil a strong foundation within my kids, raise them with confidence and peace within themselves and with compassion and love towards others.
At VIDA+JUNE diversity comes naturally to us as a brand. I believe that being biracial myself has influenced this and made me want to be relatable to all mothers in some way.
On All our Mothers:
I believe it’s very important to support each other on our motherhood journeys, so platforms like All Our Mothers are very valuable.