Families of Instagram #25: kowaleen

“Some mornings are easy and calm, while other mornings I seem to be running constantly.” Mum-of-four, stylist and co-founder of M Word Mag, Katleen Baum (@kowaleen – on Instagram) discusses family life in Antwerp…

Katleen Baum, 38, lives in Antwerp with her husband Bob and her four children: Lilou, six, Jerome, four, Remi, three, and Delphine, three months. She is a teacher, style consultant and co-founder of the online magazine, M Word Mag.

Our mornings are … hectic!! Getting the three kiddos ready for school, with a newborn in tow, can be quite the adventure! Some mornings are easy and calm, while other mornings I seem to be running constantly. My husband drives the kids to school, so that is a plus. At the weekend, mornings are much more relaxed. We always make time for a large breakfast with our little fam.

My kids mainly wear … easy clothes, in soft and organic fabrics. The main thing is that they have to feel comfortable in whatever they are wearing. Especially the boys want comfortable clothes, my girl is particularly interested in skirts and dresses and the more glitter, the better.

I tend to buy all their clothes online from brands such as Bobo Choses, Emile et Ida, Billieblush, Billiebandit, Milk & Biscuits, Carrement Beau and Kids On the Moon. I’m always on the look-out for small independent brands, but I do shop at Zara and H&M too. It really is a mix of brands and high street shops.

Four kids bring a lot of stuff, but I try to delete as much as I can

I cope with clutter by … constantly cleaning up. We are currently rebuilding our house and I have planned A LOT of closets for all the toys, clothes, shoes etc. Four kids bring a lot of stuff, but I try to delete as much as I can.

I never leave the house without … my baby girl. Delphine is two months old and I cannot leave her just yet. I also feel awkward when I’m not wearing my jewellery: my rings, bracelets and earrings. They are all minimal and simple, but I wear them constantly.

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When they’re not looking I … am on my phone. It is my guilty pleasure and I’m working on it constantly. But with the arrival of Delphine, my phone time has diminished severely, so I don’t need to worry about it as much as I used to. I don’t want my kids to see their mum with her phone in her hands all the time, so I try to put it down during the day.

I encourage creativity by … trying to respond enthusiastically to all ideas. My eldest, Lilou, in particular is very creative and goes to art school. But all the kids are very inventive in their play. I myself love to take pictures and I sometimes style interior and fashion shoots and I’ve noticed that when I try to be creative, it stimulates my kids to be creative too. Jerome, my second eldest is very much into photography and he adores taking pictures of everything he can think of.

I’ll never be able to part with … our house. I got goosebumps the first time I saw it and I knew it was meant for us. And although our entire town was interested in buying this place, we got it in the end. We are rebuilding it but we’re trying to keep as much of its original charm as possible.

When all else fails we … will always have each other.

Follow Kowaleen on Instagram: @kowaleen

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