Q&A The-MOM.com talks with: Susan Smit
Holland’s finest Susan Smit writes novels and books about personal growth. Her next novel ‘De eerste vrouw’ will come out in September. Since parting with her boyfriend last year Susan lives together with her two children; Line (5) and Goof (2) in Amsterdam’s Jordaan district.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I like it when a look is a bit ‘off’ ‘: a tulle skirt with a big jumper, a silk dress with a worn leather jacket, messy hair and perfect red lips. And in my interior: an antique desk with a canary yellow plastic bucket seat next to it. Something must not be right. You have to look twice at.
As a busy mom how do you combine motherhood with your career?
Before my partner and I broke up I had to work on my novels on scheduled hours. Now there are days where I can endlessly write, get hungry, fry up an egg and crawl back behind my desk. Shocking how fast I ‘morphed back’ into my old self on these days.
If the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself but there’s no way you can balance this with being a fulltime mom, what would you do? Dream job or family?
I’m not a fulltime mother. I’ve never been one. I always had some help from either my mum, a babysitter or day care. For me this is a health, stable set-up. If I’m not able to write everything in my mind builds up.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Once a moth I pay a visit to the Vitaminstore and stock up on all available superfoods, granola, herb teas and raw chocolate (I enjoy Lovechoc the most). I can barely carry the grocery bags home!
Which fashion mom you look at for inspiration?
There are a couple of cool moms on Instagram that I love to gawk at, like Beertje van Beers and Hadewich Minis.
What is the best part about being a mom?
The physical part: a sleepy head against my shoulder as I read, to be able to put my nose in those necks and breathe in their scent, wet kisses when parting, a small hand that holds mine on the streets, frolicking in bed on Sunday morning.
What inspires you most in life and where do you find creativity?
I have to say love. My novels are about war, art, friendship, yet always about romantic love. Why do we fall for someone? What is it about love and lust that make sus crazy and desperate and euphoric all at the same time? My next novel ‘De eerste vrouw’ appears in September and it is about opera singer Geraldine Farrar who vowed never to marry and falls in love with gambler, Romeo and stage actor Lou Tellegen with whom she plays in silent films in Hollywood.
Are there any fun (childhood) traditions that you share with your kids?
I love traditions: it seems as if all the love lived together again courtship in such moments in the past. Blowing out candles on birthday with the whole family, including the ex; I cherish those moments.
What’s currently on your reading list? Favorite book(s) of all time?
I love the work of Flemish writers, Erwin Mortier, Tom Lanoye and I recently discovered the Polish / Flemish Alicia Gescinska. Her book ‘Een soort van liefde’ is divine.
What keeps you relaxed in stressful times? Describe your ultimate Me-time moment.
My monthly massage (Corpus Rub, Amsterdam) and yoga. There have been so many times in the months following the split with my ex-boyfriend I went inkblack going on the mat and stepped of it luminous again.
How do you stay healthy? Are there any beauty and lifestyle tips you would like to share?
I had a serum and crème made based on my DNA. I had to give up some saliva and then I received a report about what factors to me particularly caused visible aging. It’s stuff that feeds and protects my unique skin. It’s called OneGen and it’s just amazing.
Is there anything you love to wear but your partner simply hates? And the other way around, is there anything in your partners wardrobe you would love to see mysteriously disappear?
I am currently a single mom, so I don’t have to deal with this anymore. And so my favorite pants is the harem one with the stars right now. Or I wear my DYANNE playsuit together with smokey eyes when I feel like it.
What is your favorite holiday destination with kids?
Italy and preferably Tuscany. The scenery, the food, the sunny weather, how fond people are of children; you never want to leave.
A decade ago would you have pictured your life as it is now?
I could not half hoped for the wonderful children that I have, my lovely old house in the Jordaan district or the fact that I can earn my living using a pen. But I did fantasised all of it with a beau and father. That’s life: happiness is to be found in what is and what presents itself. Pain is found in what you think is missing.
Can you name 10 things (in no particular order) you couldn’t live without?
Raw chocolate, time to write, stuffed animals, yoga classes, good novels, laughing with friends until you have abdominal pain, cycling around Amsterdam, Sex, the daily salad at ‘Buffet van Odette, my leather jacket by RAINE Rocking Ballerina.
What advice would you give working moms who struggle with stress, a busy job, and family, career and time for yourself?
Consider yourself with gentle kindness. Join my free ten-day online Goddesses Challenge. Women are so hard on themselves and therefore do not see the treasure of goddesses they carry within themselves. Register at www.vindjegodinnenkracht.nl.
Which mom would you like to introduce for the next The-Mom.com talks with and why?
Nurlaila Karim, my dear friend, who is a mother, sings, and teaches me to sing with her whole heart. It’s a big one.