Meet supermom Pernille Holmboe, one of the most beautiful persons I know. Yes obviously she is drop dead gorgeous, and I am sure the rate of trafic accidents increases every time she is posted on bill boards here in Norway. But this supermodel is so much more than that. She is such a warm, caring person, and really engages with people around her. She is a very good friend, always there to listen, and try to help.
Pernille and I had both our kids with just weeks apart and have been following each other through these times of pregnancy and sleepless nights. Ever since we shared an apartment as young hopeful models in Paris we have led very active lives. Still, with two small kids Pernille is making the most of it and living her dream. Read the interview and learn her secret:-)
-Name: Pernille Holmboe Heje
-Profession and background: Model and now director of Cameo (www.shopcameo.com)
-Home town: Hong Kong since last 4 years
-Children: Mathea 3.5 years, Axel 17 months
– Obviously having children is one of the major changes in ones life, how did it affect yours?
That is a very complex question because having children changes your life forever and in so many ways. I think the first thing that happens when you have children is that you have a major shift from focusing on yourself to focusing on this new person who suddenly arrived in your life. All happiness is related to how this little person is doing – it means the world to you! Another thing that changes dramatically is your own time – it gets quite limited. But I’ve never been more efficient since having kids – with no choice – I had to learn how to get things done much faster and to do whats really urgent first. Above all this, what has really changed is the instant love that comes back to you from a child – a new dimension of love added in your life forever. Its easy to forget after several sleepless nights and tantrums, but then a smile on your child’s face can make you forget it all in a second – that is powerful!
-You’e been working as a model all your grown up life. This is a job that requires long hours (and days) away from home. How do you manage to combine this job with being a mother?
I’ve realized how important it is to have your own platform as well as being a mother. Its a big challenge that I will contemplate on constantly – trying to find the right way. There is one thing that matter to children and that is your TIME so they will never really like that you are leaving. But I learnt that as long as they know what is going on they wont get too hurt when you do leave. My husband is always very good at telling the kids up front if we wont make it home for dinner, so they don’t get confused or feel let down. Also, our kids always know in advance when we will be traveling. They get sad, but I tell them that I will look for a little surprise when I travel. Yes, you can call it bribing…haha, but it gives them something positive look forward to.
-You have also followed your dream and started your own clothes brand. ( I love your clothes btw!) Can you tell us a a little bit more about this project, and off course how you combine being a business woman and a mother?
I started cameo (www.shopcameo.com) with my friend and designer, Tale Øvstebø, in november 2011. Its a women’s fashion brand selling online and soon coming to shops all over Scandinavia. Our mantra is to create clothes with great fit and feel to affordable prizes. We rather create more styles than big volumes so that our customers can feel the get something unique not everyone else is wearing. The style is classic with edgy details such as leather panels, chains and oversized zippers. We produce clothes that are easy to wear and dress up and down such as leggings with great stretch, silk blouses, leather jackets and a lot of dresses. Combining work with being a mother can be challenging, but I am better at dealing with it now than in the beginning. Rule number one is not to multitask. Its better to take time away from your children to get work done rather than to try to do both at once – it will just make you stressed and unhappy. Being present when working can mean that you get things done in 1 hour rather than 5 hours with the children around you begging for attention. Sometimes you have no choice, but I really try to avoid it. After work all I want to do is to be together with my children. It helps a lot to ignore the mobile phone for a while and just enjoy the time with them – no emails or social media aloud! A great doctor and mother of 5 gave me a good advice the other day. She said: don’t look at work like and obstacle for being a mother and stress to get things done to rush back to your children, both things are important to you. I thought about that quite a lot..a typical working mother dilemma that I will keep reminding myself of. Planning the day so you know when to see the children and when to work is crucial for being present and confident about your situation.
My last advice to all the mothers out there is: You know your child better than anyone else. Advices and comments from other people will be thrown at you all the time – take with you what need and ignore the rest. If you can’t handle your situation and feel you are stretched in too many directions seek help – there are plenty of good options out there for working mothers that can make your day to day life a lot better.