Ellen Westöö, 33 yrs
Henrik Westöö, 33 yrs
Family of four from Stockholm, Sweden traveling around the world for five months. We are an active living family as well as very social. We have chosen destinations to visit where we can fulfill this and be both active and social. We are traveling to places like Bali, Australia and Canada, places where we can have an active lifestyle and at the same time enjoying a destination we have been longing to spend time in. We are meeting up with friends from back home and from other countries in the world – we wouldn’t survive without our dose of family and friends
We are located in Stockholm (Sweden) in an area called Bromma, just outside the city. At the moment though we have left our secure world back home in Sweden to travel around the world for five months. So our location for now is ”on the road”. J And we are loving it!
I work as a PR consultant and project manager/account manager at a PR agency called Jung Relations, where I have been the last five years. I am educated in law and worked as a lawyer for a few years before I decided to change career path completely. I haven’t regret it once. I am on maternity leave right now and will go back to work in May.
What are you most passionate about?
My biggest passion all time is interior design. I can browse Pinterest for ours or read five interior design magazines right after each other. I just love how you can express your personality in a style or room by mixing things together to Your thing. Also passionate about fashion and I am almost more passionate about kid’s fashion then for myself. Almost J I know it sounds strange for a lot of people but I am passionate about my work. Since I changed career path I have loved going to work. I have great clients and fun and interesting brands to work with.
Do you have any hobbies/things you do in your downtime?
I love to be as active as possible. We try to live an active life together in the family. Now when we are travelers we do a lot of activities together – we hike, we run, we surf, we SUP, we ski – even with the kids. I am very into yoga and are practicing it as often as I can, at least a few times a week.
How would you describe your family?
A loving and social family. That is us, I think. I grew up with lots of love around me and I think that have affected me in a wonderful way trying to adept it in my motherhood. We have always been very social and are usually the ones to put together different people with one another. We host dinner parties, trips and are more than happy to have people around us.
We are also a family not afraid of doing things. We love adventures and having kids did not stop us from trying to live as close as possible to what we did prior to having kids. Of course things changes, that is natural and I like that. But we try to still do things just the two of us, we bring the kids along to whatever we are doing and we travel. We have always loved to travel so this was important for us to keep on doing when our family grew with kids.
How did becoming a mother change you?
I think I became more patient with things. Your patience is something that is challenged many times every day with kids, so whether I wanted it or not, it has become better and better J
The most obvious change since I became a mother is that I worry so much more. I am worried about things happening to me, my husband or any of the kids. Mostly worried about things to happen to me or my husband, so the kids would have to grow up alone or without one of us. It scares me to death and I just can’t help worrying about it. I have never thought about things like death and illnesses before having kids, this is something new for me. And it absolutely affects me as a person.
What’s the best part about being a mother?
Oh man, so many things. But first, the love. The love you feel for your kids is unconventional. I know it sounds like something you just say – but this love, it is different and nothing compared to anything else. And together with this comes the role you have in your kids’ life – and hopefully will have forever. From the beginning you have the nursing and loving role and you are the only person in the world that can comfort them. It is amazing and such an incredible feeling. And further on you as a mother get to play another role, a role consisting more listening, supporting and of course still loving. I think this is one of the most beautiful things about being a mother. You will always (hopefully) be special for your kids and have an amazingly important role. I love being that person. That mother.
Naming your children is always so difficult (or maybe it was just me!) Was it easy to pick your child’s name and why did choose it?
To pick Vera for our daughter was, believe it or not, quite easy. I have always loved Vera as a name so when we found out we were expecting a girl we pretty much from the beginning had Vera as one of the top choices. We did have a few other alternatives but as soon as we met our little angel, we knew it was a Vera.
It was a bit different when we found out we were to have a little son. Both of us have always thought it to be harder with boys’ names. We didn’t really have one favorite name so it was much tougher this time. Just out of the bleu I heard the name Morris on television one night when my husband was not around. I remember texting him, saying “I know what we are going to name our son – Morris. Let’s do it!” He replied right away that he liked it but that it sounds like a mischievous little boy. We will see what our little Morris will turn out to be J So far so good!
Has your personal style changed since becoming mother? If so how?
In genereal I think my style has not changed. I do dress a bit more comfortable then before – less heals and more sneakers. But other than that, I think my style is pretty much the same.
Favourite thing to do as a family?
We love traveling together. That is probably why we are traveling around the world now J Travel consists so many different elements – you get to hang out full days, all together. You get to experience and do things together (depending on where you go of course) and one of the best parts, you get to see and meet different cultures and people. To do this as a family is incredible and very memorable.
What has been the most memorable moment for you in motherhood so far?
I think what I remember the most or maybe strongest is my revenge when it comes to giving birth. I am not going to give you the whole story but in short terms, I had a really hard and tough time giving birth to Vera. It was 40 horrible hours in severe pain (you all know the pain – it was just very long). It was so bad that I promised myself to never give birth the natural way again. So there I was with this decision in my mind when I met very competent and carrying people. After many hours of discussions and supportive conversations I agreed to give it a try (I always had the chance to back up and chose to do a cesarean section) and this time was completely different in such a good way. Everything went so smooth and was actually a beautiful experience. Something I never thought I would say about giving birth. I am so glad I got to experience this and it is without doubt my most memorable moment, so far at least.
What are some baby essentials every new mother needs?
My favorite things having a new born are:
– Babynest. We carried it with us to friends, on travels and in all our rooms. It makes every hard surface a bit more comfy and something the baby recognize wherever you are.
– A babylift. OMG, this is a mush. A babylift to have in your stroller. You can bring your baby with you everywhere – even in small cafes or restaurants where a stroller doesn’t fit. We used ours until Morris was about seven months.
– A baby harness (carrier). Makes your life a lot easier!
– A dummy or something else the baby can snuggle on. It saves your nipple J and also a saver when you’re out your baby is not too happy. You can always pull the dummy out!
– This might be controversial and not an essential J – but a great dad (or partner)!! Someone that is supportive and take responsibility as a dad should do. It really helps you and make you being a better mom.
What are some of your favourite shops/websites for baby wear?
Since I am Swedish I shop a lot at some Swedish sites.
What is the one thing you want to teach your children?
To be independent and not influenced by all bad people/things around you in the world. To be strong in yourself and stand up for what you believe in, is very important in the world we are living in. I also want to teach them to be inclusive of people – no matter gender, sexuality, origins – everybody is equally worth. This together with showing love, then they have it all J. Just kidding, but it is a good start anyway.
I also want to teach both my kids, but maybe my son in particular, – to treat girls and woman in a respectful, nice and equal way. I believe this is important to learn from early years so it is something you have with you growing up.
Have any advice for newly mothers/mothers to be?
Just listen to yourself and what feels best in your tummy. You know yourself and you know your baby. It is great to get advice from everybody around you but follow your gut feeling and don’t stress about what everybody else is doing. You have time! Also, maybe it is easier to say then do, but try to relax. If you can relax it will affect your baby in a good way too. It doesn’t always have to be perfect, just relax and try to not worry about every small thing – it is enough worrying about all the big threats in life