In this edition of "How Does She Do It?" we are getting to know Eszter, whose family divides their time between Hungary and Thailand! This stay-at-home, blogging mama manages to navigate both the busy city of Budapest and the deep jungles of Thailand with ease and grace! It was a pleasure getting to know Eszter and we just love how she found her outlet in snapping photos of her gorgeous little ones and the amazing community of Instagram like so many of us! So sit back, relax and enjoy her story as much as we did!
Tell us about yourself: Full name, where do you live, age, marital status, number of kids and business.
My name is Eszter, I am 37, married and we have a 4 year old son and a 1 year old daughter.
Describe a day in the life of you. Before 2010, I have always had two jobs. One, was being a psychologist in post-communist Hungary. Besides being a shrink, I always had a part-time job that helped me actually make money. For example, I worked with alcohol addicts in the day time and in the evenings I was a hostess for a Japanese karaoke club.
Then my husband and I moved to an island in Thailand. We were part of a team making a hotel out of the jungle. My husband was in charge of the design of this lovely five star hotel and he became the general manager of it as well. I went with him everywhere. I was the English teacher of his staff (108 people). And our journey with IUI also started in Thailand.
When our son Zoard was born, we moved to Barcelona. My husband was still the general manager of the Thai hotel but he also started his MBA.
We started moving back and forth between Thailand and Spain. Zoard just turned 4 but he has flown over 80 times.
Once again, we are in Thailand. But now we have Assya as well, who was also born in Spain and we started working on having a "home". We are currently renting a flat in Hungary. And we only come to Thailand when my husband has to be here for more than 10 days.
Do you have help?
We do not have family to help us out but when we are in Hungary, Zoard goes to a Montessori kindergarten.
How do you manage to have “me” time? We have been on the island now for two months and here I only have "me time" if both children are taking a nap at the same time and Assya does not wake up. I have made a schedule that we follow everyday, this is to help Zoard understand what will happen next. I try to sneak in some so- called "alone time", when he is supposed to play alone and I do my editing. However, there is always something regarding Assya. It is almost impossible to find a furniture, where Zoard can peacefully play with his vehicles without Assya reaching them.
How do you manage to make time to stay in shape? Do you workout? Diet?
I breastfeed and it makes me look like I go to the gym. When we were in Hungary, I tried to do 100 squats, push-ups, sit-ups etc. per day. I eat sweets once a week unless there is something special going on. And I do not drink alcohol.
Do you get ready every day? I decide on what I will wear the previous day and I also pick out the clothes of Zoard and Assya. If I do a photo shoot with them, I draw a plan in my head about any styling I might wish to do. I put on BB cream, blush, eye shadow, eye liner, eye pencil, mascara, lipstick but basically, I just use my fingers so sometimes I even finish it up in the elevator if we are in Budapest.
Has your style changed after motherhood? I am not a super young mama so my style has changed since motherhood, I am trying to cut back on my hurricane dressing as my husband calls it. I sometimes look like I have put everything on to make a twist on it. I am trying to wear lot more black. And my husband, who loves fashion, helped me make all my pants more "skinny pants"-looking.
What’s your guilty pleasure? We do not give our kids refined sugar but Zoard knows that I absolutely love cakes and pies. I guess he thinks of these things as part of adult life like drinking coffee or wine. So when it is my cheat day, I can easily order 3-4 slices of cake.
If you breastfeed, how do you schedule your day around feedings and outings? I am very fortunate when it comes to breastfeeding. I like feeding Assya when ever it suits her and I do not feel uncomfortable breastfeeding on public transportation or on the street etc.
How many hours of sleep to you get a night on average? I think I sleep 7 hours a night in average but it is not uninterrupted sleep because I am woken up at least 3 times by Assya.
What is a priority for you, and what gets sacrificed? Being active on Instagram is very important to me. I love taking pictures of Zoard and Assya. I also like to be in the pictures but that usually needs more organizing since I do not own a tripod. My husband helps me out when he can. I have been helping out Instagram shops with my pictures for over two years and I could not do it without my husband's support. Household chores for sure get sacrificed.
Do you cook meals every day for your family? My husband works on several projects, nevertheless, he treats me like a princess. He does the laundry, he loads the dishwasher, cleans the bathroom etc. He also loves to cook and I do not mind giving him space when he is in the kitchen. I obviously do cook time to time. We like to toss in lots of vegetables and bake them in olive oil. If I have play-dates over, I like to cook beef stew for 5-6 hours.
If so, how do you plan them?
I personally think that I handle extreme situations very well. People ask me how I do not go crazy being with Zoard and Assya 24/7 (when we are in Thailand). I re-frame the situation: it is like a boot camp or an adventure. When my husband and I lived and worked in England for a year, we ate pasta with tuna and tomato sauce every day to save money. I knew it was not forever. I suppose, my children will not need me this much later on.
Does hubby help you with anything particular? If so, what and how? My husband as I wrote previously, helps with everything. When we are on the island, I cannot really go anywhere because I do not drive. I take the children out for mini adventures but by feet, we cannot get very far. Plus I have to keep in mind that snakes and scorpions live in the jungle...
How do you manage motherhood and marriage? My husband and I often suffer from parenthood. We miss each other so much. We used to spend almost all our free time together and we are truly best friends. In Hungary, there is a girl, who comes once a week to be with Zoard for 2-3 hours. This is great but we still have Assya and nowadays, she wakes up when we go to a restaurant.
What does your work consist of and how do you get it done during the week? I get children's clothes in exchange for my pictures. I also receive lots of nursing wear. I have to think of my Instagram account as a portfolio and of course I have to email the shops. I take and edit pictures daily. I post on Instagram at least twice a day.
Have your circle of friends changed now that you're a mother? I try to hang out with expats in Hungary just because we are so different than the typical Hungarians. For example, we only speak in English with our kids.
Have you ever felt like you are loosing yourself to motherhood and or life?
I take Zoard to kindergarten when we are in Hungary and we take the subway. It is about 45 minutes to get there and when I pick him up, Assya starts to lose it. Since I take Zoard to kindergarten with Assya and we always go somewhere else, by the time we go home from kindergarten, it is at least the 6th time Assya has been on public transportation. I dread it when she screams and Zoard has a melt-down simultaneously. I try to keep my cool in these times and think that I am some kind of super woman. HAHA!
Quite specifically, when Assya needs to be helped fall asleep or take a bath and Zoard needs me to wipe his bum, I do not feel that I have it "all together". Or when Assya needs a diaper change and Zoard wishes to be independent pouring out something. Getting them out the door when they need three layers on, is not my "I have it under control moment either." I take deep breaths and I say out loud: "come on mammy, you can do it!" It is nice for the children to see that I cope with my problems.
Most recent experience of not being on top of it: Zoard got soaking wet from a puddle and tried to explain to me, that now I can really let him go to the swimming pool by himself. And in the corner of my eye, I can see that Assya (she is 13 months old) just got really close to the pool's edge throwing a flower in it. (There is a swimming pool where we are renting a service apartment in Thailand.)
Fill in the blank- As a mother...it's a luxury...
Having a pedicure is a luxury I cannot say yes to in the past 7 months I think.
What is your philosophy on balance and does it exist in your home? When it comes to balance, life is too short not to be loved. Finding the right partner to be with for a life is beyond essential for my inner balance. It does exist for me, I am madly in love with my husband.
What are your dreams outside of motherhood that you would like to accomplish? I would love to do all kinds of sports. There was a month when my husband was able to be with Assya and I got to go to yoga classes. I also did a few spinning classes with Assya on my back and it was super. So I would like to accomplish some time for exercising without the presence of Assya. Hot yoga would be great or jogging.
What is one thing that keeps you sane?
Instagram helps me keep sane.
What is one question you'd like to ask our fellow mama readers?
I have so many questions to fellow mamas. I am always confused about how to behave in nature when I am outdoors with Zoard and Assya. Assya eats a lot of sand and she puts rocks and garbage in her mouth. They get bitten by bugs - even though they wear long sleeves - all the time. Assya falls so much and hurts herself. I make myself take them out for an hour walk everyday but I am always second guessing myself when I see Assya licking a dirty bottle she just found. Or just today I let Zoard lay in a puddle, half naked (because it was raining and he just had swimming shorts on) and when we came home and I gave both kids a shower, I was thinking to myself: are there dangerous bacteria in puddles?! So I am very lost in how to behave in nature with young children. And by nature I mean Thailand's jungle..
Stay connected with Eszter on her blog and on Instagram!