By Leontien Prenger

When I think of Coco (28), I think of family. She is the eldest of five children and all of her siblings have a significant role in each others lives, one I’ve only known from books and movies and other fictional stories. A mutual friend describes her as “A Unicorn”, and maybe she’s right.

Having lived in New York to spend time with her mother and finish a degree in fashion business management whilst taking care of her firstborn son Blake (4) and pregnant with her daughter Mei (now 2), she is back home in Amsterdam, where she was born and raised.

She and her husband Pepijn, a writer and rapper from Dutch cult-group “De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig” are expecting their third child and second daughter due November this year. At the same time she will be finishing her education to become a personal trainer at Vondelgym. “I was always at the gym and one day they said to me: “You are our poster girl for pregnant women” and asked me to become a personal trainer. It does not feel like work at all, it really is a hobby that got out of hand.”

But what does a busy woman like her carry in her bag? (or bags, in her case)
She starts taking out a small polkadot-printed purse in which she keeps her keys, phone, wallet, lip-balm, EarPods, wet wipes and diaper-bags. “These are my essentials. The diaper-bags I not only use for diapers but also for half-eaten snacks and anything that belongs in the trash while we’re on the go. They’re from Arms & Hammer, the baking soda brand, and I have them imported from The States by my mom or sisters.”

Another thing she took from The States is her Glossier Balm Dotcom. “I use it for my lips but also for skin scrapes or rough spots on the kids.” The EarPods are in a cute pink container with a Kakao Friends character on it she bought on a trip to Tokyo. Only a unicorn is able to get away with that, I think. “I’m such a cliché”, she says pointing to her cardholder and sunglasses, both by Chanel, making me think of a lyric by her husband saying “Meer Chanel dan Coco”.

She takes out her organizer because she is about to do her homework, revealing an almost eerie decent handwriting. “I still like to write everything down instead of typing, it helps me keep an overview.”, she chuckles while seeing me thunderstruck, comparing her notes to mine, which are unreadable scribbles I will have to type out asap while still fresh in my memory. “I like that overview”, Coco explains, while taking out another small bag and a Studio Ghibli’s Totoro branded bento-box filled with snacks for the kids. “If someone asks me for lip balm I want to be able to find it quickly, without having to search extendedly.”, she continues.

“The kids are now at an age where I don’t have to bring extra onesies, sets of clothes and swaddles. It won’t be for long before I’ll start from scratch again.”, she says about the newborn stage she’ll soon be reintroduced to. “With Blake I really took like two extra outfits, but I was over that quite quickly. It was like the first week of High School where you bring your Atlas and dictionaries in all languages, walking lopsided under their weight. The first weeks of motherhood really feel like that.”, she states.

“We’re going outside for 5 minutes and you spend 3 hours on packing, it’s crazy. You really have to go trough that as a new mom, anyone can tell you what you do or don’t need but you really have to find that out yourself. It’s part of the process.”