When she came out of the Expat bubble, her experience of Amsterdam changed drastically. She took a course in Dutch and became a true Dutchy. But also started as a stay-at-home-mum, after years of non-stop working with her eldest ones. Three totally different pregnancies and upbringings later, Jennifer can say she’s now the mum the always wanted to be. Jennifer Champagnie is the right-hand girl to Dr. Kaz’s practice Wellbeing Chiropractic since 2012.
How did you find your feet in Amsterdam?
‘Eight years ago, my youngest child went through the Dutch system. That’s when things started to roll. I got a better grasp of how things work here, I started to talk to people. I was terrified to talk in Dutch but I had to get out of my comfort zone. Amsterdam is such an easy little city, biking everywhere and seeing all the different beautiful buildings. I felt at home when I surrounded myself more with the locals.’
How did you start out at Wellbeing?
Via a mutual friend I heard that Kaz could use some help, back in 2012 when Wellbeing was just being set up. I started out as a receptionist, I wanted to do something I’d enjoy. I love talking and meeting people. And as a certified accountant I didn’t want to go back into the stress of that. Mostly I just wanted to be a parent, I wanted to be there for my children. And this position at Wellbeing made that possible.’
The beginning of a new era?
‘My oldest is now 23 years, when she was born I was back at work within 6 months, fighting my way through and building a career. I was very ambitious and working full time. With my eighteen-year-old sonI did it a little bit differently. I took of 18 months to care for him, but after that I was back at work fulltime again. My husband was away most of the weekdays working abroad. He had his career goals too, so I was a sole parent for 5 years ánd building working crazy hours. Sometimes till 2 in the morning. This broke me at one point, I ended up quitting my job when we moved to Amsterdam.’
You changed your parenting approach?
‘Yes, with my youngest I stayed at home for six years. It was great, I could be the mom I always wanted to be. Cook every day. Get the fresh ingredients from the market and be totally in the moment. I also reconnected with my eldest before she went to university. We became very close. She told me she didn’t get enough time with me when she was younger. My son had experienced both sides, the-working-mum in Manchester and the stay-at-home mum in Amsterdam. He appreciated me being around. I also started living more naturally, really thinking about what I ate and served. This is where I connected with Kaz also.’
More natural living with Wellbeing?
‘I got the love of cooking back, that’s what Amsterdam gave me too. The philosophy of Wellbeing is also being as natural as you can. Don’t put anything in your body that is not needed. Even the scans that we do, there is no radiation used, it’s not an x-ray. Chiropractic as well, it’s non-intrusive. I always avoided taking medicine, so Wellbeing’s philosophy connected the dots for me.’
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