“Since becoming a mother, there is more peace in my way of doing business”

(© Selina de Meyer)

When she’s on stage, she immerses herself in her role. She breathes, lives and experiences her character. Stage-maker Debbie Crumlink doesn’t do half the work, she throws herself in. completely. In her role as Amy Winehouse on her latest play But I said no no no, through her role as an entrepreneur at TG De Link and a year and a half ago in her role as a mother. Crommelinck’s friend whispered to us that Debbie is a mom who can take on the whole world. “She doesn’t always feel that way, she admits. Because it’s hard to combine motherhood and entrepreneurship.”It takes the village‘, says Crumlink. ‘From family to friends and colleaguess and even Infino, drive our growth package: They’re all an important part of that village.”

You may know Debbie Krumlink from one of her many roles on the Flemish TV series. Amika, Familie, Thuis, De Kotmadam… the list is long. It is a list of plays that I have directed and written, many of which have also been written. In 2016 she founded theater company Ghent TG De Link with fellow actors Jef Hoogmartens and Bert Verbeke.

(© Selina de Meyer)

The company is currently touring Flanders for a musical theatrical performance about Amy Winehouse, a piece that Crommelinck brings to life with Leen Dendievel and Bert Verbeke. World-famous Amy Winehouse has been dead for over ten years, and Amy has been sticking with her ribs at least for a long time.

A life before and a life after

And so she wrote a play about it, between being a mother and an entrepreneur. Crommelinck has a one-and-a-half-year-old son and two plus children. They are now fourteen and sixteen years old. As teenagers, they are of course in a completely different environment than our child’s. We talk to them about the rigors of school, sweethearts and how long they can go out — we’re not there yet with the youngest ones,” the actress laughs. “But I love both of them. Polyx Kisses,” she continues, “because things are going well, despite the big age difference between the kids. “

Of course, this does not mean that everything will go smoothly. “Motherhood is still difficult,” she nodded. “Definitely in combination with the job. I probably underestimated that a bit.” She corrects herself: “‘Disregard’ isn’t quite the right word, but you can’t tell what it looks like when you have kids. I only realized it when our baby was born. You can imagine it, you can imagine something about it, but you really only know once the baby was born.”

Motherhood is still challenging, especially with a job. You have to slow down

For Crommelinck, there is clearly a life ‘before’ and a life ‘after’ the child. “Yeah, I shouldn’t be there silly about doing so. If I’m being honest, I have to admit that this has really transformed my life. I have a completely different life. I was living in 200 hours, both in my work as an actress and entrepreneur and in my social life. I have always been very ambitious and always wanted to move forward and move forward. But once you have a baby, you will realize that the speed at which you lived and worked before that is no longer possible. You have to slow down.”

Another business woman

You admit that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Because before motherhood, Debbie Crumlink was often impulsive – of an ambitious “go for it” mindset. “This was what I was: I give everything and always go for it 200%. Now I think more consciously about the decisions I make. I look at the business side of TG De Link from a different perspective. I’m becoming more critical of where I spend my time and energy – because I can’t do everything anymore. I can also delegate much better. A certain peace has come in my way of doing business.”

(© Angelique Hoste)

Crommelinck has become a different entrepreneur through motherhood, she feels. The ambition and impulsiveness – the nature of the beast, you know – have not disappeared, but there is more room for peace and perspective. “Be careful, it doesn’t mean that I still dare to jump in the deep end. I think that is just the nature of entrepreneurs. But I will choose safety more often. Not a bad change, I think.”

Has anything changed in the way society views mothers in entrepreneurship? “I wish I could say that all that has changed is that there is more room for motherhood in entrepreneurship – or in the job in general. But The truth is that I started working faster than I had hoped. It’s not easy for the culture sector, so as the founder of a theater company, you have to be prepared to make tough decisions. Even if you’re still with a little kid.”

No. 9 to 5

Crommelinck was actually still on maternity leave when she started rehearsing for a new play by another company. “The workouts were already in full swing and even though I started working out earlier than usual, I immediately felt like I had missed out on a lot. There was a gap between me and the people who had been playing sports for a while. This is a huge confrontation. Moreover, in the cultural sector there is no such thing as a 9-5but I had a newborn son who loved being home on time. I clashed several times with my employer at the time.”

After three months, mothers are still expected to be ready to go to work and fully engage in their jobs again. But the reality is often different

After three months, mothers are still expected to be ready to go to work and fully engage in their jobs again. But the reality is often different. “Our son has trouble sleeping that you can’t put him aside during the workday. When you are tired, it has a huge impact on your life. Unfortunately, there is still very little understanding of that, while it’s just a very human thing, right? “

It takes the village

The actress and entrepreneur has since learned to ask for help—something she hadn’t even thought of before. “Oh, I didn’t need any help before I was a mother,” she laughs. “I can do everything myself and love to do everything myself. But on that front, motherhood is a good wake-up call. It takes the villageYou really need a village to stay afloat. “

Her village is the nursery, family, friends and colleagues. But Debbie Crumlink pushes the fourth pillar under thatvillage‘: Infino, starting amount payer and Groeipakket. “I think the monthly stipend has become indispensable to most families,” it seems. Since 2019, families can choose which company they join to receive the starting amount and Groeipakket. Infino was quickly picked up at Crommelinck. “They radiate positivity and humanity. I also really appreciate the information they share on their website. I devoured all the blogs.”

“What I especially love is that the Infino blogs are not nonsense. You know those typical blogs that are full of cliched pink clouds, just describing the sweet side and in which the perfect mom explains how to raise her perfect kids?” Crumlink laughs. “Fortunately I have a good thing radar nonsense And leave such things to the left. But Nice to be able to go to InfinoThey only share honest and useful first-hand information about parenting and everything that goes around it. I am very dependent on their resources, and for that reason alone I consider Infino an important part of the village around my family.”

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