Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Christensen.
Christine, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a Danish mom and a Danish Certified Doula.
I am also a professional classical cellist.
Up until this point in my life, I’ve traveled the world competing, performing and going to school. I haven’t lived in one place for more than a year and a half in the last 20+ years. Despite always being on the go, I have made deep friendships with people along the way, people from all cultures and countries.
Sounds amazing, right?
It was amazing… until I sat in an apartment with our newborn daughter and felt so alone.
My strongest support was right there, but only on my phone. Though I felt their love, I needed this support in my real life.
If you are a parent, you know parenting is hard. Brutal even.
The feeling that you haven’t done today right.
That you haven’t stimulated your child enough.
You are exhausted, yet feel like you should have given more.
Your child hasn’t been around people other than you and your partner for days, maybe longer, and it bothers you because you want your child to know that relations outside your immediate family are safe and positive.
THE LIST IS ENDLESS.
It is my belief that we need people around when we parent. Those first years of finding your way as a parent are extremely challenging. I have felt, through my own experience, that even the slightest interaction with other parents in the same boat as me has lifted the “this is only happening to me/my family, everyone else has this worked out” desperation.
We need each other. And we can no longer take the community for granted.
Therefore my family. build HavenHyggeHouse for families with young children in Atlanta.
Has it been a smooth road?
The biggest challenge for me with HavenHyggeHouse has been/is to educate parents in the “no class/no agenda” concept. People say, “but I can just hang with other people in my living room or on the playground”… however, I always ask them, “but do you?” and they always say “no.”
We have only been open since end February 2019 and I am already seeing that people are taking our model of creating a community to hear more and more (and a trillion other obstacles… like the voice in my head asking me “wtf are you doing?”).
What else should our readers know?
HavenHyggeHouse is a community environment for families with children aged 0-3 yrs old, built on parenting concepts I have taken with me from my native Denmark and Scandinavia. My husband, Jonathan, daughter, Ella, and I attended a place in Sweden much like HavenHyggeHouse and it changed our lives.
We have created an open, comfortable and safe (non-toxic, non-electronics) 2400 sf space for families to gather in to talk, and have some daily community time. We have no agenda, but to let things unfold naturally, to model healthy social behavior for our little ones and to support parents, simply by the presence of other parents and children who are going through the same milestones, developmental leaps and general adventure of being a family with small children.
I believe it is time for us to let the little ones set the tone and allow them to develop themselves, their confidence and social skills by simply letting them be.
Where do you really go to let your toddlers crawl and explore on their own terms?
And when we finally do venture out of the house with our toddler we spend so much time saying “No!” “Don’t touch that” “Come here!” and being worried about all the dangers around us.
What are we really teaching our children? – that the world is not to be trusted, the community isn’t safe, there are dangers everywhere and you can’t trust your body, because at some point you will fall flat and scrape your nose.
At HavenHyggeHouse, a child can roam as freely as their body allows them, while being met with friendly, engaged eye contact from other people outside of the family (hence the “no-phone-zone”) in a space where their parent can always keep an eye on them, but can still lean back and have a sip of (hot, free) coffee and actually get a chance to engage with other adults. I see toddlers inching away from their parent more and more for every time they come to HHH, always looking back and making sure mom or dad is there, watching, encouraging this exciting behavior (we got wall to wall padded (again non-toxic) flooring, don’t worry, parents).
I believe this freedom to explore and be allowed to be in a free play social situation is extremely important and beneficial for children.
I am so incredibly proud to see the families who have become (in just these three short months) a part of our community, families who are bonding and growing together every day.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think Atlanta is a wonderful city to start any entrepreneurial adventure!
- “Parent & Me” drop-in is $11
- “Parent & Me” 4-pack $36
- “Parent & Me” 8-pack $64
- Address: 533 W Howard Ave. Ste B
Decatur, GA 30030
- Website: HavenHyggeHouse.com
- Phone: 9172546542
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: havenhyggehouse
- Facebook: havenhyggehouse