My husband Max and I met in college when we were 19 years old. We have been together ever since, going on 18 years! He is my rock, my biggest supporter and cheerleader. We had our first child at age 30, after I finished my master’s degree in nursing, and I worked as a Nurse Practitioner in the US before we moved abroad.
Our family moved to Amsterdam, The Netherlands for my husband’s job nearly 3 years ago. We moved with our 2 young boys at that time and have since added a beautiful daughter to our family who is now 1 year old. When I’m not working or running around with my kids you can find me in the kitchen cooking, usually with the help of my boys! I also really enjoy staying active and working out, my perfect morning starts with a run through the beautiful Vondelpark in the city center of Amsterdam.
I was very lucky that all 3 of my pregnancies were as easy as can be expected. I continued to stay active and worked out from beginning to end of all 3 of my pregnancies. I even ran a 10K road race when I was 33 weeks pregnant with my first baby! Staying active was super important to me while pregnant. I feel so fortunate that I had uncomplicated pregnancies and was able to keep moving until delivery. The birth of my first child was long and difficult, the baby was very stressed. He had meconium aspiration and needed suctioning and oxygen at birth. Now he is a healthy 5-year-old! My other 2 deliveries were much quicker and uncomplicated. My daughter was born in the Netherlands and it was great to experience the healthcare system of a different country.
After the birth of my first child, I had a really hard time adjusting to motherhood. Blame it on lack of sleep, raging hormones, painful breastfeeding, you name it! My husband was by my side every minute of those first days and his support was invaluable. There are a lot of unknowns when you bring your first baby home from the hospital. I wish someone had told me how difficult breastfeeding can be, and how painful. I think that was one of the hardest parts of those first few weeks. With each baby, I was more confident with breastfeeding and I nursed them all until they were 1 year old - but it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies, as social media can sometimes make it seem.
I felt very prepared for baby number 3… I had pictured myself having plenty of alone time with my new baby (with my other two at school & daycare) and even getting caught up on some Netflix, but reality turned out to be MUCH different! I had just given birth to my daughter when the first lockdown went into effect last spring. Instead of enjoying a peaceful postpartum period with my new baby - everyone was home, every single day! Including my husband who was busy with work and doing his best to work from home. I quickly implemented a ‘schedule’ and that was a game changer in terms of the kids’ behavior and my ability to care for a newborn while entertaining my 2 other kids under the age of 5. In hindsight, our family had a really good time together and we definitely became closer because of it.
I left my full-time job as a Nurse Practitioner when we moved to Amsterdam. The transition was pretty intense. I went from being a full-time working Mom to a full-time stay-at-home Mom in a different country overnight. For a long time, I felt insecure about my new role, but I have learned to embrace it and recognize the joys of spending more time with my children. Eventually though, I started to feel the itch to work again. It would be very difficult for me to work in the medical field in The Netherlands and I started to think about what else I could do to fulfil my need to do something for myself - and to still help others!
One night, my husband and I were talking about how I was struggling with not ‘working.’ We thought up the idea of an app to help couples connect with other couples (in a completely platonic way) – an easy virtual way to find nice friends with similar interests in your area. Whether you have kids or not, it can sometimes be difficult to meet other couples who you and your partner both enjoy spending time with – especially if you have moved to a new city (or country) – or haven’t been able to socialize for a year because of a global pandemic!
The concept really came from our own situation living abroad. Most of our original expat friends who we met when we first relocated have already either moved away from Amsterdam or are soon going to be moving away and we are actively looking for new friends and want to build up a support system here. It seemed like a no brainer to try out this concept – Amsterdam is a very international city with thousands of expats, probably most of them experiencing similar issues in meeting friends as we are!
My husband works at a tech company, so he was able to offer a lot of guidance and point me in the right direction. I am working with outside developers to do the actual coding for the app, but I am running the product roadmap, spec’ing their work, managing their changes in GitHub, etc. as well as running the marketing, promoting and business side of Party of 4. It’s an entirely different job than being a nurse practitioner but I am enjoying learning new skills and meeting – and helping other people through the process!
The app will be launched to focus on the Amsterdam area to start and the launch is planned for April 12th, 2021! Right now, I am working on spreading the word about the app (locally & globally!) to encourage as many couples as possible to register on our website in preparation for the launch of the app. I hope to acquire a large user base so when the app goes live there will be tons of couples on the app, the more people, the better the experience will be!
Couples can already sign up on our website with their names, address and phone number. (The app uses your location to find couples near you – who knows, maybe your neighbor actually has a lot in common with you and will be your new BFF!)
When the app is available for download (for free), everyone who has registered will receive a link to download the app. Each user will be prompted to add a photo and bio on the Party of 4 app to complete their profile and start meeting other couples! As part of the launch, I’ll send each new user (in Amsterdam) a free bottle of wine to celebrate virtually with us!
Don’t live in Amsterdam? Don’t worry! I am hoping to expand the app outside of Amsterdam as soon as possible! Follow us and keep an eye out for updates on our social media and website about when/where we’re heading next.
My main hope and goal for the Party of 4 app is to help people connect with one another. As expats, my husband and I know first-hand how hard it can be to build relationships with other couples. Social interaction is so important for our wellbeing and especially during the pandemic, people have been isolated more than ever. I want to offer couples a way to meet other couples in their area who share the same interests, hobbies and life intentions. People need each other now more than ever; I want Party of 4 to be the spark that connects people!
- Megan, Mom of 3, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Learn more about the Party of 4 app (and sign up if you live in Amsterdam!) on the website, and follow Party of 4 on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the launch & expansion of the app to an area near you!