Zara-Lizzy was born almost five months ago, the daughter of vlogstar Monica Geuze and Sparta top scorer Lars Veldwijk. We spoke to Monica at home – just with her on the couch – about Zara-Lizzy’s upbringing, her career, being in the spotlight and the term ‘voetbalvrouw.’ (Football Woman)
“Things are actually really good at the moment. It is so bizarre that together with Lars, the man I love, I have created a daughter that is a mix of the two of us – and that she has her own will and character. Meanwhile, we both have a clearer rhythm in our lives and we are getting to know Zara-Lizzy better and better.”
Monica Geuze: “Because I can organise my own time, I decided to go to bed with our baby for half a year. I found the three months that women in the Netherlands get too short. Well, I can tell you: after one week I was already crazy.
“I counted the weeks until it was appropriate to occasionally bring Zara-Lizzy out and about, so that I got a bit more structure. A visit to Hema was a long trip. Besides the fact that I was super happy, of course, my world became very small.
“Fortunately, Lars trains only in the morning and he is at home in the afternoon – and the teamwork works wonders. Where we used to live day by day, everything is now planned so that we can alternate.”
“To be honest, I never really had anything to do with football, except that I saved football tickets from the supermarket! But when I started something with Lars, I had no choice, haha! He watches and plays football every day. Now I have started to like it more and more and of course, I watch all of his matches.’
“I hate that term! Lars is not a ‘Vlog Man,’ so why am I am a ‘Football Woman’? It sounds as if you are nothing as a woman and depend on the man.”
NEGATIVITY IN THE MEDIA
“Fortunately, I can take negativity in the media a bit better than Lars. I now know how things can be taken out of context, but they always blow over again. The only thing I found annoying was the hassle – last season when Lars at FC Groningen it affected his career.
“He was then disadvantaged because he often appeared in my vlogs and they, therefore, did not take him seriously. But I can handle it well. Only sometimes I wonder why people recklessly post comments without thinking. I can’t do anything about it.”
Monica: “The most important thing I want to teach Zara-Lizzy when she grows up is that she has to treat people the way she wants to be treated herself. This is of course something that is easy to say, but in practice, it sometimes turns out to be more difficult to fulfill. “
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
“It is and remains a difficult consideration that we have to make: do we want to put our child in the spotlight or not? On one hand, I share my whole life and Zara-Lizzy is of course an important part of that. On the other hand, I do not want her to be able to look back at it later and have people react negatively to her. Now we have chosen to film her because she is still a baby. But finding the right balance in this is difficult.”
“Although I choose to share my life online and this has given me my career, I sometimes become suspicious of it. I find it difficult to determine if I really have a common ground with someone, or if someone just watched all my videos and spoke to me in person.
“A big advantage, however, is that I really do something that I like and that I can organise in my own time. That is something I want to give Zara-Lizzy later: choose a profession that makes you happy and go for it. It is never too late to retrain if you have had enough of what you are doing.
“Maybe I don’t want to do this vlogging later down the line, and then decide to study journalism.”