Business Manager, Max’D Paint
I am a fashion-loving, high-heel wearing, shopping-obsessed mom to Adèle, 3, and stepmom to Xavier, 9
At some point in my life, I was a very career-oriented young woman who thrived to be extremely successful in her work in the fashion industry, but somehow, when I had my daughter, it all changed; I wanted to be successful in my life, whatever that meant. I did not cave-in to the impossibility of juggling 2 kids, a career, a family life with a business-owning partner, a house in the suburbs 3 hours of traffic away from my work, all this being the perfectionist that I am, but I decided to listen to my mommy heart, not to the pressure of society or my own, leave my glamorous career behind and embark on a very interesting business journey.
Being an entrepreneur gives me the flexibility I craved to spend more time at home with the kids, be there when they wake-up and go to bed, be the one who does their homework with them and cook fresh dinners every night; it’s the best compromise between being a stay-at-home mom and having a fulfilling career. In my heart, I knew this is what I needed to do in order to satisfy both my Gemini sides; the controlling and present mom and the career-focused woman. I simply could not let go of either one, or not be completely involved in both, so I will be forever grateful to Eric for letting me be both and appreciate both women that live inside of me.
With my man, I am now owner of Max’D Paint, an Industrial Paint shop in Montreal. He does the crazy hours in the shop that need to be done when you own a business; I manage the office and the home. This is our deal and it’s working mighty-fine so far. I like to think that I could, one day, change this very masculine world into something more high-heel friendly. Or I keep hoping, maybe one day, Jimmy will custom-make some steel-toe boots for me!
Secrets of a WOWMOM
Be yourself! Accept yourself! You will make mistakes, as a mom and as a woman. You will most likely fail in many things. But if you’ve stayed true to yourself in the process, you will learn from those mistakes instead of losing time putting yourself down.
What inspires me
I can’t think of a more cliché answer, but my kids are my ultimate inspiration. Adèle inspires me to be the best woman, the best example I can be. Witnessing her craziness, her joie de vivre, inspires me to live my life freely, smiling and to let go of all inhibitions. Xavier teaches me a very different aspect of parenthood. Being a stepmom comes with a very different contract, a role that is indescribable in its beauty and difficulty. He inspires me to be a more understanding, self-controlled human-being and he’s shown me a side of love that no one but a stepparent can know. I choose to love him as much as I love my child, in a very different way, but he has the same amount of me than she. And he owns my heart as much as she…
My sanity saviour (tips & time savers)
My mom. My family and friends. My man. You need to surround yourself with people who will have your back; be there to catch you if you fall and be there to hold your hand when you’re on top. It can be hard to be a mom, a wife, a daughter and a great friend all at once, but with the right people around, it’s effortless. These are people who will always be there to help, either it’s for babysitting or listening, or a girls night-out, or a foot and back massage, so you can’t be sane without them!
My best WOWMOM advice
Listen to your heart. Not your head. Not the people around you. Not the Internet or what you read elsewhere. You heart is connected to your kids and will always know what’s best for them. Everyone around always has an answer, an advice, an experience that sounds much better than your heart sometimes. Your head will always seem to be more logic. But what your heart tells you is usually what is best for your kids. It sometimes is a more difficult decision to make and you will most likely need to confront all of those who have a better answer, but in the end you will feel better with yourself!
My WOW moment
Do I really need to choose one??? Kids truly are the best at making you feel special and loved with all those little attentions and intense honesty!
My not-so WOW moment
First thing that comes to mind is childbirth! But it comes with such a WOW moment that you quickly forget about it.
Keeping it WOW (how not to lose yourself)
Lose yourself in something not to lose yourself. A book, a movie, a song, shopping, food, sport… Treat yourself to something you really love, every day, even for just a moment. It really helps refocus, replenish, re-energize.
Favourite MOMent of the day
When I pick up Adèle from daycare. That split second of this special sparkle in her eye when she sees me. Never fails to make me feel special and to think that I might be doing something right.
Does balance exist?
Definitely. But you need to create your own; you need to find that place in your life where it feels balanced. Usually this feeling can be torn by guilt if your balance means, as an example, a bit more work and a bit less mom, but once you accept what you are and need, you can only be a better person, a better mom, a better lover, a better everything.
My guardian angel
Love. Helps me get through everything.
The last time I laughed out loud
Last night. And probably again tonight. Laughter is the best medicine. Working with your partner is not always easy, but on our downtime we try to be crazy and have fun and forget about the stuff that can happen during working hours. We laugh a lot.
Words Of Wisdom (Mom’s message to My Kids)
Life is short. Don’t waste your time doing things you don’t like or being someone you aren’t, simply to please others. Please yourself. And enjoy being who you are because you will never be someone else. And you are perfect the way you are.
MY WOWMOM MUST-HAVES
Fave things, places and sanity savers for WOWMOMS!
1. Online shopping. Either it’s for browsing or buying, it’s a quick escape and an easy (sometimes too easy!!) reward! I buy almost everything online.
2. Bella Clinique (there’s one in Beloeil and one in Montreal). The bestest ever facials that will bring back your glow and make you feel fresh. No wonder owner Jennifer Brodeur is a favorite amongst Hollywood stars and royalty. She’s a guru and will treat your skin to a royal delight!
3. The Ipad! It just saves my life often, especially when the kids are bored in the car or during an outing. Really, you pull it out of your purse and it’s like magic happens; all of a sudden they get along and cuddle and watch a movie or play a game!
4. Le Réveil-Matin restaurant in Rosemère. We love to go for brunch with the kids; it’s just a fun moment where everyone is mellow and looking forward to a great day together… And really the only time where Eric and I can enjoy our coffee hot and while quietly sitting 😉 Martine, the owner, has many special attentions for kids: themed place mats, coloring books and fun crayons, Kinder Surprise chocolate to give parents some extra time after breakfast, etc. She’s great and the food is amazing.
5. My crock-pot!!! A great way to come home to a healthy and warm dinner on those busy nights. And to a great smelling home! It really saves my life on dance, soccer, swimming or whatever lessons nights!
6. My car. The only place where I can truly be alone for a few minutes, once the kids are dropped-off and I’m on my way to or from work. I will sometimes put on my favorite song really loud and sing (scream!) along, or simply listen to the silence.
7. A sandy beach. We have a tradition of one family vacation every year, often with the grandparents. It’s a special time every year where we can relax and enjoy being together away from the routine and the crazy pace of life. And it’s essential to our survival, because a vacation at home is never really a vacation.
8. Eric. He completes me, accepts me, encourages me, supports me, loves me, compliments me… He strokes my back at night and tucks me in. He’s my partner in everything and I don’t think I could do it all without him cheering me along the way!