As an expat, no matter which city I’m invited to a dinner party, the question inevitably comes around to: So what do you do?
“I just stay home with the children,” I reply. Wait, did I say “just”?
Not only was I supporting my husband and our family business in Monaco, but I was also playing a big part in its design and advertising strategy, using my extensive connections to create new accounts, and on top of that I was taking care of the FIVE children living with us at the time. So what’s up with “just”?
I think we can all agree that there’s no such thing as “just” when it comes to raising children, so why do we moms undermine ourselves when it comes to what we do?
True, you can feel both isolated and intimidated being a mom in Monaco. It’s not easy to simply start talking to other mothers at the playground at Place des Moulins, and there are some moms, you know the ones – they drop their kids off at school looking like they’ve just come from a photo shoot – who make you touch your own hair to see if it’s even brushed. It can be real confidence crusher, even more so when your husband is often travelling or at home but always working.
Log in to read the full article
[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type="show" ihc_mb_who="reg" ihc_mb_template="" ]
Going through a divorce changed me as I learned the hard way that you do not divorce the same man that you married. The devil might have taken refuge in my body post-breakup, but I am now becoming more and more sure of myself. I pulled out my old meditation books and was reminded that power is not given to you, you have to claim it.
So I have taken my power back, and I will no longer sit at a dinner party and say, “I am just a mother.” I am so much more and I can see that now.
In Monaco, there are several Facebook forums for women professionals and entrepreneurs, as well as for business workshops and networking. Have a look at Monaco Mums
, Association des Femmes Chefs d'Entreprises de Monaco
and Louise Morelli’s amazing new business Gently to Sleep
Good luck to all you mothers out there in a similar situation. Remember, in order to change something, something has to change and regardless, you are always more than “just” a mom.
Renate Mjelde has spent the last 20 years between Monaco, the South of France, NY and London, living through her love of literature, art, philosophy and brand building – and, of , course, her 4 kids and cocker spaniel. Article first published May 13, 2018.
ALSO BY RENATE