Solo mom with two children and entrepreneur.

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Olivia's testimonial

 "My life as a mom began in 2014. That year I welcomed the sweetest, most divine, magical and wonderful gift of all: my first little girl. Two months later, my husband, baby and I moved thousands of miles away from France, settling in Jakarta, Indonesia. At the end of 2015, I was expecting my second baby. This pregnancy is much desired, but it is also particularly complicated.

I suffer from a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which affects around 1% of women. It manifests itself in very violent nausea and vomiting from evening to bedtime, and even at night. Atmosphere. I regurgitate everything I swallow, both liquid and solid. To avoid any risk of dehydration, I have to go to the Jakarta hospital every day to be put on a drip.

In spite of everything, I'm losing weight like crazy. I have serious fears for my baby. After 6 months of trying pregnancy, things are finally looking up. We moved country again, to Singapore, where an adorable little girl with a smooth, golden complexion was born a few weeks later.

On the positive side, I only gained 7kg in total. On the other hand, it didn't leave me unscathed. This post-delivery period has proved destabilizing and has caused me a real emotional upheaval. The fact that my baby sleeps very little doesn't make things any easier for me. But after all, I have an idyllic life in the tropics. I have no right to complain...

A year after giving birth and as our return to France approached, what I could never have imagined happened: my relationship went completely adrift... June 2018, back in France, in Paris. I have to come to terms with my new status as a "solo mom". My life is starting from scratch in every way.

I'm gradually reconnecting with my professional network. I'm informing people around me that I've returned to Paris and that I'm on the lookout for new opportunities. With a double degree in marketing/management and a diploma in journalism, for many years I blossomed in my life as a young, dynamic Parisian executive. But in the meantime, I've had two children, and the problem is that I'm now the only one raising them on a daily basis. Given the exorbitant cost of childcare in Paris, I feel somewhat helpless.

Dad is always busy at work, and doesn't have time to take his children to school or pick them up. At weekends, he's on the move. While it's inconceivable that a mother should make her professional life a priority, it's often acceptable for the other parent to do the same. And even if some dads really do take care of things on a day-to-day basis, attitudes haven't changed much. In the event of separation, we moms have to learn to manage everything.

I find myself alone in Paris with my daughters, without any family support. Both of them are used to much milder temperatures. They take turns catching every possible childhood disease. I feel like a prisoner of my condition. Stuck.

In February 2019, I decided to take the step of moving with my daughters to the Côte d'Azur, close to my family. We used to vacation there when we lived in Asia. My daughters are very much at home here. As for me, I feel surrounded and comforted by my parents. It helps me to move forward.

That same year, my partner and I set up my own 100% eco-responsible children's publishing and games company( The concept is to enable professionals to improve the way they welcome children into their workplace. I continue to devote time to writing, writing children's books, which are included in the kits we offer. One of the aims of Mon Petit Atelier is to raise children's awareness of ecology through reading and play. Initially, I thought that being a business owner would enable me to better organize my life with my daughters.

So here I am, plunged into an administrative whirlwind... The beginnings are very promising... Then, as time goes by, we hear talk of a "pandemic" and of drastic measures that could well be put in place... We can feel that things are starting to get tougher, but for the moment it's all still abstract. Then, bim, confinement slams the door in our faces. And so do the kids. We take the opportunity to improve and diversify our offer. End of confinement. The first calls come in. We're inundated with comforting feedback. The world is ours. Or almost.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020. Another blow. Here we go again, for several weeks of confinement. Since my return to France, I've had the feeling of being on a permanent emotional rollercoaster. The rest we know. It was against this backdrop that I set up my company. Quite simply, having to face difficulties also stimulates creativity. That's why we took advantage of this period to launch an offer for private customers.

Today I feel like I'm managing two days in one. Every morning the alarm goes off at 6:45. I start by getting ready, then at 7 a.m. the day begins for my daughters. We're lucky enough to be able to walk to school. At around 8:40 I'm back home and my work day begins.

End of the day. I pick up my girls and then it's off to bed. Preparing dinner, homework, bath, dinner, until bedtime. When I close the door to their room, I can finally relax. Or almost. At 9pm, I give myself a break, before often being tempted by the idea of returning to my computer screen.

Raising children alone means having to manage everything on your own. When it comes to paperwork, it's all the same. You're on your own. Even a tiny letter to slip through the letterbox? No, I don't. As time goes by, I do everything quickly and mechanically. The golden rule is organization. I try to get straight to the point, to be efficient. All the time. I try not to get lost in things that aren't essential. I often feel like I'm on automatic pilot.

I sometimes miss not having someone to talk to about my day. I also miss the good discussions and banter with colleagues. But maybe that's the only thing I miss. Fortunately, I'm lucky enough to have parents who are aware of the difficulties of my days and who are there for my daughters at certain times of the week. Although that was before COVID...

In all this, I don't want to lose sight of the most essential thing: enjoying the good times with my children. Watching them change and grow. Not losing a word of what they tell me, like on the way to school, for example. I'm lucky to have these magnificent tornadoes by my side, full of tenderness and joie de vivre (with their moods and crises to manage too, as a bonus). That's what's essential to me, along with the idea of having to take care of them in my professional life. Of course, my daughters take up a lot of my energy, but they also give me plenty. Hearing them laugh out loud is sometimes enough to put everyday worries into perspective.

In business, there are ups and downs, and my daughters know how to console me in their own way when things aren't going well. A bit like them, I could easily go from laughter to tears, but I'm happy to have taken up this challenge as a mompreneur.

And then, as my eldest daughter would say, "the three of us are good together. We're a clan, we're a team!"

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