To date, MotherStories has conducted 24 interviews. 24 stories, 24 journeys and 24 unique experiences of motherhood. The 24th story in this epic series highlights a family rich in color. A Franco-Swiss father with Tahitian roots and a mother who is half-Filipino and half-Swedish, the result is magnificent. Natalie confides in us about the arrival of her second child, with her first always demanding more attention. But also on how, when you're ambitious and career-minded, you can combine your professional life with that of a mother. A wonderful discovery.
Natalie, can you introduce yourself in a few words?
I was born in Geneva, but I'm of Filipino and Swedish descent. I'm a young mother of a big Adam and a little Chloe. After studying Fashion Business in Paris and London, I worked in the fashion industry as a merchandiser for a large multinational. After 8 years in the business, I recently decided to resign to pursue new adventures. It's funny, but since this important transition, I feel like I've been promoted to CEO (laughs), because I've got more responsibilities than ever!
Adam 3 ½ years old, Chloe just 9 months old, how are you feeling?
I'm overwhelmed and happy, but I must admit that it's not easy every day. You think you know everything after the first, but the arrival of the 2nd turned everything upside down, especially for Adam, who until then had been an only child. Despite all the psychological preparation during the pregnancy, explaining to him that we would always love him just as much, it wasn't easy. He was so proud in the maternity ward. He always takes good care of Chloe, protects her, loves her and plays the role of the perfect big brother. With his parents, however, it's a different story... We were warned that it might be complicated, but every child is different. Today, 8 months after his sister's arrival, he's still demanding more attention! Luckily for us, Chloe is a calm baby.
So, what advice would you give for the arrival of a 2nd?
Prepare the first baby as soon as you're pregnant for the arrival of the 2nd. I think that repeating to him that he was going to have a sister and that he was going to be able to play with her immediately created a bond between them. As a result, he never took his jealousy out on her. Then, after the arrival of the 2nd, make sure you always have quality one-on-one time with the big one. It's important for him to know that he's still loved and that his parents are always there for him.
If you had to define motherhood in 1 word?
Hmmm, I'm allowed a joker? Come on, 2 words: learning and balance. Every day is different. Every day we learn something new, whether through the eyes of our children or simply about ourselves. So you constantly have to find a new balance, whether it's professional or personal, with and between your children, in your married life or in your social life.
Cool vs. uncool during pregnancy?
I loved being pregnant!
- Cool: seeing my belly get rounder by the week, preparing for the arrival of my children by decorating their rooms and finally the Baby Shower to spend a lovely moment with family and closest friends. Priceless.
- Not cool: the stress of finding a childcare solution, as is the case for all parents. Finding THE right solution isn't easy, especially in Switzerland, where the system doesn't allow for a smooth return to work. I've been through all the stages since I've never had a place in a crèche: day mother, live-in nanny, baby-sitters, but above all and fortunately my parents and parents-in-law who live nearby. Without them, our life would be much more complicated, so a BIG THANK YOU to them.
If you could teleport right now, where would you go?
To the beach with a cocktail and my feet in the sand, lazing around with my husband (laughs)! I love my children more than anything, but it's true that since their arrival, it's become more and more complicated to take time for ourselves and our relationship. This summer, we're planning to go away for a whole week just the two of us! That's if we can find childcare... Hello Mamie, Papé, Lola, Morfar?
Your tips for :
- A romantic dinner: Izumi. This is where my husband took me after each birth for a celebratory dinner for two.
- A girls' night out: at a friend's place or at home, a nice dinner to chat over.
- A Sunday with the family: a brunch, even if it's hard to find Kids Friendly brunches in Geneva. A stroll through Parc Bertrand (Adam loves playing in the playground) and a visit to Bain Bleu for a relaxing family moment.
- A solo moment: a good massage.
What fundamental values do you want to instill in your children?
Recognize the good from the bad. I believe that once you've assimilated this value, you can handle any situation in life, whether in friendship, love or the workplace.
What advice would you give to future/young mothers?
Live and enjoy every moment because time flies. A bit of a cliché, but so true.
Natalie, what can we wish you today for tomorrow?
A 3rd child (laughs). No, on a more serious note, I want to be successful in my professional life and find the right balance with my life as a mother. My philosophy is that it's all up to me, so I'll have to keep an eye on that...