Valentine’s Day, a celebrated or hated day for lovers, but which we used at MotherStories as an excuse to launch our first “Couple Story”. The lucky winners of this new format are Sarah and Benjamin, whom we met by chance at East Side Café and for whom we had a real crush. They agreed, in all transparency, to share with us their eventful life as young parents and their couple story, which often comes second or even third. So how to find a balance between the flesh of one’s flesh and one’s beloved and tender? That is the question! Discover their story. What’s yours?
Sarah, Benjamin, can you please introduce yourself in a few words??
Sarah: My mother is French, my father is Mexican. I was born in a surfing village in Puerto Escondido, Mexico and grew up between Geneva and there. I work full-time and have been working for 2 years nos as an executive assistant for a real estate holding company. I met Benjamin, the father of my children, 6 years ago in Grésy-Sur-Aix.
Benjamin: I come from Mâcon, in France. I played basketball professionally for 15 years before participating in a reality TV show. I came to Geneva 6 years ago to be with Sarah. As she is sedentary and I am more flexible in my work, it was more logical to come closer to her.
What languages do you speak at home?
B: French & English
Sarah, are you feeling more French or Mexican mom?
Clearly Mexican (laughs)! I’m very/too fussy with my kids. I breastfed Tao for 2.5 years and I’m doing the same for Damian who, on top of that, sleeps with us and asks for the breast 3 times per night. It’s really not ideal for our couple who has taken the second place since we have had kids 4 years ago. However my kids and breastfeeding is very important for me, almost visceral.
Do you still manage to find time for each other?
B: We have lunch together every day because the children are in the crèche, otherwise we meet in the evening when they sleep. But now that they are older, things will change.
How would you describe each other as a parents?
B: Sarah is a loving, gentle and a very motherly mother, sometimes too much (smile).
S: Ben is a real Daddy. He is very present and plays a lot with his sons. I can count on him 100%. When Tao was 4 months old, I went back to work and Ben took care of him full time for 1 year. As I breastfed him exclusively because I couldn’t make him take a bottle, Ben came to my work several times a day so that I could feed him. He’s a really great dad.
What is your parenting style?
B: In spite of a framework and limits I would say we are pretty cool.
S: We let them explore on their own as much as possible. We make them curious by making them travel, giving them a taste of everything and being open to other people and cultures.
What is a typical day at your place? Who does what at home?
S: During the week, Damian wakes up at 6am, so everyone is settling down at that pace. I get ready while the kids play and Ben makes breakfast. At 8.15 am, I leave and it’s Ben who brings the children to the nursery before picking them up at the end of the day. On weekends, however, we do everything as a family of 4.
Do you take the children everywhere with you?
S: Everywhere! For me as a Mexican, it’s normal and cultural.
B: Up into our bed (laughs).
What are your favourite Kids Friendly addresses in Geneva?
B: Unfortunately, there are too few Kids Friendly places in Geneva. The easiest going is certainly at Luigia’s place. Otherwise, on Saturday mornings the Guidoline Café for breakfast, the Scandale because it’s easy to get there in a stroller or the Sales Gosses but the one in Annemasse because there’s a large play area for children.
And in the world?
S: In Mexico EVERYTHING is Kids Friendly. They love children and everything is thought/adapted for them.
What was your first trip as a family of 2, then 3, then 4 ?
S: Miami for two, Lisbon for three and Barcelona for four.
What do your must haves to keep them busy when travelling?
B: Books, toys and a miracle medicine to make them sleepy (laughs).
What’s your next trip?
S: Hopefully a week in Tunisia the second week in May, if I can wean Damian off the breast by then.
B: That’s a long way to go… (smile).
What are your next professional projects ?
B: More than personal projects, a common project. Sarah and I would like to create and launch a line of handcrafted decorative objects made in Mexico.
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?
S: We received 2 tickets to a show. A perfect excuse to finally get some couple time for a whole evening.
B: It would be even better if it was until the next morning… (laughs).
The secret of a love that lasts ?
S: To continue to be interested in the other one and to show it to him seems to me essential. Try not to let go by staying in a game of seduction as much as possible.
B: Keep in mind that nothing can be taken for granted. We always believe that the grass is greener elsewhere and yet it turns yellow just as much! You have to know how to appreciate what you have and not give up at the slightest difficulty.
Sarah, Benjamin, what can we wish you the best today for tomorrow?
S & B: Many hours of sleep (laughs) but above all health and the chance to continue to discover the world with our family.