Make way!! Single Mum on (full) speed.


Little South African Girls in France. ShweShwe Dress by Mathilde & Co.

And just like that, in the middle of a business course, inspiration struck. I was discussing my website, my product, my blog post…  started reading my latest post… well let me tell you, Mathilde & Co is still alive – and I think I am too!
I woke up to a wonderful email from a client in Germany for whom my magical seamstress Petula and I managed to put together the perfect birth gift for a special friend. Over WhatsApp, her in our little Karoo town of Barrydale, me halfway across the world in St Omer, Northern France. It takes trust, efficiency and knowing each other pretty darn well to run a business virtually from either side of the globe. It’s incredible how every time I’m about to pull the plug, one of my clients sends me just the right words, just at the right time.

Mathilde & Co giraffe in Glamour SA
Well here I am, on a business course to figure out how to get over the French Alps of paperwork and red tape to bring the best of South African Ubuntu to the Great North.
Every night, I’m the disruptive classmate that leaves class early to fetch the kids from school – and got told off by the teacher like a primary school learner… this is the burden a single working mother has to bear! After having arrived in Europe, I realised I needed a day job to keep us going while studied how to bring Mathilde & Co to the world – I ended up commuting an hour each way for a job that totally destroyed my spirits, no matter how grateful I was for it. I couldn’t fetch the girls from school anymore which broke my heart. One day, Mathilde told me “I see all the other mothers waiting by the school gates and every day I secretly hope I’ll see your face there too…” I sat down and thought up a plan B (X? Y??) What skills do I have that would allow me to work from home, earn money, take care of my beautiful girls AND work on my business plan? Languages. I’m a native speaker in both French and English – and I’ve been networking like a queen since my arrival in Europe to get people to know I was here, I was ME, and with a lot to offer. Working HARD on getting them to remember my name.

Freelancing in France
I started translating after work, once the girls were in bed, burning midnight oil until my client base was big enough to quit my day job. Another crazy, scary step less than a year after the last crazy, scary step of leaving south Africa, our home and lives.
Hey, another high five! I did it though. I’m at the school gates each night, albeit a little dishevelled and out of breath.
I have enough translation work for two people: that’s what happens when you work overtime, meet deadlines and grow your network. I’m here for the girls, do homework with them, we’ve all started dancing lessons again.

So now. I’m focusing on the cherry on the top: to open up my new shop, distribute my fabrics all over the world and bring Mathilde & Co back to life in a bigger, brighter way. Yeah, because I’m a sucker for challenge. And I seem to need 3 jobs to keep me out of mischief!!
Being a single mum is no piece of cake. And if it were, Marie Antoinette, there’d be no time to eat it anyway. But with superhero powers, Duracell batteries and hard work, you somehow fit it all in. 

Except rest - that’s just a luxury for lazy people.

I feed on stories by women, mothers and entrepreneurs, how they organise their lives, the hurdles they are faced with, the funny bits, how they juggle being a woman (that bit especially I like to hear about!!!), a mother and a running a business. I plan to one day publish these stories and set up some motivational material and events to encourage all of us to just dive in and live your passion, no excuses accepted.

So please share your story with us. The REAL story.

But right now, it’s Friday night. And Friday night is pizza night with my girls (homemade from scratch with fresh veg and farm cheese I’ll have you know.)
(just kidding - store bought and they eat while I sit at my laptop. Enough with the perfect mom lies...).
Making time for my girls at any cost
And that, is simply not negotiable.
Au revoir for now!

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1 commentaires

  1. Superbe histoire, super mama, super femme. Bravo et et bravo. Ingrid du cap


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