Saturday, July 25, 2015

mommy chats: Elodie

Several months ago, I started a new series on the blog called Mommy business Saturday. Where I wanted to feature small businesses owned by mothers. However, since then I've realized that not only would I like to feature small businesses, but also moms that I've come to know through blogging and social media.
I want this space to not only be for, "mommies in Milwaukee" but for mother's from across the globe. What's neat is that a lot of these momma's I've never met in person, but via their blogs, Instagram pages and messages I've grown to call them friends. I'd like to think of this as our generations version of pen pals, except that now we can interact a lot more!

One of these mother's that I've grown to know is, Elodie. Not only is she gorgeous, smart and very funny but she's also from one of the chicest places on earth, France. I've loved following her journey on Instagram since we both were growing our little ones! I remember I came upon her page when we both had the same striped dress for our pregnancies. Since then I've learned that not only do we share a lot of similar interests, but she is also a great mother and wife. Now we both have our little ones with us, and continue learning about motherhood side-by-side in different parts of the world!

I'll let her share more about being a momma, family and her husband's, Tony's wonderful Montessori-inspired furniture business! You can follow them on Instagram at @Mr_and_Mrs_mg ! And their shops direct link on Facebook is here!

Welcome, Elodie and Tony to our very first, Mommy Chats!



Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family

My name is Elodie, I am 28 years old and I am married to Tony, 30 years old. We have one daughter named Zoé, she is 6 months old. We also have 2 furry  babies (dogs!) Vanille and Cookie who are 4 and 5. We are French and currently living in France but we travel often!

  I know that you recently graduated from grad school, can you share what your thesis was about and program?

I studied International Trade, but I majored in Marketing. I have always been a feminist, so I knew I wanted to focus my thesis on women. The subject was,  “The Evolution of the Women’s Role in the Work Place from 1900 until now, in Europe and Asia." Women are often judged and criticized for who they are, and especially when it comes to balancing work and kids. I am very proud to be a woman, and I am very proud to be a mom. So I feel the need to speak out about these societal problems. The fact is, even though there is public policy supporting women and their various roles,  we often face closed minded people.

What was one of the biggest challenges for you while going to school pregnant and now with little one?

I was pregnant with Zoé when I went to school and I was an exchange student in Canada at the time. From the beginning until I gave birth, I struggled with daylong sickness and fatigue. It was really hard to focus on the classes; all I wanted to do was sleep! Luckily we only lived a 20 mn walk from school so I could come back home during lunchtime to take a nap. I also spent all my weekends doing my homework, because I couldn’t concentrate for very long and I took more time than usual. On top of that, all my classes required doing a group project, so I had a lot of meetings after school!

What is one thing you didn't expect about becoming a mother?

That everything takes so much time! I am very organized so it is in my nature to control and expect things to happen the way I view the situation. With a baby, I’d say only 1/3 of the things I organize happen! Instead of getting frustrated all the time, I try to change my views and accept that the plans might change. In fact, I now view things very differently, and I am less stressed because I am more open to the change. Thanks to baby Zoé!

  What's your favorite part about being a mother?

Watching my daughter grow and become her own little person is really what I love the most about being a mom. Zoé will be 6 months at the end of July and it still hits me sometimes that I am a mom and I “made” this baby, she is our mini us. This is crazy!

 I love following you on Instagram and seeing the differences and similarities of how you are raising Zoe and how we are raising our boys. What would you say are some of the biggest differences/similarities you've noticed based on other American moms you follow? 

Thank you! Well, none of my friends have babies so it’s kind of hard for me to say that I do things because I’m French vs. just because of my personality. But from what I’ve seen so far on social media, and what I experienced while I was in Canada, French moms aren’t big fans of breastfeeding their babies. I have never seen any mom breastfeeding in a public place in France! In fact, doctors don’t push woman too hard in the subject. I don’t know why! I mean, it’s full of advantages for moms and babies. On the other hand, my midwives in Canada didn’t tell me I could use formula when I had problem's breastfeeding… So I took the decision to quit while they were telling me not to back off.

Also, I heard that some Americans cook a special meal for their kids or babies would has, “baby food”. From my experience, in France, there is just one meal for the entire family and nothing else. Of course, we cut things in smaller pieces or blend them for babies but that’s pretty much it.
Last, I realize that most American parents often cheer the baby in whatever he/she is doing by saying “bravo” to this or that. The French choose not to say it all the time. And again, I believe we raise our children differently depending on where we come from (country, background, etc.) but at the end of the day, there is no perfect way to raise a child.


I love seeing how you incorporate Montessori learning in your day to day life. Can you share why you chose that? And a few examples of how you do it? Also, why you feel it's important?

Zoé is our first baby, and we needed a structure to help us raise her. We don’t live close to our parents and on the Internet; we found multiple answers to our questions. It was really overwhelming! I had heard vaguely of Montessori and when we started reading about it, everything explained made so much sense to us. It might look like a “trendy” thing to follow but this pedagogy was created a while ago.  

Maria Montessori believed that children are able to learn a lot of things, even when they are just newborn. For example, we bought a few baby’s mobile that were meant to teach her different things: A black and white mobile at the first stage (from 3 weeks until 6 weeks old) because they are only able to distinguish the light and contrast. Then a colorful one from 1 month until 2 or 3 month old. And it continues: the mobiles change when the baby’s need change. Another example of how we incorporate Montessori pedagogy is the bed she uses, but Tony is going to explain it better in the next question!

I know that your husband also creates amazing furniture for Zoe and now they are now available for sale. Please share about that!

Tony:

I started thinking about making things for Zoé when we had to look for a bed. Nothing really caught our eyes, and very often the price was ridiculously high. because I build wooden things since a young age, we decided to build her a bed. But it had to be a bed on the floor because we wanted to try the Montessori way. From 0 to 2 ½ month old, she slept in a crib, she often cried a couple of times at night.

When we moved back to France, I built her the bed, and she slept through the night. It hasn’t changed since, and she will turn 6 months at the end of July. In my opinion, cribs look more like a prison to babies, because the bars surrounding them! I took her place in the crib to see for myself how it feels, and trust me you wouldn’t sleep one night in it. It really feels like a prison. I think now she is more relaxed that she can freely see what surrounds her.

I kept making things we needed that we didn’t find in store. Like a rocking chair, everything was ugly or too pricey so once again I built one we liked! I try to build things that will be interesting for her and aligns with how we view her education.My furniture is for sale. I don’t have a web site yet but you can see my work on Facebook. If you want to share thoughts or ask for prices, don’t hesitate to leave me a message!"https://www.facebook.com/tony.mgworkshop"







  Anything else you'd like to add?!

We wanted to thank you for this beautiful opportunity you gave us to explain how we see our lives with a baby, and to meet other wonderful people through your interview. We love following you through Instagram and look at your beautiful pictures and the way you make women feel good about themselves. J

Thank you so so much for sharing a part of your world and story with us! I just adore learning more about you, and your beautiful family!

Don't forget to show them some love on Instagram and Facebook!




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