** I got an email a few months ago from an English student asking if they could shadow me as a mom-preneur, to see how I "balance" it all. Normally I'd say no, because its so far out of my comfort zone + I am so glad I said yes and got to meet Emilie. From the moment she sat down in my office we connected and couldn't stop talking about our lives. I knew I had to share her beautiful story + I am so glad she's trusting me to share some very personal details of her life. She's a mama who has a fierce entrepreneur spirit + suffers from secondary infertility. Two years ago they moved to Canada from France + despite such heavy trial's she's insanely optimistic! Im so glad you're here to read her beautiful story. Please give her so much love + support as she starts this new adventure. **
Whats the one thing that surprised you the most about living in Canada?
What impressed you guys to move to Canada?
With my husband and my daughter, we immigrated to Calgary two years ago from France. We simply wanted to have a peaceful and serene life after being discriminated in France as visible members of the muslim community.
Since we landed in Calgary, we have been amazed by the kindness of the people here and we are so grateful for that. The first days I was like: "wow I can walk in that street or in that store or in that public library and nobody is staring at me! And people talk to me normally, as a human being!" I just feel serene here, I feel free, and I get so emotional when I think about all of that. I often say "It's colder here, but people are warmer in their hearts". In Canada, we don't feel we are marginalized, we feel that we are part of the society. Here we can volunteer, work, participate in the society and simply live like any other person.
You have an incredibly beautiful story, whats something in your life that has truly defined you?
That's not an easy question for me but I want to try because I think it might help other mamas.
Through my (tiny) life, two trials have particularly changed me:
Raised in a traditional French family, I chose to become muslim ten years ago, when I was finishing my Sciences degree (I wanted to become a teacher). I then married my husband who is from North Africa. Suddenly, I discovered racism. Everything was hard as a "mixed" couple and as a muslim person: finding an apartment, finding a training, finding a job or a volunteering position, exchanging with the administration, simply interacting with people. I chose to stay at home (I was afraid of going out), I gave birth to my wonderful little girl and I eventually came across blog posts about online entrepreneurship and mompreneurship. It gave me the idea of my first small business (creating and selling Language Teaching Resources for kids).
Looking back, I now see that the adversities I encountered guided me to a positive and empowering path I never imagined I would take.
The second is a trial I am enduring now: secondary infertility. I want to share with you some details because I know so many women endure this and sometimes a testimony can help others:
I have a hormonal imbalance called PCOS but by following a very healthy diet (no sugar, no refined food, a lot of vegetables and fruits etc..) I got my first child very easily six years ago. However, I am now at 4 years of secondary infertility, with 8 consecutive early miscarriages (they happen each time naturally when I am at less than 2 months of pregnancy). We went to specialists (at the Regional fertility clinic here in Calgary), we did exams and analyses, and doctors didn't find the reasons. But I don't lose hope. I recently decided to go to a new family doctor (she was a gynecologist in her country) and for the first time, a doctor prescribed me Progesterone (the hormone that keeps the pregnancy going) and I hope it will help me.
I also feel that this new trial is here to teach me something...My last miscarriage was at the end of 2017 and I knew I needed a new positive adventure: I started a second small-business named "Caring Blends". With the support and the help of my husband, I handmade natural soaps, balms, bath fizzies etc... And through this new business, I want to share with other moms a message: take care of yourself and your loved ones, take time for yourself and your loved ones simply and naturally. And I am so happy I started it because I have met many inspiring mamas like you, Nysha!
If you could give pre-mom Emilie advice on motherhood, what would it be?
It would surely be like:
Talk to other moms about your struggles, seek help.
Take care of yourself, breathe, you are doing a great job! You are not perfect and it's ok!
Take some time to simply look at your baby and see how she is doing good and how she is growing, the time goes so fast!
What do you do that makes you feel happy, that gives you some "me time"?
I like to go for a walk alone or with a good friend.
After a tiring day, I also like to take a hot shower with one of our natural soaps scented with essential oils.
What do you feel most proud of? How has owning a business empowered you? How do you hope it will empower your daughter?
I feel proud of being a mompreneur. I am not a perfect mom but I hope it shows my daughter that she can be different and that she can find a positive path even through adversities. I hope she learns that perseverance, patience and hard-work are essential. As a muslim woman, I also want to share my voice with others and to show that when the society does not marginalize me (like here in Canada), I can positively and happily contribute to it.
What are three interesting facts about you?
1) I love languages. In high school, apart from English, I took some hours of Spanish, Latin and ancient Greek. I loved to learn how languages are linked. Around seven years ago, I started to learn Arabic by myself and I try to raise my daughter in French and Arabic as much as I can (she gets her Arabic from her father better than from me of course ^^). Since we live in an English environment, our daughter is becoming trilingual. That's awesome for me who has been raised in a monolingual family and society. I often laugh when she corrects my pronunciation in English...I think I will never get rid of that so-called French accent!
2) I spent my childhood in the countryside of France. I discovered and explored so many things and places with my family. I am so grateful for a happy childhood like this.
3) I breastfed my daughter for three years. She was a very sensitive baby and I followed my instinct and the encouragements of my husband who is from a North African culture. It was not easy at all, but for me it's a big accomplishment (particularly because in France I didn't feel supported by healthcare professionals in that choice and because only one woman in my family has breastfed her babies in the past). I don't regret it, especially now that I see my daughter is a very happy and smart girl.
Want to follow more of Emilie's adventure + Shop? Click here to follow along on instagram!