Navigating motherhood - portraits of mothers | Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau

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Bota Bota

Navigating motherhood

In order to celebrate Mother’s Day accordingly, three important Bota Bota female figures gave me a bit of their time to talk about motherhood and the changes that it has brought to their lives. An everyday adventure, which is lived through different stages and emotions. An opportunity to navigate life, its storms and sandy beaches.

Marie P., Chief Beautician

Marie’s big blue eyes evoke a delicate tenderness when she mentions Milan, her first- and one-year old child: “It’s only happiness and a lot of love”. French native from Avignon, she arrived in Montreal with her spouse, who’s also French, in search of new challenges. A change of air, the opportunity to discover a new country: a project that she feared, which turned out to be quite pleasant. Becoming a new mother in Montreal, of a little boy who holds a dual nationality, she takes on a new adventure every day: “It is definitely a lot of work and it can sometimes be tiring, but he gives us so much love so we tend to quickly forget the more difficult times “.

“I’ve become confident,” she tells me about this new role which she takes on with ease and determination, “I’ve matured and grown up, my priority is my family.” This family cocoon, Marie will be reinforcing it with a Canadian citizenship she and her spouse will be getting soon. She’s aware that the life they have chosen, the expatriate life, is one that her son might one day choose as well: “I just want him to be happy, no matter what his life choices are or the experiences he’ll want to try. If he wants to discover the world like us … it’ll be worth it”.

To new mothers, she advises not to worry too much: “The maternal instinct comes easily. We often ask ourselves a lot of questions before the birth, we wonder if we will be a good mother, and then it all kind of happens and kicks in. We all need to make our own idea of ​​pregnancy and motherhood”.

Geneviève E., General Director

Geneviève greets me in her bright office. In the distance, Bota Bota’s steam melts with the clouds, hanging low on this grey spring day. Her very first baby who’s lived a thousand lives, stands proud, docked at the Old Port.

“Work for me has never been an obligation because I love what I do,” she says. Geneviève never counted her hours and motherhood was a certain adjustment in an already busy life: “It has been a bigger change than I expected in my life, for the better, but I have definitely much more prioritization to do”. A three-and-a-half-year-old little girl demands a kind of organization she’ll never really get used to, she confides with a laugh.

Geneviève did not plan her life around the idea of ​​becoming a mother: “It was not necessarily obvious. I think it was a question of being with the right person who wanted to have children as well”. What she was certain about though, was that if she started a family, it would be with two children. She slips a discreet hand on her belly, announcing the beginning of her granted wish.

“I wish my children a planet which they can live and breathe on”. She tells me about her childhood cabin in the woods and the big lake, a memory and a lifestyle she hopes to offer her children as well.

Being a businesswoman and a mother has taught Geneviève to establish herself, to follow the path she has built with patience and will. She tells me about the importance of the concept of independence and her wish to see Maya, her daughter, able to make her own decisions, based on her values.

Jeannine V., Massage therapist

I find Jeannine as I had left her, surrounded by her magic aura and her soothing voice. She tells me about her unexpected pregnancy, following health complications at a young age: “She is my miracle,” she tells me about her daughter.

“We planned a life without children. And then when I got pregnant, I was followed by a doctor who told me that the baby was not going to survive, that I should not get attached”. Today, at 25, Nicole is still standing tall, making her mother so proud. “She taught me to love someone unconditionally, to not hold a grudge. She taught me to grow”.

Jeannine remains true to her principles: saying things as they are so her daughter can live her most authentic life. She explains the current reality of women, which translates in a world where relationships are increasingly difficult: “There are so many uncertainties, relationships are so strange… it’s hard to get into a relationship, it’s hard to trust people, so many wounded, looking out for the less wounded”. With over 50% of marriages ending in divorce, Jeannine has always advised her daughter to prepare for the possibility of a life in which she would have to raise children alone. “Get your foundation, and no matter what happens you’ll always be able to take care of yourself”.

Jeannine believe in signs, in unexpected gifts brought on by life: “Everything happens for a reason. I was supposed to have Nicole, and there’s a reason she’s here.  Children have the ability to put us on a new path if we let them. They have us embrace the best version of ourselves through them, and I think that’s a true gift. She made me better”.

Photo by ©Florian Van Schreven