Elizabeth from the Working Mothers Network, WoMo, interviewed our inspiring founder, Jeany about her life raising 3 children whilst building an international wine brand with hubby Stephen.
Hi Jeany, tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do, and who looks after the children when you are working?
I run Mirabeau Wines with my husband Stephen and look after all the Marketing and Supplier Relations and together we oversee all aspects of the business. We built the business from scratch 9 years ago and both love pursuing our winemaking passion. I am 47 and my kids are 18, 17 and 11. Two don’t need any looking after anymore, but since we are at school in France they are taken care of all day in any case. The French school system is amazing in terms of helping mum’s go back to work and I was basically free to work from the age of 2 of my youngest, with minimal childcare costs. It helps that I work for myself so while I generally work very long hours, I can be flexible when I need to be.
1. ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE HOW BEING A WOMO MAKES YOU FEEL?
2. WHAT’S THE FUNNIEST EXPERIENCE YOU HAVE HAD JUGGLING KIDS AND WORK?
If only I could remember. I once forgot my baby in a car park, but I wasn’t even working then :-0
3. WHAT IS THE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD OFFER ANOTHER WOMO?
Nothing’s perfect and that’s ok!
4. WHAT’S THE LEAST AMOUNT OF SLEEP YOU’VE GONE TO WORK ON AND HOW DID YOU COPE?
I have poor sleep patterns, so I just tell myself that sleep is overrated and think of other stuff. Telling yourself on repeat how tired and exhausted you should be is unhelpful, we can cope with much less than we make ourselves think. But like everyone I function better when I do actually sleep.
5. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMO?
I am constantly amazed that the big balls up is narrowly averted.
6. IF YOU HAD A WORKING MOTHER’S ANTHEM OR MANTRA, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Loved the one I saw on instagram the other day: « It doesn’t get any better, but you do ».
7. WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE TO COMBAT WOMO GUILT THE BEST?
A glass of Rosé with my feet up talking total nonsense to a friend…
8. WOULD YOU RATHER BE DEALING WITH A TANTRUM OR PRESENTING IN A BOARD MEETING?
A tantrum any day- I am an expert. My kids friends called me the scary mum.
9. IF YOU ASKED YOUR CHILDREN WHAT YOUR JOB IS, WHAT WOULD THEY SAY?
George 11: My mum is an entrepreneur who makes wine to make people happy. She sits in front of her computer all the time…
10. WHAT’S THE ONE THING YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN BEFORE YOU BECAME A WOMO?
How guilty you feel when you do nothing…
11. TO DATE, WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST WOMO ACHIEVEMENT?
Getting two out of three kids successfully to adulthood, alive, kind, fun and ready to fly. Everything else is not really important.
12. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT WORKING MOTHERS?
I teach my kids that it’s normal and that I would always want to work – when and how is everyone’s choice, but having a job is essential to how we feel about ourselves as women.