You Can Have It All…But Not All At the Same Time

The demanding career and the happy family. The path to get there might not be always easy-breezy, but it’s definitely worth it.


Most of my bustling career was in the telecommunications industry; Bell, Rogers, Telus and Vidéotron. I was evolving in a predominantly man’s world, but that never stopped me, nor did I consider that it could. I was the first Vice-President at Telus and the first Quebec Marketing VP for Rogers. I travelled a lot, and then I moved to Toronto, and then back to Montreal. 

I knew I wouldn’t want children before I was 40. When I met my husband at 41, I was suddenly ready to have a child. He was thirteen years younger than I was, and we had a discussion about our desire to have children and that was it. It was decided.

We started our adoption project in January 2006. For me, adopting was never a “plan B” or a compromise, I had always wanted to adopt. Ugo and I were married in March and we submitted our adoption application to China in July that same year, with the knowledge it would take approximately 11 months.

Little did we know that a new law would favour national adoption rather than international adoption and our 11 months turned into a few years.

Four years later, in January 2010, the adoption agency we were working with let us know of an adoption pilot project they were conducting in Vietnam. If we wanted to jump on board, we had to give up on our process in China and take a gamble on Vietnam. It was what felt like the biggest gamble of our lives but we took it.

We submitted our application to the pilot project in July 2010 and got the call, a month later, in August. I had no expectations of how it would feel. We were tremendously happy, completely excited…but at the same time we felt a bit odd. It was like like finding out we were pregnant, but had no idea what (or who! or when!) we were going to have join our family. 

Then, we got the file, with this one tiny photograph and found out we were about to become the parents of a beautiful baby boy.

We left Canada in December to go to Vietnam and meet our son, Arno. All I can say is that it was the trip of a lifetime.

Suddenly—on the other side of the world, far from home and just like that, they put a baby boy in my arms and we were parents…it was magical in so many ways.

It was completely unreal; it was like being on another planet. At that moment, I craved my home. All I could think about was coming back to the comfort of our house and cherishing this perfect little bundle of joy.

7 years later, I’m in my fifties and having a young one keeps me vibrant and alive. The beauty of it is that I never once felt I that I had had to make a sacrifice. I did everything I wanted to do prior to having a child. A busy career and abusy life, that’s for sure. To this day, I’m not sure I have completely mastered the perfect work-life balance, but what is perfect anyway?  Who wants perfection?

In my opinion, the key to having it all is to have a sacred place where you can find balance, where you can refocus on what’s truly important. For me, that sacred place is my childhood cabin. There we are cut off from the world—even if just for a for a brief moment—and that gives me the strength to keep going, surrounded by people that matter to me.

Finding this healing place, whatever it may be, paired with sleep (even though it can be challenging with young kids), and an excellent cup of coffee is the simple equation to embody the important roles in my life, as mom to Arno, funny wife and VP at Nespresso.


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