When she has free time, Aude rings up her friends and organises a girls’ day out. “We don’t do it often enough. We like taking day trips to Paris, Tours or Orléans. On the programme are long lunches and shopping. We talk about our lives, our problems, and we feel much better afterwards!”
Her childhood hero? “Fantomette.”
This cool mama has a motto in life: “Believe in your lucky star.” The Catcher in the Rye remains her most treasured book.
Aude is a primary school teacher. “I have reduced my working hours by 20% so I can spend more time with Léopoldine and Augustine during the week. I’m thinking of going down to 50% next year to have even more time with them.”
Why did you choose these names, Aude? “Our first-born was always going to be Léopoldine – a little nod to Victor Hugo and the story of his daughter. For Augustine, well, we’d always wanted Augustin for a boy. It was my great-grandfather’s name. So it became Augustine.”
Aude describes her daughters for us. “They have strong characters. Léopoldine is quite authoritative but Augustine reins her in. When they want to be, they’re tender and kind.”
Aude was born into “quite a strict family. There were some rules that I couldn’t break. I’m an only child. I was very overprotected.
As for me, I’m a bit of a mother hen but on the other hand I want my daughters to go out and discover the world, and to become independent as quickly as possible.”
She doesn’t feel like she had to sacrifice anything to become a mother. “I was ready, it was the right time, we’d already enjoyed life. Today, we enjoy it in different ways.
Becoming a mother made me more mature. My crazy side has gone away – I’ve passed it on to my children instead!
I’m a cool mum. I let them explore. I don’t get worried every time they touch something. It doesn’t matter, c’est la vie!”
Can you relate to the idea of ‘baby clash’? When having a baby disrupts life as a couple? “Yes. You have to be careful. You quickly get overwhelmed by being a mum, and you have to find a balance. Especially after the second child. That really complicates daily life and you have to know how to take time for yourself.”
Aude thinks that every woman has a maternal instinct, but that it’s something to be learned as well. “You have to adjust it, let it evolve in the right direction.”
Is it demanding to be a woman? “Yes, society is places a heavy burden on women. You have to be a good mother, a good woman, good at work. There’s lots of things to reconcile.”
The woman who she most admires is Maria Montessori. “This admiration is linked to my work. She wanted to teach children to be independent while loving them at the same time. She knew how to create a comforting environment while allowing them to embrace the world.”
Aude loves reading, particularly 18th century classics and Victor Hugo. Her daughters love books too. “I teach nursery school children. Our home is full of books. We read stories every evening.”
What are they reading at the moment? “La Déclaration by Philippe Jalbert. He’s an author that I came across in class. It’s full of beautiful illustrations, and not much text. It’s up to the child to imagine what’s happening in the story. A declaration of love is all it takes to get my girls’ imaginations going!”
Her ideal home? “The one I already have! It was decrepit when we bought it, my husband Renaud is renovating it. It’s a source of joy for both of us.”