The thought of being a mother terrifies me. All the responsibilities that come along with having a child seem out of this world complex.
Now imagine being a single mother in Montreal. What is it like? How can a woman juggle raising a child and being successful in business? In order to have my questions answered, I got in touch with my friend, Natalia Sokova. She is a single super-mom with a career in real estate and a gorgeous daughter, Polina. How does she do it all? I have no idea, so let's find out together.
What is the most challenging part about being a single mother in Montreal?
It is always a challenge to have enough time for my daughter Polina. Living a fast paced reality of real estate and raising a young woman is always a battle for me.
Photo cred - Alexander Reverse
How do you manage to run a successful career as a single mother?
It would never have been possible without the support of my parents and my wonderful mentor Irina Dondikova, who is an agency director at Casa Bella Realty Inc. My parents are always ready to jump in and babysit my 6 year old ray of sunshine, while Polina's father is always very helpful as well.
What’s your advice to other single mothers in Montreal?
Stay positive and don't get discouraged. Montreal is a vibrant city that is full of opportunities that are waiting for you. Don't forget our government, single mothers enjoy a lot of social benefits that are a great help. Also, don't forget that there are a lot of local community groups for mothers and single mothers in Montreal.
How did your dating habits/preferences change now that you have a child?
First of all, my daughter always comes first. It is of extreme importance to me to explain to someone that I am dating where my priorities lie. It is not easy to have a relationship while balancing raising a child and running a successful real estate practice. I do not have a lot of free time to go on dates. Sometimes, when I get asked out, I plan a date a week away, as I just do not have time. My evenings are for real estate visits, as my clients work during the day and weekends are always the busiest. My preferences? Well… It has been a bumpy road for me, one thing for sure, I will only consider someone who loves kids and will be able to love my daughter as her own.
What is the best part about being a (single) mother?
Honestly, the best part is that I have the freedom to concentrate 100% on my precious baby girl and my career, however I am looking forward to share my life’s ups and downs with my significant other.
Photo cred - Lira Photography
How did your priorities change now that you’re a mother?
My daughter always comes first. And sleep! Sleep is very important to me, I cherish it. You will only understand what I mean, when you will have kids of your own. I am completely happy to leave an exclusive, creme de la creme event to fall in the soft caress of my bed and lose myself in the dreamland. Money is also important, I cherish my financial independence and I want to be able to provide the best things in life for my baby girl.
Who or what motivates you the most every day?
Irina Dondikova (Casa Bella’s Realty Inc.) is always oozing positive vibes, motivates and pushes me to achieve new goals and career hights. Also, my partner in real estate, Carlo Zahabi, who brings more than 10 years of experience to our team is always very helpful. We have a harmonious relationship, where we compliment each other in various fields of real estate in Montreal.
Does having a child make it harder to be a business woman?
Of course it is harder to be a business woman after having a child. It's 100% true. Sometimes, I have to bring Polina on visits, and my clients are absolutely wonderful and understand my situation. Polina actually enjoys going to work with me, and as she told me a few times that when she grows up, she wants to be a real estate agent just like me!
If you could change something about your past, what would it be?
I would have gotten in real estate much earlier than I did. Even though my university education from McGill in management, comes in handy in day to day business, it is not where my passions lie. I love the social aspect of real estate, I meet so many great people everyday and my life is never boring. I also believe that I am making a difference in peoples' lives as I find homes for families, where they can build a happy life. I get satisfaction from seeing happy faces once the deals are finalized.
What are your goals for 2016?
2016 Goals? More happy faces in Montreal from my real estate clients.