“You know when you are feeling undone? Being next to a mom is very soothing. It doesn’t matter if you are 40 or 10, it is the best thing you can do”- Olga Frunze
As we head into Mother’s Day weekend, one of the founders of Untamed Humans, Olga Frunze, took some time to talk about motherhood. She is a chemist, entrepreneur, daughter, wife, and most importantly, a mom. Olga grew up in Moscow, but is raising her children in America. We learned that regardless of where you are in the world, the core of being a mom is universal.
Growing up, the expectation was that women had to work as well as raise the children.
“In Russia, mom is responsible for everything. Cooking, cleaning, children, and work. There is one day like Mother’s Day, but [it’s] for all…like a Women’s Day. Just one day! They do all this and get one day, and then go back to doing everything. Growing up I never saw a man who stayed home, not like here in the US. There is more choice for woman or man to stay home with the kids if they want to.”
Olga watched as her mother managed all the house duties, while also having a successful career as a pharmacist. From an early age, her mom taught her the value of having a strong work ethic and stressed the importance of education. A better education meant better opportunities.
“In my family, you had to get your degree first, then you could do what you wanted. But, you had to be educated, and it was my parents who helped me do that.”
Olga has taken the same approach with her two young boys Nicolas (5) and Alexander (10 months). Viewing her most important role as pushing them to learn.
Olga knows she has a special connection with her two boys and cherishes the fact that she can show them the same work ethic she learned from her mom, but she also knows that one day her boys will grow up and start their own lives: The universal fear of all mothers.
“It is hard to believe that one day they are going to get married, go to university, and not live with me anymore. It’s frightening! I want them to always say that I am the person they trust with everything. That they can always count on the fact that I will be there for them no matter what.”
For Olga, managing her children, house, and business, is her life. She doesn’t see it as finding a work/life balance, but just part of one life. When asked how she manages it all, her answers fit her straightforward, but playful personality.
“It is really, really easy- just wake up at 5am and you will be golden.” The laugh and smile that follow reveal as much as her actual answer. “I love being a mom, because my brain is always working and always on. Having the kids keeps me upbeat, optimistic, and strong. You know, if you have too much free time, you will get in trouble!”
“How do I balance equal time with the kids?” She whispers: “It’s not equal”. Alexander is 10 months old and he needs my time more, so I make that up to Nicolas with quality. Our length of time is shorter, but the interaction is deep. You know, my mother just called me and reminded me that I would always ask her who she loved more, me or my brother. She asked me which one of my children I loved more. I could not answer, there is no way I would ever love one more than the other. This is not possible. But, I still believe my mom loved me a bit more.”