Maye Musk She was born in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1948 and moved with her family to Pretoria, South Africa in 1950. At age 22, she married her high school boyfriend, but after nine years in an abusive marriage they separated. Musk raised her three children as a single mother, while working as a nutritionist helping patients with medical conditions such as prediabetes or high cholesterol, and also as a model. In fact, she was the first plus-size model from South Africa to appear in Vogue and Cosmopolitan.
In his book A woman, a plan: A life full of risks, beauty and success (Rocaeditorial, 2021) talks about her experience caring for three successful children:
At the age of 31, I was a single mother with three children and my priority was taking care of them. My mother never felt guilty about working full time. Neither did I, because I had no other choice. I worked to keep a roof over our heads, food on our stomachs, and basic clothing on our backs. My children had to be responsible and considerate about my work. One of the rooms in the house was my office. No need to feel guilty about working. If you don’t and are resentful, you will not be a fun person to your children. To have a better attitude, you will need to make a plan to work part or full time and have help in any way you can.
From a very young age, the boys helped me with my nutrition business. My daughter Tosca would go to my office and type letters to the doctors on a word processor. She added the doctor’s name and address, greetings, the patient’s name, and completed it with her query and possible results. My older son, Elon, he was very good at helping me explain the functions of the word processor., I’m not surprised! And the youngest, Kimbal, always helped me too. What can I say? Needed help.
I raised my children like my parents raised me. I taught them to be independent, kind, honest, considerate and educated to work hard and do good things. I did not treat them like babies or scold them. I never told them what to study. They just let me know what they were studying or not. I did not review his homework, as that was his responsibility. And it certainly hasn’t hurt their careers. I believe that my brothers and I benefit, and my children have benefited from assuming their responsibilities from a young age.
As they grew up continued to take responsibility for their own future through the decisions they made. Tosca chose his own high school. They all applied to the colleges of their choice, and completed their scholarship and student loan applications. My children benefited because they saw me work hard just to put a roof over our heads, put food in our stomachs, and buy second-hand clothes. They want you to know how much I struggled as life seems so easy to me now.
When they went to university they lived in very bad conditions, with the mattress on the floor, six roommates, and even in a dilapidated house, but that was fine with them. If your children are not used to luxury, they will survive well. You don’t need to spoil them. Once you are sure your children are in safe situations, let them take care of themselves. People often ask me how I have raised such successful children. I did it by letting them follow their interests. If they prefer to start a business and you think it is a good idea, support them. Teach your children good manners. But let them decide what they want.
I love my children and I am very proud of them for all they have achieved. Elon is building electric cars to save the environment and launching rockets. Kimbal opened farm-to-table restaurants and is teaching kids across the country how to build fruit and vegetable gardens in underserved schools. Tosca has his own entertainment company, producing and directing romance novel movies. They all have different interests.
This reminds me of my brothers and me; we all go our own way. My parents were happy to support our different interests. In the same way, my children showed their interests from an early age, and to this day, they continue with the same interests and love them. When they needed it, I encouraged and helped them. When they wanted my advice, I gave it to them.
When Elon was young, for example, I noticed that he read everything. I was also a great reader, but I forgot the stories when I finished them. Elon, on the contrary, remembered everything he read. He was always absorbing information. We call Elon The encyclopedia, because he read the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Encyclopedia Collier and remembered it all. That’s why we also call it Genius Boy (genius child). We could ask you anything. Remember, this was before the internet. I guess now we would call it the Internet.
Elon Musk got his first computer at 12. It was 1983 and the computers were very, very new. He learned how to use it and created a program, BLASTAR, that was a game. “I showed it to some college students who were in my modeling school. They were surprised that he knew all the encoding shortcuts. These guys were in their second or third year in computer science and they were very impressed. So I told him to send it to a computer magazine, “he said.
Elon sent BLASTAR to PC Magazine and they sent him around $ 500 at the time. I don’t think they knew I was 12 years old. It was published when I was 13 years old. At the time, he did not know what he would do in his future.
“He could not have predicted Tesla or Space X. Neither The Kitchen or Big Green by Kimbal, or Passionflix by Tosca. However, now I see what Elon is achieving with technology, what Kimbal is building in the food world, and what Tosca is doing with movies. It all comes from what they loved to do as children, ”Maye Musk said.
*From the book ‘A woman, a plan: A life full of risks, beauty and success’ by Maye Musk (Rocaeditorial, 2021).
* In partnership with Forbes Colombia, Forbes Staff article.