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A Profile of an Inspirational Working Mother: Margot Van Riper

An Extraordinary Entreprener Mom

by Patricia Volonakis Davis  |  3862 views  |  0 comments  |        Rate this now! 

However, the African drums were the very thing that simultaneously ended Margo's marriage, yet saved her life. “My husband had the same low interest in the drums as he had in the restaurant, our house, his daughter and me. I, on the other hand, loved playing and I was damn good at it. For the first time in a long while, I was doing something just for myself.”

Margot’s marriage fell apart shortly after this realization and that's when life became truly difficult. “He didn’t make the divorce easy. We still had to work together at the restaurant and it took 18 months before it was sold at a loss. I didn’t think about the money at first, because it’d been a year and half of pure hell. We fought all the time and he had women at the restaurant. It was so terrible that I was willing to pay any price to have it end.”

The stress of this period of her life caused health problems as well as financial ones. “I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I’d work two days and have to recover for two weeks, I’d be so exhausted. The lawyer who handled my divorce was more interested in asking me for a date than on getting me a fair settlement. I was so tired, I know it affected my ability to think. I never questioned is ethics or his expertise.”

What followed was a 10-year period of struggle. “I ended up having to pay off the loans that remained after the sale of the restaurant, with very little financial help from my ex-husband. My daughter was only 5. I had to make money any way I could, whether through graphic design or even hauling debris for other people. I’d work a few days and then I’d need to sleep.”

When asked how this lifestyle affected her young daughter, Margot said, “I made sure she wasn’t affected badly. She knew we didn’t have much money, but she was able to cope with that, because we were close and remain so to this day.”

Luckily Margot’s parents lived nearby and were a help with their granddaughter. “She go to her grandparents’ house after school and stay there until I got home. She admits she didn’t like it very much because though they loved her, my parents have a peculiar marriage and they bickered between them all the time. But it was the only choice I had and my daughter understood that. I made it up to her in other ways. We always did fun things together, things that didn’t cost anything. My parents had a vegetable garden and we’d eat plenty of fresh vegetables with rice. Our meals were economical, but nutritious.”

About the Author

Patricia V. Davis is a freelance author who lives in Northern California. She has five sons and stepsons. Her non-fiction work, "Harlot's Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss and Greece," has just been completed. Visit Patricia's podcast/webmagazine at www.harlotssauce.com

Read more by Patricia Volonakis Davis




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