Motherhood has its share of challenges, which Anouk Meunier takes on with joy and brilliance! Her only son will soon be three years old and his temperament is asserting itself more and more. Since the birth of Arnaud, the ambitions of the host have changed somewhat. She continues to thrive professionally, but without losing sight of what is important: her family life.
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Anouk, you are on both TV and radio. You have busy days!
Yes, and it’s very exciting! I’m back with Chanteurs Masqués, but since mid-August I’ve also been on the show Les filles du lunch on Rythme FM with Marie-Eve Janvier. In the spring, when I sat with her at the microphone for three weeks, we founded our duo. We picked up where we left off! We create new segments and we bring new ideas. People are really happy. They are loyal and considerate. It is extraordinary! I couldn’t be happier because I can combine two completely different projects that make me experience beautiful emotions. This summer was very busy: I filmed Masked singers, I was the announcer for the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu International Balloon Festival and I hosted a radio show. I also had other related projects. It was amazing!
The public has been eagerly awaiting the return of the Masked singers. Do we talk about it a lot?
Yes very! People wanted to take turns playing with new personalities and starting investigations. We have a top-class season. This year we have a mystery guest to add to the fun. It can happen at any time during the season. It will do a single performance and be unveiled that same evening. This is great news.
Have you taken a step back from all your summer plans?
I couldn’t take a big vacation this summer due to my commitments, but I still had some time to see my family and enjoy the summer. My family remains my priority. Among other things, we spent time in a chalet with friends. I couldn’t really pull it off, but that’s okay because I have big plans. I’m really spoiled: my schedule is very balanced and I have exciting projects. I couldn’t wish for better. I have a lot of fun.
Did Arnaud start daycare?
No, not yet. On the other hand, it is held much more often. My mother is very present and so is Dan’s father (Daniel Melançon, his spouse). At the moment we have people around us who help us: it stays in the family and offers Arnaud great stability. The next step will be day care. This transition will ensure that Arnaud gains autonomy. We take advantage of that because we feel how good Arnaud is in this situation. My schedule is to arrive home at 2pm. So I can enjoy my afternoons with him. It is held, but rarely for a full day.
Her son will be three years old at the end of October. What kind of kid is he?
He’s hotter than ever. Every night after dinner he asks me to dance to the Back Street Boys music I introduced him to! (laughs) We dance and we sing. He is becoming more talkative and has a good sense of humor. He says something to me, pauses, and adds, “Just for fun mom. It’s a joke!” It’s adorable… He likes to pick a letter from the alphabet and tell me all the words that start with that letter. Seriously, he impresses me because sometimes he’s faster than me!
You begin to understand his personality and his tastes better…
Yes, but I can’t wait for him to open up a bit about his taste in food… (laughs) The other day he said to me, “Me, mom, I don’t eat these, vegetables, but I can look at them.” Me must invent a play for him to swallow a broccoli flower! It’s crazy how much pressure I can put on myself… He’s also into confrontation. He says no to a lot. As wonderful as it is, it is difficult at times. I try to adapt to this little creature that sometimes challenges me. I’m trying to find a way to join him. It’s great exercise.
Would parenthood make us better beings?
I think so because we’re trying to find ways to adapt, to give them the best possible tools and in the best possible way. Some days I’m a bit more tired, but when I come home I don’t allow myself to be there for Arnaud only 75%. I’m all there
Do you ever feel like you could do better as a mom?
I try not to go to bed feeling like that and make myself feel every day that I did everything I could to make him happy. In everyday life, for example, there are times when I don’t understand a crisis. I have questions but I’m trying to improve, bearing in mind that perfection doesn’t exist, especially as a parent. We never stop learning. I am at the very beginning of Arnaud’s life. I think I can say I’m proud of myself.
It’s often said that motherhood rhymes with guilt. Does this feeling inhabit you sometimes?
Sometimes I get impatient. Sometimes when he’s crossed the line, I try different ways to make him understand. Looking back, I sometimes wonder what the best way would have been to get there. I often have no answer. At first, I only left the house for work twice a week. Now I go more often. I noticed that he picked up my rhythm very quickly. I don’t feel guilty doing things for myself. I give the rest of my time to him. The guilt doesn’t hit me very much, but when it happens to me, I try to understand why.
Has being a mother influenced your ambitions?
For real. The work used to nourish me a lot. I also put a lot of energy into my relationships. I had not yet created my family cocoon. I had ambitions to be successful in these areas of my life. I realized that my ambitions on the professional side are still there; it’s a part of me I think it’s important to have dreams and goals. I didn’t lose her with motherhood, but I have the ambition to be the best mother for Arnaud. This search for balance is always present. But that’s what everyone experiences… One of my greatest prides is seeing that I’m in the right place at every point in my life. I have great, stimulating projects. I have time for my son. I have every Friday and weekend off.
Do you sometimes feel like you’ve sacrificed an area of your life to fit your schedule?
It’s obvious that friendships have suffered. I’ll admit it: I’m not the best friend right now. At the same time, I have friends who understand my reality. When we meet again it’s like we left the day before. It is valuable to me to have cultivated beautiful friendships and to know that I can count on solid people who have been a part of my life for a long time. I know that one day everything will come back. I was suggested to enjoy the time with my son so much that I will never regret it. For me this is a big win.
Is your mother a role model for you?
Yes! She is an extraordinary woman, bright, quick-witted, in a good mood and energetic. She was so involved. She taught me everything when I was young. I went to kindergarten at home. When I started school I could read and write. I started my life with a rich baggage of tools and a wonderful imagination. I think I try to reproduce this model with Arnaud and give him the best of me like my mother did for me. The experience of motherhood allows us to understand to what extent it is an extraordinary gift of self, a beautiful sacrifice, a constant work. I really understand this reality better. Hats off to all mothers!
You and Daniel had been together for several years when you had Arnaud. What has changed the most in your life since then?
The dynamic is no longer the same. We didn’t have any commitments before. We were out and going to restaurants. We don’t want to do these escapades anymore. The pandemic also has a lot to do with it. We don’t miss it. Daniel travels extensively for golf. For my part, I travel differently, through motherhood. At the moment we are anchored in everyday life and are building Arnaud a cozy nest to offer him the best possible environment.
Did it add even more depth to your relationship?
We share such precious things, we make incredible memories. We see Arnaud evolving every day and we are happy to see that what we have created together is becoming a miracle. A child’s development is extraordinary! We share these very rich moments. We are proud of the handsome boy he is becoming and feel truly privileged to be able to experience that with him…
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Anouk is on Rythme FM on the mic of Les Filles du lunch, Monday to Thursday from 11:30am, alongside Marie-Eve Janvier. She resumed her post as judge and investigator on Masked Singer, Sundays at 6:30 p.m. on TVA.
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