Maye Musk divorced Errol when Elon, Tosca and Kimbal were just children. A victim of ill-treatment, she decided to leave South Africa and start a new life in Canada, her homeland. Alone and with three children, she got ahead.
Today, each one is successful in his area. Elon is the most recognized of the three, without a doubt: the richest man in the world, owner of Tesla, SpaceX and other companies. Tosca is a film and television producer. Kimbal, for his part, runs a chain of restaurants.
How do i do it? It wasn’t easy, he admits Maye, model, dietitian, businesswoman and writer, giving some clues about the upbringing of both Elon Musk and his siblings.
The importance of “knowing how to take care of oneself”, according to Maye Musk
Maye published in 2020, by the hand of Penguin Random House Canada, the book A woman, a plan: a life full of risks, beauty and success. There she narrates her life, her difficulties and her successes.
“I taught them to be independent, kind, honest, considerate and educated to work hard and do good things,” says Maye about raising her children. “I did not treat them like babies, nor did I scold them.”
Being alone, the key was to generate independence between them, but always with their support.
“My children had to know how to take care of themselves and be considerate of my work, because I had turned the bedroom into my office. No need to feel guilty (…) you need a plan in which to get help, wherever it comes from”, the model emphasized in her book.
And she sets an example of how her own children helped her.
“My daughter Tosca used to come to my office to write letters on a word processor (…) The oldest, Elon, was very good at helping me understand the functions of the word processor. And the youngest, Kimbal, was always willing to help. What can I say? He needed help.”
Foster individual responsibilities, key to Elon Musk’s growth
Each one was focusing their life over time, until they reached the point where they are today.
“I never told them what to study,” says Maye. “They told me what they were studying, or not. I never checked that they had done their homework: it was their responsibility. And it has already been seen that it is not something that has hurt their careers. I think both my children and I benefit from taking on those responsibilities so soon.”
“When they got older,” the Musks’ mother continues, “they also became responsible for their own futures through their decisions: which high school to go to, which university to enroll in. All the forms, registrations and all the requests for scholarships were done by them. My children benefited because they saw me work very hard just for them to have a roof over their heads, food and second-hand clothes.”
Recently, Grimes, former partner of Elon Musk and mother of his two youngest children, spoke about the modesty of the head of SpaceX and Tesla, who lives “below the poverty line”. Of course, it is an exaggeration, but it is a symptom of the lack of interest that the employer has in waste.
Maye Musk talks about the economic difficulties they went through.
“When they went to college, they lived in pretty poor conditions: mattresses on the floor, six roommates, houses that were falling apart. But they didn’t care. If your children are not used to luxury, they can survive just fine. You don’t have to spoil them. When you are sure that your children are out of risk, let them take care of themselves, ”she stressed.