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Maye Musk details how her work ethic inspired her children

Maye, 69, penned an essay for International Women's Day explaining how she raised her chilren Elon, Kimbal, and Tosca by herself.


Maye Musk has become an inspirational figure for many—beginning with her three children, who have all learned from the tireless work ethic she displayed while raising them as a single mother.

The model and dietitian, 69, penned an essay for Moneyish to mark International Women's Day explaining how she taught Elon, now 46, Kimbal, 45, and Tosca, 43, how to pursue the projects they took to heart.

She looked back on the years that followed her divorce in 1979, when she struggled to make ends meet and was solely responsible for making sure her family had a home and enough to eat.

Work ethic: Maye Musk has penned an essay explaining how she taught her children Elon, now 46, Kimbal, 45, and Tosca, 43, how to pursue the projects they took to heart

Past: The model and dietitian (pictured with Elon and Tosca), 69, looked back on the years that followed her divorce in 1979, when she struggled to make ends meet

'When I got divorced, I knew I needed to step it up, so I taught nutrition at a college, modeled and built my dietitian practice all over Canada. Sundays were for groceries and laundry,' Maye recounted.

'That meant I had no social life. I couldn't even go on a date because I was afraid we'd have to split the bill and then I couldn't feed my kids.' 

She and her children's father, Errol, married in 1970 and split nine years later.

As a single mother, Maye learned how to juggle her different jobs while ensuring her children were cared for. 

'Sometimes I would have a runway show and they would read in the front row!' she wrote. 'I would have a nanny look after them while I worked at home running my dietitian practice.'

Multitasking: As a single mother, Maye (pictured with Kimbal) learned how to juggle her different jobs while ensuring her children were cared for

Fortitude: While Maye (pictured with Elon) admitted the financial pressure was 'frightening', she said she never felt sorry for herself because she kept 'moving ahead'

Lessons: 'When the kids were growing up, they learned to be independent. I told them as long as you're doing something good, it's worth pursuing,' Maye (pictured with Tosca) said

While Maye admitted the financial pressure was 'frightening', she said she never felt sorry for herself because she kept 'moving ahead'.

In 1995, when Elon and Kimbal started their business Zip2, an online software company, Maye supported their project even though she didn't have much money.

'When the kids were growing up, they learned to be independent. I told them as long as you're doing something good, it's worth pursuing,' she said.

'That's why I invested in them in the first place and gave them as much as I could for their first company, Zip2. I paid for the printing office stuff and got them food and furniture. I didn't have a big profit from my nutrition practice, but I would fly to Palo Alto every six weeks to discuss the business plan.

'We were completely exhausted.  My kids were used to this because they have seen me work all my life.'

Eventually, Zip2 received funding, at which point Maye took her children out for dinner and told them this would be the last time she would pick up the check.

Elon and Kimbal sold Zip2 for $307 million. Kimbal pocketed $15 million while Elon walked away with $22 million. 

'At my 50th birthday party, they gave me a little wooden house. Soon after, they told me to buy a house and a car. Now, of course, I have a Tesla,' Maye added.

Elon's new worth is now estimated at $20.6 billion. 

Help: In 1995, when Elon and Kimbal started their business Zip2, an online software company, Maye supported their project even though she didn't have much money

Proud mother: Maye has raved about the work of each of her children. Elon, Tosca and Kimbal are pictured from left to right

Fortune: Elon's new worth is now estimated at $20.6 billion. He is pictured with Maye

Maye previously looked back on her incredible career during a chat with Daily Mail TV host Jesse Palmer last year, telling him how she earned two Master's Degrees and worked in the dietetics field while pursuing modeling part-time.

Lately, Maye's modeling career has boomed, and the mother of three and grandmother of 10, whose children include Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, has 121,000 Instagram followers. Along with her CoverGirl campaign, her career highlights include gracing the cover of Vogue and starring in a Beyonce video.

Maye also opened up about her family being 'very poor for a very long time', and said that all three of her children are now all doing 'very well'.

In addition to Elon's stunning success with Tesla, she praised Kimbal, a restaurateur and philanthropist, for his work in building vegetable gardens for children in undeserved communities. Maye also raved about Tosca's work as a filmmaker.

'I think that saving the planet is the most popular thing Elon's doing,' she told Jesse.

The model previously opened up to DailyMail.com about how she raised three successful children.

'As they got older, they were pretty much responsible for themselves,' she said during an interview in 2016. 'From about the age of five they knew that they could not make a noise or interfere with my counselling skills, because I worked from home.' 

She added: 'They were responsible, I had very good kids, I was very lucky.' 

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