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french parenting

I’ve been reading all the buzz about the new book Bringing Up Bebe, about an American woman raising her children in France, and the different parenting methods there compared to the US.

There’s two very good articles that I read on the subject that definitely were interesting. I’m not one to jump on the latest bandwagon or change a method of my parenting because of a recent book I read, but I most definitely like to be informed. Ignorance is something I hate, so when I encounter something I’m not familiar with, I must become familiar with it. This is the reason I spent most of my lunch breaks last week listening to podcasts explaining what happened in Europe to the euro and the reasons for Greece’s bankruptcy. Now I know.

This WSJ article was the first one I read, and I thought it was pretty interesting. Now do I believe everything in it, no. Do I believe there are some French women who are completely devoted to their children and play with their children every single day? Of course. But are there some good, valid, common sense strategies in it? Definitely.

This second article from Huffington Post I thought was really interesting as well. It is another American woman’s take on raising her children in France and it’s not quite as rosy as the first. It brings up some good points about the lack of breastfeeding mothers in France, and the reasons maybe French mothers are not as stressed as their American counterparts. Hello free preschool? Hello monthly payments from government for each child you have? Yeah, that right there would save any mother a whole lot of stress.

Anyway, I thought I would share the articles with you. In the end I think mothers, regardless of the country they reside in, follow their instincts. Usually those instincts are right. But I do wish maybe we mamas weren’t so hard on ourselves in America. I’m constantly thinking about how my actions affect my kids, and the many times I’m a “bad” mom(i.e. lost my temper, raised my voice, made the wrong decision, kept my kid up too late and then had to wake them before school so they were weepy and sad the entire day, must’ve done or eaten or not eaten or not done something when I was pregnant that caused my kid to need glasses, see what I mean?) But if I had to choose, I think striving to be the best mama even if I never think I can ever attain it is something I would choose each and every time versus feeling confident and sure of myself as a mother. I would love to meet a mom one day that thinks they know what they are doing. And if I ever meet her I’d look her in the eyes and I’d call her a liar…