FRANCE: Comparing Childhoods

FRANCE: Comparing Childhoods

Comparing ChildhoodsI’ve always been determined that my children will have every cultural advantage I had as a child, which means that they will know how to swim competitively, to read music, to play at least one instrument, and have an additional sport of their choice. It seemed a matter of course that they would also go to the Symphony (ballet, opera and theatre) and have cultivated a great love of reading from an early age.

But I’m starting to realize that I’m setting an unfair expectation. First of all, they do benefit from many of these things. My 8-year old daughter takes classical ballet twice a week, and has solfège (music theory) along with her piano lessons. My 7-year old son has soccer once a week, introduction to solfège and instrument discovery, which will help him choose what he will want to play in the future. My youngest son, who is only four, is taking multi-sports – his own particular activity that he takes very seriously as a participating member of the under-ten set in the family.

But Symphony and theatre? It’s too far, too expensive, too inconvenient. Swimming lessons? We can’t fit them into our already packed schedule. And reading? I’m not inspired to go to the library each week like I did as a child, because it means that they will be reading even more French, and they already get plenty of that in school. What about that love of literature they were supposed to have cultivated in English – in my native tongue? For heaven’s sake, they don’t even know they’re half-American, and keep asking when we’re going to go visit their grandparents in England again! (more…)

Lady Jennie (France)

Jennie has lived in Taiwan, New York City and East Africa, and currently lives just outside of Paris with her French husband. She speaks rudimentary Mandarin, passable French and has had a varied career in Human Resources, Asian financial sales and humanitarian work. She is currently a mother to three young children, with writing and teaching gigs on the side, and blogs at A Lady in France.

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Saturday Sidebar: Share those aspects of mothering that inspire you?

This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer ‘A lady in france‘.  She asked our writers,

What are those aspects of mothering that inspire you?”

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

World Mom, Mom Photographer with her sewing machine.

World Mom, Mom Photographer with her sewing machine.

Mom Photographer of California, USA writes:
“That picture is me trying to figure out the sewing machine. I am very inspired and motivated to learn to sew because my mom used to be a professional seamstress and she would make all kinds of clothing for us. she would always amaze me how good she is in doing it and how little effort for her it is to look at something at the store and then come back home and make almost exact thing (even better).”

ALadyInFrance of France writes:
“I’m so grateful for my own mother’s encouragement when I had my first child and would ask her for advice (out of insecurity, not necessarily lack of knowledge). She would say, “You’re her mom and you know best.” I think we have to remember that we moms know our children best in order to be their advocate. ”

Karyn Van Der Zwet of New Zealand writes:
“Those mothers who are serene and calm always impress me.”

(more…)

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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FRANCE: Joy in Diversity

FRANCE: Joy in Diversity

When we moved from a quaint little cobblestone town, South of Paris, to the booming financial district of La Defense where we settled across the street from a mall, I knew I had found happiness.

Don’t pity me for my lack of culture, as I know you are bound to, and just let me repeat that there was a mall. In the other town, I had nowhere to go and nobody talked to me, even on the playground. In my new area, I could take on even the coldest, rainiest days with fortitude simply by pushing the double stroller over to the mall entrance and losing myself in a Starbucks latté while trying not to lose my kids as they ran freely down the carpeted corridors. We’d all go home to our apartment for a nap afterwards, cheerful and spent.

But what was even more wonderful was the group of international friends my kids and I made. We lived in the tallest residential building in all of Europe, and our playground was in the midst of a series of high-rise buildings. The public school was located at the base of our building so we only needed to take the elevator and descend a set of steps before arriving. There, we greeted each other in the friendliest way possible, and everyone would make plans to meet up again later in the day at the playground. (more…)

Lady Jennie (France)

Jennie has lived in Taiwan, New York City and East Africa, and currently lives just outside of Paris with her French husband. She speaks rudimentary Mandarin, passable French and has had a varied career in Human Resources, Asian financial sales and humanitarian work. She is currently a mother to three young children, with writing and teaching gigs on the side, and blogs at A Lady in France.

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Saturday Sidebar: How and where did you meet your husband/partner? – Part 1

This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question is a spin off from Mama Kat’s writing prompts.

“How and where did you meet your husband/partner?”

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

A lady in France

A lady in France

ALadyInFrance of France writes:
“My husband and I both came to church in NYC the same day for the first time. He was an atheist but he thought he might meet some girls. I found him to be proud and unfriendly so I kept telling people I wasn’t interested when they suggested we should go out. Three years later we finally did go out, and this October will be 12 years.”

There is more to this story. Read it here in the French lady’s site. The pictures are priceless. You should hop on there to see them.

(more…)

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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FRANCE:  Vacationing With Kids

FRANCE: Vacationing With Kids

Having a successful vacation with children requires setting your expectations beforehand.

Friends of ours (who now have grown children) recounted the first time they went on vacation with their newborn.  The wife ended up sitting on the beach all day with the baby while the husband went surfing and sailing. It was a disaster.

She said, “ If it’s going to be like this, I may as well stay at home where at least I’ll be more comfortable.” And no – he’s not a selfish guy. They just hadn’t counted on how much having a baby would change things, and they hadn’t communicated what their needs would be in order to relax.

I think the latter is more essential than packing a toothbrush. (more…)

Lady Jennie (France)

Jennie has lived in Taiwan, New York City and East Africa, and currently lives just outside of Paris with her French husband. She speaks rudimentary Mandarin, passable French and has had a varied career in Human Resources, Asian financial sales and humanitarian work. She is currently a mother to three young children, with writing and teaching gigs on the side, and blogs at A Lady in France.

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FRANCE: We Do What We Can

Author’s father with his French grandchildren

I am not an ex-patriot, technically speaking. When my ten year resident visa expires in three years I’ll be taking the test to become a citizen of France—well, actually, a dual citizen of France and The United States.

For one thing, it’ll be easier that way not to have to endure the bureaucratic process of renewing my resident visa, even as seldom as once every ten years. For another thing I will be able to vote in both countries, and as I am living here, the politicians elected and the policies implemented will affect my quality of life; in that I want to have a say.

And then there’s the fact that I’ve sort of become French.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve perfectly mastered “the pout” or have the art of dining in a moderate and lively way under my (tiny little designer) belt. I may also stick out like a sore thumb in the schoolyard with my friendly waves and “bonjours” accompanied by a big smile, even after all these years. (more…)

Lady Jennie (France)

Jennie has lived in Taiwan, New York City and East Africa, and currently lives just outside of Paris with her French husband. She speaks rudimentary Mandarin, passable French and has had a varied career in Human Resources, Asian financial sales and humanitarian work. She is currently a mother to three young children, with writing and teaching gigs on the side, and blogs at A Lady in France.

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