Are French parents all they’re cracked up to be? – Guest post at Red + Honey


French Parents Photo

Today is a very big day for me – it’s my very first guest post! I am so honored and excited to be over at Red + Honey today, sharing my thoughts on French parenting. While you’re there, check out the blog. It’s one of my favorites and I am always learning something (placenta encapsulation, anyone? I do love the DIY toothpaste). So head on over, read the post and leave a comment!

Like many moms in 2012, I soaked up Pamela Druckerman’s book Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. At the time I had an 18-month-old daughter and was expecting my son. While I had a good start into motherhood, I was still trying to get my feet beneath me. My daughter hadn’t given my husband and me too rough of a go: she slept through the night at four months, was a great eater and even obeyed us. However, I still wondered how I would develop and maintain authority, handle the power struggles of the ‘terrible twos’ and what exactly was I supposed to think about her growing independence?

Click over to Red + Honey to read the rest!


4 thoughts on “Are French parents all they’re cracked up to be? – Guest post at Red + Honey

  1. I’ve read a bunch of praise-laden blogs on this book recently, so it’s interesting to see another take. There’s no benefit without a cost somewhere, in my experience; now I think I have a better sense of the cost (than could be determined from one or two anecdotes).

    • I’m glad I could provide some balance. While the book does have a lot of value, it makes French parents out to be too perfect. I think it would be interesting to see what the French themselves think of their parenting – it would probably sound very different than what Druckerman describes!

  2. I just picked this up second hand last week and am about halfway through it. I don’t have kids yet but love reading expat type memoirs. I have to say, I feel really relieved reading it so far because I’ve had this idea that to be a mother means you completely lose yourself, your identity, your focus on your marriage. I know that’s not always the case but I do think there’s a bit of supermom syndrome in N. America….the one with the most self sacrifice wins! I liked the part of the book that talks about how being a mother in France is part of your identity, but not the whole thing. I also found the part about children’s books interesting. About how French books tend not to have things neatly resolved. I liked your take on it; good balance! I was surprised at how little the French breast feed and I totally agree about the beauty of sacrificial love.

    • You hit on some of the aspects that I like about the book, which is why I still recommend it (provided they read this post!) As N. Americans we do have a strong tendency to over-parent and try to out-parent other parents and make parenting (specifically mothering) our primary identity. However, I have never known an American parent who fits Druckerman’s description. I see elements, but not to the extent that she (and others) make it out to be. So take what speaks to you and leave the rest. I’m glad it was an encouragement to you as a non-parent!

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