10 rules of French working moms

10 rules of French working moms

Categories: Children | Life hacks

Everyone who has children wants them to sleep at night, accept the word "no" without tantrums, behave decently at parties and restaurants, and eat what is prepared for them with an appetite. And it would be good to do all this not only under my mother's strict guidance, but also independently. Because it's time for Mom to go to work, or she's already gone, or she hasn't left work at all.

The author of the absolute bestseller "French children do not spit food", American Pamela Druckerman has convincingly proved that French parenting methods perfectly help to cope with most parental nightmares.

Exclusive tips from a successful writer and mother of three children in our material. And as a bonus-a recipe for a Parisian dessert, which is loved by children of any age.

10 rules of French working moms

10 rules of French working moms

1. Rule one: There are no perfect moms

A working woman always strives to embrace the immensity: to be an ideal mother and at the same time to make a successful career. In fact, she works in two shifts — in the office and at home. I think all career moms know this feeling very well. So, French women have a favorite aphorism: "There are no perfect mothers." Don't try to be perfect. And this is the most important, fundamental idea.

And do not think of your child's childhood as the beginning of a marathon, the end of which is admission to university. The French, of course, want their children to be successful, but they do not try in the evenings after work to force the child to take leaps and bounds through the natural stages of development. For example, a child is not taught to read and write until the age of six. French women believe that it is much more important to instill in the child such skills as concentration, sociability and self-control before school. First, it does not require any special time, but is simply an integral part of the process of education. And secondly, it is these abilities, and not the ability to count to a hundred and back at the age of three, that create a strong basis for the child's success in school.

10 rules of French working moms

2. Rule two: You should always have your own source of income

In America, for example, it is customary to believe in the fairy tale of a wonderful marriage as a synonym for a quiet carefree life. The main thing is to get married successfully and get a good husband with a stable salary, and there you can not work. It's not like that in France. French mothers are convinced that a woman absolutely needs her own source of income. Even in the most successful marriage with a wealthy and loving man, a woman should think: She should have a profession, a job, or any other stable source of income just in case. French moms are confident: this is extremely important, and above all for the child. The French woman quickly goes to work after giving birth, because she wants to know for sure that she will be able to provide the child with everything necessary if she suddenly has to raise him herself.

This position is extremely pragmatic and there is not a drop of French romance in it, but it helps a lot to live.

10 rules of French working moms

3. Rule three: You can't devote your whole life to a child

Maternal care for children is a great illustration of the principle of infinity. We will always try to help them, always. This is such a voluntary eternal sacrifice. But at the heart of French culture is an extremely important idea: any person (and especially a parent) needs time and space only for themselves. And it is not distinguished by the residual principle: if I do this, this, and this to the children, then at the end of the day I will allow myself... Or: only when I do everything possible for the child, I will allow myself... No, not at all!

To maintain balance in the family, it is extremely important that some part of life is only yours, belongs only to you. It can be a job, but it doesn't have to be. It can be any hobby of yours or socializing with friends — anything, I do not know, growing orchids. The French are deeply convinced that if you devote all your time to a child, if your world revolves around him, it is very harmful and even dangerous-first of all for the child.

10 rules of French working moms

4. Rule four: Moving away from your child from time to time makes you a better mother.

If a child gets used to you being around him all the time, being involved in what he is doing all the time, and living with him every second, he will not learn independence. Moreover, he will not learn to be attentive to other people, to notice their needs, to learn to empathize. Any French woman intuitively feels that from time to time, moving away from the child, she provides him with an invaluable service.

It is very important to understand that this is not a radical position. I do not in any way urge Russian women to immediately give up everything, go to a spa resort for three weeks, focus only on themselves and forget about the child. It's about calmly admitting that if you spend all your time together with someone-no matter how much you adore each other-you will sooner or later start to annoy each other. And this does not only apply to you, it also applies to your child.

How effective this simple rule is-to take a break from each other from time to time, I literally just experienced for myself. One of my five-year-old twins and I were on vacation with my mom last week. She would go out with him for two or three hours, and when we met again — we were so happy for each other, we had something to share. Short separations bring freshness to the relationship! It is always a new experience and experience, it is a breath of mountain air, a source of energy. And this is a necessary condition for the strength of any human relationship, including the relationship of mother and child.

10 rules of French working moms

5. Rule five: Forget about feeling guilty

There is no point in feeling guilty in front of a child because you are working. It's a completely destructive feeling that won't change anything anyway. You will still not have more time to communicate with the baby. The main thing you can do is really be with your child when you are free. Not just to be present on a walk, chatting on the phone with a friend, but to really spend time with the child. You should not worry about the baby all the time when you are at work, you should not blame yourself for the fact that you are not only a mother, but also a colleague, girlfriend, wife. The only thing you probably owe your child when you are around him is to be calm and be "here".

And also cultivate patience in your children. I used to think it was an innate skill that either exists or doesn't exist. The French perceive patience as a kind of muscle that can and should be trained, and from an early age. Do not jump up from the table if you are working, and the child asks to see what tower of cubes he built. Gently explain to the baby what you are doing and ask him to wait a little. At first, it will wait a few seconds, but then minutes. He will learn to entertain himself while waiting and cope with his frustration. For a child, this skill is vital, according to the French: only in this way will he learn that he is not the center of the universe, and learn to grow up.

10 rules of French working moms

6. Rule six: don't become a " taxi mom»

This rule is directly related to the previous one. Do not try to compensate the children for their own absence with a huge number of clubs and educational activities. Parisian women, when choosing extracurricular activities for children, always weigh how this will affect the quality of their own lives. A mother who drives a child from one mug to another all day long will never be called selfless in France. Especially not if she does it to the detriment of her work. About such a mother, they will say that she completely lost her sense of balance. And children do not need such sacrifice at all. Of course, it is useful for a child to go to the pool or to music lessons, but they should certainly have time for independent games at home. Excessive psychological and physical stress will harm the child.

10 rules of French working moms

7. Rule seven: there is a part of the parent relationship in which the child does not participate

Never forget: the family is based on a married couple. Always find time to be alone with your husband. In France, the entire parental space belongs to the child only for the first three months. By analogy with the presidential term, the French call this period "the first hundred days". At this time, the child can sleep in the same room with his parents and even in their bed. But after the baby is taught to sleep in his crib and in his room. Your marital bedroom should be a place that belongs only to the two of you. Children cannot enter their parents ' rooms whenever they want. The child should know for sure-the parents have a part of life in which he does not participate.

A French woman once told me, "My parents' bedroom was a sacred place in the house. I needed a very good reason to go there. There was always a connection between the parents that seemed like a great secret to us children." I think this is very important for the baby. After all, if he believes that he already knows everything and there is nothing mysterious in the adult world — why should he grow up?

10 rules of French working moms

8. Rule eight: do not require your husband to participate equally in household chores and child care

Even if you work as much as your husband (and even if you work more), do not demand that he devote as much time to the house and children as you do. Nothing but discontent and irritation, it will not cause. Unlike, say, American women with their feminist attitude, French women are very much helped by old-fashioned pragmatism. Of course, many Parisian women would love to entrust their husbands with more household chores, but many mothers have long agreed with the inequality in the division of responsibilities. And it makes their lives a lot easier. General harmony in relations for French women is much more important than equality in rights. They perceive men as a separate biological species, even the best representatives of which are not naturally capable of household chores.

This doesn't mean that men don't do anything. French mothers believe that there will be fewer conflicts in the family if everyone has their own responsibilities around the house, even if they are unequal in terms of effort and time. Do not ask your husband for more than he is willing to do for you. It is better to hire a visiting housekeeper, and yourself once again have sex.

10 rules of French working moms

9. Rule nine: the evening is the time of adults, and one day off a month is your " honeymoon weekend»

All the French parents I know take a weekend off once a month just for themselves. Neither work nor children are involved in this. Put things aside, send the children to their grandparents, take the kids with a babysitter out of town, or go out of town yourself. Lie in bed, sleep it off, have a long and pleasant breakfast, watch a movie... let yourself relax and do nothing. This kind of home-made honeymoon weekend is arranged once a month by all French parents. And most importantly, they do not feel the slightest remorse about this. This is an absolutely natural and normal pastime, even for very loving parents.

The rest of the time, French parents are very strict about making sure that their children go to bed at the same time. After the evening fairy tale or lullaby, the child should lie in bed. "Adult time" is not a hard-won rare privilege, no, it is a basic human need, a parental right, if you will. The French are convinced that the key to a happy family is happy and loving parents. Sincerely explain this to your children — they will understand.

10 rules of French working moms

10. Rule ten: You are the boss

This is the most difficult (at least for me personally) rule of French education. To realize that I make the decisions. I'm the boss. Not a dictator-this is essential (!) - but a boss. I give children a lot of freedom where possible, take their opinions into account and listen to their wishes, but I make the decisions. Remember this. At the top of your own family pyramid is you. Not your children, not your parents, not your teachers, not your nannies. You and only you command the parade.

Of course, this is difficult. It's a daily struggle. I still win my little army over and over again every day. But I now know for sure that children develop better within well-defined boundaries. They feel much more confident and relaxed when they know that an adult is at the helm. Learn to say "no" sternly and confidently at key moments. Learn to calmly but firmly tell your children what you are going to do now. You will immediately understand when you succeed — you will feel like a boss yourself.

10 rules of French working moms

11. Favorite children's recipe from Paris

At the end of Pamela Druckerman's new book, "French Parents Don't Give Up," there are a few recipes for dishes that children eat in a Parisian nursery. The food is prepared from scratch every day and served as a four-course lunch: a cold appetizer, a main course with a side dish, cheeses and a fruit dessert (for children under one year old, lunch consists of two courses). The children's nutritionist has adapted the number of products for a family dinner; each recipe is designed for two adults and two children.

Here's a recipe for pear-banana puree straight from Paris.

Purée de Poire et Banane

2 large or 3 small soft pears 2 bananas juice of half a lemon 1/4 cup water

Wash and peel the pears and bananas. Cut them into small pieces. In a medium-sized saucepan, boil them with lemon juice and water for 15-20 minutes over low heat. Stir occasionally with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Pour the finished mixture into small cups. Cover with lids and refrigerate until serving.

Keywords: France | Parents | Children | Motherhood | Mom | Tips | Mother | Life hacks | Parenting

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