Here is part 2 of our article about having a baby in France. Part 1 was about products (https://www.fusac.fr/having-a-baby-in-france-part-1) and Part 2 is about resources: groups, apps and books that could be useful if you are having a baby in France!
Being a parent is not always easy and it can feel quite lonely if you don’t have enough support. It can be even more difficult if you are an English speaker having a baby in France! The support group Message started in 1984 with a few young English-speaking mothers wanting to connect with others for support in raising their children while living away from local customs, traditions and family. In the past 35 years, it has grown into a vibrant and thriving community of parents who continue, year after year, to support one another, share openly, forge new friendships, and build bright futures for families in France. You can join as an individual (50 euros for a new member) or as a family (70 euros) for 12 months. Message runs hundreds of events annually – parenting classes, Message Talks, activities for kids of all ages from babies to college-aged, co-working sessions, informal coffees, seasonal parties and more. Message members can help each other navigate and better understand life in France : healthcare, education, banking, taxes, administration, working or just living in France.
To find out more about Message : http://www.messageparis.org
Another way to find great support is to join a group on Facebook. There are groups for Dads, Moms or Mums, parents, English-speakers… such as English-Speaking Mums/Moms living in Paris. This group has about 5K members and you can ask any question you have! You can also find other groups depending on your region. It is very useful to share quick info or meet other mums! It is always nice to know that there is always someone around to answer a question you may have!
There is also a very handy app called PopMoms. It is the only app for parents to help each other easily and for free! In just a few clicks, you can find a mom or dad willing to exchange hours of babysitting, share a nanny, or families who want to have play dates for their children, go out together of even mothers-to-be who live nearby and want to meet and help each other out! It is in French but who knows, you could find a family who speak English too on there! After all, it was created by a mum from Québec who felt a bit lonely in Paris. It was not easy for her to have her family abroad and a husband who worked a lot. She thought about talking to other parents after school to see if they were interested in exchanging help but did not really dare. That’s the funny thing about parents. We all know many families around us but we don’t always interact and or ask for help! So she created an appto help parents connect. The app is available on Iphone and Android.
More info about PopMoms here : https://www.popmoms.fr/
Books can also be incredibly helpful ! Here is a little selection of light books, with plently of humor to keep things in perspective. The books are available for borrowing in FUSAC’s Bill & Rosa’s Book Room.
Confessions of Paris Potty Trainer by Vicky Lesage : A hilarious story about motherhood in Paris, where not all kids are well-behaved… Former party girl Vicki has traded wine bottles for baby bottles. Now if she’s awake at 3 a.m. it’s because of a crying baby, not a wild night out on the town. From mishaps at the maternity ward to writing baby résumés to get her children into daycare, parenting two French kids has really thrown her for a loop. Through deadpan humor and sharp observations about daily life, Vicki shares the highs and lows of raising her family in Paris.
Bringing up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman : The New York Times bestseller that shows American parents the secrets behind France’s amazingly well-behaved children, from the author of There Are No Grown-ups. When American journalist Pamela Druckerman had a baby in Paris, she didn’t aspire to become a “French parent.” But she noticed that French children slept through the night by two or three months old. They ate braised leeks. They played by themselves while their parents sipped coffee. And yet French kids were still boisterous, curious, and creative. Why? How? With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman set out to investigate—and wound up sparking a national debate on parenting. Researched over three years and written in her warm, funny voice, Bringing Up Bébé is deeply wise, charmingly told, and destined to become a classic resource for American parents.