Posted in Readings

How to be a French Mom

How being a French mother is different than anywhere else.

  1. Eat normally because you are used to eating healthy anyway. There’s no restriction, just be sensible and reasonable. Eat oyster, eat sushi as long as it’s in a good place.
  2. Don’t wear your partner’s shirt, pamper your inner woman.
  3. Keep doing sex during pregnancy, because

“Everyone wins, even the baby. During an orgasm, he feels the ‘Jacuzzi effect’ as if he were massaged in the water.” (page 24)

4. Don’t gain too much weight during pregnancy and lose your baby weight in three months.

“I think the Americans and the Northern Europeans are a lot more relaxed than us, when it comes to aesthetics.” (page 27)

5. Deliver your baby with epidural.
6. Let your baby sleep through the night since 6 weeks old, using “The Pause” method: Don’t jump on your kid at night. Don’t rush over to your baby the second they cried. It teaches your baby patience. Have adult time after your baby go to sleep.
7. Go back to work after 3 months and don’t stress about breastfeeding … at all. Don’t bother pumping. Everyone drinks formula and everyone is fine.
8. Let your baby eat at roughly the same time: 8 am, 12 pm, 4 pm and 8 pm. Make your little ones gourmet baby food.
9. Believe in awakening and discovery. Have fun. Don’t be so anxious for your kids to get head starts.
10. Talk rationally to your baby since he’s 6 months old. He’s a rational being with rational understanding and motives. Listen and try to grasp these motives.
11. Teach them to play by themselves.

“The most important thing is that he learns to be happy by himself.” (page 66)

12. Have ‘cadre‘ or frame, meaning very firm limits that the parents strictly enforce, but within those limits, the kids have a lot of freedom. Cadre is important to create a world that is predictable and coherent to your kid.
13. Say “no” to your child and be certain about your own authority.

“It rescues children from the tyranny of their own desires.”

14. Put your baby at creche (daycare) when he’s 9 months old. Your government provide high quality creches everywhere and subsidized shared nannies. Let the creche potty train your baby.
15. Don’t let your child learn to read before seven years old.

“It’s much more important for children to learn social skills, how to organize their thoughts and how to speak well.” (page 152).

16. Teach your kid to say four magic words: s’il vous plait, merci, bonjour, and au revoir.
17. Let your child do betise (small act of naughtiness).
18. Let them go on summer trip for 8 days without parents since they’re 4 years old.
19. You don’t need to childproof anything.
20. Last but not least, good mothers aren’t at the constant service of their children.

“If by too much care you spare them every kind of discomfort, you are preparing great miseries for them.”


Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting
Pamela Druckerman, Penguin 2014

photo source:


on-going tensions between ready-made values and uncharted territory

3 thoughts on “How to be a French Mom

  1. Even though I do not have children and am past the option, I found this very interesting. This represents quite a different opinion from what I see in so many American parents. As a teacher, I’m sure some of the “problem children” would have been better off raised by these rules.

    1. The author is American and she was surprised with French parenting. I am sure as a teacher it would help you a lot if there’s less “problem children” 😀

  2. Hi Nadya, thanks for visiting and following my blog. It is lovely to meet you. Im enjoying new inspiring people on the board, good luck with your muses 🙂

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