November 30, 2012
by Elodie
0 comments

Fifty shades of boredom – French mom vs. North-American mommy porn

So lately the interwebs has been abuzz with talks of “mommy porn”. Hum, sounds catchy doesn’t it? Juxtaposing mommy and porn seems edgy for journalists apparently. For the sole purpose of shedding some light for our few readers here I shamelessly purchased a copy of the famous (or infamous) Fifty Shades of Grey, and because I’m a good friend, I got a copy for our very own Laure so she can write her own review  here too!

Continue Reading →

September 17, 2012
by Elodie
5 Comments

The 21-day no-shouting challenge

In my line of work, non-violent communication is key, as is the art of listening. In my home, with two kids and very busy days, I sometimes have a hard time applying what I’ve been practicing at work. I’ve found myself shouting at my eldest a lot more these days. As the French would put it, I “râle”! Râler is a verb that covers a wide spectrum of complaining behaviours, and is used a lot by the French!

While we try our best at home to deal in a non-threatening way with our toddler’s tantrums and meltdowns, it has been more challenging in the past few months. Because I love researching, I’ve been reading a lot about non-violent communication with kids and positive discipline. I’m not always completely convinced by the books I read, because the people who write them seem to all have compliant and angelic children, not exactly the model I have… I have more of a spirited child, with a very strong will and little patience. Dang! Continue Reading →

September 7, 2012
by Elodie
1 Comment

Preparing for baby: baby shower or blessingway?

In France, just about like anywhere else, people usually shower new parents with gifts for their first baby. You get all the “adorable” bibs your great-aunt Greta knit herself, the little booties, onesies and other “cute” stuff people love to buy for babies. This gift-giving usually happens after the baby is born and is a way for people to gain access to your home or your hospital room to see and coo over the baby while trying desperately to figure out who the baby looks like the most (Uncle Roger, Grandpa Maurice or the mailman, you pick…).

 

Our babies' favourite slippers..

When I moved to Canada and found out I was expecting my first, my coworkers got really excited about organizing a “baby shower”. Continue Reading →

August 20, 2012
by Laure
3 Comments

Bringing Up Bébé: A French Touch Mom’s Opinion

When I heard about the book Bringing Up Bébé, by Pamela Druckerman, my immediate thought was: “uh…parenting children the French way? Really? Aren’t you afraid they’re going to turn into French adults?”.

In case you haven’t heard about this book, in a nutshell, it is about an American journalist who becomes a mother in Paris. When she realizes how well behaved French kids are, she does what she does best. She investigates.

I bought the book because I was dying to know: how do real French moms raise their kids?

Continue Reading →

July 27, 2012
by Elodie
1 Comment

Beating Vancouver weather: crafting with your kids

Living in Vancouver means dreading rainy weekends. With a very active toddler, it can be hard to get through a dreary day  without any meltdowns. We usually spend a lot of our rainy days visiting Science World or the Aquarium, where there is space for kids to run about and fun things to do and see. Recently, I took to crafting with the little passenger  (especially this year as summer took a while to appear…) I would not consider myself a master crafter (Nolwenn is the artist here!) but I do enjoy dabbling with paint, glue, scissors and the such so it didn’t take much to get me excited about doing arts and crafts with my kid. It was also a great way for us to spend some time together, when he can get my full attention as we work away on a project. With a little brother taking up a lot of my time, it was a nice way to reconnect.

Continue Reading →

June 11, 2012
by Elodie
2 Comments

Flying with your baby or your toddler: an expat mom’s top ten tips and tricks

I’m the third generation of expat mom in my family. Both my grandma and my mom had to travel with young kids, often on their own, now it’s my turn! With family scattered around the globe, family reunions mean many hours spent on planes, trains and other means of transportation… Here are my top ten tips and tricks for flying with babies or toddlers.

 

Continue Reading →

June 7, 2012
by Laure
7 Comments

Five really bad reasons to breastfeed

In Canada, there is a lot of pressure for new moms to breastfeed. Makes sense, considering all the benefits of breastfeeding. And that breastfeeding is really well supported with one year of (somewhat) paid maternity leave, and great resources such as MSP covered lactation consultants.

But there is also a crap load of bullshit being told about breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding

With all the good, valid reasons to breastfeed, I have no idea why people and associations feel the need to invent additional ones. Well, actually I get it… “101 reasons to breastfeed” sounds a lot catchier than “96”, right?

While I absolutely support breastfeeding and would recommend seeing a lactation consultant if you experience difficulty rather than throwing the towel, I just don’t like the perfect image that people try to give to breastfeeding. Maybe it does come naturally to some women. But not to all of them. And that contributes to the mother feeling unreasonably guilty when for some reason she wasn’t able to breastfeed.

Here are just a few examples of shameless lies that you’ll read when you search for the benefits of breastfeeding. Continue Reading →

May 29, 2012
by Laure
0 comments

Crawlers and critters need some love, too

I want to teach my kids to respect every living creature. Don’t you?

In my opinion that includes the smallest creatures. Yes, the ones that are often classified in the “disgusting” section of nature.

Holding a snail

I remember, one day, screaming “Nooooo” in anguish when I realized that Big Kiddo had picked up a worm from our yard. A friend of ours came to my rescue “don’t worry, that worm isn’t going to harm your child”. My husband, who knows me well, replied “it’s not for Big Kiddo that Laure is worried, it’s for the worm”.

What sort of lesson are we teaching our kids when we run away in terror at the sight of a spider web? Or when we crush an ant that lost its way and ended up in our house? Probably that nature is scary, dirty or disgusting. And some creatures not worth existing.

Of course some insects have unfortunate irritation-related effects. Or can even cause allergies. It’s understandable that parents get nervous when their kids come a little bit too close to those creatures.

Yet the answer is so simple.

Teach your kids to respectfully observe from a distance. Don’t pick up, or at least not without asking mom first.

That post gave me an idea that I want to try this summer:

  1. Conduct a photo-safari to capture images of insects
  2. Involve Big Kiddo in making some sort of craft with these pictures
  3. Post it!

I’m sure this will be loads of fun.

Anyone game?