Any parents dream of having perfect children. So how do you combine work with parenting?
American Pamela Druckerman wrote the famous bestseller French Children Don't Spit Food, in which she talked about French parenting. It turns out that they are quite capable of dealing with most parenting problems. And in order not to re-read the entire book, we have selected from there 10 top and exclusive tips. They can help working mothers raise their children and keep in touch with them.
Remember, there are no perfect moms. When mom works, she wants to embrace everything at once. It is necessary to have time to give the child love and at the same time pursue a career. In fact, the work is carried out in two shifts. Work in the office is replaced by no less hard work at home. And this feeling is familiar to any working mother. It is worth listening to the opinion of French women who declare that ideal mothers do not exist. So you shouldn't try to get rid of the shortcomings and keep up with everything. It's a simple but fundamental idea. You cannot perceive the childhood of a kid as the beginning of a big race with the finish line in the form of admission to a university. We all want our children to be successful, but why in the evenings, when you come home from work, make your child quickly catch up? Let everything be natural. In France, a child is not taught to read and write until the age of six. They believe that it is much more important for a child to instill skills such as self-control, sociability and concentration before school. For the education of such qualities, a specially allotted time is not required, they will appear as a result of correct education. It is these abilities, and not at all the ability to read at the age of three and solve the simplest examples, that create the basis for further success in education.
A woman should always have her own source of income. In America, there is a stereotype that for a woman a successful marriage means a calm and carefree life. The main thing is to find a good husband with a high salary, after which you yourself can not work. Meanwhile, Europe has a different view of things. Women here believe that they need their own, independent source of income. And even in the strongest marriage with your beloved man you need to think: "What will happen if one day all this collapses?" A woman should have a profession or job, her own stable source of income, just in reserve. And this is important not only for herself, but also for the child. After giving birth, French women quickly go to work, first of all to be sure that they can independently provide their child with everything they need. Perhaps life will turn out like this, and these skills will suddenly be in demand. And this is a very pragmatic approach, even if there is no French romance in it. But he really helps in life.
You can't devote your whole life to a child. Taking care of a mother for her child, in the best way possible, shows the principle of infinity. A woman will always try to help her baby. Thus, a voluntary and eternal sacrifice occurs for him. But modern culture instills in a woman an important idea: every person, especially a parent, needs time and space for himself personally. And this issue cannot be resolved on a residual basis. Many at first give themselves completely to the child, allowing themselves the remaining crumbs of time. Another option is to allow yourself something only when everything that needs to be done for the child has been done. You can't do that. In order for the family to have a balance of interests, it is necessary to make sure that the woman owns some part of her own life. The easiest option is to work, although this is not at all an axiom. It is quite possible to form a hobby, to communicate with friends more often. The French believe that if you devote all your time to a child, he will see how his whole life revolves only around him alone. This is not only harmful, but even dangerous.
Sometimes it's worth moving away from the child. For a woman it may seem paradoxical, but periodic distance from the child makes her only a better mother. When a child is accustomed to the fact that his closest person is constantly next to him, that he is constantly involved in his affairs and lives his life, then he will not learn independence. The child will not understand how to pay attention to other people and their needs, how to learn empathy. A woman should intuitively feel when it is time to move away from the child. Thus, she will render him an important service. And it is important to understand that this is not some kind of harsh and informal position. It's not about giving up everything and leaving on a two-week trip, doing your own business and forgetting about the child. You just have to calmly admit that if you spend all the time with someone, even if you love him very much, then sooner or later irritation will come. And this applies not only to ourselves, but also to the child. It is worth parting with the child for just a few hours, leaving him in the care of a nanny or grandmother, as he will be madly glad to meet again. After all, both mom and him will have something to share. Small separations like these bring freshness to a relationship. It always gives new experiences and impressions, being a source of energy. Brief breakups are a must for any successful relationship, not just mother and child.
You should forget about feelings of guilt. Mothers who work feel guilty before their child that they cannot devote time to it. This is a destructive feeling that still can't make any difference. There will be no more time from such experiences. The main thing that can be done in such a situation is to really be with the child in his free time. On a walk, you don't just have to walk alongside, chatting about something on the phone. There is no need to constantly worry about the child while at work, reproach yourself that in addition to motherhood in your life there is also work and colleagues, friends, husband. The only thing a mother owes her child is to be calm next to him and pay attention to him at this time.
It is worth cultivating patience in your children. Some people think that this is an innate skill, which is given to some by nature, and to others not. But the French see patience as some kind of physical muscle. She can and should be trained by doing this from a very early age. When a child asks for something insignificant, you should not jump up while working and immediately fulfill his request. Why not explain calmly to him that you are busy and ask him to be patient? First, the child will learn to wait a few seconds, and then even minutes. He will have to learn to entertain himself during periods of waiting and cope with his frustrations. For a child, such a skill is simply vital. As soon as he realizes that he is not the main person in this world, he will gradually begin to mature.
Don't be a taxi mom. Feeling guilty about their busyness, mothers sometimes try to compensate for this with a huge number of circles, sections and developmental activities for the child. However, when choosing extracurricular activities, you should always understand how this will affect the quality of your own life. If mom spends a lot of time transporting the child from one end of town to the other, from swimming to English, it will be difficult to recognize her selflessness. Moreover, skepticism arises when this is done to the detriment of work. They would say about such a woman that she has lost her life balance. And children do not need such sacrifices. It is really important for a child to go to the pool, to develop additionally, but it is better to leave him time for independent games at home, and not spend it in the back seat of the car. Excessive psychological and physical stress will only be harmful to the child.
We must leave for ourselves a part of life in which the child should not participate. A woman should always remember that marriage is the foundation of a family. This is what should make the couple find time to communicate with each other. In France, it is customary to give a child all parental space only for the first three months of his life. At this time, he can sleep with his parents in the same room and even in their bed. But then the baby is taught to rest in his room and in his bed. The marital bedroom is a space that only two adults own. Children cannot enter when they want to. The child must be taught that there are parts in the life of adults where he does not take part. For the French, the parents' bedroom is a sacred place, where you can enter only on a special occasion. Children see that there is a certain connection between their parents, which seems like a big secret to the kids. And this is very important for them. After all, you so want to grow up and solve all the riddles of the adult world!
You should not demand from your husband equal participation in childcare and household chores. Even if a woman works as much as her husband, even if sometimes she works even more, it is not worth asking him to pay as much attention to the house and children as she does herself. This will only make him angry and annoyed. Feminism plays a role in American women, but old-fashioned pragmatism helps French women. Many would gladly entrust their husbands with more housework, but usually women accept this inequality. And this, it turns out, only makes life easier. Harmony in relationships is often more important than equality. Women just need to perceive men as biological creatures, even the best representatives of whom are poorly able to cope with household chores. But that doesn't mean men don't have to do anything at all. Mothers in France believe that sharing household chores, albeit unequal, will help avoid conflicts. You should not demand more from your husband than he can give. It is better to hire a housekeeper to complete the routine work, and to allocate time for the spouses for intimacy.
Spouses should keep evenings for themselves, and one day off a month should be a "honey weekend." It is customary for French parents to free one day off every month just for themselves. No work or kids! It is worth postponing business and sending the kids to their grandparents, giving them to a nanny, or going out of town on our own. Spouses need to lie in bed, sleep off, have a long and enjoyable breakfast, watch a movie. On this day, you need to relax and do nothing at all. Let the adults have their own honey weekend. And the most important thing is that they themselves should not feel any remorse at the same time. Even for the most loving parents, such a pastime should be considered normal. But at other times, French dads and mothers strictly monitor their children so that they go to bed on time. As soon as the evening fairy tale or lullaby has ended, the child immediately goes to bed. Adulthood is not a conquered privilege, but a basic human need, a parent's right. The French say that loving and happy parents are the key to a happy family. If you honestly and sincerely explain this to children, they will certainly understand it.
You are the boss. This rule of education in French is the most difficult to understand. Adults need to clearly understand that they are the ones who make decisions. Parents are the bosses in the family. It is important to understand that they are not dictators, but simply bosses. Children can and should be given more freedom within the framework of the possible, it is necessary to take their opinion into account and listen to their wishes. But decisions are still made by adults. You must always remember who is at the top of the family pyramid. These are neither children, nor grandmothers, nor teachers and nannies. Only a woman should command the whole parade. It is really difficult to accept, you will have to wage a daily war for it. Day after day, the army must take back positions. On the other hand, adults will know for sure that their children grow up within a clearly defined framework. And the kids themselves are better and calmer when they understand that their parents are in control. One must learn to say "no" strictly and with confidence at the main moments. Let the children hear the calm and firm voice of their parents telling them what to do. And it's not difficult to understand that everything really works out. At such a moment, parents will really feel that they have everything under control.