Truthfully, motherhood here is not all that different. Sure, Charity's preschool teacher speaks a different language, I can't feed my kids kraft macaroni cheese, and children start school here at a severely young age (Two years old is the normal starting age for preschoolers. Two!)
But my kids are still my kids. And I'm still mom. I still clean peanut butter off the kitchen table and fingerprints off the TV screen (...Although, that peanut butter was purchased in the American section of the grocery store to the tune of four euros for a tiny two ounce jar!) My toddler still tantrums and my daughter still fights taking a nap. And they both still need lots of kisses every day.
We use our car seats far less and our stroller and metro tickets far more. My kids know what to expect at a busy train station. Yes, there are most definitely things that are different here compared to my life of parenting in suburbia California. But at the end of the day, I'm still on my knees begging God for parental wisdom, pleading forgiveness for the mistakes I made, and soaking up every cuddle with each little person. I'm still thankful if my kids survived the day with food in their bellies and got to bed without too many tears shed. And that much has always been true.
Our Family Life in France
We keep a week-by-week video memoir of our current first year in France as a family. The videos include every topic from family life, language learning, French culture, and ministry activities. We even offer ways you can be praying for our family. If you want to get the skinny on what brought us to France in the first place, and the ministry God called us to here, please check out our website, Hintons in Paris, and follow our blog. (I know, more blogs to follow!)
...In time, this will be a place where I will list posts and articles about what being a parent in a foreign country is like. What makes raising kids in France unique. What I like, what I hate.
Until then, I recommend reading this intriguing book by Pamela Druckerman, Bringing Up Bébé. The author is also an American mother living in Paris, who observes some dramatic differences in the parenting philosophies of the French.
Here is a unique clip advertising the book when it came out last year.