Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, Looking Good, Stereotypes /

Let’s face it, the last few weeks have been tough. Instead of boring you guys with my well-informed inside views of what is going on in my home country and over here, I thought I should write something a bit more light-hearted today, and tell you how to love like a French woman. Yep, you read that right, the cat is out of the bag, you’ve got no excuses now. So, here we go…

It’s not over until it’s over

French women can love and be in love at any age. We never stop being and feeling loveable. Let me explain: over here, in London, it sometimes feel like women shut it down the second they become moms. There is a strong pressure, after becoming a mother, to become an all-sacrificing maternal figure. And if you don’t, shame on you, because you will be considered a narcissistic MILF. We French women don’t fall in such stereotypes. We don’t make our children the center of our universe. Truth be told, we get a lot of help from the state: childcare is virtually free (or very cheap) and we even get offered perineal reeducation sessions. In short, we have no excuse but to get our pre-baby mojo as fast as possible, so we do.

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Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, Politics /

In case you have been hibernating for at least a month (Lucky you. How did you do it ? And could you please give me a call, I’d like to join you), British Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered one of the most dramatic fortune reversals in recent British political history. To cut a long story short, it took her only two years to lose an overall majority in Parliament that the Tories had been building up over the last fifteen years.

In the meantime, in my home country, the newly elected President Macron is quietly getting an overwhelming majority in Parliament with a brand new (may I say inexperienced?) team. He should win between 400 and 450 seats out of 577, a sweeping success for a movement that barely existed a year ago. Needless to say, the traditional parties are in complete disarray, and even the extreme right vote seems to plummet.

So here is my question today: what went wrong in my adoptive country (Great Britain, in case you were wondering)? And how could things go so well (for now at least) in my home country?

 

Did we need yet another election?

I am not going to lie: I didn’t see the point of yet another election in the UK. As my late grandmother used to say, better the devil you know and all that. This was compounded by the fact that it feels like I have spent the two months going to poll stations (As you know, I have dual citizenship -French and British). And frankly, my vote didn’t make much difference in both elections. It makes me wonder why I still bother.

In a BBC video hugely shared on social media, a woman called Brenda seemed to speak for a lot of us British citizen after the election was announced. Asked by a journalistl about her reaction, she wailed: “Not another one! Oh for God’s sake! I can’t stand this!” Have a look at the video here if you don’t believe me:

In my home country, the turnout for the Presidential election was incredibly high. People badly wanted things to change, and were passionate about it. Rightly or wrongly, they had had enough of old-school politicians, and ended up voting en masse to oust them. Despite being a pure product of the French system, Emmanuel Macron had managed to present himself as a new alternative. Theresa May hadn’t even tried.

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Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

In case you have missed it, Fathers Day is on 18th of June this year. Unlike Mothers Day, the date is the same in France and this side of the Channel. This means that you have no excuses, and you can’t say you got mixed up with the dates.

Fathers Day in France has only existed since 1949 (Mothers in France started to be celebrated around 1909), so it’s fair to say that Fathers Day is relatively new. Fathers Day is a lot less popular than Mothers day in France. Usually you just call your dad to wish him a happy Fathers Day. Things are a little bit different over here: you are supposed to send a card, and give a little present. Visit UncommonGoods to see more gifts for men.

I’ll come clean: I have always wondered what it feels like to be a father. You see, when you become a mother, you are supposed to have nine months (or so) to get ready. You know that you are going to have a baby, your body changes, and eventually you have to deliver the baby (oh joy!). In short, biological mothers have to go through a well-defined process and this, in my view, makes it easier for us women to connect with our babies. Of course attachment can come in many different ways, but what I am trying to say here is that our body is making space for a brand new human being, and at the exact same time we are discovering the existence of a strange new room in the house where we already live (let’s call the new room ‘becoming a mother’). The biological and emotional processes happen at the same time. In short, I felt like I had no choice but to become a mother.

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Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, London /

This post is written in collaboration with Qare, a video consultation website in London, and is the second post of a new series on the differences between the French healthcare and the NHS. You can read the first post here: http://frenchyummymummy.com/the-top-10-differences-between-the-nhs-and-the-french-system/

 

I will always remember the day an American friend of mine started talking about her physician’s bedside manners. To cut a long story short, I didn’t understand what she was talking about. I even thought that she was having an affair with her GP, which was a bit odd but hey, who was I to judge?

Turns out, she was having difficulties with her British doctor’s bedside manners. For those of you who, like me, might not know what bedside manners are, here is the definition:

“the way in which a doctor treats people who are ill, especially showing kind, friendly, and understanding behaviour.”

As for me, I feel like I need to come clean now: I thought that bedside manners were the way in which you behave after spending the night with someone. What can I say? I suppose that I remain very French.

More seriously, I think that the fact that so many of my French expat friends find it hard to adjust to a new system like the NHS comes down to bedside manners.

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