Raising a bilingual child can be stressful, especially if you are the first in your family to do so. We have put together a list of top tips from our members in France, Spain, Germany and Italy.
"I'd say (with hindsight) don't stress when they are refusing to engage or speak another language, encourage as many activities and friendships that will promote the language gain and take it at the speed of your child. If they are shy don't push them, if you arrange "lessons" make sure they are fun and involve playing." (Kayte Locke, Spain) Read more
Opera Singer Valerie Beatson in Paris
"We are integrated but as an expat it is a challenge to find a balance between your local culture, making French friends, and finding expat activities. I would suggest to anyone moving here to try a bunch of organizations without looking for the perfect one and then see what works for you. And be sure to think about yourself and not just your kids, because socializing will be easier for them."
Louise Vaughan-Arbuckle - Reflexologist
"It was pregnant women who chose me rather than me choosing to specialise in Maternity Reflexology! As I’d never been pregnant, it was a bit of surprise to me and a fascinating learning curve. Maternity Reflexology encompasses everything from pre-conception to new baby. Through the training I was able to get a thorough understanding of pregnancy as well as of course when to and when not to treat!"
Navigating Paris with small children in tow can be quite the challenge. Just ask any Parisian parent who’s ever had to carry a stroller up a flight of metro stairs. Expat parents have the added stress of figuring out the medical and childcare systems, and if they don’t speak French, there’s also the language barrier. Add to all of this the high cost of living in the city and it’s easy to see why newly arrived expat parents in Paris can fee overwhelmed but the city is overflowing with great resources for parents; it’s just a matter of finding them. Here are a few free or inexpensive resources recommended by Paris-based Expat mums to help you enjoy the best of parenting in Paris and avoid some of the less fun parts.
Emma Nelson in Toulouse
"I found the most fantastic obstetrician in Dr Kobuch who I cannot praise highly enough. He speaks English fluently which was crucial for me, especially with my first child, who was born at a time when I could only understand about 1 word in 10! I found the quality of care during the births themselves to be second-to-none. Fantastic midwives, very caring and capable. The midwives accompanied me through the labour itself and the obstetrician only got called right at the end when the baby was about to appear, or in the case of my first, because he was refusing to appear!" Read more
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About MumAbroad France
MumAbroad was founded by Rebecca Laidlaw, an Internet Marketing consultant & Carrie Frais, a Journalist and PR executive. Carrie lives in Barcelona and is Mum to Poppy (7) and Bertie (5) and Rebecca lives in Oxfordshire (UK) and has 3 children, Ollie (7), Sophie (5) and Theo (1).
“In 2007, we were both living in the beautiful city of Barcelona, having each just given birth to our first child. With no extended family to help with childcare, we looked for other resources to help guide us through this challenging period of our lives. We were surprised at how difficult it was to find easily accessible information about activities and services for parents. It soon became apparent that there was a growing niche for an English language website which would offer parents from the International Community valuable information such as child-related services, schools, family activities, shops, family holidays and restaurants. After extensive research and the help of scores of mothers, Barcelona Mum was born, offering a comprehensive and personalized guide to family life in Barcelona. Within a few months MumAbroad Spain was launched, incorporating the whole of Catalunya and subsequently Madrid, Andalucia, the Costa Blanca and the Balearics. As the site gained momentum, MumAbroad France, MumAbroad Italy and MumAbroad Germany were established and in 2014 the four sites were amalgamated under one roof.
We believe that, in the majority of cases, parents are the best judge of anything child-related, so that is why our site is based purely on recommendation. Every service, group or activity on our website has been recommended by at least one Mum or Dad. In our interview section, you can read about other mums' experiences of living in Spain as well as interviews with a host of childhood experts. In our Women in Business section, we’ve discovered some inspirational ladies, who have established successful businesses in and created a life for themselves, many o whom have had to juggle work and family life. Our forum allows parents to share concerns, offer advice, advertise services, buy & sell items and virtually meet others in an online community.
We hope you that you will find the information on our sites useful, and that you can also help us with our goal to constantly improve our site by continuing to send us your comments and recommendations.
Best wishes & we hope you enjoy our website!”