Title: Bringing Up Bébé
Author: Pamela Druckerman
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publish Date: February 7, 2012
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "The secret behind France's astonishingly well-behaved children. When
American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn't
aspire to become a "French parent." French parenting isn't a known
thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents
themselves insist they aren't doing anything special.
French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three
months old while those of her American friends take a year or more.
French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include
braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend
their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip
coffee while the kids play.
Motherhood itself is a whole
different experience in France. There's no role model, as there is in
America, for the harried new mom with no life of her own. French mothers
assume that even good parents aren't at the constant service of their
children and that there's no need to feel guilty about this. They have
an easy, calm authority with their kids that Druckerman can only envy."
My Two Cents:
Up Bebe" is a parenting memoir of sorts by a woman who goes to live in
Paris with her family. As a first time mother, she witnesses the French
parents doing things very differently than what she is used to in the
United States. I picked up this book as I am always interested in how
other cultures function and do things differently than our own.
a new mom myself (I read this book when my twin girls were about 5
months old), some of the info struck me and other information was like
"no, duh." I've been told that I'm pretty laid back and calm for a first
time mom. I have no idea if this is really the case but some of the
things that the author mentions worrying about or thinking that she had
to do based on what she saw other American parents do makes me think
that perhaps I am more laid back than many. That being said, someone who
fits more into the paradigm that the author discusses and comes from
may get more out of this book.
I did like how the author explores
the other culture. There are so many things that culture has an effect
on when it comes to parenting. I had never thought about culture having
such a great effect but it definitely does. Some things that are
discussed in the book would probably not work as well in the United
States because of the cultural norms that parents face. Overall, this is
an interesting perspective that kept me engaged.