Why You'd Be Skinnier & Happier if You Were a Mom in France

paris cafeOne more reason to move to France: Not only do French women manage to stay svelte without giving up red wine, cheese, or croissants; they also manage to have children without going crazy. (Perhaps the wine has something to do with it?)

Right about now you might be saying to yourself, "Hey, wait a minute. I have children and I'm not crazy!" Well, yes you are. (First sign? You're talking to yourself.)

Seriously though, you have to be at least a little bit crazy. That's because the culture of mothering in this country has evolved -- perhaps devolved is a better term -- into the Race to Raise a Superkid. And not only have we convinced ourselves, as moms, that the Race must be won at all costs, we're constantly judging our performance, telling ourselves we're losers.

The French do no such thing.


As a result, French mothers don't suffer the same crippling guilt we do as American moms, the nagging sense that because we can't "do it all," we're failing our children, our spouses, ourselves. Of course we can't do it all! The problem is that for some reason, somebody told us we were supposed to do it all.

Meanwhile, French women are content to do what matters. To actually live life, as opposed to plodding away on the treadmill of lessons and tutors and playdates and Mommy & Me and birthday parties that cost more than your wedding and educational TV and chicken nuggets and Cheerios.

I don't know how we got this crazy. I think we were trying so hard to do what's "best" for our kids, we ended up forgetting what's best for us. I don't mean that we shouldn't put our children's needs ahead of our own -- of course we should. But structuring our entire lives around the whims of a 3-year-old? That's not "best" for anybody.

Why do you think French moms are less stressed out than American moms?


Image via Mike_Fleming/Flickr

Read More >