October 18, 2006

Libertée, Egalitée, Maternitée

Vivent les poitrines de la République!
Marianne, breastfeeder of the nation, by Daumier [via musee d'orsay]

What with all the guaranteed maternity leave, subsidized childcare--including government-subsidized daycare or tax credits for nannies--government bonus payments for having multiple children, and even discounted train fare for everyone until the kids turn 18, France sounds like the best freakin' country on earth for working mothers.

Following a policy instituted a century ago to stimulate population growth, the French government does such a good job taking care of mothers, in fact, that dads apparently don't even need to raise a finger. They don't need to let family matters disrupt their important work or career schedules, and they can pursue their lives knowing that their wives are taking care of their families, with the government's help. At least that's what I assume, because there's not a single mention of a dad-related policy or program in this entire Washington Post article.

As Europe Grows Grayer, France Devises A Baby Boom [washpost via tmn]


French dads can take a two-week paid paternity leave, if I remember correctly.

By the looks of that painting, the caption should be "Marianne, EXTENDED breastfeeder of the nation"
(Some sort of welfare state comments are swirling through my head but I have to go pump now so no time to perfect them.)

I gave birth to my Franco-American twins in Paris last year and lived there for about 6 months afterward until we moved back to the States. And let me tell you how amazing all those benefits were. Granted, my husband's salary was half of what he makes here in CT, but the holiday time and social services were amazing. I wish there was a happy medium here.

there are a few drawbacks with subsidized creches/daycare.....a lot of parents take advantage of it....and A LOT of french kids have been in nursery since early in their lives. it's an interesting social experiment...and trust me, there are a lot of bullies on the playgrounds here!

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