FRANCE: Bi-Cultural Child And Single Motherhood

FRANCE: Bi-Cultural Child And Single Motherhood

marie_februaryI think it’s important when raising a bi-cultural child to find a balance between both the mother’s and the father’s upbringing and cultural backgrounds. The truth is, it’s not always that simple. As a single mom who is raising a Half-French, Half-Egyptian boy, I can say it’s quite tricky most of the time. My son’s father is not very involved in his life. He is around, but Skype chats are not the best way to establish a peaceful and steady relationship while teaching a young child about a far-away culture.

I decided that I could be the one talking about this other part of who he is. We started with a small photo book that I built from photos that I took on a trip when we were still married, showing the country, the village where his dad grew up, his dad’s family members and some nice spots around. Whenever he wants, he can ask me to have a look at it.

We have other resources at home, such as books and songs. I don’t speak Arabic but I know a couple of words, so we learn them together.

As he is growing up, I am keen for my bi-cultural child to know the culture from another perspective: the food and tastes of Egypt, the colors, the history, the way people are living, and how they are different from us.

For this, Internet is of great help.

When it comes to religion, I use books. I am interested in religion in general and I’d like my son to learn more about it. As his dad and I could not agree on anything, I decided not to give my son any religion. He will choose later. Still, we are talking about it, about Islam and Christianity.

As a matter of fact, I wanted to take him with me to Egypt, but right now things are too hectic and crazy with his dad. So I made a long-term plan to go to Egypt with him, when he’ll be old enough to travel without any worry.

Some days I would love to have somebody to do this for me, somebody I could rely on when I don’t have answers to some of his questions, as I have my part to deal with too. I have to be careful not to overdo things and accept that sometime my child does not want to hear about his dad and his dad’s story.

But I have to say it’s a relief that I don’t resent the culture and the man. It is helping my boy to know about his roots, the roots that will help him grow stronger and understand that our world differences are a chance.

And you? Tell me, how are you teaching your bi-cultural child about cultural differences?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Marie Kléber of France. Photo credit to the author.

Marie Kléber

Marie is from France and is living near Paris, after spending 6 years in Irlande. She is a single mum of one, sharing her time between work, family life and writing, her passion. She already wrote 6 books in her native langage. She loves reading, photography, meeting friends and sharing life experiences. She blogs about domestic abuse, parenting and poetry @

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FRANCE: Joy in Diversity

FRANCE: Joy in Diversity

When we moved from a quaint little cobblestone town, South of Paris, to the booming financial district of La Defense where we settled across the street from a mall, I knew I had found happiness.

Don’t pity me for my lack of culture, as I know you are bound to, and just let me repeat that there was a mall. In the other town, I had nowhere to go and nobody talked to me, even on the playground. In my new area, I could take on even the coldest, rainiest days with fortitude simply by pushing the double stroller over to the mall entrance and losing myself in a Starbucks latté while trying not to lose my kids as they ran freely down the carpeted corridors. We’d all go home to our apartment for a nap afterwards, cheerful and spent.

But what was even more wonderful was the group of international friends my kids and I made. We lived in the tallest residential building in all of Europe, and our playground was in the midst of a series of high-rise buildings. The public school was located at the base of our building so we only needed to take the elevator and descend a set of steps before arriving. There, we greeted each other in the friendliest way possible, and everyone would make plans to meet up again later in the day at the playground. (more…)

Lady Jennie (France)

Jennie has lived in Taiwan, New York City and East Africa, and currently lives just outside of Paris with her French husband. She speaks rudimentary Mandarin, passable French and has had a varied career in Human Resources, Asian financial sales and humanitarian work. She is currently a mother to three young children, with writing and teaching gigs on the side, and blogs at A Lady in France.

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