Opening a Checking Account in France with a French Bank

After living in France for over 1.5 years, it was about time for me to open a bank account. I have been delaying this out of pure laziness. All the money I make goes into my US bank account and then I transfer it to my husband's French account here using xe.com. Transfers from the USA to France is free and I get better rates than with a bank. I used his ATM card to withdraw money as needed.This was a great system until I started my auto-entrepreneur business in France and am registered with social security. If my husband ever gets audited, it would look like he is not declaring all of his … [Read more...]

Balancing Work and Motherhood in France

As you may have noticed, I have not been consistently writing since my daughter was born. In fact, I only wrote one in October and nothing in November. Finally, I am getting back on the wagon.I received 77 days of maternity leave from the French government. Since I am an auto-entrepreneur (similar to a sole proprietor in the USA), I am on the honor system that I don't work while on maternity leave. The purpose of providing women who run businesses with maternity leave is so that they take time off to care for their newborns (read more about maternity leave for auto-entrepreneurs). I am … [Read more...]

Switching to a French Spouse Visa – Part III

Switching to a French spouse visa from a student visa has been quite an ordeal! It is unbelievable that now, almost 6 months later, I have my spouse visa. (Read Part I and Part II)We talked to countless people at the Bordeaux and Caen prefectures and were continuously being misguided. We were given estimated dates that were weeks off. So here is what has happened since my last post about switching to a French spouse visa.Even though we were told I would receive a confirmation of receipt of my application from the Caen prefecture within 2 weeks (later they told us 2 months), we received … [Read more...]

Taking Parenting Advice from My American or Husband’s French Family

I wrote an article before giving birth about the French parental style. After giving birth to my daughter, I realize now that I must clarify something in my last post about French parental styles. The French do not judge other parents, but they certainly do judge their relatives.I do not believe in the cry-it-out method of parenting, which is popular in France. If my daughter cries, I am going to run to pick her up. I do not care if it is to be fed or if she just needs some cuddling time. Both are equally important in my eyes. I understand that there are times when she just cries and … [Read more...]

Flying with a Newborn From France to the USA

After months of anticipation, we finally did it! We flew with our 6 week old from Paris, France to Orlando, Florida USA.We went to the mairie of the city where she was born and applied for her French passport when she was only 2 weeks old. They do not photograph newborns there since it is extremely difficult, so we had to get it done by a local photographer. We were going there anyways to take family portraits. It was ready for pick up when she was 4 weeks old.American Airlines charged us about $170 for her to fly on my lap. They only allowed us to bring a stroller, car seat and diaper … [Read more...]