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Life keeps on going

We have decided to move back to America.  I don’t know if I will be able to post during the next few months until we have completed the move due to not having assess to a computer.

I am not happy to be leaving France.  France has become my second home.  The problem is that I am not able to attend classes to learn the language at a high enough level to get a high paying job.  Also, France is still behind as far as work laws regarding discrimination.  During the one interview I had since moving to France I was asked point blank how I would manage to work with four children.  My answer to the woman, “I will manage the same as someone that has one child…daycare.”  I had to fill out a questionaire before the interview with information about not only mine and my husband’s nationality and city of birth, but that of my parents as well.  I had to list my children by name and birthdate.  The interview was a complete waste of time and I left furious.  I felt and was discriminated against because I was a mother of four children.

In France, I think it will be the same no matter where I interview at due to the fact that companies are still legally allowed and do ask these types of questions.  In America, if that interview had happened I would have sued the britches off that company.  I see France changing, but not fast enough in these matters.  It does take time just as it did in America.  I am just not willing to wait.  I want to get on with my life and start teaching which gets me into the next reason for the move back to the States.
The other (and more important reason) is that my husband and I will be be able go back to school and teach.  Vilay will go to college to teach French in high school and I will teach in an elementary school (hopefully in a Kindergarten class – which is my favorite).  I was born to be a teacher and I will finally be able to do just that.  We are looking at Florida due to the teacher shortage there which means Vilay will most likely be able to get his tuition loans reimbursed and I will be able to get a job right away due to the fact that I did finish a teacher certification program in Ohio.  I had an Ohio teaching certificate but while living in France it expired.  Another reason we are looking at Florida is that both my parents are thinking of retiring in Florida and I want to stay close to my family.

My inlaws never celebrate Christmas as a family with their sons or their families where as my parents (even if they are divorced) will get together and celebrate all the big holidays together with the children and grandchildren.  We all cook, eat and clean up.  I really miss family holidays and get togethers.  It is so very important and I am hoping we can make it back in time for this year’s Halloween.  I would love to take my children out to an Ohio farm to hand pick our family pumpkin and then trick or treating.  Oh, and I want a pumpkin pie just for me!!!

I love France and we are planning on coming back as much as we can for vacations.  We would like to retire in France but at this point I understand there is a lot of wisdom in the old saying of…”Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.”  We really never know where life will take us.  However, as long as we have our families and loved one’s that is all that matters.

I will try to post at least once a month to keep you up to date on our newest adventure.


Wish us luck!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • buzzgirl July 21, 2006, 3:19 pm

    Oh my gosh. Such a huge decision. Is it final? I wish you the best of luck in your move, and with all future plans. Are you thinking of moving near Angel Girl? I really hope everything works out best for you and your family – I know how much Vilay disliked living in the States (it must be pretty bad living with his parents if he’s willing to move back.) Good luck, and keep us posted when you can.

  • Hexe July 21, 2006, 3:45 pm

    Best wishes on your move. I hope it all goes as smoothly as possible.

  • cara July 21, 2006, 4:00 pm

    wow. that’s bound to be quite a move with 4 kids. i wish you the best of luck with packing, paperwork and getting teaching certificates quickly.

  • ashley July 21, 2006, 4:45 pm

    Good luck! We are thinking of doing the same thing, although with no children in tow, it is (I’d imagine) a bit of an easier decision. Neither place is perfect, you just have to weigh out the pros and cons depending on what you want and how you want to live. Keep on blogging, as we would all (if I can take the liberty to speak for everyone) like to follow your adventures!

  • Pam July 21, 2006, 4:56 pm

    I too hope that you will keep on with your blog!
    All the best, all ways…LOL

  • peepfrench July 21, 2006, 5:24 pm

    I wish you and your family the best of luck with this move, Pumpkin.

    I’ll really miss your daily posts and I hope that once you’re a little more settled in the States that you’ll continue to delight us with your new adventures.

  • samantha July 21, 2006, 6:19 pm

    Wow, this has been the week of blogging surprises! I know you love France Pumpkin, I hope you’ll be able to come back some day. And I hope you keep blogging as well…

  • Julie July 21, 2006, 11:43 pm

    Wow! That’s great! Best of luck to you and your family! And I hope you get your pumpkin pie!!!

  • margalit July 22, 2006, 6:48 am

    I’ll miss your blog so much while you’re moving, but I lok forward to all the adventures you’ll have along the way writtend here in your own soft and sweet manner. I hope everything goes smoothly, but I have to say I wish you were moving to Boston instead of Florida! Selfish me.

    Good luck, and don’t stress out too much.

  • Linda July 22, 2006, 7:47 am

    France is a wonderful country but it is certainly difficult to live in. It seems to be very behind the times in many ways which can be charming if you don’t have to earn a living. Good luck in Florida. I wish I could figure out a way to live in both countries.

  • Kay July 22, 2006, 3:56 pm

    you will have your pumpkin pie. Im so glad your coming home , I miss you all . Cant wait to see my grandson , I”ll hug and kiss all my grandchildren so much they will beg me to stop .I have a computer also a lap top you will be able to blog ,I know you love to blog , I LOVE YOU CANT WAIT TO HAVE YOU ALL HOME and safe MOM

  • Bernadette/bReal July 22, 2006, 9:33 pm

    Sometimes, we just have to let life take us where we are supposed to be. I think that in coming back to the States, you will both be able to teach and spend more time with your family. There is great fulfillment in that. It isn’t always the physical place that we are in that brings such fulfillment. And nothing has to be forever. I look forward to hearing more in the months to come. Best wishes, Pumpkin.

  • kim July 23, 2006, 8:26 pm

    you will be able to take the good lessons you learned from living in france and its culture and take them to usa, home is where the heart is! good luck and best wishes and take it easy!

  • Raenita July 23, 2006, 10:04 pm

    You guys will definitely be in our prayers! I know it’ll be a big adjustment, but you’re doing what’s right for your family and that’s what matters. What a wonderful opportunity your children will have to live in Europe AND the United States! I’ll be constantly checking your blog for updates on how you’re doing and if there’s ANYTHING my family or I can do for you, please let me know! Hugs and prayers, Raenita

  • lapagefrancaise July 25, 2006, 12:11 pm

    Good luck with your move Pumpkin, and I wish you all the best in your new life in America. I will still check back for your new posts

  • amy July 25, 2006, 10:09 pm

    Wow. Congratulations, not for returning to the US but for making a decision that must have been hard to make. All of your children close to you! How wonderful! Best of luck!

  • Alison July 26, 2006, 2:10 am

    Wow. I have been away from the blogosphere for more than a week. All the best in your move. I imagine my life would be much different today if my then-husband and I had moved to the States when our children were small. If you want to talk, you have my e-mail address.

  • L'Amerloque July 26, 2006, 1:09 pm

    Hi Pumpkin Pie !

    /*/Also, France is still behind as far as work laws regarding discrimination. …/… I had to fill out a questionaire before the interview with information about not only mine and my husband’s nationality and city of birth, but that of my parents as well. I had to list my children by name and birthdate. The interview was a complete waste of time and I left furious. I felt and was discriminated against because I was a mother of four children.


    In France, I think it will be the same no matter where I interview at due to the fact that companies are still legally allowed and do ask these types of questions. In America, if that interview had happened I would have sued the britches off that company. I see France changing, but not fast enough in these matters.


    How so terribly, sadly wrong Pumpkin Pie is, with all due respect, if Amerloque may be so bold.

    This is one case where France is so far, far ahead of the somewhat medieval working conditions for mothers that exist in many parts of the USA, it’s not even funny, in Amerloque’s humble opinion.

    It is not “discrimination” at all. Not only do companies here in France ask “these types of questions”, they are legally required to do so in many cases. It’s for the “allocations familiales” (family allowances) , other various “allocations” and worker entitlements which companies pay for all or in part, and the “sursalaire”.

    Pumpkin Pie has three children domiciled here in France, if Amerloque has been reading this blog correctly.

    By law, Pumpkin Pie should already have been receiving every month, at the very, very least, (this is the latest info that Amerloque could dig up) from the CAF (“Caisse des Allocations Familiales”): (caf.fr)

    //si vous avez 3 enfants 267,21 euros//

    per month, like clockwork, right ?

    In France, depending on the company and the sector of activity (“la branche prfessionnelle”) and the collective bargaining agreements (“les accords paritaires” or “les conventions collectives”) a salaried worker, male or female, might automatically receive what is called “un sursalaire familiale” (aka “supplement familial de traitement”) . This depends on, among other things, how many children the employee has.

    This ‘sursalaire’ is extra money paid by the employer to each employee, according to the number of children, as from the second child. (No sursalaire is paid to an employee with only one child – as least, as far as Amerloque knows. He would be interested in knowing if anyone with one child has ever recevied a ‘sursalaire’, of course.)

    Any ‘sursalaire’ can only be paid to one member of a married couple, which explains some of the questions (“spouse employed ?”, e.g.). In certain cases, a ‘sursalaire’ might be calculated for the sons and daughters of workers in a certain ‘branche’, which explains the questions about the “parents, as well.” (steelworkers’ children, for example, or veterans of the armed forces …). In addition, there are some ‘allocations’ and sursalaires’ which are calculated in accordance with the “plafond de la sécurité sociale”, which explains other questions (“in-law dependents ?”, e.g.).

    So, how much is this ‘sursalaire’ ? Well, in general (but depending on the ‘branche’ and so on), the ‘sursalaire’ is equal to the amount of the child allowances received from the CAF (“Caisse des Allocations Familiales”).

    If the company Pumpkin Pie was interviewing for were paying a ‘sursalaire’, then it would pay out another 267.21 euros per month over and above the salary. So, the amount of “allocations pour enfant” that Pumpkin Pie receives is, basically, doubled.

    Allocations CAF: 267.21.euros per month
    Possible sursalaire from company: 267.21 euros per month
    534.42 euros per month.

    already, over and above any wages or salaries. Automatically.

    Part of the reason for the questions is clear: of course the company is going to want to know how many children an applicant has: the ‘sursalaire’ it will have to pay out in the short term depends on it. Naturally, some or even all of it is “tax deductible” (for want of a better word:it’s a bit different here), at the end of the day, so the company isn’t really forking out the cash all by itself. Again, it depends on the ‘branche’ and the ‘company’ and so on … other criteria for the ‘sursalaire’ might even kick in if the company has more than 9 employees, or more than 50 employees (both are threshholds for taxes and entitlements …).

    Other criteria come might into play, too: for example, some ‘branches’ have a a mandated day-care center for employees, in addition, for example, to mandated “company canteens” and so on … perhaps a company would be willing to pay for all or part of the monies going to a home-care person for the kids if the mom is working for them. Then there’s the question of health insurance, too: companies, again depending on ‘branches’ and so forth, will pay part or all of the monthly premiums to a ‘mutuelle’, the non-gevernmental insurance organizations that pay out if the employee’s health bill exceeds the money that the Sécu pays out …

    Too, there are all kinds of allocations here for mothers (and fathers) of children, including, but not limited to:

    – – – – –

    Prestation d’accueil du jeune enfant
    Allocation pour jeune enfant
    Allocation d’adoption
    Aide à la famille pour l’emploi d’une assistante maternelle agréé
    Allocation de garde d’enfant à domicile
    Allocation parentale d’éducation

    Allocations familiales
    Complément familial
    Allocation journalière de présence parentale

    Allocation rentrée scolaire

    Allocation de logement
    Aide personnalisée au logement
    Prime de déménagement
    Prêt à l’amélioration de l’habitat

    – – – – –

    All these allocations require the answers to the questions Pumpkin Pie was asked. There is method to the madness: it is not discriminatory.

    France won’t be adopting to or changing to the American system anytime soon. There would be – literally – a Revolution. (smile)

    Anyway, Amerloque is certainly sad to see that France didn’ work out and that Pumpkin Pie is going back to the USA … Keep on blogging !

    Bon courage for the move, Pumpkin Pie and family !


  • D July 27, 2006, 12:00 am

    You voiced some concerns that I myself have about living in France. I have told my husband that I would definitely like for us to move back to the US at some point.

    I know that must have been a difficult decision for you. I wish you and your family all the best.

  • Pam July 27, 2006, 7:18 am

    Just want you to know that I’ve been thinking of you and hope all is going well during this transition.


  • sp July 31, 2006, 10:35 pm

    Wow. I take some time off to get married overseas, and come back to learn that you will be joining us here. Of course, as you know… you will always be welcome in the USA. Good luck and keep us updated.

  • Seesaw August 2, 2006, 8:41 pm

    I do wish you luck, but will miss very much your beautiful photos!

  • anonymous August 18, 2006, 4:12 pm

    France sux -with or without Allocations! Allocations cause more trouble than their worth and increase the taxes for those who choose to have a small family. Go back to the US and Fast. France is essentially for slackers and those without ambitions.

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