Jessica O’Gara has opened up about life in Paris with her husband and five children.
She and husband Ronan O’Gara moved to the city in 2013 for his new job as coach for Racing 92.
The mum-of-five revealed that it has been great raising her children in the French capital.
“We moved to Paris in the summer of 2013 and it has been an amazing adventure to say the least. Our youngest boy, Max, was born here so it was nice to experience the challenge of giving birth in a foreign country,” she told RSVP Magazine.
Jessica also revealed that she has noticed some huge differences in parenting and education.
“Being a primary school teacher (on a career break) has made the whole school system over here very interesting to me. I read a book just before we relocated here called French Children Don’t Throw Food by New Yorker Pamela Druckerman…
“Something she talks about in the book is how French parents sit on a bench and let their children play independently in the playground. Whereas the Americans/Irish will stand at the bottom of the slide and wait to catch their child as they say, “wheeeee”!
“I don’t know which method of parenting is better but it’s interesting to observe.”
Jessica adds that though there are some of it is very different to Ireland, the French schooling system is ultimately easier for parents.
“The school day is much longer in France, starting at 8.30am and finishing at 4pm, from age three to 10. The children in the petite section go to a dormitory every day for about 1.5 hours for their siesta. Max only goes once a week as he doesn’t really nap anymore.
“Every school has a canteen here too and I have to say this is heaven from an Irish person’s point of view as we never have to send in a packed lunch! I know from talking to my sisters and friends that this is the bane of an Irish mammy’s life!”