American mom’s first two weeks living in France during Lockdown. How this U.S. family handled living in France during confinement? There’s something quite daunting about moving to a foreign country. There are many unknown variables, and then you toss in a countrywide lockdown. As a U.S. family residing in France during confinement, I did my best to enjoy all the obstacles as they arose. After all, I survived lockdown in a New York City box, so the next two weeks were bound to be a delight.
Read my previous post, “Moving homes in 2020 is a Hott Mess”, to see the pre-journey adventures. Coming soon, I’ll be sharing the complete guide on how this American French Mom family moved from U.S.A. to France from A to Z.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in, shall we?
American mom’s first two weeks living in France During Lockdown.
When I first thought about my family’s official arrival in France, I imagined it going differently. We’ve been planning our trip since Yannick and I met back in 2015. However, the planning really began once we got married in France in the summer of 2018. I knew a few essential items needed to be marked off the so-called checklist in the first two weeks of residing in France. Due to the French government’s COVID-19 lockdown procedures, it was going to be difficult, but nevertheless, an attempt was made. After all, I wanted to have a French bank account, phone number, and visa secured ASAP!
American Mom arriving in France before Lockdown is lifted: Day 1 & 2
(May 4 – 5, 2020) One flight, three suitcases, one baby, two boxes, one puppy, and five glasses of wine later, the Delort Family arrived in France. Arriving at the Marseille airport, we assumed there would be personnel asking us to quarantine at the local hotel for a mandatory 14 days. To our surprise, no one was around asking passengers to isolate. Airport personnel simply made sure everyone had their mask and kept their distance from one another.
Unpacking was the first on the checklist when arriving home. Typically, I would give it some time or perhaps just buy a few items at the local pharmacy. BUT I decided to take one for the team and organize at least Jeanne and I’s suitcase items. She didn’t want to nap from all the excitement, so at least she was entertained watching mommy work.
U.S. mum residing in France during confinement: Day 3.
(May 6, 2020) My family and I had already figured out how to be stuck at home during Easter. I also had a whole list of indoor baby activities for the South of France planned out ahead of time. We thought it would be easier to be confined in a small town in France than be stuck in a New York City box. This was true. We had the outdoor baby park for Jeanne to use. She also had the entertainment from being around her French side of the family. Luckily we only had to wait a few more days for the stores to open to the public once again.
American mom’s first two weeks living in France During Lockdown equals having time to explore your new surroundings. Montpellier’s suburban surrounding neighborhoods are beautiful. If you’re craving a piece of nature or a simple run, it’s the perfect place.
Madam, where’s your Attestation: Day 4-7?
(May 7-10, 2020) Confinement in France means confined to Mudaison for this American mum. Going for a run, the grocery store, or anything requiring you to leave your home an Attestation (D’Attestation de Deplacement) was needed. Would I have liked to be at the bank opening a French account or shop around for a French phone plan? BAHHH OUI! BUT I was lucky enough to have had a prepaid phone to semi communicate with family back home. In the meantime, we enjoyed the pleasures of running outdoors while being confined in the South of France. Pure luxury in a world of chaos.
Freedom! France is loosening its lockdown measures: Day 8-10
(May 11-13, 2020) Being cooped up inside the house and playing inside a baby park gets old after a few days. Baby Jeanne was ready for a little adventure in the car. Yannick and I were ready to find a phone store that could aid us in opening our French phone numbers. Odysseum in Montpellier seemed like the best option given we could only travel within the area.
U.S. family-style shopping once confinement is lifted within Hérault.
Orchestra is hands down the best one-stop baby shop in France. From clothing to food over to baby gear. What more can a parent ask for? This was one of the few stores that really helped with the transition from The States to France. Most of the products you see in this store are similar if not the same as what you find in America. One less checklist item to worry about.
Traveling more than 100 km during French Confinement: Day 11-14
(May 14 -17, 2020) To travel more than the allowed 100 km from our home, we needed another Attestation. This time describing the reason for leaving our department. When you’re a U.S. family living in France during confinement, securing a job is at the top of the priority list. The job market around the world had taken a massive hit. Luckily Yannick had a job lined up in Monaco. The country has untouchable opportunities for Anglophones or Expats who know French or Italian.
We had some free time during Yannick’s Monaco work trip. Exploring Beasuolei with the babyzen yoyo is the only way to explore it with a baby. The streets are incredibly tiny, and the stairs are awkward to navigate, to say the least. Yannick and I used an UppaBaby Vista in New York City. Therefore, we know the struggles of lugging around that bad boy.
Having fun as a U.S. family residing in France during confinement. Who doesn’t love driving with Papa?
We made it! American Mom’s first two weeks living in France during lockdown completed!
(May 18) Back in Mudaison and ready for the real adventure to begin. Leaving Monaco left a bittersweet taste in my mouth. I was happy to be returning home but was nervous about what the future would hold. How would our U.S. family handle living in France during confinement for the long haul? When would we be able to set up our bank accounts, phones, doctors? Should we make a Plan B, C, D?
Lockdown, quarantines, chaos, or not life is still moving forward. I’m thankful that the lockdown’s madness gave us time, so to speak before we had to complete the “checklist.” We had time to unpack, spend quality time with our family, and set up for when “real life” begins again.
**All the information listed here is from my experience in France during Lockdown. Remember to be safe, wear your mask, and wash your hands