Hadley is the kind of dream writer that editors love working with. She’s got terrific ideas, never misses a deadline and her writing is so clean, it barely needs looking over. Aside from being a fabulous and funny contributor (she’s got that Seinfeld-esque NYC humor down), Hadley’s a sleep expert specializing in those sleepless little monsters of ours. She created Bonne Nuit Baby to help parents and their babies get the sleep they need (and deserve). And because she’s so awesome, she’s starting a FREE Baby Sleep Bootcamp next week!
Without further ado, here’s Hadley on expat life, the best coffee shops in Lyon and who’s on her Freebie List…
The Basics: Where are you from, why did you move to France (and where to) and how long have you lived here?
I’m originally from Richmond, Virginia, but spent a decade in New York City before my husband and I moved to Paris in January 2012 for his job. Two years later, we moved to Lyon. So, all in… nearly five years in France!
What drives you nuts about the French and/or living in France?
When we first arrived, everything drove me crazy: The long lines. The lack of personal space in said long lines. The inability to get your check to pay in a restaurant. I once cried in Monoprix when the cashier made me walk back to the produce department to get a clear plastic bag for my two lemons—because how else could she weigh them?!
Now that I’ve been here for a while, I get more annoyed when I go back to the US. Why do people leave so much space in between each other in line?! Why did the waitstaff bring my appetizer 5 minutes after I placed my order and then bring me my check without me asking?! How rude!
What do you most appreciate about life in France?
Obviously, the food. (Who doesn’t?) I’ve really embraced the idea of eating seasonally and locally and—while it used to annoy me that delicious strawberries weren’t available all year round—now I know that when they’re in season, you have to profiter.
I also very much appreciate the creche [daycare] system. One of the biggest reasons I’m hesitant to move elsewhere is our fantastic—and affordable—creche. I’ll cry real tears when that day arrives.
Before baby whispering, what did you do?
I worked as a fundraiser for non-profit organizations, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and The New School. That profession doesn’t exist in Europe in the same capacity as the US, so once we moved, I had to re-envision what my life would look like.
If you weren’t in France as a baby sleep expert, what/where would you be?
Living in Charleston, South Carolina, working at an art gallery.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done before marriage and baby? How about after?
Looking back, my whole life in NYC seems crazy. Since then, things have gotten… tamer.
Who’s on your “freebie” list, i.e. celebrity you’re allowed to sleep with?
You’re granted three wishes. What are they?
- A happy, healthy child
- A 0% vote for Trump
- A birthday cake truffle from Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC
What’s your #1 baby sleep tip?
Early bedtime, especially here in France.
What are your favorite places to eat, play, shop and chill in Paris and/or Lyon?
My friends joke that if they ever need to find me, it’s a fair bet I’ll be working at a nearby coffeeshop. My favorites in Lyon are Les Cafetiers, Apiales, and Slake. All are kid-friendly. I also love to take my son to Kitchen Cafe for gouter and my husband to La Bijouterie.
If you’ve got a baby and no one is sleeping, seriously visit Hadley at Bonne Nuit Baby and sign up for her bootcamp or even better, a personalized consultation.