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Hungarian mums

Not long ago a good friend of mine asked me “why don’t you write a post about what Hungarian mums are like”. I told her “like in any other country is more about individuals rather than nationalities.” I mean, everybody is different and every mum has her own way of bringing up her children. However, it may be true that we can  find some common behavior (about anything) when we are talking about people from the same community, age, education level, etc.   So I decided to make this small post about some things I have seen here in Budapest regarding social expectations about mothers and some common mother’s behavior.  Please take into account that I don’t mean to be critical or whatsoever, I am just trying to tell what I see in my daily routine.

  • I think in general speaking when a Hungarian woman decides to be a mother, she really wants to be a good mother. So they put a lot effort and interest in reading about pregnancy, motherhood and baby/child care. I really admire that 🙂
  • Some mums cook something different for each family member in order to please different tastes. In other words: Fussy eaters are welcome and it shouldn’t be a problem cooking 3 or so different menus for one family meal.
  • Since families are quite small here, new generations not always have the chance to be in contact with small kids, so when a woman (or a man) have her first child they tend to be lost about how to look after a baby and don’t have a clear picture of what having a baby represents. Mainly talking  here about the lack of sleep, the dirt, being tired FOREVER and other small details.
magyar anya

Glatz Oszkár (1872-1958). Búcsúsok, Anya gyermekével.

  • Discipline tends to be dad’s business, although this behavior is changing I still hear a lot “Dad is not going to be happy about this or that”.
  • Sometimes I feel like society is kind of expecting us (new mums) to postpone their personal goals or dreams and instead of carry on with our career, we should support our husband’s professional development, and later on our children’s dreams.
  • Whenever I have seen a mother wearing sexy clothes or going out with friends I have heard disapproving comments from other people. Therefore I have the feeling that somehow these activities are not fully accepted for a mum, especially if her kids are under 11 years old.
  • Most mothers choose to breastfeed their babies. There is a lot emphasis in the health service about the advantages of breastfeeding and it is social acceptable and expected to breastfeed.
  • Most full time mums do not delegate any house chores to their husband or kids.
  • The average age for having the first baby is around 32.

I guess I could still say a lot of things about what I have seen here but then I would be writing forever. In general speaking I have seen loving mothers who care a lot for their children welfare, women who have decided to stay at home for the sake of the family and women who are successfully juggling between their profession and their families. I would like to say as well that I have met men who look after the kids or cook for the whole family, women who are building the new chairs for the dinning room and men who have decided to go on paternity leave instead of their wife. So yes, everything is relative and we are all different.

What are the expectations for a mother in your country, culture or family?


Note:
 I would like to say that this words were written with respect. I am half Hungarian myself, so I do not intend to be disrespectful at all.

8 años en Budapest

Con la llegada de septiembre me doy cuenta de que ya son 8 años en Budapest. Han pasado ...

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Un abrazo desde Budapest
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Hungarian mums by madrexilio is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Internacional
Based on a work at http://mamaexpatriada.com
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6 Responses
  • Sandra
    enero 26, 2014

    Great topic, nothing offensive at all. You got a good oveview and yes we all try to balance family and career a different way and I am very proud of my husband to support me in all aspect.

    • madrexilio
      enero 27, 2014

      Thank you very much Sandra. I do appreciate your comment and your visit. Hope to have you more often 🙂

  • Jonathan
    enero 21, 2014

    It was really interesting to read about what mothers are liking in Hungary. I was trying to think of differences between Hungary and the UK, and perhaps one is that there’s maybe less of a stereotypical gender divide between parental responsibilities concerning discipline.

    • madrexilio
      enero 21, 2014

      I am glad you found it interesting and thank you very much for your comment. Do you think mothers in the UK don’t delegate the house work like most mothers here in Hungary?

      • Jonathan
        enero 21, 2014

        Interesting question. I’m not sure what things are like overall so I can only really comment from my own experiences. At home, there are certain tasks that my wife and I each do slightly more often than the other and we generally try to divide them up when we’re both around at the weekend. I guess it all depends on the couple and their work arrangements.

        • madrexilio
          enero 22, 2014

          Thank you Jonathan, I guess it works more or less in the same way for every family regardless where they live. My husband is very helpful with the housework, so I’m sure your wife is very happy having you around 🙂

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