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.
- 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.