Once upon a mama

Slovakia: Raising children in countryside, the daily life of a mother

Martina is a good wife and a lovely mother of 2 adorable girls, 3.5 year old Sabina and 2 year old Nina. They live in a picturesque and quiet village, in Eastern Slovakia. Before becoming a mom, she was working with people with special needs as a care assistant. From her first pregnancy, however, she stopped and devoted herself exclusively to the role of mother. In general, as she says, new mothers in Slovakia are in a favorable position, as maternity leave lasts 34 weeks. Once this is over, there is the option to get the “parental benefit” as they call it, to stay home with the child, until she becomes 3 years old. Afterward, you either return to work or declare yourself unemployed.

In the beginning, the thought of having a second child caused Martina anxiety and hesitation. She was afraid of the negative reaction of her eldest daughter. Rivalry and jealousy. However, when the day she returned from the maternity hospital arrived, with the second baby in her arms, an unexpected surprise awaited her. Sabina had taken her big sister role very seriously and responsibly. She was trying to help her mother as much as she could, as the baby was growing up.

Days went by so fast, Martina says, it was time for Sabina to go to kindergarten. She believed that the little one would be saddened by the absence of her sister, as they are very close and play a lot together. Eventually, it turned out that Nina was enjoying being alone, since she had all the toys exclusively for herself.

Here is how Martina spends her day with the children

After having a family breakfast, her husband, who is working 6-7 days a week, leaves to work. Thus, begins Martina’s day with the girls.

Initially, together with Nina, she drops off Sabina at the kindergarten, at 9 a.m. They go shopping and after they return home, then Martina cooks.

After lunch, she goes for a walk with Nina to the beautiful village. As it’s in the countryside, you can smell the wonderful scents of nature and admire its vibrant colors, at every step you take.

Returning, they make a quick visit to her mother-in-law, before Nina gets some sleep. When Sabina returns from kindergarten, they enjoy some favorite snacks together and then the kids run excitedly to their garden to play. They have a big house and a garden, in which her handyman husband, as she says, built a playground himself.

“This playground is the joy of  the children. Before the pandemic outbreak, the neighbors’ kids would gather in our garden and play together. Unfortunately, things have changed. It’s a painful and difficult situation, especially for children who cannot fully understand the severity of things. It’s sad to tell the neighbors’ kids that they can’t come to our garden to play.” she says.

There is also a beautiful forest, a five minute walk from the village. Some days, they enjoy to walk there. It’s such a beautiful experience walking among trees and plants, in the serenity of nature and listening to your thoughts.

They often visit their grandparents’ house. They have a garden with a hen house where the girls play, watch and feed the hens.

Sundays are dedicated to their favorite treats. Baking with the whole family is part of the Sunday routine. The girls have a lot of fun baking various delicious things.

In addition, another favorite place they used to go to before the pandemic was the Zoo. The walk there was always combined with an ice cream.

The picture of Slovakia that I bring in my mind with Martina’s descriptions, is enviable. Countryside, green, nature, fresh air, calmness, simplicity. How beautiful and real life is beyond the gray tall buildings, beyond the sounds of cars and traffic, beyond the intense rhythms of the city. More outdoor activities, less screen use.

Many thanks to lovely mom Martina from Slovakia who shared her beautiful daily life and the wonderful photos!

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