The Family Without Borders

A week ago or so, my Best Man gave birth to her first baby: a beautiful and sweet little girl! I will be traveling to Sweden, next Saturday, and I look forward to meet her! In the few pictures I have seen on Facebook, she really looks cute! And I am sure that she will be a happy baby!

How does change your life

How does change your life, to be suddenly three — or more? People, when they have children, may really make very different choices. I was talking to an interesting guy, a few days ago, who expressed — without any shame or irony —  this idea: a woman, older than 25, should just stay at home, to procreate. Anyway she would get support from the state, and to get more money it is better to have three or four children. Eventually, it is up to the man — my interlocutor was saying — to go to work and provide financial support to the family. I guess his opinion would sound either reasonable or outrageous to you, according to some geographical distribution: or to say it so, according to the culture of the Country where you live.

In Italy, it is so

In Italy it is definitively so. And actually this perspective is considered the most appropriate moral choice for most Italians. My mother worked for some years as teacher, a job allowing her to be at home every afternoon to take care of us children. And soon after having the third child, she did quit her job to be a full time mother. Both my grandmothers did not have a job outside the family. And my sisters made also the choice to dedicate most of their time and energy to their beautiful daughter and sons. Three of the happiest babies in the world.

These mothers are not alone. Japanese women have the duty and the honor to work as full time childcare assistants to their off-springs. And in many other cultures, women do not have other socially-accepted occupation than domestic duties.

In Scandinavia it would be outrageous

In Sweden, as well as in other Scandinavian and Nordic countries, the idea that a woman’s role is primarily related to motherhood is considered morally outrageous, politically unacceptable and socially dangerous.  First of all, there is no good reason why motherhood should be different from fatherhood: both parents, eventually same sex parents — but this is another story –, share the same duties and benefits. Parental leave should be taken equally among the two involved parties. And both parents should keep developing their work life and career.

This is not just a personal decision. It is the law of the land. As a matter of fact, there is no tax relief for a not-working spouse in Sweden. And the splitting of the parental leave is strictly normed. However, in other countries, things are the other way around: a mother staying at home with children is economically favored on respect to a working-out-of-home one.

A family without borders

Personally, I love a third way. Let’s have a child, and then let’s take off all together for a new life! That is what The Family Without Borders actually did! Anna and Thomas are an enthusiastic Polish-German couple, who decided to give a twist to their life once little Hanna entered the game! The three of them packed all their belongings in the family car, sub-rented out their apartment in Berlin, and engaged in a 6-months long road trip around the Black Sea, through the Caucasus and up to the Caspian Sea. Their travel blog is a unique source of inspiration: http://thefamilywithoutborders.com/

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