My name is Justyna and I am Polish. One day walking down a street in Poznan, in northwestern Poland, a Spanish boy asked me where the Plaza Mayor was. I accompanied him there and since then our adventure together began. I have been in Spain for 14 years. I am a chemist and I work in the laboratory of a research center.
Forming a family is always an illusion and in my case the wait was long, therefore, I had time to organize my work life and get used to the Spanish family model. I was doing with some different customs seeing both my Spanish friends and my sisters-in-law.
I am an adoptive mother of a wonderful long awaited boy, Jan, 6 years old. Not having my parents or my husband's close makes the task of raising the child very difficult, but luckily, my schedule is good and I can enjoy it and dedicate my evenings to it. The downside is that Jan cannot perceive the affection of her grandparents, nor can she share moments with her cousins and uncles. We visit family as often as possible and try not to miss any important family events.
I have spoken to Jan in Polish since I was little, and even though comprehension dominates her perfectly, he decided to only speak in Spanish. He goes every Saturday to a Polish school where he has fun learning the language and also the customs. It costs him a bit, especially when it comes to getting up, and from time to time he complains, but then he has a great time and you can already hear him say some things in my language. He also likes typical Polish dishes especially "pierogi" a kind of stuffed boiled dumplings.
I believe that being a mother is the desire of almost all women and motherhood should come at an appropriate time (family, work, financial, etc.). I think that in the two countries Spain and Poland - and in many others - still waiting for a son or daughter is not always good news in a woman's workplace. This mindset should change and companies should be more “mom-friendly”.
I say with moms because announcing a future motherhood is not the same as announcing a future fatherhood. To a future dad everything is congratulations and joys. It is not always the same with a future mom. Besides in many cases this means temporarily give up a career by a mom. The duration of this temporary period may be shorter or longer depending on the woman herself and the support she receives from her environment as well as from her company. These are things that are already considered as a kind of obvious and that is what should not be accepted. Some companies implement facilities for mothers or fathers to make family life easier, but very few can boast of this. After all, a daughter or son is a future and their emotional well-being benefits everyone.
From the Spanish mothers I have learned a certain relaxation in raising children. If a child goes to sleep some day later nothing happens and I think nothing really happens. Polish mothers seem too sacrificial to me. They have to do everything at home, everything has to be perfect and at the established time and if it is not, they have a high feeling of guilt.
The most important difference between motherhood in Poland and Spain is that Polish moms try to spend as long as possible with their young children. They rarely leave their babies in daycare. This is also because there are very few nurseries for children up to three years old.
The Maternity leave in Poland is currently 26 weeks, and from 2013, 26 additional weeks that can be enjoyed by the mother or the father. Later, until the child reaches four years of age, a leave of absence can be requested. People who can enjoy it. If not, grandparents enter the scene, who are a very important pillar in the Polish family. In many cases, grandparents take care of their grandchildren until they are five years old, which is when compulsory education begins.
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