I am a happily married woman. My husband Ian moved to Russia from GB to live with me here and since that moment my life changed. I feel loved and appreciated, I know that for him I matter a great deal. He is very different from a typical Russian husband – helps a lot with household and children and acknowledges what I do for the family. Local women think that I am exceptionally lucky. Our culture and style of life are not attractive for him, but we think that on a balance there are more advantages for us in living in Russia than in GB – at least for the next 10 years.
I have 2 children: 10 year old Lisa from my first marriage and 5 years old Mark. Bringing them up for me is a challenge. Life is easier when you can follow an example. My mum had a son and a daughter. Theoretically I should know what to do. In practice – I don’t.
For my mum’s generation bringing up children was mainly about providing them with food, clothes, and teaching them some moral ideas. In the Soviet Union , as it was at the time, we had free education and equal salaries, so the choice of profession was not crucial – one could not fail.
Since then our society changed dramatically – but our educational system did not. It is a source of endless disappointment for me. What would I want my child to learn besides reading, writing and arithmetic? Most things I would be interested in are even not taught at school.
Our school system does not cover managing money. There is no information about family budget, loans or investments. An average Russian person studies nothing and as a result knows nothing about the laws – even basic ones – about inheritance or marriage/divorce. Cooking and sewing are no longer subjects at school. But kids learn physics, chemistry, biology, geography, literature etc. They are supposed to grow broad minded in sense of education, and useless in practical issues, completely dependent on their future employers and banks. That is not a future I want for my children!
So I feel like a lonely warrior on the battlefield. So much to teach! No ready made courses, no helpful materials. There is no chance of being a full time mum; other duties are demanding attention from every side. I am important too! Give me your time!
So the general feeling is the following: hard work without appreciation or support except from the dear husband.
In Russia it is a popular idea that things will get sorted out somehow on their own accord.
A child will grow and learn for himself everything that is necessary for life (somehow in between the many standard duties). Personally I think this theory is cruel. Throwing someone into deep water is one method to teach swimming – but not the best one.
I find it hard to be a mother. Not denying the happy moments I share with my children.