“Thank God for my mum” these words echo in my head while I’m watching her make my bed… With a newborn in my arms and less than six hour sleep, I am finishing my lunch. A chicken soup loaded with vegetables accompanied with beetroot and kale juice with compliments of Mrs Juric “my mum”.

She has been by my side ever since I have come home from hospital, cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry and grocery shopping. I know how lucky I am to have her by my side and appreciate every single thing she does.

But as soon as she hears my baby cry there are millions of things she insists on doing like feeding her, changing her nappy, bathing her, giving her a massage, among other things. It’s almost as if she is the mother and not the grandmother of this little beautiful baby in my arms. And that’s when we get our boxing gloves on!

This doesn’t just happen in my family but across the entire Balkan region (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia and Macedonia) Grandparents, particularly the grandmothers play a big role in the upbringing of their grand kids, teaching them the ways of Balkans and passing down traditions.
New mothers like myself take advantage of this goodness and leave the kids in their care as much as possible! Whether it’s during the day while we’re at work, nights out, hairdresser appointments or even shopping trips.

Everyone would think we feel guilty for robbing them of their precious time but no! Because when you see the bond and love between the baby and their grandparents all that guilt fades away. This bond continues and grows even stronger as the little people grow, and just as my mother is involved in the upbringing of my children I will be there and in their faces when one day they have children of their own…

By Marija Kovacevic

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