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  • My family is everything to me, especially my children. They have always been the ultimate joy of my life and I have been a very unconventional mother – considering the standards and rules we had in our country.

    In the Soviet Union, women had to work. No staying home after your children were born. Just three months and off to work. That is why I never developed a very close relationship with my mother. My grandmother raised me and she meant more to me than I can ever express in words.

    That is why I declared I would stay home when my first son, Rasmus, was born. It was in 1982 and my behaviour was absolutely outrageous. Very difficult to describe the situation, you had to be there and experience it. But I was adamant – I would stay home and that is that! When my son was 6 months old we left the city and went to live in the country. I had an old aunt who was living alone and she invited us. Another unheard of situation! People should not move to the country, people want to live in the cities. When our family friends asked my father why did we make such a decision he told them that his daughter went to live in the country to teach the cows English. What else can you answer to such a question?

    Life was hard, don’t get me wrong, we came from a flat, which had all the comforts and went to live in a farmhouse, where the water was in the well, and outhouse several meters from the house. So that in winter, when it was minus 30 degrees Celsius you really had to think hard before going. We heated water on the wood stove and washed our laundry by hand. Like our great grandparents had done. But we didn’t mind. We were so happy and content. We bought a cow and all other farm animals and that made us quite self-sufficient. Life was actually better than in the big towns because there was nothing to buy in the shops anyway and we had definitely more food than they. But it was good – we could support our parents.

    Our son could play outside all the time – barefoot and not much clothes on. He wasn’t afraid of any animals and helped me a lot. In 1986 our other son, Silver, was born and everything continued the same. The boys did everything together. They helped me tending the animals, drank fresh milk and ate real food. Nothing processed back then. Everything was made from scratch. Well, I still prepare food that way. But those days you didn’t have a choice.

    Things started to change, our living conditions started to change. First we got water into the house and in 1994 warm water as well. And I got a washing machine! A real one! I had a friend over when I did the first load and we watched for two hours, the whole cycle, while the machine was washing. It was unbelievable! What joy from such a small thing!

    My daughter, Eva, was born in 1995. A real treasure and miracle! Then the life got really easy because the boys took care of her. They played with her and fed her and looked after her. We did everything together – cooking, cleaning, tending animals, doing other various chores around the house and outside. We took them everywhere with us. They had a carefree and happy childhood and I hope that gives them strength in their lives.

    You may never be too busy for your children. You just have to have time for them. There would be much less problems in this world when people kept that in mind.

    (Photo: My Children in 1999, from left - Silver, Eva, Rasmus)
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