Day 7: Mother
One evening when we were talking about deep topics like love, devotion and sacrifices with my grandmother, as she likes to share her words of wisdom with her grandchildren, she told me about her mother, my great-grandmother who did everything for her children and husband.
She was a mother of twelve children, two of which died very young. They lived on a small farm with few cows, pigs and horses, enough to sustain themselves. At that time, children were workforce for the farm and safety for future. There was always the risk of them not living long too so there had to be many, just in case. She gave birth to all of her children in their sauna since there were no hospitals nearby. There rarely even was a doctor so usually a wife from a neighbouring house came for help if she made it in time since they did live half an hour away.
She woke up every morning before 5 am to milk the cows. Then she had to prepare breakfast for the family because everyone woke up early. There was no time to sleep late in a farm, everyone had work to do and there was still some left over, most kids went to school too which meant that there were less hands helping with the housework. She had to sew clothes, wash laundry, clean up, take care of the younger kids, make food and care for the animals while his husband was working in the forest or fields. Usually there were visitors too, who stayed for dinner or even for the night which added extra work to the high pile of chores. Most of the time the only chance to do the piled-up work was late at night when everyone else was already sleeping. Few hours of silence and peace before going to sleep in the late hours of the night. And few hours later it all would start again with the cows and the breakfast and the cleaning.
But she never complained, not out loud at least. She loved her children and her husband and was ready to do anything in her power for them. Her children knew that and when it was their time to take care of her, they did. Everything she did was appreciated if not then in that moment, at least later in life when their own experiences and changed times opened their eyes on how much work being a parent really is.