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Bulgarian women – between career and family

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Life in Bulgaria
Bulgarian women – between career and family

It is very hard to find among contemporary Bulgarian women ones who are exclusively devoted to their career, or the opposite – women who are entirely consecrated to home, husband and kids. This may be due in a way to the social-economic conditions characteristic of former socialist block countries, where women had to work as hard as men in order to procure better life for the family. Statistics shows, however, that even when a man earns more than enough, his wife rarely feels tempted to spend her live by the home-fire only.

Here is the opinion of 30 years old Krassimira Alexieva, who is soon to have her second child.

“The first things children learn, they should learn from their parents. I would not like mine to get this start from the nursery school, to be brought up by someone else, not even their grandmothers. A mother and a father are those than can give most to their kids. That is why I feel it is my duty to bring them up.”

At the moment Krassimira is in a maternity leave, looking after her first child who is 2 years and a half. She is an Industrial Management graduate with a specialty in marketing and advertising. She has been working and studying at the same time, but her job was not related to her major. She hopes that one day, when her kids are grown, to be able to return to her work.

“The fact that I am a mother does not mean that I cannot make a career in my profession. Yet it is difficult to do so. I believe that every one, man or woman, should combine family and career in order to feel complete. You cannot devote your life to one or the other only. In the next two years I intend to look after my second baby, but I do not intend to stop reading in my specialty as I want to keep up to date with latest developments.”

In Bulgaria, like in many other countries in the world there are women who have chosen to raise their children alone, without a family partner. This is the case with 40 years old medical doctor Dora Kulova who is taking care of he baby son on her own.

“These days it is quite of a heroic deed, Dora explains. Very few are those who dare engage with such a thing without relying on somebody’s help. I am still on maternity leave, but within a year’s time I will have to start work because no one cares that you have to stay with your kid. In our society there are on the one hand people who admire women like me, who bring new life to the world, but on the other, there are such whose evil tongues never stop slandering. That’s how our society works – they either accept you or they don’t.”

The most important things in the life of 41 years old attorney Petya Kolcheva are the family, her job and her hobby. “The balance between these three things in my life allows me to pour my strength from one into the other. That helps keep my life diverse, it keeps me fit and strong to face my engagements in all three directions” she explains. Petya’s hobby is Alpine Climbing and her latest achievement is last months’ covering of Kurjanewska Peak on the border between China, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The peak is of 7105 meters of altitude. She claims that she owes the successful combination between a career and the upbringing of the three children to the understanding and true sense for democracy and aristocratism of her husband, who has always supported her on her strife after personal success.

“This has cost us valuable time at the expense of the family, working over the nights, being absent from home – difficulties which my children, my husband and our parents have had to put up with. I have had great support on their part. On the other hand my colleagues at the office have also shown great tolerance and have supported me in my will to have a family of many children and give them my due attention.”

In the year of democratic changes Petya Kolcheva has had the opportunity to work in the USA but she preferred the challenge of remaining in Bulgaria despite the economic difficulties. She wanted to be part of the generation building the fundaments of our modern country.

“Time have been very hard and my husband and I had to work all the time, on weekends too, Petya recalls. We were looking for new possibilities and at that time we could not allow ourselves to have children. But when we decided upon the first baby, we both wanted to have many more, so we had no to lose. Our third child is the result of my husband’s special insistence and the exclusive support I received from my colleagues on the matter. I greatly rely on my family, but no only for their support and help but also for being friends and having fun. That is very important in a family so that everyone feels happy with the others and just live with the engagement of being helpful in hard times.”

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