How have you all been? I’m so excited to bring to you the second interview on motherhood around the world series. Today’s interview features Priya Balasubramanian, a young and vivacious mother living with her husband and three-yrs old daughter in Norway. Priya was my college classmate during graduation and then we proceeded to study in the UK at the same time which is when I got to know her better. I have always found her and her husband to be once of the nicest, most grounded couples I’ve ever met (total couple goals!) and their daughter seems equally delightful! I’m so happy to be speaking to Priya today:
Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Priya! I was born in Chennai and raised in Hyderabad. If you would ask me what is home for you in India, my answer will always be Hyderabad and I carry its memories and spirit with me wherever I go! I moved out of India 13 years ago when I chose to do a Masters in the UK where I lived for a few years before I moved to Norway and settled here for good.
I work in the software industry in Oslo and have a background in sales and customer success. The man I am married to is the guy I befriended in Edinburgh while I studied my Masters. We have been together for just over 12 years now. We have a daughter together who was born on a cold winter day in Norway.
Norway has been considered one of the best countries in the world to be a mother, how true is that?
Yes, I will agree with that. I can also add that it is one of the best countries in the world for women.
What was being pregnant in Norway like?
What I learnt very soon after being pregnant was that pregnancy is natural and absolutely normal and the Norwegians treat it the same way. This is a society where personal matters aren’t discussed openly and personal questions are almost never asked in day to day life unless you know the people really well. So no awkward questions will ever come your way from a local when you are pregnant. Most people are polite here and will most likely offer you their seat when you look pregnant and are travelling in public transport. Breastfeeding is considered absolutely natural and normal – one can breastfeed in any public space without feeling uncomfortable.
On becoming pregnant in Norway you get assigned a midwife (close to home) who monitors your pregnancy and gives you all the information and guidance you need based on where you are in your pregnancy and supports you until you get into labour.
In Norway you do all of the work yourself – cooking, cleaning, laundry etc. Having family support locally would definitely make a huge difference in these circumstances as you have somewhere to go to when you need a break once in a while and don’t feel too lonely or overworked. On a positive side you tend to stay much more in control of your pregnancy and your child and end up really fit as you don’t get to laze around during and after your pregnancy and naturally stay active.
|A typical Norwegian meal – baked trout/salmon with steamed veggies|
Do you have any message for all the moms out there?
All I have to say is, enjoy motherhood and treat yourself well!
Thank you so much, Priya!