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CarrieKaterina

New member
Hello,

I'm Italian-American, married to a great Greek boy and expecting our first child in August of this year! My husband's family is wonderful but very traditional and "old school" as my husband puts it. Recently, my. mother in law told me that after I have the baby I have to stay home with the baby for 40 days and not leave the house until his 40 day blessing!! I'm all for tradition but no-one can really explain to me WHY we would do this? My OB told me I would have to take the baby in for a checkup at 2 weeks and I'll have follow-ups as well so how is this even possible? After a year in lockdown I don't want to be trapped indoors for over a month, but also want to respect my in-laws culture.

Anyone know the roots of this tradition and how important it truly is? Is this a battle I pick to fight?
 

TatianaS

Administrator
I never did this with either of my boys. Just by going to a doctors appointment you are already going out so what's the point :) But, in terms of the 'why' and origin, I have heard it's to avoid the evil eye. Staying in for the 40 days until the baby's blessing is supposed to protect you and the baby from the mati.

I personally don't consider these a non-negotiable tradition and most of my friends did not do it.

Good luck and congrats!!!!
 

nadellii

Active member
Congratulations!! I haven't heard about this, but I googled it and apparently it's common in other cultures as well. https://elenigage.com/fabulous-at-40-days/ Hopefully they don't pressure you too much and you don't do anything that you're not comfortable with
 

paharo45

Active member
I'm Armenian and we do this too, it's a time for the woman to rest and make sure that she's being taken care of and not putting too much stress on her body. It's a little archaic lol, but I think some parts of it are valuable
 
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Tinka

New member
It's the non scientific way of people recognizing that a new mother needs the time, space and focus for her body to heal, to bond with her baby, to deal with the the trauma of breastfeeding, and to allow the baby's immune system to develop a bit more before meeting the hoards of people wanting to snuggle him/her. People came up with 40 days kind of arbitrarily and to give it credence, attached a religious meaning to it. It's a time for new mom and her baby to be pampered-- and relieved of all other household chores (that's the silver lining). I did it, more or less, for all my kids, because I was able to and I wanted to (be pampered), and to make Yiayia happy. But I also had the support from my mom who slaved over me and the newborn by cooking, cleaning and taking care of my other children, etc. It's not meant to feel like a punishment, but it can if you feel pressured and judged. Being a new mom is so hard (lack of sleep, pain from breast feeding, hormones), sometimes all you need is some fresh air and to get away from others to get your mojo back. Admittedly, after about 10 days, I started taking the baby out for walks in a covered stroller. And when I needed to run errands or felt like I needed some normalcy like getting to a restaurant with a friend, grandparents told me "you go, but baby stays here". Personally, I welcomed getting away from the baby for an hour or two. If your in laws are willing to help you, milk it! If they are not nearby, what they don't know, won't hurt them. Do what you need to do to preserve your mental health, I hope you have all the support and understanding you need from your extended family. Good luck!
 
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Joni T.

Moderator
Hello,

I'm Italian-American, married to a great Greek boy and expecting our first child in August of this year! My husband's family is wonderful but very traditional and "old school" as my husband puts it. Recently, my. mother in law told me that after I have the baby I have to stay home with the baby for 40 days and not leave the house until his 40 day blessing!! I'm all for tradition but no-one can really explain to me WHY we would do this? My OB told me I would have to take the baby in for a checkup at 2 weeks and I'll have follow-ups as well so how is this even possible? After a year in lockdown I don't want to be trapped indoors for over a month, but also want to respect my in-laws culture.

Anyone know the roots of this tradition and how important it truly is? Is this a battle I pick to fight?
Well, I never heard this one! All 4 of my grandparents were from Greece, and no such tradition was ever mentioned to me.
 

Joni T.

Moderator
I never did this with either of my boys. Just by going to a doctors appointment you are already going out so what's the point :) But, in terms of the 'why' and origin, I have heard it's to avoid the evil eye. Staying in for the 40 days until the baby's blessing is supposed to protect you and the baby from the mati.

I personally don't consider these a non-negotiable tradition and most of my friends did not do it.

Good luck and congrats!!!!
Ah, the "mati". I would think mother and baby would still be susceptible to the mati after 40 days too. We know, from My Fat Greek Wedding, to spit at people not to "matiasi" us. However, we know the biggest deterrent would be to wear our cross.
 

StamatiaMaria

New member
I tried to do this with my first born but lasted 7 days. It was summer, the weather was beautiful and I felt trapped :)
Luckily my parents and in-laws weren't too opinionated on this particular topic!
 
I tried to do this with my first born but lasted 7 days. It was summer, the weather was beautiful and I felt trapped :)
Luckily my parents and in-laws weren't too opinionated on this particular topic!
If you're giving birth in the summer I would say going outside would do you some good! Fresh air and some vitamin D can really cheer you up! I would recommend you stay away from other people though, your immunity might be low and you want to be careful because of covid.
 
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CarrieKaterina

New member
I never did this with either of my boys. Just by going to a doctors appointment you are already going out so what's the point :) But, in terms of the 'why' and origin, I have heard it's to avoid the evil eye. Staying in for the 40 days until the baby's blessing is supposed to protect you and the baby from the mati.

I personally don't consider these a non-negotiable tradition and most of my friends did not do it.

Good luck and congrats!!!!
Thanks we are super excited! I'm sure it's the mati it seems like everything is somehow rooted in the mati with my in-laws haha
 

Resources for Learning Greek Before Your Trip to Greece

It really does enhance your experience to learn some Greek, or brush up on your existing Greek, before you visit. I thought I would put together a list of some of the best resources I have found - they're all free.

- Duolingo has Greek now - I am not sure how effective it is, but it is free and that alone makes it worth checking out.
- Easy Greek on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/c/EasyGreekVideos - they have a lot of great content - I love how they interview people on the street
- Podcasts - There are plenty of learn Greek podcasts on both Spotify and through Apple and they are all worth checking out - For example, Easy Greek also has a podcast and there's a good one called "It's All Greek to Me". There are a lot of others.

In addition, you can check out various language programs (these aren't free). I like Pimsleur for conversational Greek, Rosetta Stone is pretty good, Mango, and there are others but those are the ones I have tried.

Which language programs have you used for Greek, and what were your results?

Things to Know When Visiting Greece?

I found this article very helpful... I am going soon and this isn't my first time, but I still fond this helpful:


Do you have anything to add t this list? #3 - find your latest alike - really caught my eye. I am a photographer so this is a work/play type of trip and I bet I can get some great slice of life shots there.

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Greek Table Etiquette?

I haven't really thought of this, but there is a lot of etiquette for dining in the Greek culture. What do you guys think? It looks like there is a lot to think about:


In particular, the section on doing toasts was fascinating. I noticed that just about at every meal, someone is doing a toast. Do you guys have anything to add?

Tips for Learning Greek While in Greece?

Now that I am getting older, I realize how important my Greek heritage is. So, I've made it my mission to learn more about it. One of the things I want to do is get better at Greek. And sure, I know I can use language programs - but it seems to me that learning it while in the country might be a little easier. I know that a 2 or 3 week trip won't make me fluent, but I bet it can give me a really good head start. Do you guys have any tips for how I can immerse myself in the Greek language while I am in the country?
Share and discuss Greek traditions related to Greek weddings, christenings, dance & holidays!

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