Russian families are sometimes very large and often very friendly. The family unit in Russia is not limited to the husband, wife and children. It includes grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces. Members of the family closely communicate with each other and frequently get together. These families are close knit and involved in each other’s lives. Russians cherish their families and are always ready to help their relatives in difficult times. It is believed that everyone should love their home and protect their family. This is instilled into Russians since early childhood.
Civil unions have been gaining popularity in Russia as of late. To clarify a civil union is a relationship where a man and a woman live together and share household expenses without officially getting married. Civil union has been a great opportunity for the young couples to test their feelings and make sure they are ready for a family life together before they get married. A marriage becomes official when the couple receives a wedding certificate in the Civil Registry Office and gets married in an official civil ceremony.
What’s cool is that with the birth of a child one of the spouses will be forced to temporarily leave work. Just like in other country, there are agencies providing the services of nannies and babysitters, however, their services are rather expensive and young spouses tend to prefer to take care of children on their own. Many families receive the support of grandmothers. It's fairly common in Russia for a grandmother to look after children while their parents are at work. In any case, parents always have a right to leave work for the term specified by law. This time is called декретный отпуск (parental leave) and is paid by the state. Either the mother or the father of the newborn mayуйти в декрет (take the parental leave) depending on whose job pays more.