People living and moving to Sweden!(28 Posts)
Moving to Stockholm with a then 16yo DD1 (she's 15 for one more day), a 13yo dd2 and a 5yo DS. Am originally Swedish.
Anyone else living/moving here?
Moved to the West Coast 2,5 years ago when DDs were 2 and 6 weeks. DH is from Gothenburg originally. It's been a struggle but I do feel at home where we live now.
Living in the south of Sweden,3 years now. What is it you want to know?
We live in Småland. We moved here almost a year ago, and can't imagine moving back to the UK. Have you seen www.mumsonsweden.com ?
I'm living up in Hammerdal, been here a few yrs, first bb on the way. I'm English OH is Swedish.
Are you looking forward to 'coming home'?
Whats the consensus on living in Sweden then. We have been here for 3 years now and have decided to leave in a year or so. Dh and I met and lived in the US for 7 years,but decided to try both our 'home' countries for 5 years each. We lived in the Uk( mine) for 5 and now Sweden (his). I think we realized after a year or so it didn't really feel right but will give it the full 5 years.
Just not working for us. What makes it home for you guys. Just curious
Do you have DC Scott? I find Sweden a good place to live with kids compared to the other countries I've lived.
I feel at home here because I have been lucky to meet good friends here who are swedish so I do feel part of the culture. Language is part of that. It's very important to me to speak the language where I live.
I also work which gives me my own identity, money and contacts. Childcare is accessible and affordable so I don't have to struggle or make saccrifices.
It's not all rosy, by any means, but you asked for the positives!!
It's refreshing to hear you have settled relatively quickly SBB. You must have learned the language really quickly ( or before you came) to get a job so quickly. I struggled with the language at the beginning and still don't feel comfortable speaking it.
I have 2 kids, and thought I would naturally make friends through them. I am a SAHM and most of my friends in the UK were made through nursery & kids activities. Not so here as 99% of mums work, so I rarely get to meet my kids friends parents. I find the lack of 'smalltalk' really hard. I miss chit-chat, the occasional blether at the school gate, idle chat in the local store. It's very isolating here, doesn't help that I live in a small village outside a small town. My husband also works abroad a lot, he's been home 2 days in the last 7 weeks. Being on my own with the kids was never an issue living in the UK, so I naively assumed it would be ok here too.
On the positive side I have a fantastic house in the countryside here, which other selling off a few body parts would never be able to afford in the UK.
It has be good here as the kids are still small, so having that village life is great for them. We would still have to move closer to a city as they got older, so we are just making the move to the UK instead.
It must be terribly isolating to not have work when you don't speak the language. I am absolutely terrible at Swedish, but I work in an English school, so I have made Swedish friends as well as expats. We live in a small town, and all the locals are extremely friendly, but I am embarrassed about my lack of Swedish (I have never found learning anything this difficult before) and we have a high proportion of older people so less people speak English. Admittedly, most of our friends are Americans and Canadians from work, but then in the UK most of our friends were from work, too.
DH is swedish so there is constantly swedish at home which helps. The DDs have swedish as their first language. I did SFI and SAS which was good. The standards in the groups are very mixed but most people there really are very nice. I pushed myself to speak swedish at every opportunity, despite my basic swedish being v crappy at the start but now (even though I have an accent and some mistakes) and it works. I do feel integrated.
Agree, most parents go back to work after the first 18 months/2years on parental leave so there is so SAH parenting really. It's what motivated me to get working. The more you get out there, the easier it gets. It has been a huge challenge, has been draining on me and on our marriage. But I always have believed that this is the best for us as a family (god, I sound like a martyr!).
For me, it's the language which has saved me. In a small town such as ours, language is everything. Swedes understand english, but I would have no work opportunities here without swedish skills (or be faced with a long commute). It makes contacts easier as most people don't want to have to make an effort to speak to neighbours/school gate mums. The effort is up to me, as I made the choice to move! But it also means I know what people are watching on tv, what's happening in the news, can read people's facebook posts, be part of local 'gossip', talk to DDs teachers etc.
I agree that immersing yourself totally in Swedish culture is a must for survival. I do speak Swedish ( have too since dh is away a lot) both kids are completely bi-lingual. I have friends, all foreigners, all living here varying lengths of time. 5-12 years. Getting your foot in the proverbial Swedish door seems to be an issue for most.
I am a SAHM, that is my job, it has always been our plan that I would be at home for the kids school years. Since my dh works away we have always felt that at least one parent should be a constant. Staying here would ultimately mean me having to get a job to survive mentally. It is not going to benefit our family in the long run. Kids having to spend more time without both parents and me resenting every minute.
Moving country is a big decision but it means we can continue the lifestyle we all agree is best for us
There are too many sacrifices and not enough benefits if we stay here. We gave it the allocated time as a try out and fortunately we can move again. I applaud anyone making the move to another country and everything it entails. Ultimately it is a personal decision for all families on what works and what doesn't.
I think ultimately you do what's right for your family scott. It's really hard moving to a different country and I have more than once wanted to leave. I have even booked plane tickets once for the DC and me. For us, this is the right place. There are lots of things I dislike about it though and as my friends are almost all swedish, it is very difficult to just vent frustration as swedish people won't see the negatives in their system.
I'm from Oz, living in Stockholm. Moved to live with Swedish DP, now DH, and we now have DS1 2.4 and DS2 0.2.
There are things I find very frustrating (anyone tried to get a doctor's appointment recently! WTF), and the climate gets me down (I hate September as it gets cold, and I'm still thinking "when's summer going to get here!!??!).
On the other hand, chatting on here about childbirth makes me incredibly grateful to have given birth here, and the childcare support is fabulous. General standard of living is great - FMPOV. I love Stockholm public transport and the acceptance of children in restaurants etc.
I speak Swedish fairly fluently now, and have been fortunate to have found work in an office where I cover international relations so speak both English and Swedish at work (less time feeling uneducated...).
We've always talked about spending some time in my home country, when the DC are old enough to appreciate it. Just hope we can get our employment situation such as to make that possible. For now I'll have to settle for holidays in the sun.
PS: I think the link Loki was trying to refer to is www.mumsinsweden.com
It has taken a long time to just accept that living here is not for us. I realized I was there when I stopped complaining about things and just accepted how it is here.I still don't understand how a lot of things work here and how accepting people are of things. (Yes, like the doctors receptionist determining if you are sick enough to even see a doctor) I will never get used to the lagom-ness of everything. It is the best word to describe almost everything about Sweden really.
There are a lot of things I like here, a lot I hate, and a lot I just don't get quite frankly.
I live in Gothenburg, and spent a year in stockholm. I love it here. DD was born here, I have been on maternity leave for a ridiculous length of time (to family and friends back in UK) and now DD is at dagis and loves it. Most things are so much easier here than at home. We can live on DH's salary. The very idea of which would have caused hysteria back in the UK. I like having 4 seasons, snow in the winter and going swimming in lakes and the sea in the summer. It's great not needing to have a car. The people are very friendly and nice. The city is so calm and pleasant but with enough entertainment for us and DD.
Language is a problem for me. I can read and nearly write fluently, but conversation is still rubbish. Meaning all our social has to be in english or bilingual. I believe that understanding DH and his mates down the pub will forever be beyond my ability. But I don't really mind that. I'll carry on plugging away till I'm more fluent.
The only downside - and it is a big one - is lack of permanent accommodation. We are currently living secondhand. I will be working from August, but on a contract, and DH has a year to go before his blackmark (for 2000 Kr grrrrrr!!!!!) is gone, so no chance of a firsthand contract or a bank loan. Due to the very strict subletting rules, there is no chance even for our parents to buy for us. I hate the idea of having to take DD out of a dagis that she and we love and having to go through the trauma of finding somewhere to live again. God I shouldn't have written that...I've got all depressed now.
As they say 'different strokes for different folks'.
Being on this site has taught me that. I would like to try Australia or go back to the States but there are people on here who are not happy living in these places. I am sure a lot would love to live in Sweden. Even the responses on this post are different views on the same place.
Our initial move here was because we were sure the grass was greener, which it definitely isn't (for us) Only a different shade of green.
What bugs me is the current hype in the UK for all things Scandinavian/Nordic. Yes, they have some good ideas, but not everything they do is perfect.
Our local health centre is ok, but in general the healthcare is poor I find, compared to where we lived before Sweden. And while the long parental benefit entitlement is great and very equal I would have appreciated some available childcare options so that being a SAHM would have been a choice.
I agree SBB, the UK has this illusion that somehow Sweden/ Scandinavia has it all worked out is so far off the mark. I think a part of my HUGE disappointment with moving here is I believed that illusion too. The scary thing is a lot of Swedes believe their own hype as well.
I don't want to go turn this into a list of things I hate about Sweden post but "It ain't all that" here. It more of a "Same sh!t, different country"
I agree too. My experience is with Norway, but Scandinavian all the same. It amazes me how everyone just does the same thing, I understand that there is a small population, but I'm starting to think people are almost brainwashed from such an early age that they loose the ability to question things. They are told its the best country in the world and they all believe it.
When you think of how the child-care works here it doesn't surprise me that there is so little individuality here.
You put your child in to a state run system at 1 or 2 years old and get a perfectly standard issue adolescent when they come out, who then grow up into perfectly standard issue Swedish citizens.
I agree, I think that is my main cultural clash at the minute. You put a kid full time in daycare at 1, when separation anxiety is at its peak, and at an age when they are really learning their way, and its the preschool teachers who teach them the fundamental things about behaviour and socialising (bearing in mind, for those not familiar with the Scandi system, the very long daycare hours 5 days a week, not criticising those with kids in FT daycare). I work 3 days a week and that is a good balance for our family (3 little kids), but (Norwegian) MIL is often enquiring about when I will work FT (currently is Sydney, but fighting not to go back to Norway!).
The most recent thing I was reading in the Norwegian papers was that school kids should not have their own birthday parties, but that all the kids who shared a birthday that month would have a big joint birthday party with all the kids in the class invited so no one was left out and the parents just buy one present for their birthday kid. I stayed quiet on the subject, but when someone posted on FB about what a great idea it was I gently commented that maybe some children prefer a smaller party with a few good friends, and shouldn't they maybe be able to help plan their party, but no! Lots of comments that that I was wrong, no one should be excluded (fair enough, but isn't it up to the teacher to change the classroom dynamics in that instance?) and kids should not have a say in their party! Anyway, they were missing my point that everyone is different and peoples ideas of fun are not all the same, and that sort of initiative highlights why I am desperate not to go back!!!
Willow trees , so true. We are in Denmark and they genuinely believe it is the best country in the world at everything! Mind you they think they are above the rest of Scandinavia too . I like it here but the same mind thinking is a worrying factor. Mind you I started my dd at børnehaven here at nearly three, and she is so different to the other kids. Took a while for them to adjust to her. She is happy and does her own thing.
Willow, is it typical that kids have long days at daycare where you are? In Sweden they go strictly the hours the parents work and most people reduce their working hours using parental leave so while it's not the UK 3 pm finish, most kids have left my DDs' dagis by 16:30. Compared to where we lived before, kids have a shorter daycare day here.
SBB, In Norway it's normal to be there very long hours with a drop off by 8 and pick up after 5, 5 days a week. The parental leave in Norway is slightly different, in that it generally starts at 37 weeks, then you can take 10 months full pay, or 12 months 80% pay, so after the child is one, all parental leave is taken. That said, I loved the Norwegian system while I was on maternity leave!
Ok. Here it's usual for kids to be at dagis quite early, round 7, and eat breakfast there. I was resistant to it for a long while and tried to juggle my work hours to avoid it but once we started doing it I found it to be really positive. We literally just get up, get dressed and go in the morning so there is no nagging, force-feeding, spills or washing up
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