Anyone from Sweden? - Mothering Forums
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Finding your Tribe Archives 2008 > Anyone from Sweden?
morsan's Avatar morsan 07:43 AM 08-19-2003
I just moved back to Sweden after having lived in Minnesota for 5 years. I'm interested in finding parents in Sweden. I live with my husband and one child in Falköping, about an hour from Göteborg.

Josefina.

Britt's Avatar Britt 01:50 AM 09-26-2003
I just moved back to Connecticut from Sweden... We were in Linköping for 3 years. I miss it.
Yin Yang's Avatar Yin Yang 09:19 PM 01-03-2004
My DH and I want to move to Europe and are thinking about Sweden. First of course we need to find out as much as possible about jobs, visa and stuff like that.

I was wondering if you could give us some info that could be helpful to us in that way? We would really appreciate it!

TIA!
babibelli's Avatar babibelli 07:02 AM 01-24-2004
hej morsan!

i am swedish american but i have been raised in the culture (min papa kommer frän mora) we are visiting in june for midsommar. i hope all is well in sverige-looks like such a beautiful, child-friendly country. we are looking forward to visiting
morsan's Avatar morsan 04:42 PM 02-01-2004
We'll be moving back to the States soon. We really miss it. We're thinking of going West this time though (sick of extreme winters).

Sweden is a very nice country but I can't find the possibilities that there are in America.

Hej Babibelli- hoppas du har det kul i Sverige i sommar. Midsommar är något jag alltid kommer att sakna. Och de långa sommarnätterna.

Britt- I think I met you briefly on the AP International moms' email list, is that right?
What made you move back to Connecticut?
butternut's Avatar butternut 02:49 PM 02-06-2004
Hej! Vet inte om jag ska skriva på svenska eller engelska...oh, well, I'll take it in English for the browsers!
Josefina--that is too bad you are moving back to the States already. I just saw you the other day and was so surprised to see a Swedish word in the members. I do know what you mean about the loooong winters as well as the limited possibilities in some respects. When I think abut parenting, so many parts of Swedish lifestyle are so naturally AP and others are so anti-AP.
Britt-I was wondering what happened to you! Should have checked this last fall...
Babibelli--I live in Dalarna. Mora is a great place to visit in the summer.

Pavlina-what would you like to know? Britt moved here from the States for a few years...maybe she could help you. Otherwise I might but if you have no connections (a company you work for or a relative) it may be difficult.

Anyone else out there in Sweden?? I would love to find someone who lives here permanently to share experiences with, especially if you also have bilingual children...
morsan's Avatar morsan 07:04 PM 02-06-2004
Hej Bee!
Tar lite på svenska för skojs skull. Är du svensk? Om inte hur länge har du bott här och vart kommer du ifrån? Jag tycker Sverige är ett underbart och fint land men jag kan inte växa personligt här. Lite trångt kanske man skulle kunna säga.

In English if someone else is intrested in this humble thread. I thought it's be easier living in Sweden as an alternative parent, but I was mistaken. I realize that mainstream America obviously isn't the answer either. There are no "larger" concentrations of sub-cultures here so that's why we've decided to go back. We seem to change priorities back and forth, but this one has been important for quite some time now.
butternut's Avatar butternut 09:23 AM 02-07-2004
Hej morsan!
Jag är en amerikan som har bott här i ca. 12 år, kom som utbytesstudent (Uppsala Universitet) 1989, träffade min man och blev kvar. Jag kommer från kalifornien men bor nu i Falun. Jag kan förstå att det känns lite trångt, särskilt om du har bott i USA under många år. Det är väldigt svårt att hitta en riktig "community" tycker jag, en grupp med flera som tycker och tänker ungefär likadant. Du vet det finns en sajt activebabycare.com här med lite Mothering **** men det är svårt att hitta personer precis där jag bor som tycker likadant om föräldraskapet och familjelivet. Det finns så mycket med livet i kalifornien som passar mig, men inte nog att vi vill flytta dit. Jag vill inte att mina barn skall växa upp i en bil, med vapen överallt och privata skolor--men jag skulle inte säga nej till en bra alternativmataffär! Mina barn går i Montessori skolor (kommunala) och jag tycker att det är jättebra att det är gratis fast med mycket föräldrainflytande...men allra helst skulle jag vilja vara hemma med dem lite längre och det går inte riktigt om vi vill bo i ett hus. De var hemma ganska länge och det var många som tyckte det var "fel" och att vi skadade deras sociala utveckling! Sådant tycker jag absolut inte om om livet i sverige!
Britt och jag diskuterade mycket om det här om fördelar och nackdelar med livet här (jag var amsvensk här förut). Det var oerhört intressant att höra vad hon tyckte som amerikan som flyttade hit med barn. Jag är gift med en svensk och har fött mina barn här och har bara uppfostrat dem här så jag vet inte om jag verkligen kan jämnföra...
oj, now I am rambling! Interesting to meet you.
morsan's Avatar morsan 10:03 AM 02-07-2004
Oj, har du bott här så länge! Brukar du åka tillbaka till Kalifornien emellanåt? Vilken stad bor din familj i?
Visst är det svårt att behöva väga för- och nackdelar? Jag vill inte heller att mitt barn ska behöva vara rädd för sitt liv och uppleva omvärlden som starkt segregerad, och det var nog därför jag ville flytta hem igen. Men sen är det så mycket annat, svårt att reda ut exakt vad. Vi har hittat ett fint ställe i södra Oregon (Illinois River Valley) som verkar passa oss (många lika-sinnade människor, många som hemskolar men det finns också en liten samskola som drivs som ett föräldrakooperativ, underbar natur, nära till havet osv), så jag hoppas vi inte behöver falla in i mainstream life igen. Allt beror på hur kreativa vi är med att hitta ett försörjningsmedel (vi funderar på att starta eget, eller till och början med något litet vid sidan om för mig medans min man har ett vanligt jobb). Jag skulle väldigt gärna vilja lära ut franska eller svenska till barn utanför den allmänna skolan (alltså inget tvång), men jag undrar om det finns möjligheter till det i ett sådant samhälle. Största staden Medford ligger ju ungefär en timme bort. Vi får se!
Visst är det så i Sverige att man ses som lite "oansvarig" av att inte låta barnen gå på daigs. Det är synd. Men sen tror jag dagis är bättre här, men jag har inget att jämföra med eftersom sonen var hemma när vi bodde i USA.
Visst är det bra att det finns många alternativa skolor här som ändå är gratis? Det var ocskå något som lockade mycket. För oss var det Waldorf. Men nu känner jag att den slags skola är lite för "child-centered"... Och så råkade jag läsa några böcker om unschooling som helt fick mig att slå in på hemskolning. Ja, prioriteringar ändras snabbt här;-) Min man skulle helst stanna kvar här tror jag (han är från MN) för han orkar inte flytta runt.

Vad tycker du om med Falun? Jag har aldrig varit där och vet i stort sett inget om den staden. Vi bor i Falköping som du nog såg i mitt första inlägg, och det faller oss inte alls i smaken. Väldigt konservativt, inget "liv" alls, inte ens från barn. Vi hade planer på att flytta till Umeå så att jag kunde plugga kostvetenskap. Men jag pluggade lite i Göteborg i höstas och tröttnade väldigt snabbt.

Jo, jag har kollat in activebabycare och blev glatt överraskad eftersom många av de teorier jag har anammat fanns representerade där (continuum concept, nourishing traditions etc). Jag gick med i deras sk forum men vet inte om det är något som är igång alls.
Jag är mycket på föräldranätet, särskilt nu efter att de har lagt till många intressanta grupper (AP och alternativa föräldrar tex). Som sagt, det finns helt klart lika-sinnade människor här i Sverige men de är väldigt utspridda. Stockholm kanske inte är så illa, men usch jag skulle inte vilja bo i en storstad bara för det.
butternut's Avatar butternut 03:27 PM 02-07-2004
Oj, vet inte hur jag skall börja! Och det får bli snabbt svar eftersom maken lagar mat och barnen sitter i badkaret...
Hoppas det inte stör någon att vi skriver på svenska...och hoppas det inte stör dig att jag skriver rätt dåligt på svenska!
Vi åker hem (!) ganska ofta, ungefär en gång om året eller så om ingen kommer hit. Vi bodde i Uppsala och på landet utanför Uppsala under många år och har precis flyttat hit till Falun för 18 månader sedan. Jag jobbade många år i Stockholm och trots att jag träffade många fantastiska personer på föräldrakooperativet där jag jobbade ville vi inte bo i en stor stad. Umeå verkar ganska bra--särskilt om man är militant vegan-ha! Vi hamnade i Falun pga min mans föräldrar och att han är uppvuxen i Dalarna och att vi har en liten gammal stuga på landet utanför stan och att vi ville bo i en mindre stad. Det är ganska många som flyttar hit från stora städer just nu, en liten grön våg på mindre skala. Jag var hemma drygt ett år med mina barn när vi flyttade hit men i år började Nils i sexårsverksamhet och August fick gå på Montessori förskola (han är fyra år). Jag jobbar deltid och det känns bra att han slipper gå heltid på dagis men jag skulle helst vilja välja lite mer. Samtidigt är jag väldigt nöjd med verksamheten. Det finns ingen Waldorf här men vi hade kollat lite i Uppsala (min yogalärare hade sina barn där)--det kanske låter lite konstigt men jag tyckte inte om att de inte fick lära sig om kartor! Hur som helst, jag tyckte Montessori var mest lik en hemskola här, med egen takt och allt, och det fanns så många tvåspråkiga barn här på Montessori i Falun och det passade mig väldigt bra. men det är en personlig sak att välja en skola och jag kan känna mig rått irriterad att det är så svårt att välja att köra med hemskola. Jag är också ganske intresserad av konceptet "unschooling." Inte många svenskar skulle förstå det...
Jag förstår verkligen att ni kan tänka flytta till Oregon. Min man säger att han bara kan tänka flytta dit. Vi har åkt ofta mellan Kalifornien och Washington eftersom min lillebror bor utanför Seattle. Det finns en väldigt intressant bok om en svensk som flyttade dit och började med krav-vindruvsodling. Han heter Lars Nordström och boken heter "Coming Home." Ibland kan jag verkligen längta hem men nu har jag bott här så många år att jag inte vet om det går att flytta tillbaks. Min mamma säger att jag är "för svensk" i min tänkande och beteende. Min famlij bor i södra Kalifornien och jag är uppvuxen i öken utanför LA. Vi vill absolut inte flytta dit och då känns det meningslöst att flytta till en ny stad och börja om från början. Men man vet aldrig. Just nu är jag mer intresserad av att kankse bo och jobba något år i ett annat land i Europa. Jag håller på att söka svenskt medborgarskap (nu går det att få dubbelt även som vuxen) och eftersom min man och jag är lärare, det kankse går i någon svensk skola någonstans...
Vad tycker din man om livet här? Kan han svenska?
Jag får kolla på föräldranätet igen. Det var länge sedan jag var där och då fanns det inget av intresse. Det var en jättebra bok som kom ut för kanske två år sedan (nu minns jag inte titeln! men en författare var en Boethius) som var verkligen i linje med AP och jag tänkte, varför kan de inte starta en ny tidning i Sverige!? Vi Föräldrar är det värsta jag vet...
middagdax
Britt's Avatar Britt 04:33 PM 02-07-2004
Hej alla! Jag måste hämta min svensk ordbok! Faktisk jag kan forstå nästan allt, men forlåt om min dålig stavning.

Butternut, I got your mail awhile back and have been meaning to write back. I enjoyed our e-mail conversations so much! I've had my hands very full with a new little one, born in October. He is one of the reasons we moved back. Dh was also very homesick, he missed a lot of little things like the sound of crickets at night. The fact that neither of us is Swedish, and that we only had year-to-year visas were factors as well.

That said, I really, REALLY miss Sweden. I made some dear friends there and my work situation was just about ideal. Balancing work and family is so much harder in the US. And we're homeschooling here, which is nice but also hard in many way, especially given the level of community and support the kids and I were accustomed to in Sweden. Of course, other things (for instance, money) are much easier here.

I'm on my way out the door right now, but I'm going to come back later and reread the thread--we spent a lot of time thinking, talking, and fighting through the issues all of you raise. I can't promise to write in Swedish, I'm afraid that you'd all like me less if I communicated in butchered Swedish! (Butternut, did I ever send you the article I wrote about learning Swedish for the Integrations Verket Magazine? There were things in it that I think someone who has been a forgeiner in Sweden could relate to!)

Take care all!

Brittany
butternut's Avatar butternut 05:25 PM 02-07-2004
Britt! You are back! I am so glad you wrote here. Another little one??? Do tell. Grattis! How exciting. You must fill us in. As I wrote to Josefina, it was so interesting and stimulating to discuss with you the pros and cons of living in Sweden...I knew you really liked it here but I wasn't sure if you had stayed or gone home. Wow. How is life in Connecticut? And homeschooling? How has the return culture shock been? I can only imagine after three years here it was quite a change for all of you to return home. I still do think about it often--and homeschooling is one reason--but it feels like too much of a change for us after so many years here. My boys really want to visit California again soon--especially August after discovering he still had some American money left over. We had planned to go next Christmas as we were expecting a baby, but sadly we just lost that baby in week 8, so I am now considering going home this summer. I may need to see my mother sooner than next Christmas. Before we moved to Falun, we really hashed out the States vs. Sweden question, but unlike your dhs, mine has never really lived in the States except for th ethree months directly after we got married when I was finishing grad school. Now we feel really settled in Falun and are starting to form a new community--especially through our Montessori schools, which I really like. So I do think it is fascinating to hear from both of you how it is and how you see the differences.

Britt--did you ever publish that article about the VBAC twin births??
morsan's Avatar morsan 10:33 AM 02-08-2004
Hi Brittany!
Friends are usually what I miss alot about leaving a place. I wish I could gather all my friends in one, nice spot, since they're all scattered around the world.
Did you homeschool in Sweden? You had a better community and support while homeschooling in Sweden? From what I've gathered there aren't alot of homeschooling going on in Sweden, unfortunately.
Did you move back to your hometown in America? How long have you been back for?

butternut- min man tycker om det rätt så bra här. Han har bott här förut emellanåt, dels när han studerade på gymnasiet ett år och dels när han hälsade på mig medans jag gick färdigt skolan. Men till skillnad från förr är han nu väldigt intresserad av att lära sig språket ordenligt. Det går ju faktiskt att leva här utan att kunna mycket svenska, men i ett utanförskap. Han känner sig lite besviken på att han aldrig fick ge Sverige-livet en ordentlig chans. Men han är också medveten om vad vi skulle missa med att bo kvar här. Jag tycker det är nästan hjärtslitande att ha rötter i två olika länder. Det är alltid något man saknar med båda ställena.
Jag förstår att du känner att det är meningslöst att flytta tillbaka när du ändå redan har börjat skapa en "community" i Falun. Den största anledningen till att jag vile flytta tillbaka var det här "draget" hem, som jag då försökte omvandla i konkreta termer. Det känns bra att ha fått chansen att komma hem ett tag, att ta upp lite av det gamla oarbetade jaget.

Montessoriskolan låter jättebra. Det där med egen takt är ju så oerhört viktigt för barnens välbefinnande och mentala utveckling.
Varför får inte Waldorf-barn arbeta med kartor? Är det bara innan en särskild ålder eller aldrig alls?
Det finns många konstiga saker med Waldorf. Detta med att man absolut inte får läsa innan en särskild ålder (inte i alla skolor har jag förstått). Visserligen behöver man inte uppmuntra/tvinga till det när barnet inte än har visat intresse, men vad tjänar det till att hindra ett barn att utveckla något de är sugna på? Det är ju egentligen lika illa. Några skolor tvingar vänsterhänta barn att använda höger hand också
Något jag har undrat lite över med Montessori är att grundaren skulle ha sagt att man ska "discourage" (min svenska lider lite av att jag mest pratar engelska även här i Sverige) barnets lek. Att tex the pink tower endast får användas till det syfte det var avsett för. Det finns visserligen säkert många Montessoriskolor som inte går i den linjen längre. Hur är det med eran skola, och svenska montessoriskolor överhuvudtaget?
Ja, Oregon blir nog jättebra. Har så länge velat bo där. Inte bara av rationella skäl men bara en känsla också. Våra nära vänner flyttade dit förra våren och trivs jättebra. Ska bli roligt att se dom igen. Det enda jag nog kommer att känna mig lite vilsen med är just tvåspråkigheten. Jag tvivlar på att det finns andra svenskar ute i bygderna där. Men alltid är det något man måste ge upp.

Det låter jätteskoj att bo utomlands ett tag, speciellt om det är ett varmt land Vi tänkte också mycket på att flytta till Spanien, men det känns mest som det skulle bli något temporärt pga kulturskillnaden, och jag vil heslt slå mig till ro ett tag nu när sonen börjar bli äldre. Jag tvivlar också på att unschooling skulle vara möjligt där nere.
butternut's Avatar butternut 12:05 PM 02-09-2004
If I remember right, Britt had her boys in Waldorf and Montessori?? Or? There is not a lot of homeschooling going on here and it is very hard to get premission to do so. There is a hemskola site by a man who has homeschooled his children, but as I understood it you can only be granted permission in certain circumstances where traditional education is not viable--like a handicap or living in the remote countryside--and it is reviewed yearly. One thing I do really like about life here is that at least alternative education really is just another choice and not an exclusive choice. I know a lot of my friends in CA were surprised at first that we chose Montessori because they thought it was an expensive private option for over-achieving academic kids--far from it here. I am no expert on Montessori (fast jag har precis blivit invald som ledamot i Montessoriföreningens styrelse här i Falun, så kanske jag kan mer snart!) but there are a lot of good sites in Sweden about the pedagogics and the local schools. As I said before , for our bilingual boys, we really liked that they had a lot of English early on and that they can progress at their own pace with all subjects, including English. I know Britt knows I am a bit paranoid that my boys will not continue with their English, so it is something we really checked out school-wise.

You know, I am sure I have missed a lot about Waldorf and it probably is a bit glib to get stuck on this map thing, but it was family I knew with their kids at Waldorf in Uppsala who said that maps were thought to be too abstract for young minds. My boys LOVE maps and geography. I also was worried about the waiting with the reading, especially as my first is a natural with languages and started reading a little very early in both English and Swedish. I don't push him, but I think it would be sad to hinder him. I also have a good friend who had three children go through Waldorf in Stockholm but then she had to move and felt it was really hard for her kids to catch up in a new school. She felt Waldorf could be good if you could go the whole nine yards, but could be difficult to only of part of you childhood. People have questioned us on this same aspect with Montessori, what will happen later? Our school goes from F-9 and then all students have to choose a gymnasium, so I think it will be a new experience for all kids at that stage and not just the Montessori kids. You know, I thought the exact same thing when I did teacher-training and visited the international Montessori center in London: why can't they play with the pink tower however they want?? They can't, but they definitely get to play with a lot of other things. There is a lot of freedom in general at a Montessori school. Our school also has a "friluftsprofil" and they have a lot of friluftsdagar with play in the woods, skiing, ice-skating, etc. Much more than a regular school. In any case, if you stay here and can't homeschool, check out the Montessori schools in your area.
Sorry about the Montessori tangent! It is a topic of great interest to me, as you can tell.
It is very different living here as a student or visitor and then moving here--I was like your dh when I came back and suddenly had much more motivation to learn Swedish. I was lucky in that I could teach at English schools for many years (I am a qualified teacher) but now I am in my first job in a pure Swedish environment. I am not sure I like it! Still, learning Swedish well has been a huge advantage as far as assimilating into society--as much as one might want to do that! It is very very easy to live here a long time as an English-speaker and never learn Swedish as Swedes are so good at languages.
I think there are actually quite a lot of Swedes on the West Coast. That author I mentioned lives in Oregon and he wrote about SVEA groups and such, having awful Midsommar parties in church basements--but at least there is a Swedish community. I took private Swedish lessons with two different teachers in San Diego and there were a lot of people with Swedish backgrounds who wanted to learn a little--you could do that. French is always a popular language so it should be easy getting a job teaching.

I know exactly what you mean about always longing for one place or the other. I told dh that it is the curse of the expatriate life that in some ways one can never again be truly happy--I know it sounds dramatic but there will always be people and places I miss terribly. I hate saying good-bye to my grandmothers every time I visit CA because it may be the last time I see them. I get so anxious to get back to CA but then I get homesick for Sweden after a few weeks. My very best friends still live in the States and I have daily contact with some of them. But at the same time, I don't know if they can really appreciate the differences between our lives--even though they have all visited us here. Ideally I would love to be in weden from March to October and CA for the winter...although Christmas in Sweden is very nice...and I am addicted to ice-skating on lakes....
emmasmommy's Avatar emmasmommy 09:33 PM 03-25-2004
HEJ!

This is my first post on Mothering, but I was interested in the thread about Sweden.

My fiance is Swedish and we lived in Lund for 3 years, but just recently moved back to my hometown in Canada. I would write some in Swedish, but I don't have the Swedish characters while I'm at work, but I can write in Swedish when I am at home. It would be nice to have some other Swedes to talk/write with so I don't lose my Swedish.
butternut's Avatar butternut 03:20 PM 03-26-2004
Hej och välkommen! Här får du gärna skriva på svenska...men jag får erkänna att jag inte är svensk utan amerikan. Jag tror att jag är den enda kvar här i Sverige...eller??
Har ni också tvåspråkiga barn?
behr's Avatar behr 03:28 PM 03-26-2004
Hi ladies,
this is a great thread! I've always been very interested in Sweden and Norway, but dh thinks it is too cold there and also doesn't want to learn another language.
So we've been living in Germany for about 5 years now, some days are good and on others we both long to move back to the States. It is a constant indecision which draws a lot of energy from day to day life I find. It is very interesting to read about your personal experiences in that department. I feel exactly like butternut in that I always seem to be longing for the other/next/better place, for another shot at finding the great community I'm still looking for. Or is it just a case of 'the grass is greener on the other side'.
It's great to learn from other's experiences, Thanks!

Beate
emmasmommy's Avatar emmasmommy 04:01 AM 03-27-2004
Hej igen.

Vi har ett barn som är 20 månader, och hon kommer att vara två-språkigt. Nu pratar hon inte mycket, men det är mest svenska även nu efter flyttan till Canada. Min sambo stannar hem med henne nu, så jag tror det är orsaken. Men jag vet att engelskan kommer när hon börjar dagis/förskolan.

Vi var lite räd att hon skulla tappa svenskan när vi flyttade, men vi hittade en svensk skola i vår stad där hon kan börja vid 3 år. Det är en gång i veckan på lördagar och de går upp till gymnasie nivå.
Britt's Avatar Britt 12:13 PM 03-27-2004
I keep thinking about coming back to this thread and responding to all the really interesting issues that were raised. As I mentioned earlier, we had our fourth baby...our fourth boy...in October, so between that and trying to settle back to life in the US I rarely have a spare moment.

I'm not even going to try to get going now because dh has the baby in the shower and I have to go get him out in a minute, but I am going to make time to get back here this weekend. Really.

And butternut, it was good that you asked about the twins article (just natural birth, not VBAC), I hadn't followed up. They are still sitting on it, but claim they want to use it. More relevant to this thread is the fact that my article about Sweden has been reprinted several times in an academic context, most recently in a sociology textbook called "Crisis in American Institutions." Hmmm...

More soon!
butternut's Avatar butternut 04:58 PM 03-27-2004
Britt! So good to know you are still around! I would love to hear more from you about how it was to move back to the States after living here a few years. I still have my moments...
Wow! That is amazing about your Sweden article. Did they find it in Mothering or have you been sending it out?
Congratulations on your fourth boy!

Emmasmommy--we also have bilingual children and have definitely seen how fluency can go up and down during different periods. That is great that your dh is home with your daughter now because the English will without a doubt be dominant later and now she can get such a good solid base in Swedish. We have worked really hard to help our boys learn both--but really the best has been a lot of natural conversation, so you are very lucky to have a Swedish school. We had an English playschool before we moved to this town and now my older gets "hemspråk" with a group of other bilingual kids at his school once a week--so that has been great.

Beate (always loved that name)--are you German or American? If the latter, how did you end up in Germany? funny ow we must all deal with the same issues!

Any more mammas here in Sweden??? Britt--I regret that we never met here before you moved!
behr's Avatar behr 10:54 AM 03-29-2004
I'm German (but have lived in several different countries, 10 years in the US) and dh is German-American. So we ended up back in Germany although neither of us really feels at home here. My parents live near Frankfurt, and I really appreciate their help at times. In addition, I'm happy they can have a true relationship with my dd's.
morsan's Avatar morsan 03:41 PM 03-29-2004
Hello again.

Well, we've finally moved back to the States and so far...it's OK I guess. We're stuck in MN for a little bit longer, living at mil's house. I'm not crazy about it, but it'll do for another couple of weeks.

I feel we've done the right thing coming back. I can't say I fel more at home here, but couldn't say the same thing about Sweden either. I'm a natural born outsider I guess:-), and living in the States is easier for someone like me.
I do know that I'm sick of moving around. Our biggest challenge is still to come. We're heading out west without a job lined up for dh, nor a place to stay (we'll be living in a youth hostel or something else cheap). But I think I'm up for it, and I know it will turn out fine. We do have some family and friends over there, enough to keep us oriented. Wish us good luck though!

I also keep thinking (rather foolishly) that the grass just might be greener on the other side. I don't think I'll be completely happy anywhere but hope that I won't put my family through the misery of moving around anymore. Dh would be happy just about anywhere. Or so he says... We'll be living in Portland for some time, and then we'll see. But it'll be somewhere in the area at least. A smaller town.
In Sweden I was very worried that finding jobs for dh would be quite a challenge, as well as getting higher education. He's not very good with languages, and from what I've heard, there's more discriminating going on there now, making it tougher for immigrants to find jobs.

Now I'm a little worried that with me being the only Swedish-speaking person in the house, my sonight loose his fluency. He's not talking veryymuch yet, but all in Swedish. He's a little confused that people don't understand him (and he also confuses kids with his foreign babble!).
I'm going to try to find other Swedish families in Oregon. Maybe there's a Swedish school somewhere out there, but I doubt it.

emmasmommy- you wrote there's a Swedish school where you live, what town is that?
emmasmommy's Avatar emmasmommy 01:26 PM 03-31-2004
We live in Canada, right outside of Calgary Alberta. The school is in Calgary.

When I was in Sweden I was a member of a board for North Americans in Sweden and several mentioned clubs called VASA lodges or SVEA. Maybe if you find contact with one of these organizations they may know of a Swedish school.

The school here isn't a full school, but just on Saturdays, and then Emma would still go to a regular public school during the week, but for us this is good as my dp doesn't want to be the sole person responsible for teaching her Swedish, and I can't say that I blame him. We have also talked about the possibility of hiring an au pair from Sweden or hosting an exchange student from sweden when we are in a better position to do so (have a house with room for someone extra).
dancingmommyof2's Avatar dancingmommyof2 04:25 AM 05-07-2004
Hej!

I'm not from Sweden, but I've visited a couple of times and my parents visit every year. They go to that city where they have the tennis championships, can't think of the name. I took a train to Goeteborg, while I visited them 5 years ago, before I got married and had two kids. This was an interesting thread, but I'm supposed to be in bed right now!

Haj da!
Diane
morsan's Avatar morsan 05:38 PM 05-07-2004
I think the name of the town is Bastad... but don't trust me on it, I'm pretty wiped out today.
dancingmommyof2's Avatar dancingmommyof2 04:21 AM 05-08-2004
Yes, that's the city, Bastad. Where are you today? Here in the Portland area? It was raining really good this morning and I thought of you, what with the camping and tenting, etc....

Diane
treehuggerz's Avatar treehuggerz 02:27 AM 07-20-2004
Hello,

My name is Marvel, from Oregon, USA and I am doing some research comparing US and Swedish lifestyles in regard to breastfeeding. The first week in August is when we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week and I am involved locally with some promotional efforts. August is also Breastfeeding Awareness Month. The latest statistics estimate that only 39% of the world are breastfeeding their children. Then I read that Sweden has only a 2% rate of non-breastfeeding families! That statistic has driven me to find out more. As an advocate for breastfeeding I have been disheartened by the low rates of breastfeeding in the US and specifically my corner of the state of Oregon. Perhaps there is something we can learn from them.

The Swedish culture is not one that I am very knowledgeable about so I am asking for some help. If you are living in Sweden or are Swedish, speak/write English and are willing to correspond with me, please email me privately at [email protected] . Your input would be greatly appreciated and you are welcome to forward this to anyone who might be interested.

General Questions:

What is the pregnancy experience like for the average family? Doctor or Midwife? Home, birthing center or hospital delivery? Are there breastfeeding classes? Are there lactation consultants available in most towns?

Do most families have health insurance? Do many women work outside the home after giving birth? When do they return to work after giving birth? Who cares for the children when Mom returns to work? Do most WOHM's express breastmilk for their children? What are the attitudes of employers?

What kinds of breastfeeding support are available? Are there LLL meetings or other mother-to-mother support groups? Are father's, grandparent's or other family members involved and if so, how?

What are the attitudes about breastfeeding in public? Do many families continue to breastfeed after the first 12 months? At what age do most families start solids? At what age is the average child weaned?

Do many parents wear babies (slings for example) or co-sleep? What are the attitudes concerning these practices? Are there national/regional/local breastfeeding advertising campaigns?


Thank you,
Marvel
(also posted in the breastfeeding advocates forum)
morsan's Avatar morsan 05:14 PM 07-31-2004
Hello again.

Well, we didn't end up in Portland, we're in southern Oregon (Cave Junction). Sorry i missed you dancingmommyof2. If you're ever in the area let me know.

treehuggerz, I'd be happy to help you with some of your questions. Could you email them to me? [email protected]
I'm not very good with copying and pasting, plus I use a library for my internet access and have very little time.
tomtemama's Avatar tomtemama 07:46 PM 08-16-2004
Hej,

My name is Marianne. I was born in Göteborg and moved to Canada when I was 11, I am 27 now. I just stumbled on this thread and can not believe how similar everyones experience is to mine in terms of feeling like you have two "homes" so you can never really feel "happy" in either one. As I spent most of my childhood in Sweden my ideas about culture and tradition are Swedish but since I have speant my adult life here my feelings regarding morals and proper codes of behavior etc are all North American. My whole adult life has been spent wondering if I will ever decide to move back to Sweden. My dh, a canadian, and I still discuss it from time to time but he can not speak Swedish and would be totally lost in the culture. I feel if I am going to make the move I have to do it soon or I will do the same thing to my dd that my mom did to me (move at a time that is confusing and causing this "duality"). i speak swedish fluently but my swedish writing is disgusting (just like my english) because when in Göteborg I attended a private English school. Could my mom have made it any more confussing?????

Anyway, the reason I am here is because I need some answers. Min pappa och Farmor och Farfar still live in Sweden so I visit them about every two years. Dh and I intend to visit just before our daughter turns two, so we don't have to pay for her seat on the plaine. I intend to still be breastfeeding her at that point. I want to know what types of attitudes I can expect to encounter with a 2 year old hanging off my boob. Is this normal in Sweden or will I stick out like a sore thumb?

I would also really appreciate it if you guys could give me an idea of "general" parenting attitudes and habits in Sweden. We are an AP family and I don't want my dd to feel like what we do is "wrong" or "weird". If I am going to encounter those types of attitudes I will need to prepare her for them, somehow .

Thanks in advance, I will lurk often in this thread.
morsan's Avatar morsan 09:57 PM 08-17-2004
Hej Marianne.

Kul att se en annan svenska har.
I don't have much time but if you're interested in emailing just send me a pm.
I lived in Sweden with my 2 year-old for six months and my experience is that while breastfeeding is the norm, extended breastfeeding isn't. You will probably have to deal with some weird looks although I don't believe anyone will harass you for it. I find that when people don't agree with a certain behaviour in Sweden they're more likely to give dirty looks (or just very obvious looks of surprise) than here in America.
There are probably many variations throughout Sweden. There'sa great discussion board (that isn't very active though) dedicated to cc and otehr alternative parenting ideas. You can also try www.foraldrar.com. That's where everyone goes. They just added a forum for Ap parents. There's also a section for english speakers, and swedish parents living overseas. In my town there weren't many Ap'ers that I could tell, so it'd be good to ask on that board to get a more accurate idea of what towns may be the best for you and your family.

Good luck.

Josefina.
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