14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

For our final post of this year’s Motherhood Around the World series, we talked to Angelina Allen de Melo, a professional ballet dancer. She lives in Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg, with her husband, Fernando, and two-year-old daughter, Lucia. Here, Angie describes the Swedish sweet tooth, her experience with postpartum care and the importance of the outdoors…

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

Angelina’s background: I moved to Sweden when I joined a ballet company in Stockholm 12 years ago. Later, I met my husband, a fellow dancer and choreographer, at the GöteborgsOperans DansKompani, where both of us now work. We live in an apartment in Linnéstan, one of Gothenburg’s oldest neighborhoods.

Since I’m from California and Fernando is Brazilian, ours is not a typical Swedish household. For one thing, we’re not particularly tall, blond-haired and blue-eyed (!) and, even after more than a decade in Sweden, I’m still not enticed by the caviar purée squeezed out of a tube that’s popular for breakfast here. But, in many ways we’ve completely adapted to the Swedish way of life — embracing the magical summers, cold winters and parenthood in this culture.

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

On Nordic rhythms: In the summer, the sun stays up almost all day. You can stay outside until almost midnight and it’s still bright and amazing. You don’t realize how closely your internal clock is connected to the weather until it’s 11 p.m. on a Wednesday night and you’re not hungry for dinner yet.

But, in the winter, it gets dark so early that you start to hibernate. Your body starts shutting down in the afternoons. At the darkest points, it will be pitch black by 3:30 p.m. and won’t get light again until around 9 a.m. Since we go to work at 8:30 a.m., there are days that we don’t see the sun at all. It’s like living in this night world. I think that’s why tanning booths are so popular here, and sunny vacation destinations like Thailand and the Canary Islands are hugely popular with Swedes.

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

On napping outdoors: Even in the thick of winter when temperatures are below zero, many Swedish parents put their kids, bundled up in their strollers, outside to nap. They say children sleep longer and better this way and believe the cold and that fresh air is good for a child’s immune system. And here, if you’re sick your doctor will say, open the window when you go to bed at night, fresh air cures all!

When I first moved here, I went to meet a friend for coffee in the pouring rain. She told me her baby was asleep outside in the stroller, like it was the most natural thing in the world. His stroller had a waterproof cover, and she could see his stroller outside the window. I realized that it was not actually that crazy when I compared that approach to bringing a wet stroller with a sleeping baby, all bundled up in winter gear, inside a crowded, stuffy cafe, full of germs, trying to find a place to park the stroller, then risking waking him by undressing him so he doesn’t overheat. All of a sudden, leaving him outside seemed like a pretty great option!

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

On Swedish vacations: Most employees here get at least five weeks off in July and August. It’s customary for Swedes to spend their vacations in nature. Many families have country houses where they can retreat on the weekends or during holidays to relax and spend time by the sea, the forest or a lake. In the summer, we will go to the seaside or visit our Swedish friends’ country homes.

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

On postpartum care: For the year after you have a baby, this culture takes care not just of the baby, but mothers, too. Two days after we got home from the hospital, a nurse came to our house to weigh Lucia and do a check-up. She gave me a check-up too, asking all about how I was doing. Anytime I’d take Lucia in for a pediatrician appointment when she was little, they’d ask about me, looking for signs of depression, and reiterating all the support networks that were available to me as a new mother. Also, pediatric practices often offer support groups for new parents. They’ll arrange for 10 mothers with babies of a similar age to attend four or five classes about sleeping, eating, life balance, expectations of parenting or other topics. Everyone brings their babies, and it helps you build a support system.

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

On parental leave: Parents have a whopping 480 days of paid leave to share — that’s about 16 months. Recently, the law has allotted 90 of these days as non-transferable days for fathers only, to encourage men to take their paternity leave. There’s also a “gender equality bonus,” where parents receive slightly higher pay if they split the time evenly. Parents can even take up to one month off together, and they can spread their time over the first TWELVE YEARS of the child’s life.

Since most Swedish fathers take extensive paternity leave, I’ve noticed that they also get to play an active role in running their whole family household, too. When compared to Central and Southern Europe, Swedes are definitely less traditional in their household gender roles overall. Men are expected to pull their weight with cooking, cleaning and childcare the same way women have traditionally.

On the Law of Jante: There’s an interesting cultural principal here and in a few other Scandinavian countries called the Law of Jante. It essentially means that one individual is not more special than any other, and you’re not to behave as if you are. When I was teaching ballet in Stockholm years ago, I noticed that my students were, indeed, reluctant to stand out. For example, they were quite timid when I asked them to demonstrate steps or propose new ideas to the class.

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

On childcare: Most Swedish parents put their kids in government-subsidized childcare when the child is about one year old. There are a lot of different types of programs, none of which can exceed $150 per month, including two meals per day. We chose a bilingual school for Lucia, where she’s learning Swedish and English, but there are also public schools, parent co-ops, nature-focused curricula, language-focused ones… the list goes on. There’s even a gender-neutral school in Stockholm, where teachers don’t call children “him” or “her,” and the books and toys are carefully selected to avoid traditional presentations of gender roles.

Another amazing childcare benefit here is called Vabbing. The government pays your salary when you need to stay home from work because your child is sick. People even sometimes call February “VABruary,” as colds are so common in the coldest winter month!

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Swedenn

On food: One of the funniest food customs I’ve observed here is the national tradition of having split pea soup and pancakes for lunch on Thursdays. The first time a Swede told me that, I thought he was joking, but the opera house where I work serves that meal every Thursday. I think all Swedish schools do it, too, and you’ll see it in restaurants. When Americans think of split pea soup it’s green, but here it’s more yellow, with white and yellow beans, and the meat is a pork sausage that’s sliced into the soup.

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

Also, Swedes eat cheese in ways that I’ve never seen anywhere else. For one thing, there are a ton of cheeses that come in tubes and are spread over knäckebröd (crispbread, like a cracker) or eaten in sandwiches. Also, every Swedish household has a osthyvel, or cheese slicer, which is treated with a high level of reverence.

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

Another big food tradition here is buns, which you’ve probably seen if you’ve ever been to IKEA. People love to eat cinammon buns, or kanelbulle, for breakfast with their morning coffee or for a late-afternoon snack. This is called a “fika,” or coffee break. There’s even a national day for buns, Kanelbullens Dag. When I first moved here, I thought they were kind of flavorless and dry, but now I love them. I’ll come back to the U.S. now and taste a Krispy Kreme donut and all the sugar hurts my teeth!

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

On candy: Swedes eat more candy than anybody else in the world, something like 35 pounds of candy per person per year! Huge candy shops with impressive sections are everywhere. What intrigues me most about the Swedish sweet tooth is lördagsgodis or “Saturday candy.” Every Saturday, kids and often their parents fill bags with their favorite candy. Gummies and licorice are big favorites. Before I became a parent, I thought this was a great idea, but now I’ve seen what sugar does to my daughter!

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

On playing outdoors: Lucia loves to play outside, picking up sticks or playing in the mud. In the parks, you see moose, deer and wild rabbits. And the playgrounds here are more creative than in any other country I’ve visited. One park near our house is themed around nature and all the equipment is made out of natural wood and bark. It even has a real “insect hotel,” so the kids can observe bugs, and a “barefoot path” designed to teach them about different textures underfoot. The playground system is so extensive there’s even an app to help you find and navigate all the playgrounds in Gothenburg. Our favorite playground near our apartment is Slottskogen, which is always stocked with tricycles, balls, buckets and shovels, as well as a barbecue pits for grilling sausages while your kids play.

On embracing the cold: My husband always reminds me that our daughter is Swedish and she doesn’t care if it’s freezing or dark; she just needs to go outside and play. It’s her parents who need to get over the cold! In her preschool, they go out every day and play for at least an hour even if it’s rainy or snowy. Have you heard the Swedish saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”? Kids wear layers upon layers of gloves and hats and overalls and snowsuits and long johns. I feel bad for Lucia’s preschool teachers because it’s such hard work turning a bunch of little kids into Gore-Tex dumplings! In Lucia’s school, they even have drying machines the size of refrigerators for winter clothes. When you come pick up your kid at the end of the day, they once again have dry, warm outerwear.

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

On coziness: The Swedish word mysig is hard to translate, but technically means “to smile with comfort,” or be cozy. It’s an important concept here, where the winters are long and cold. You see candles everywhere, year round. When I first moved here, it struck me as a major fire hazard! But they’re everywhere and so beautiful. Sometimes we go to IKEA on weekends (“It’s cold and rainy, so let’s go to IKEA!”), and everyone buys their candles there! Everyone has candles in their carts at checkout.

Swedes even have a special word to describe curling up indoors on a Friday night: fredagsmys. You light candles, cuddle under a blanket on the sofa, eat candy and watch a movie. I love that there’s a verb for it.

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

On children’s books: All the children we know, including our daughter, love Pippi Longstocking, the classic book by Astrid Lindgren. There’s another sweet children’s character called Alfons Aberg, or Alfie Atkins in its English translation, who’s very traditional and charming. He has been a children’s obsession for generations — there are even play centers around town themed around him. The stories are about a little boy with simple toys, and you read about him having picnics with his cheese, thermos and special cheese slicer! It’s all very Swedish and old-school.

14 Surprising Things About Parenting in Sweden

On a favorite moment: One afternoon, my iPhone was stolen on the tram and I called the police to report it. Within minutes, an undercover police car (Volvo, of course!) pulled up to where I was standing. Two female police officers with long blonde ponytails drove me around Gothenburg following the signal of my stolen phone. Unfortunately, our hunt ended in a crowded tram station where we lost the signal, but they were kind enough to drive me home a good 15 minutes away. I have a hard time imagining anything like this happening in a major city in America. In fact, to me, this anecdote sums up how efficient and friendly Sweden is.

Thank you so much, Angelina!

P.S. The full Motherhood Around the World series, and outdoor napping in Denmark.

(Photos courtesy of Angelina Allen de Melo, Fernando Melo, Elizabeth Dunker and Jenny Brandt)

  1. Nice tips!!!

  2. Leah says...

    I recently moved to Stockholm from Australia. I found the daycare very bad quality with children left alone crying and an even worse safety incident occurred while I was doing my daughter’s inskolning. I tried two different daycares in an affluent area of Stockholm, and a family day care, and have decided to go with a nanny at $25 an hour.
    I am shocked more Swedish parents don’t do spot visits on their daycares and realise the quality is seriously terrible. we pay way more in Australia but quality much better.

    • Laura says...

      I am sorry this happened to you. but your experience can not reflect the whole of “Sweden”. Daycare for us is amazing. Small dagis with 4 kids per pedagog and amazing care for their emotional wellbeing. I did a lot of research going to the different dagis interviewing and being the anal mom until i find the perfect place and to be honest, it was not difficult. And many parents experience the same. There are others that experience what you experience, and others that simply dont care, they just want a place to “park” their kids while they are at work. Its like everything. This is a big country. Many points of view.

  3. sandia Walton says...

    I too love this posting- refreshing and informative- I remember Oprah doing a show where parents in Denmark do the same outdoor napping engagement. The leave for parents I think is the most remarkable- priority given to families- Golden Idea!!! Happier babies and happier parents. Thanks

  4. Thanks for this brilliant article. You sum it all up neatly, the only only thing you forgot is lagom… We’re a British family living near Stockholm and making the most of the outdoor lifestyle. And we’ve been on that mega slide in Göteberg, we all had a go. Best parks in the world here.

  5. Francesca McElhatten says...

    I loved this article! I am English. My babies were born in California – super easy, convenient environment to raise kids. Outside year round. Beach, pool. 24 hour shopping if you need diapers at 3am. We moved to Switzerland when the youngest was not yet 1 and the oldest was 4. I was very apprehensive. What about when it snows/rains? You just wear the right clothing – never wait for a “nice day” to do something, Stores close on Sundays – plan ahead. Enjoy the family day. Life moves slower? Expect to cover fewer errands in a day. My take – away? Don’t compare – you’ll be miserable. Embrace & enjoy the difference.

  6. Graziela says...

    It was so enjoyable reading your post. So informative about the culture and embracing it whole heartedly considering that you’re from The US means that no regrets of leaving your homeland.

  7. Aysegul Oguz Goodman says...

    I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this series. Reading all these amazing experiences is so inspiring and motivating. Please keep posting more stories.

  8. Jo Moon says...

    Gore-Tex dumplings! LOL Now I will keep our window open over night! :-)

  9. Yes there is patents that choose to be home with their kids and fall out from the system simply because we believe that the first couple of years are the most important and precious years you can have together with your little one! You can find many of us if you search for “hemmaföräldrars nätverk” on Fb.

  10. Liza says...

    Coming from Malaysia, the culture, weather, tradition , cuisine,everything (!) couldn’t be so different from Sweden. But I had no problem appreciating and adapting to all the parenting experience that I discovered living in Sweden. Love fika, the fish roe cream in a tube that you ,squeezed on sliced eggs, putting kids ( I have 3 of them) outside for naps in the winter, Saturday candy, paid parental leave, midnight sun, midday moon :-) , being outdoor in all weather, etc, etc, etc. Sweden is a great place to raise a family!

  11. This one is my favorite by far. I want to move to Sweden :D

    • jane says...

      Right? That was my first thought – I’m moving to Sweden to have beautiful babies and enjoy fredagsmys!

  12. My sweet sweet friend Angie, you are missed! I am so happy you live here, just come home from your travels already :)
    I love how you pictured Gothenburg, it reflects exactly how it feels for us. Love you!

  13. Lk says...

    Are stay-at-home moms rare in Sweden? I love being a stay-at-home mom here in the US. The affordable day care sounds great for those who need it, though!

    • Linda says...

      Yes, we exist! But we feel very thwarted from the swedish familypolitics and the goverment. Every Child SHOULD be in childcare is the opinion of the great mass here… But it doesnt fit every family and it goes against studies of the attachmenttheories.
      So, everybody isnt to happy about the childcare-“luxury”.

  14. Sofia says...


    I love Cup of Jo posts, but this is my favourite!
    Like Angelina I also live in Gothenburg and I’m a mother of a 1 year old baby. Neither I or my husband are from here.
    Everything she says is so true, Sweden is an amazing country and specially if your a parent. There is respect for the family and individual.
    Congratulations for the blog and for this series!

  15. It was so great to learn about living in Sweden. I hope such creative playgrounds are available to kids everywhere.


  16. Heather says...

    I just love this series SO MUCH. Even as a single, childless 20 something. I second someone’s idea for a book deal – you should go for it! Maybe you already are.

    This post in particular makes me want to buy a bajillion candles! There’s something sort of magical about those atmospheric endless summer days and deep dark winter nights. Do you know A Little Night Music at all? It’s set in Sweden. Sondheim of course captures the feeling with his always perfect lyrics:

    The sun won’t set
    It’s fruitless to hope or to fret
    It’s dark as it’s going to get
    The hands on the clock turn
    But don’t sing a nocturne
    Just yet

    And later:

    The light is pink
    And the air is still
    And the sun is slinking
    behind the hill
    And when finally it sets
    As finally it must
    When finally it lets
    The moon and stars adjust
    When finally we greet the dark
    And we’re breathing amen

    Surprise of surprises
    It instantly rises again

  17. Bridget says...

    This is my very favorite series that you’ve done. It is fascinating to me as someone who travelled quite a bit before becoming a stay-at-home mom. I’ve been to Sweden, but it sounds like a magical place for families in this piece. I’m jealous and it makes me want to move!

  18. Christina says...

    I LOVE this series!! Series like this really make Cup of Jo so special and what I think is the best blog on the internet. I wish that the US public would take some cues from countries like Sweden and not mind taxes since they go towards government programs that can benefit us. (Especially the Vabbing and the paid parental leave! Incredible.)

  19. Tina says...

    Hello, this is simply a wonderful series and i am so bummed it is over for the year but looking forward to what will be in 2016!

    Could you do a follow up post on the clothing tips from these Scandinavian moms, with purchasing links? I would love to see how they layer and what brands they put their kids in for these inclement weather days. Maybe even dress up Toby and Anton as Scandanvian kids? Just a thought but I would really appreciate such a follow up post, especially going into the cold winter everyone claims we will have this year.

    Keep up the great work CofJ team!

    • P says...

      it’s a traditional Swedish kids brand which is way into layering (and unisex!) They are even represented in the US (although they only have a couple of stores, but there’s always the webshop!)

    • Try, all natural wool, all made in Sweden. It’s the best gear for kids or for adults in winter.

  20. This is so similar to parenting in Denmark (I actually didn’t know the law of Jante existed in Sweden as well – I thought it was only Danish…). I live in France now, but reading this post really makes me miss Scandinavia and my home country of Denmark.

  21. This makes me so jealous! I’m thankful for the freedoms I enjoy in America, but things like fast food, post partem support, shopping, maternity and paternity leave, public facilities, SO MANY THINGS just are the worst here. How are we so behind in so many categories? I mean, national news here this week was that McDonalds now serves breakfast all day. Just…. no. Why do we value cheap and processed goods over quality? It really does make me (and so many other readers) want to pack up and move! I feel like the American culture we are so proud of is slipping away…

    • Pam Liles says...

      Do you realize how much of their income pays for all those great services?
      In USA we want everything but are not willing to pay for it….

  22. Wow! Let’s all move to Sweden!!! Many similarities to my experiences living in the Netherlands.

  23. Eileen says...

    I still want to know what happened to the Italy one!

  24. Love this article. Great job! My husband is Swedish and we lived in Sweden for almost 3 years… I’m ready to go back now and eat kanelbullar until my stomach pops. :) Bra gjort!

  25. Eileen says...

    My favorite one yet.

  26. …i think i need to move to Sweden. They have a word for cozying up on Friday nights so…that made my decision.

  27. I loved reading about all of the cozy winter traditions. I live in the mountains, where it does get quite cold and snowy for many months. I think, after reading this, I will use more candles this winter!

  28. Alison says...

    I love your blog and I am absolutely loving this Motherhood Around the World Series… So interesting and insightful! Thanks to all for sharing their stories with us :)

  29. maja says...

    As someone wrote, nothing is free…sweden has the world’s highest (or next highest) taxes. So we do pay for daycare, health care, schools etc. Just in another way. I do prefer our swedish way, compared to, i.e, the US but still, everything has a price.

  30. the Swedes are so forward-thinking, I’m impressed!

    So many things that we fight to normalize here (gender equality, equal parenting responsibilities, connection to nature) are just ingrained in the culture there. Fascinating! Makes me want to move ;)

  31. Esther says...

    I just have to say I love this series so much and I wish that it would be ongoing – I understand that this one is the last one. I think this could be a book deal! Its such a refreshing bit of journalism. Thank you. These women are incredible, everyday mothers – which makes them extraordinary.

    • AuntHo says...

      Could not agree more! I would love this as a coffee table book and I’m devastated that it’s ending — I have learned so much! And I don’t even have kids …

  32. I really loved this fascinating series and especially the Swedish finale. I’m bummed it’s ending!

  33. I was pretty gobsmacked by the parental leave entitlement.. Made me want to move to sweden!

  34. Jenny says...

    Wow, this sounds amazing, now I really want to live in Sweden!

  35. Emelie says...

    How lovely to read such a beautiful and true story about Swedish Life. I´m Swedish and live here with my husband and daughter and even though I off course know all theese things – its great to be reminded about how great it acually is!! About outdoor sleeping, my daughter did not sleep indoors (at daytime) until she was 1. Fresh air is the best! :)
    Thank you for a great post!

    • Liz says...

      I’m so curious about this! I first read about babies sleeping outside a few years ago (here on CoJ) and have wondered about abductions. Do they ever happen? I feel like if that happened here (I’m in the US), the crazies would just snatch them up! It seems like other countries have a respect for life and children that we just don’t seem to have. Another example would be the link shared last Friday about the children in Japan being sent out on errands at a very young age.

    • Liz – abductions just don’t really happen here like they do in the US. They’re extremely extremely rare.

    • Abductions are also very rare in the U.S., they are just extraordinarily over-reported and over-represented in the media.

    • elisabeth says...

      I’m Swedish and we put our baby in it’s pram on the balcony with a baby monitor.

  36. Bianca says...

    Wow I would so love to live in Sweden. The encouragement of taking care of the mother as well as the child is such a wonderful approach. The lifestyle seems right up my street. Awe if only….

  37. Cindy says...

    I learned so much!!!

  38. Tara says...

    What a great post! My dad’s family immigrated from Swedento the US, and I still have cousins in Sweden. I grew up with Pippi Longstocking, and never realized it was a Swedish thing – guess that explains why none of my friends ever knew what I was talking about! lol

  39. I loved this so much! A real glimpse into what it is like to live in Sweden – I am in awe of their parental leave!

  40. Nicole says...

    This was my favorite installation of the series. I would love to incorporate more candles, outdoor naps, and coziness into my routine.

    • Katy says...

      Same here! Love the cozy theme and outdoor naps for kiddos….and the lovely parental leave!

  41. Eva Rosenius says...

    Thank you for writing and thinking so nicely of Sweden. I´m happy that you appreciate our country and I also was reminded of what a great country I have had the fortune to grow up in.

  42. Katherine says...

    Decision made: my husband and I are moving to Sweden before having children. Way to go! Thanks for this post!

  43. Jenn says...

    Oh my, Friday cozytime? Saturday candy?? Five week vacation?? 480 day parental leave?? I think I’ve found my people!

  44. Ruth says...

    Thank you for doing this series – it’s my absolute favorite on your blog! I’m 6 weeks away from my first little one’s arrival and these posts have given me such an interesting perspective on motherhood. Can’t wait for them to resume next year!

  45. Lisa says...

    YAY! Finally a post about Sweden! This made me so happy, and homesick.. I do agree with what other people are commenting about eating cinnamon buns for breakfast – probably doesnt happen very often. Swedish people are generally super healthy with the breakfast and sugar is a big no-no. And for everyone who wants to move to Sweden – university is free, even if youre not Swedish. Yep. True story. And dental care and health care is free until you turn 18. Even if dental care is not cheap after, health care is. I think a visit to the emergency is like 25€/28$.


    • CATHERINE says...

      so pretty much like here in France where health care is free or practically!

    • Lisa says...

      Yes Catherine but France has 16 weeks maternity leave and – I think – 2 weeks for dads? So not really the same.

    • Karin says...

      It´s NOT free, we have high taxes in Sweden. It is true that we have great benefits, but we pay a high price for them.

    • hanna says...

      Have to add that uni is not necessarily free for non-Swedes. It is free for Swedes, permanent residents, as well as EU citizens.

    • Lisa says...

      I say that its free because you pay fairly high taxes in most countries but down get shit for it. I don’t live in Sweden at the moment, pay almost as high taxes as I did in Sweden but still pay for EVERYTHING – high electricity bills, high rents, high water bills, crazy dental and health care fees (thank god for a good insurance that brings it down a bit). Daycare is about 1000€ per month per kid here, compared to about 100-150€ in Sweden. So yeah, I use the word “free”.

  46. Jamie says...

    wow. The daycare cost there is amazing! I mean, so is paternity leave – I can at least take time off, but its all unpaid! I’m looking at daycares now almost 1yr. out and most are already booked up – not to mention the cheapest childcare center for an infant is $370/week!! :( Sweden sounds perfect – and since I’m in MN, the cold wouldn’t phase me a bit.

  47. Sarah says...

    This is my favorite Motherhood-around-the-world post yet! Sweden sounds so wonderful, albeit the darkness and cold. Eeps.

  48. Shauna says...

    What a wonderful series. Thank you!

  49. Theresa says...

    My husband and I talk all the time about living abroad someday with our daughter (he did for six years before we met) and think Sweden sounds swell! I love their cultural ideals, sounds delightful!

  50. Traci says...

    I love this series, and always walk away with new ideas and inspiration.
    If the mood ever strikes, I’d be interested in reading a Motherhood Around the States series. Our country is so large & so diverse; I like hearing how different parenting can be for those living under the same flag.
    Thanks for all you do!

    • Angela says...

      I love this idea!

  51. Becca says...

    I want to go to Sweden so badly!! Oh my gosh this was painful to read – I want to go to there!

  52. I want to live and have a family in Sweden!

  53. One of the series I look forward to the most. Once again, an excellent read!!

  54. Anon says...

    Omg. Now I want to move to Sweden! That country has never sounded so amazing before!

  55. Courtney says...

    Can we all attend fredagsmys? I love that there is an official name for cozying up, drinking a lot of wine and eating a ton on Friday nights. Also, the candle lighting obsession gives me such a beautiful visual of Swedish life. So cozy and lovely. Thank you for this one, it has been one of my favorites!

  56. Shannon says...

    Sounds like an ideal place to live! Love the parenting and postpartum support.

  57. Sweden sounds like a wonderful place to live. And thank you–I’ve been walking past a coffeeshop named FIKA for about 8 years now and it only ever reminded me of that abbreviation on my taces (FICA). Now I know what it means!

  58. Molly says...

    What a coincidence, I am also from California and my husband is from Brazil! We live in Brazil where we are raising our two boys (one born in the US and one born in Brazil). What a gorgeous family Angelina has. Not only did this make me really, really want to visit Sweden, it made me really, really want to go down that awesome slide.

    • Michelle says...

      Hi! I had to comment because I also am a Californian married to a Brazilian :) we live in CA right now but my husband dreams of raising our kids (at least for a little bit) in Brazil. Just wondering where you are in Brazil and what made you decide to raise your kids there, if you don’t mind me asking!

  59. I love this series, thank you. Parenting in Sweden sounds wonderful!

  60. Hanne says...

    Haha:)) so true! A lot of this is exactly the same in Norway but this was written a lot warmer than the part that was about Norway!

  61. Gabriela says...

    I was born and still live in Montreal, Canada, where winters get pretty crazy (last january we had some -38 Celcius) and my mom also believes that napping outside is good for babies. Once, she was meeting a friend at a café in a pretty quiet part of town, and the café had a fenced terrasse that went all around the building, so she put my stroller on the terrasse right in front of a window and went to sit inside at the table next to the window. Apparently a little while later some lady came rushing into the café and started yelling at her about what a terrible mother she was! It’s nice to know that the Scandinavian countries have my mother’s back in this story haha ;)

    • Line says...

      Yeah, here (in Sweden) nobody would have reacted at all.

  62. mm says...

    Best series on the blog, so informative!