If you’re sick of hearing how being a parent is WAY better in Scandinavia, Cat Neilan has dug deep to find a few reasons why it’s not that bad here after all, thanks.
We’ve been bombarded with arguments for why British babies aren’t keeping up with the Johanneses. But Scandinavian cool just isn’t all that hot. Here are six reasons why Brit babies are better off (kind of)…
1. Shared parental leave
I mean sure, 18 months off with your other half (or whatever it is) sounds cool, but have you thought about it in reality? That’s a year and a half of you spending time with a person who normally you might enjoy a few evenings a week with. Seriously, be careful what you wish for: I spend all week looking forward to the weekend but by 9pm on a Friday, I’m already looking forward to Monday morning.
2. Long kiss goodnight
You think summer hours are bad in the UK but in some parts of Scandinavia, the sun never sets between May and July. That’s a long time to convince your child it really is bedtime.
3. Babies al fresco
Leave your little ones outside from as young as two weeks, they say in Norway, quoting research that says -5c is the best temperature to nap in. But no one explains why that isn’t also the best temperature to drink your latte in. You know why? Because -5c is never the best temperature for anything, apart from freezing ice cubes for your G&T. There’s a reason we have central heating.
4. Hacked off with hygge
Yeah, we all know we should spend less time glued to our phones and more time appreciating nice cushions, but come on. Who are these people who survive without constant access to Facebook/Peppa Pig videos/their Mush app?
5. Subsidised childcare
You might be reading this thinking about all that money you’d save if we just adopted the Scandi way, but we all know that money saved at the nursery just means more money spent on toys, which in turn means your home is filled with even more crippling Lego and natural wood-finished crap. Think of our overpriced childcare system as a way of streamlining your homes.
6. Because I’m happy…
Yes, Scandi countries dominate the Happiness Index. Sounds good, right? But who wants to live in a country where there’s nothing to moan about? We’d be nothing without our weather/commute/colleague sniping. And just think about how insufferable happy people are. On the plus side, now you have that Pharrell song stuck in your head for the next two days, so you have something else to gripe about. You’re welcome.