the embrace of the welfare state gets a little tight

Sometimes you just don’t want to be looked after so much.

We have a newborn.  And Sweden is heaven for parents of newborns, with lots of staff, many services, time off, child care, the works.

Yet this week, it is getting under my skin, all this looking after.  I feel ungrateful even saying anything, and every appointment seems worthwhile.

We keep going back to the hospital for more checkups.  We have more planned.  A nurse is going to do a home visit.

In America, we saw the doctor after a week.  Then maybe a month after that.

I mean, we have a healthy baby.  We know how to take care of him.  I have my son in a sling as I type.

A home visit?  What are they looking for?

Maybe it is our lack of a car.  Maybe the thought of the long ride on bus 509 to the hospital gets annoying when you are sleep deprived and your wife is still recovering from pregnancy and labor.

But I don’t think so.  I think I want this very nice, very caring big brother to back off a bit.

And still give me all my parental leave …


2 thoughts on “the embrace of the welfare state gets a little tight

  1. Funny you should notice the difference after the birth. I have heard many, many comments about how uninvolved the medical profession is during pregnancy – this Swedish attitude of – it’ll be fine – no need to intervene unless there is a problem.

    I think the home visit is wonderful – if you are an isolated mother at home on your own it can be wonderful to have a caring person come into your home to make sure you are doing ok. But that’s just me. 😀

  2. The home visit is nice, of course. We were totally isolated when our first child was born in New York and a home visit would have been great.

    The whole attitude to pregnancy is so different. It gets weird then comforting then weird. I mean, it is good to treat a pregnant woman as healthy, not sick. But if some more vulnerable people fall through the cracks, then that’s no good.

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