I generally have zero time to surf these days, back at work, with a very sick toddler and a very sick wife and fighting off two simultaneous colds myself. But I glanced the other day at an interesting discussion at RebelDad on January 15, which took me to the Washington Post, which took me to a parenting blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The question is whether men whine less about childcare. Or have less freedom to whine. Or have fewer people they are allowed to whine to. Or actually whine a whole lot more. Or … well, you get the picture.
Anyway, the question doesn’t resonate with me. We have been in such extreme parenting situations – isolated small towns with no network, moving back and forth across the Atlantic, dealing with serious health issues and pregnancies, etc. So we have had no real space for day to day whining. We tend to get existential about our whining anyway.
This did start me thinking about Sweden though. I never hear anyone complaining here, not men, not women, not at work, not at open preschool.
This is not because Swedes have it so easy. It is probably because there is something shut down about the culture. There is no space for public weakness. Just tell it to your local bureaucrat and get the benefit. It is very Lutheran and guilt-ridden and emotion-denying, I think.
Yet Swedes are much more attachment parents than Americans in general.
Just don’t complain kids. Or parents. Or anyone. Be thankful. You don’t know how good you have it.