They are running a series in Dagens Nyheter on the funny shows that run overnight. You know, the kind of random shows that no one really watches but fill space, maybe old reruns of Paradise Island or documentaries on pavement ants.
Or, in Sweden, Canadian housewives.
Channel 4+ runs “The Mom Show,” at 4:35 on Monday mornings. This is apparently a show hosted by two moms, interspersing personal anectdotes with segments for moms, seemingly the stay at home kind. There are doctors and nannies who give advice. The hosts are cheery and pro-Mom and praise their husbands for helping out.
Sounds run of the mill to me. But in the Dagens Nyheter review, the writer thought that a show so dedicated to women and to motherhood was “fascinating” and a little “funny” (this is not a great translation of “rolight”). The headline essentially says “For chic housewives”
For in Sweden, the housewife is basically nonexistant. There are many benefits to the broad sweep of the safety net. All parents get a chance to stay home with their babies. All children get their parents for the first 15 to 24 months.
But then it is off to daycare, which is generally of a high quality. And there are long vacations and parental leave stretched for two month summers off. But it does not go further. For it is really really hard to make it on one salary in Sweden, what with the taxes to support the safety net. And, beyond that, the culture has shifted away from stay at home parents.
So much so that Canadian housewives seem as exotic as tribes in the Amazon or in a forgotten corner of Mongolia.