In a country where there seems to be loads of support for families (universal healthcare, great parental leave options, heavily subsidised childcare and free education) do the mothers feel less overwhelmed?
Lisa sits down with her long time friend, and Swede, Anna to find out first hand whether or not life in progressive Sweden is all it’s cracked up to be.
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Okay, here it is. This is my conversation with my beautiful friend Anna, who I was living with in Sweden for a few days with the kids at her house in Lund. And you can go and listen to part one if you missed it, which was our origin story, how we became friends in the first place, and a few of my key observations of Sweden.
You’re about to get an insight from. Anna about life here. I hope you enjoy the conversation.
So I think what a lot of people would wanna know is about your Covid experience, and we spoke about that a lot when I first arrived. ’cause I was telling you what it was like for us and everyone, everyone was looking at Sweden as a really different way of, um, You dealt with it in a completely different way.
So do you think you did it better? I don’t know if we did it better, but, uh, I think the outcome is not worse in Sweden than anywhere else. And I think it helped our children a lot, that they could go to school, they could do their sport activities, they could meet their friends. And they also helped us as parents that they were doing that because we thought we didn’t have lockdown.
Uh, we had some restrictions. Me and my husband, we were working from home. We thought that was really difficult. Yeah. Uh,
but your kids
were at school? Our kids were at school and, uh, they were at after school activities and they would go to friends’ houses and their friends would come here as well. I don’t know if we would have made it like through as a couple if we didn’t have that ’cause.
We didn’t have any input from the outside world, like it was just me and my husband at home working, and we would go for walks together or like do stuff like that. But if we would have the kids at home at the same time, I, I thought it was frustrating as it was because like our social life was restricted, even though it was not at all the same as it was in Australia because you
guys, you couldn’t go to restaurants or stuff like that, that stuff, it was just restricted.
We could go to restaurants, but the restaurants would take in less people and it would close earlier. It was also this, like the thing in Sweden was that we were really good at following the recommendations of the government. So if they would say, you know, we don’t think that you should go to the restaurants or that you should go, Do this or that, or travel, then we didn’t.
So it was this kind of social like pressure on that? Yes. That you shouldn’t go to a restaurant. I mean, that would be kind of frowned upon. Uh, we did a lot of outdoor gatherings, so even if we would be in the middle of the winter, like really cold outside, we put on very warm clothes and we would sit outside.
To have a glass of wine with our friends. Yeah. Just like, and we never did that before, but during Covid, we would sit like outside and do that, or we would meet up in the woods and grill some sausages. And after Covid I can like, like grill sausages to like, I cannot do it. And I have eaten. So like I’ve been in so many little places in the woods, eat sausages because that’s what people would suggest.
They would go like, oh, let’s meet out this week and we can go to this. Like little place out in the woods and we can barbecue some sausages can’t do that anymore. Sausages that, that’s your And Covid trauma is, yeah. Sausages. No, but I think that the Covid trauma for us was this feeling of, what is, it was my husband was saying something after Covid and I was like, I don’t feel that I’m working from home.
I feel like I live in my workplace and that’s, that was like a very frustrating feeling. Mm-hmm.
Yeah. I think a lot of people Yeah. Would feel the same. And I know we were talking the other night about how the, going back to work, things are, getting everyone back into offices is a, is quite a big deal at the moment in Australia.
People are like, well, I know I could do my job here. Yeah. But. But Mauricio was saying with his particular office that they’re now sort of telling people they have to be back at least two days a week. Yeah. Because some people, it does work for them. And I’ve worked from home for myself for years and years and years.
So that wasn’t the issue for me. The issue for me was that the children were there all the time.
Yeah. I wouldn’t have been like, I don’t know, I thought we were spending too much time with our children anyways because like, but not only because like, we didn’t have this, it wouldn’t be this thing. Okay, just let’s go downtown to go and have a, a fka like a coffee and like something to, to eat or let’s go to this, uh, Indoor playground, like bounds or whatever.
Yeah. Like that, those things were closed. Closed. So you couldn’t do that. We were still at home a lot, the four of us. Yeah. And then they had this recommendation also that you will, you should create your kind of social bubble. Yes. So we, we had three other families that we would like see and invite Uber, go to their place.
Then you’re kind of stuck with these people also, like, you know, I chosen these ones. It’s just how we are wired. I think as, as sweets that we will go like, okay, this is what they recommended. This is what we, we, yeah.
So maybe, so is there a community sense more than, uh, individualistic kind of. Vibe.
Yeah. I mean, people were afraid here also.
Like we didn’t know what was going on. Nobody knew what was going on. Yeah. So we were not thinking that. It was really up to us to, to decide what’s the best choice is. So I think we listened a lot to do authorities at this time and um,
but you had freedom to choose senses, whereas I think that’s what people were upset about at home was.
You were given fines. Yeah. You, it was just
not as really strange. No, no, we didn’t have that. But no, we didn’t have that. So
in terms of school, because I, you know, I asked my community what they wanted to know about Sweden. People like school. Is it really free? What’s included? What is, and, and I guess the whole sort of conversation on.
Certain types of social structures and systems that you’ve got going on here. We should probably start with, we should, before we do school, let’s start with maternity leave and having children in the first place. I mean, you told me yesterday it costs absolutely nothing to have a child
to give birth, particularly others hospital that’s, that’s free of charge and the aftercare in the hospital and all that, that’s, that’s completely free of charge.
Or rather, we pay taxes for these two Yes. To happen. And then we get parental leave. So we get 16 months for each child, and when I say 16 months, we’re talking about seven days per week for 16 months. But then you can decide if you wanna take out four days a week. That doesn’t mean that you’re working the other days, it just means that they will give you less money.
So you could take out four days a week, for example. Mm-hmm. Meaning that you’re saving up three days that week. And a lot of people do that. So then you can prolong the parental leave and you can also save days up until the kids are 12 years old. So we still have days saved up if, if we would like to do like a longer trip somewhere than we can take out some parental days and stuff like that.
But it’s 16 months and it’s from the start divided between the both parents. So I would get eight months and Mauricio would get eight months. Then it’s up to us to decide how we want to distribute these months. So he could give me back some of his months. Right. Or I could do the same. The dad has to take out at least three months, otherwise we lose them.
So I could not take out all of it. Yeah. Uh, so, so I could not, he could not give me his all of the eight months. So what did you guys do? So for the, for our first child, Mauricio was working in France, so he, he wouldn’t get any parental leave. Mm-hmm. So I took the whole parental leave myself
because So you were both living in France?
So he was born,
he was born like he was born here. Okay. Uh, in Sweden. And then I went to France and I spent my parental leave there.
Right. So it doesn’t even matter. You don’t even have to be in the country.
No, not for the parental because I had like worked in Sweden. It’s what happens up until the Chinese is born.
Like, so I had worked in Sweden up until he was born. I don’t, that would give me the,
it might even be the same in Australia, but actually got no idea if you can leave and still get it. But is it, is it similar to a wage
is so, um, it’s 80% of your salary up until a certain level. Like if you, if you are a. A c e o of a company, it, they wouldn’t give you 80% of your salary, but it’s 80% of sort of an average salary.
Yeah. And then a what a lot of, like companies, or if you work for a state authority is that they would top off the, the rest either 10% or 20% so that you would have like a full salary. Uh, my workplace topped up, so I had 90% of my salary. I think in Mauricio’s workplace, they, they, they give you like the 20% that is missing, right?
To a certain like level. You know? It, it’s not, um, oh no, it’s
still, it’s a male. So, so for your first trial, you, he didn’t get any? No. But then what happened
with, so with a second child, I stayed at home for about nine months and then Mauricio took over. When you stop childcare here, the, the child cannot go into childcare before the age of one year old.
So most people will put them, like when they are about maybe 15 months or 18 months, they, they will start in childcare. Yeah. But then we also have this, like up until the kids at 12 years old, you are entitled to work 80%, uh, for your. Like they, they have to, to let you work 80% if you like to, so that you would pick up your kids earlier.
you’re saying that you leave work at, or most people leave work about four 30?
Yeah. Or, or earlier. Uh, because like, that’s what everyone has to go and pick up their kids. So no one would say anything if you’re, yeah, you could work later if you have that agreement. Like Mauricio would work later.
Sometimes when I’m picking up the kids and I would work later. But on your pickup day, you just go, like, when you need to go,
tell me With the childcare mm-hmm. And how much that costs.
Um, so when they are, uh, between one and five or six before they start school? Yeah. Okay. This is also depending on your salary.
Like if you, if you have, um, Low salary, you pay less at the maximum that you would pay, which would be our case, we would pay for one child, maybe 1,200 crowns per month. What is that? Which
is the equivalent of, well, it was about $25 is 200 crown. So what did you say it was?
1,200. And so that, that, that’s like a hundred euro.
Yeah, 120 Australian dollars per month for your child to be in childcare where they get fed beautiful foods. They get three, three meals
a day, a day there. If you drop them, well, if you drop them before seven 30, then, then they will have breakfast there, and then they have lunch, and then they have an afternoon meal, like before you pick them up.
I mean, they have it
around two, which is the same, same school as well.
Which is the same as school as well.
Yeah. And schooling then is totally
free. So if you only have your kids in school during school hours, that’s totally free. If you choose to have them in after school, like activities, then you pay, I think a pay for both of the boys now, maybe 1,600 maximum.
I, I’m not even sure. Like it’s, it’s not very much. It’s for both of them. Sounded they could call before school starts and they can stay after school finishes, uh, until we’re It’s mind
blowing. It’s mind blowing. So do you think that all of these things encourage people to have children or make having children less stressful?
What do you think?
If we didn’t have this system and it would be a mad road. Paying a lot of money for it, then we would have a conversation in Austin between me and my husband. Like if it’s worthwhile, if one was to stay home, if we’re doing it like the right way, but now we don’t have to ask ourselves that question.
At least we could just go like you we’re working and, and that’s. No one is suffering from that. And we know that the kids have a good time where they are and, and everyone is doing it. So like being, staying home with your children? I, I don’t have any friends doing that. Really? No. And I, I, I actually don’t even know about anyone
Wow. So there is just an expectation that both parents work, but does it, and that doesn’t feel stressful. That you both got full-time jobs and
Well, of course it is. I mean, you, it is stressful to be a parent and it is stressful to, I, I always feel that I’m not like maybe a good enough mom or I’m not good enough at work, but I sharing the experience with everyone else as well, so it’s not, it’s just kidding.
It’s like, yeah, it’s stressful. It’s stressful to fix a meal every day and to to be somebody interesting at work and to be, uh, like. Fun and creative parent, and it is stressful, but I don’t have to, the logistics is working, like I don’t have to worry too much about that. Mm-hmm.
Um, yeah, I mean, I, it was before today when we were at the playground, we, I asked you about divorce rates here, like thinking if there was less financial sort of stress, just even.
People, the childcare stuff is really a huge deal for people because sometimes it just negates the, any earnings from your job. Mm-hmm. So you’re just in a job because you wanna be working as opposed to your family benefiting financially from doing that. And it puts a lot of pressure, like it’s a huge pressure on.
Couples. Uh, so I was thought everyone here just looks so happy everyone’s got all of this support. So that was the other thing. Healthcare is free for kids up until their twenties, so you don’t even have to pay for the dentist. I mean, this is something that people seriously struggle with. I mean, that is it.
Financial stress is, is huge. And when it comes to things like deciding whether you can afford. Braces for your children or if someone else needs, I don’t know, whatever it is, that’s it Puts pressure on relationships, of course. Yeah. And you, that’s just doesn’t exist if, if someone needs something. I mean, you were explaining the health checks that happen within school, so within school.
Your kids have pediatricians coming to check on them for certain things. Eye checks. Ear checks.
There’s actually a school nurse that is doing that, and if she discovers something, she’s, she sends us like to the hospital for, like, for example, like my, she discovered that one of my kids didn’t see so well and then she arranged for an appointment, uh, with my doctor in the hospital.
So she’s not, she can detect if something is like off and then she would send us to a specialist. Uh, so we don’t have a pediatrician in school. It’s actually a school like a nurse Specialized in child. Child,
yeah. Yeah. Okay. Got it. I mean, what we were sort of talking about before with you saying, yes, life is still stressful and this, you still feel overwhelmed with things.
In terms of, ’cause I think from the outside looking in, Sweden has a big focus on equality. Mm-hmm. Do you feel that is the case? Like as a, as a woman and as a mother? Mm-hmm. That there is a relative equality in homes, in workplaces like, I
think it might be better than in some other places, but we’re between women.
We always talk about how we are doing much more like things, uh, fathers here are very involved and they, they would do a lot of things, but it’s a classic thing. Like, I mean a father that is a lot in the playground and that is arranging play dates and that is like the funny dad in the birthday parties and that is showing up in all the.
The meetings in school and stuff like that, that’s like, oh, he’s such a great dad. But a mom doing that like every day of the week, she would not get the compliment like, oh, what a fantastic mother. You know? So still is something that, that we, we don’t have the same expectations on fathers as we do on mothers, but it’s also a pressure on men.
To do things. I mean a pressure, how can I say? It’s expectations. Like they, we talk a lot about it in society, so they would be aware of when they’re not pinching in as much as expected. Mm-hmm. Social, like social women are taking more social responsibility, I would say in general, organizing the birth parties.
Yeah. With the mental load that we’re talking about the other day, but.
And I would do that too. I would organize like, who are we inviting? What are we eating and stuff. And Maurice would always be there and he would do like all the cleaning and, and, and all of that. But, but I think it’s very, we’re still very much stuck in like the women do much of the planning and uh, and um, things like
It’s kind of, I mean, it’s not good to hear, but it’s sort of almost refreshing that ease and with. Everything that’s going on and working well for you guys, that’s still the patriarchy, right? Yeah. And it’s something that is needing to be broken down everywhere in the world, even in progressive countries that are like quite genuinely, so far beyond where Australia is.
It’s embarrassing. But when we were talking the other night, um, Mauricio was sort of mentioning about how. Because you were saying that a lot of society is built around being good for children. Mm-hmm. And he was sort of thinking that’s almost gone a bit too punk in terms of, we were talking about the difference.
He’s from Chile and has lived in many different countries and kids kind of come along with the adults and do more adult things in some countries, whereas here, It’s really centered around the needs of the child and all of that sort of stuff. Do you think, do you think that that’s a positive? Do you what?
What’s your sort of take on on
that? So, since I’m brought up here, it’s like I have always felt that that’s kind of natural to me. Like the, I don’t know. I definitely understand his point, like that. I think that we don’t have separate adult lives. Yeah. Like from our children in, in the way that they do in a lot of other countries.
What, what I was explaining also yesterday that if we’re, if there’s a dinner party, then kids are always coming along, you know? And yes, it’s very rare that we would meet our friends without children. We would always, the children would always do their activity and we would sit and. And have our wine and drink, uh, and talk in the kitchen or when the kids will be in the living room or the other way around.
But we, we still meet like as a family. Yes. Like we would never go out to a restaurant just with our friends. See, I
just find that, yeah. I’m, yeah. I find that fascinating. Yeah, because that’s, and I don’t know what it is. I don’t know whether we have created something where, Our best times or our times for us mm-hmm.
Are actually without our children. Mm-hmm. So there’s this, I don’t know which one’s, which one’s sort of more beneficial. I, I, I can’t imagine a world where people, I. At home, I absolutely feel like I get relief. I get a chance to be myself and let loose and have different types of conversations and be a woman in the world when my kids are at home with a babysitter and I am on my own.
I and I always, always felt that I agree. And we
would do that, but then Maurice would stay home with the kids and I would go and meet like only my. My girlfriends, but for me and Mauricio to go out together and meet other couples that have children in a restaurant, that has never happened.
Like, which is also to the other point we were talking about the importance of home. Mm-hmm. For Swedish people. Yeah. And then you have a beautiful home and we have absolutely loved being here. It’s cozy, but it’s beautiful. You were saying how. If you meet with people, it’s always in someone’s home. That’s just the Swedish way people get invited over for meals.
Yes. Instead of meeting out, it would be at your home and there’s a big focus on your home. Feeling beautiful here.
I mean, we would go for, like with colleagues, we would go for an after work after. After like after work, we would go and have a drill together. Yeah, you would. Uh, and now we’re talking about people in our age with children.
Like when we were younger, of course it was a completely different story. We like meet out all the time. Like we, we wouldn’t wanna go and sit in somebody’s home. No. Now at this age, it’s a lot about meeting at home. Yeah. Yeah. In each other’s places. And we put a lot of efforts into our homes also like.
It’s important here that it’s nice at home, that it feels cozy at home, that you have enough glasses to invite like two families at the same time. And, and, and it is because of that, because we spend so much time socializing in power odds.
Yeah. I mean, I think, I think people like their house to feel nice, but I, I, I do think it’s different over here.
People do take great pride. I mean people do in Australia as well, for sure. I just think when you said that if you’re going to get together with people, it’s usually happening in homes then I think a lot of people go out. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And it’s not that you, that people don’t mean. We just saw there lovely restaurants around
and I would go out with my husband too if we, if we have a babysitter, but we wouldn’t go out to meet up with other couples like.
That also have children? No. Like, no, that’s not how we hang out
in the restaurant. So can I ask you, I haven’t asked you this yet, what do you worry about in general and do you have worries for your kids?
I don’t worry about like their education and stuff like that and, uh, about they wouldn’t be safe where we live and, and those sort of things I will worry about.
The big issues, like what is happening with climate change and like, how, how, how are my grandkids gonna live? You know, what kind of struggles are they gonna have? It, it also worries me about the mental health issues for young people. Mm-hmm. Um, in Sweden and in general, I guess everywhere. Uh, I can sometimes think about, like, I wonder how they would feel when they’re teenagers and.
What’s gonna happen, you know, with the world and stuff like that. But I don’t have a worry in my everyday life about the wellbeing of my children. It’s more like that. I’m trying to anticipate. Mm-hmm. If there’s gonna, like, if a problem is gonna come, you know, like, but,
and I mean, on climate change, you know, you guys are doing a lot.
It feels, I mean, even just at the museum the other day, And all of the big focus. It feels like there’s a focus everywhere where you live and the way that you guys share resources, even just your recycling, all of that sort of stuff. Do you feel like Sweden, as a country is doing everything that it can?
Not at all, and also it does not matter all that much if we do. Hmm. We’re like, we’re such a small country and it’s not an isolated problem. But, but we could do so much more, and I’m not just talking about the state, like the state could do a lot more, but we could all do so much more. Like,
so how you and Mauricio thinking about the future, uh, we were talking about, uh, securing water mm-hmm.
And where you might live and even looking that there’s already a big influx of people coming in and mm-hmm. And buying property, especially in the north of. Sweden. But yeah, I mean, it is very green here in the middle of summer. If it was middle of summer in, in Melbourne, it’s just, everything’s just brown.
We don’t have a lot of water. We do have a lot of like natural resource. I mean it’s, it’s, I think we’re fine for the time being, but. There are people moving into Sweden, but the main reason why people move to Sweden is not because of securing their water future. No. It’s actually because they’re not happy with their school systems or have a lot of French people moving in because they’re not happy with the schools in France and they think it’s gonna be better here.
Yeah. It’s not always necessarily better here, but there’s, I think a lot of people have an idea about that. Sweden is like, Problem free and everything is great, which is of course not true. So it is the
image that’s projected. Yeah,
I mean, I, I think we have a lot of things and, um, I feel that my life is pretty simple and stuff like that, but we also have a lot of problems in schools.
We don’t have enough resources. Teachers are not well paid, just like a lot of things not working here as well. Even though I understand everything is relative, you know? Yeah,
yeah. I mean, you’re not America. No, no. I mean you, because yeah, you were talking about politics and the government that was voted in and all that sort of stuff.
Not necessarily being reflective of what people want, but then they were voted in. Mm-hmm. So it was, it’s an interesting thing to hear that people can be unhappy with their governments. Everyone’s got the same shit going on. Basically. It’s like no one knows what to do about this next phase of life, and we were just interrupted by a child, which, and we, I do need to get mine into bed.
Do you know what I wanted to ask you about something that doesn’t necessarily have to do with Sweeten, even though there’s so many more questions. I’m gonna have to just do a little powwow of some of the questions that people ask that might have been asking you. Mm-hmm. But when we were talking the other day about the world of self-help and all of that sort of stuff, and you were talking about how you think that maybe it’s a bit of a cause of anxiety and depression, and we had such an interesting conversation about that.
The constant thought of more like we’ve talked, you and I have talked a lot about how you just kind of accept what is you are good at accepting what is, instead of constantly thinking that you have to be improved and life has to be improved. Yeah. Why not just actually work from a different kind of, of place and you see that it gives people reason to question themselves or doubt themselves or think that.
Other people or that there’s answers
no, but I think that, that we’re, we’re striving very much for, or we have this idea and that we need to be like happy and satisfied all the time. Yes. And uh, and I don’t think that, that those are re realistic expectations to have on life. And if you’re always like striving for that, you’re always gonna feel.
Like, um, a failure when you’re not feeling that way and you’re going to try to like work towards that. And I have shitty days all the time, but I find like comfort in just going, this is a shitty day and this has been a shitty month, or this has been a shitty year. But that’s just part of it. Like the, it’s not, it is not fun all the time.
I’m not gonna feel great all the time about myself and. Just kind of accept that that is also part of life. Like I think that that we’re expecting a lot from life and I don’t mean that we should accept to be unhappy. Like there is really depression and people are suffering and you need to to treat that if that’s the case.
But I think that a lot of people have expectations on life that are not realistic and they’re very like, Something that we’ve been doing for the past, maybe 30 years before that we would expect less from life and then just be happy if we had like a good enough house and we had a, a job as like a stable job.
And we had a partner that we didn’t hate No, but that we were like, and you know, healthy children. And then, then you had like reached, like you had achieved everything. Yeah. We, we expect so much more now. Mm-hmm. Like, we can always be better at everything. We could always be prettier, we could always get more outta life.
And I just think that’s a way to, to, to make yourself unhappy. Like not just accepting that, um, we are human beings and, and everything that we need is. Some love, some food, some activity that would keep us busy, and that’s really all you can ask for.
It’s just not as complicated as people make it out to be.
But also, you did spend quite a lot of time in Rwanda Yeah. Where you got to observe a completely different way of life. Mm-hmm. But then also what would happen to people when they had that carrot sort of in front of them about. More like becoming different types of farmers and all that sort of stuff.
And we all have
that. Well, we always try to strive for something. We always try to improve our lives. Yes. Uh, but that is different. If, if you don’t have enough like food to feed your family, you would always strive to to make that happen. Yes. And um, we’re not really there, like you and I, at least we’re, we’re not in that position.
Uh, but then we will still. Not be able to just, this, this also sounds like I’m, I’m trying to say, you know, you should just be happy with what you have and then, you know, people are suffering. Um, but I think that at least I find comfort in just going, like, I don’t need to ask for anything more. Like this is, I have a really good dean here.
Yeah. And, and trying to, to get more out of it is just gonna make me. Hunt for something that I’m not necessarily gonna get. And I’m, and is it even clear what it is that I wanna have? Like it’s just these ideas all the time that you could like, become better or you, you should always like, try a little bit more or, uh, you could come, go more successful than, I don’t know.
And also just, just like honor that feeling of like, this is a shitty day. And, and just understand that. That’s, I’m pushing normal. No, no.
You don’t have to change your, so you can allow yourself to feel crappy. Yeah. And not make it mean anything. Exactly.
Like it’s just we need to have those days, otherwise we wouldn’t have the happy, we’re not, we’re humans.
Yeah. It’s not the human experience to be linear and perfect and Yeah. So I think that that’s the thing we, we look. From the outside at Sweden as some kind of utopian ideal. And at the end of the day, people are still people. Your divorce rate’s still 50%. Your um, your mental health issues still exist. You still have people even, although you can live in community spaces.
Who feel lonely. Yes. And have unemployment and people losing jobs. And only you are worried about climate change. It’s not as though, ’cause this is the thing, it’s like, is the grass greener? No. And it’s just different grass or it’s, but everyone’s got their own shit. Like we’re all going through it.
But the thing that I, I looked at it. That bothered me most about this, like self, uh, what do you call self, uh, self-help? Self help, I don’t know. Is is that we’re putting the pressure back on us. Like, it’s like, okay, so you’re having a bad day, then you need to change your mindset and you need to be like this and that, and then you’re gonna like, it’s all about the positive thinking and all that because I think that that’s like a symptom treatment.
We have a, a core problem and that is like, Expectations that we are fed with all the time from all directions, and that is what we need, like that, that needs to be dealt with, like mm-hmm. And that’s, that’s not just in you. Like if you’re fed with that all the time and then I can, I can become a bit provoked with the self-help stuff because it’s like people who are burnt out.
Mm-hmm. Instead of understanding that it’s unrealistic the, the things that you’re expected to do from your work, like in your family life. They were like, oh, you know, you need to change your mindset and you need to learn, like, how to say stop. And you need to organize yourself differently so you wouldn’t end up there.
I, I feel that that is a bit, again, saying to somebody that, oh, you failed. Yeah. To like doing this the right
way. Like, and it’s really, honestly, I think for me going through and, and in terms of what I’ve taught and. My philosophy on things, it was really challenged and I have had to really look at and rethink what I talk about since Covid and since going through big grief, because suddenly I, I used to find it so easy.
You, you talk about me as though I’m a very positive and optimistic person, and that’s who you are. Lisa. And, and I couldn’t access that part of me. And a big part of this trip, as I told you, is me just trying to kind of just, not to say it’s bad for me to feel bad after what I went through with Nick and, you know, the, the actual very real impacts.
I couldn’t out mindset though, what happened in Covid. Mm-hmm. It was really, really horrible for a really long time. And I, I was like, oh, it’s a failure on me because I’ve got all these mindset tools. I should know what to do. I shouldn’t be failing here. And for, for a good while, I was able to use those tools and I was able to, um, find ways through.
But then I just felt like I was gaslighting myself that I wasn’t actually giving myself the opportunity to really acknowledge the bullshit of this situation. And. Same goes with grief. My journey with grief has been, uh, really eye-opening in terms of when you are deep in it, you shouldn’t even have the thought that you shouldn’t be.
But I did. I, I should be over this by now. I should have moved through this. Why is this affecting me today or. Why can’t I just not cry at this or this or this? Uh, when is this gonna be over? It’s just because I, I have an expectation that I should be somewhere that I’m not and I couldn’t do it. And so I’ve actually redone a lot of my programs.
I have, I’m talking about things in a totally new way because I was naive before. I didn’t know that you couldn’t just change your mind because when I used to try that, It would work. And then now I just, I just no different. I’ve had to really deep dive into just a, a lot more information and it made me question a lot of things that I’ve talked about over the years and whether it was toxic positivity and you know, whether things were coming across like that.
But also, I am genuinely someone who will always try and seek out. Where I’ve got choice or you know what, what is, what could be good about this situation? I just do naturally do it, and it’s not in a bad way, but it’s
good because I mean, in telling of the day, if it helps people, if we give them tools, that’s always a positive thing, but the whole reason to why this help self-help industry have become like successful or could develop.
It’s because we have a broken system around
like Right, right. We can’t out mindset, a bullshit system. And, and that’s exactly right. And so that’s, that’s been a big part of, if it is, like I won’t, if your husband is not helping and is totally crap at home and everything is on you, there’s some things that you could do.
But also it’s just a really shitty situation. Let’s not try to out mindset it. Let’s acknowledge before we do that and the system is rigged against women. And I guess that was, that was what was interesting, has been interesting about talking to you is even in a system that seems like it is better for women, women are still doing more, women still are carrying the mental load.
Totally. I mean, not in all relationships and the same in the tri.
Oh, absolutely. There’s always someone,
yes. Yeah. More so, but on in general, like we’re still taking out more parentally than men are the Yeah. And who would usually call me before they call, like my husband. Maybe the kids are sick or something like that.
Yeah. I guess it’s kind of like the diet industry was created. To keep us feeling like we weren’t okay as we are in some respects. It’s a, a horrible, pointless thing and the self-help industry I can see has, I just started to really see it and observe it from the outside. And it, and it, and it does imply that it’s not okay to not be okay.
And I find that not helpful. ’cause sometimes there is genuinely things that you need to do. To help yourself. You, you might have, have a mental health challenge, but sometimes you are having a really normal human response to a situation, and I think that’s what’s scary about trying to make everyone how do all the time.
Yeah. It’s just not. So anyway, I loved our shots on that, man. Um, we’ve gotta get, I’ve gotta get my children into bed. Yeah, yeah,
I have to as well. That should probably.
Well, we are traveling up to Stockholm tomorrow. It’s been amazing staying at your house. Oh, thank you. The kids don’t wanna leave. I don’t wanna leave.
Um, amazing to have you, Anna. There’s any questions after this podcast from people I will. Message you. Okay, cool. Thank you. And we’re both kind of holding up our heads now. Tired at the end of the day. Ah, isn’t she fabulous. I hope you picked up something interesting from that conversation. I, I honestly could have spoken to her for hours and hours and hours, and in fact, we had tried to get her husband to come on as well.
But he wasn’t as keen, so that’s definitely okay. She did a fabulous job and I am grateful for her sharing so openly and honestly. I. I would love to hear from you, like if you’ve got anything, uh, that you picked up or, or wanted to share, you can always write to me. firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing your, your feedback or Of course, I.I’m on socials, so you can come and find me there. See you in the next episode.
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