Cultural differences: childcare 

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After babysitting in New York City for 10 months, I am determined to NOT have kids in this city. Not only does the air smell like exhaust fumes anywhere you go and there’s no real nature close by, everything is also so poorly adapted for strollers (or wheelchairs). Going on the subway is a nightmare and if no one is there to help me I have to take out the kid and carry him up all the stairs and then take anther round to carry the stroller up. People glare suspiciously on us wherever we go, as if kids are not allowed in the city, and they would never move out of the way because I need to use a ramp or would like to sit down when juggling baby food, pacifiers, stroller and baby.

There’s also the lack of educational, outdoorsy child care. I don’t know since I don’t have kids of my own, but the moms I work with all say the day care centers they’ve tried either has the TV on all day or never ever goes outside. Now compare this to Sweden where everyone is entitled to free kindergarten where they are outside most of the day no matter what weather it is, get healthy food, go on excursions and actually learn things, not least to cooperate and socialize with other kids, sharing toys, expressing their feelings. Over here, if another kid starts playing with my kid’s toys at the playground, the parents immediately come up and carry their kid away, like they’re afraid of other people.

In Sweden the air is cleaner, we have lower speed limits close to schools, school is free all the way (even college), parents with strollers go for free on the bus (and people have to make room for them in the center of the bus), there are elevators or ramps in the subway and most public areas to make it accessible and there are natural areas very close to the cities, including Stockholm (I don’t mean parks, but actual forests).

So! No kids until we move to Sweden. But I do LOVE New York City! And I always have a super cool view when working. I just thinks it’s a great place when you’re young, before you move on to the next stage of life.

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Cultural differences: childcare 

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