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Half of young Swedish mums want to be housewives: study

TT/The Local/dl · 25 Oct 2011, 08:31

Published: 25 Oct 2011 08:31 GMT+02:00

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“As things look today, people may be comparing bad working conditions with the image of the glamourous housewife,” gender researcher Catrin Lundström told Sveriges Television (SVT).

In a survey conducted by the Swedish family lifestyle website familjeliv.se, 45 percent of mothers indicated they wanted to be housewives.

The thought of staying home full-time to tend to household chores and children was most popular among younger mothers aged 18- to 29-years-old, with 53 percent responding that they wanted to be at home.

Among mothers aged 30- to 44-years-old, 40 percent of respondents indicated they would prefer to be at home.

According to Lundström, Swedish mothers have become increasingly attracted to the idea of staying at home in recent years.

“Two years ago I would have been surprised, but not today,” she told SVT.

She attributed part of the trend to the glamourization of being a housewife in the media through such television shows as “Swedish Hollywood Wives” (Svenska Hollywoodfruar).

Another contributing factor may be the dismal labour market facing many younger Swedes.

Lundström explained that the survey results also indicate that Swedish women may not be as gung-ho about gender equality as people would like to believe.

Nevertheless, the survey also revealed that only 2 percent of respondents indicated they had actually chosen to stay at home, something Lundström said likely depends on the fact that most families feel they don't have the means to get by on a single income.

She also doubted that, if asked, Swedish fathers would be as enthusiastic about staying at home full time as they already use up relatively little of Sweden's generous parental leave benefits.

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“This shows once again that gender equality isn't as good as one might wish,” she told SVT.

The results are based on 11,000 responses to the survey out of 70,000 who were asked to participate.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:21 October 25, 2011 by rise
"Nevertheless, the survey also revealed that only 2 percent of respondents indicated they had actually chosen to stay at home, something Lundström said likely depends on the fact that most families feel they don't have the means to get by on a single income."

Exactly. To survive in Sweden the mother as well as the father has to work! Maybe something to think about for some envious foreigners complaining about how "rich" we are.
09:48 October 25, 2011 by HYBRED
It sounds like the housewives are just to lazy to get a job. They would rather lay around the house and get fat whle the man works.
10:25 October 25, 2011 by Learner2011
Women are created to give birth, to breastfeed, to cook, to clean, to wash dishes and clothes. So, If a women is capable of doing all the aforementioned activities perfectly and she has a job, then, Undoubtedly she is a perfect girlfriend/wife material.

However, We men understand and forgive the fact that woman sometimes cannot get a job but at the same time we expect her to do a good job in the kitchen.

unfortunately, The ugly inconvenient truth is that women do not know what they want to be or what is their purpose in life and sadly that's why they majority of them get hurt badly by divorce or breakup and the worst part is the fact that many of them spent the rest of their life alone.
10:49 October 25, 2011 by Addendum
Lots of adults have now grown up with working moms and saw just how frazzled and burnt out, these moms became AND many of them actually wanted to spend more quality time with their children before they grew up.

Sweden has recently outlawed homeschooling. To my understanding, it's one of the few countries to have done this, and perhaps only the second in Europe - the first having been Nazi German. Whatever education minister has also advocated that it be compulsorary for children to attend daycare, starting at 18 months!!!

Do parents in Sweden have rights or are they just breeders for an overly intrusive and controlling state? Start the indoctrination as early as possible? Sweden's experts always know better than you what your child needs. If you disagree, they take your child from you, and you'll never see them again.

Parents should have the right to stay home with their children if they can afford to do so. I know families who saved for several years and live very mosdestly so they can afford the luxory of having more quality time with their young children. Many women also choose to return to work after their children are a little older.

Women should not be forced to stay at home. Men should not be forced to be the sole providers. In a perfect world, home and work responsibilities and rewards/enjoyments would be balanced for each individual. It is NOT the state's job, however, to tell mothers (and fathers) what to think. If a mother chooses to work, more power to her. If a mother chooses to stay at home, more power to her.

If Lundström wants to respect gender equality, then she needs to respect that individual women (and men) know better than her what works for their particular family situation and goals. Lundström's definintion of feminism must be something like, women and men should equally be slaves to the state. Another member of the Ladies Fascism League...
11:57 October 25, 2011 by conboy
Swedish women have no interest in staying at home with their kids according to my experience
12:21 October 25, 2011 by glamelixir
How did it go from "Half of young Swedish mum" to "Nearly EVERY Swedish mother" oh The Local, the local, you work really hard to be mediocre... pfffffff.
13:04 October 25, 2011 by Nucifraga
Maybe the question people were answering was 'Do you enjoy your job?'
15:53 October 25, 2011 by Abe L
@conboy, seconded.

Feels like one of those articles where you wonder what alternate reality the people who did the survey live in.
18:04 October 25, 2011 by johnoleson
How can this possibly be true? The thought that human females have mothering tendencies stronger than that of males has been mandated by the state not to exist. Not withstanding, it is similar to all mammals, but we are human. This may require legislative action to help redirect these silly (I mean wrongly directed) women.
19:24 October 25, 2011 by Soft Boiled
Blimey the next thing you know.. they will be asking for The Vote.
20:47 October 25, 2011 by esvahnt
this is the first step to make of sweden a great country

if every woman has the oportunity to raise 4 or 6 children like in other countries sweden will be a mayor succes

gays and lesbians most be furious
21:38 October 25, 2011 by workforthesoup
@Learner2011: Anti-feminist and chauvinistic!
22:21 October 25, 2011 by Kaethar
Anyone bother to check the source? A survey by familjeliv.se? You might as well ask Swedish members of goal.com how many of them would prefer to play football all day instead of working and get the same result.
09:50 October 26, 2011 by DAVID T
They should be in the kitchen and looking after their man
12:09 October 26, 2011 by salalah
I sure can understand this. Women are expected to work as hard as men, clean the house, tend to the children, while all the shows on TV are bombarding women with Cooking shows, Homestyling shows, Hollywood housewives etc. When a full-time working woman finally gets home she has no energy for her children or her husband. She doesn't want to slave for 1 hour at the stove. Men are made for working. Their bodies are stronger and they don't get a period or bear children. Women get PMS and are grumpy.The women who are happy working while having children are those who have either grandparents at home or maids who can help out with cooking, cleaning and bringing children to and from daycare.

Reinfeld has been advocating full-time work for women. Yes but he and his likes can all afford to hire maids. That is why they have lowered the tax on household services and introduced cheap foreign workers visa.

He calls those who are poor and want to be at home with their children like some immigrants, lazy and he wants to force them to work. In his own words: "My hope is that more children from immigrant families will see their mothers go to work every day". Is it only a rich man's privilege to be able to stay st home and to teach children his own values rather than those of institutions? Remember that daycare was instututed by the communists...
13:10 October 26, 2011 by soultraveler3
I totally agree with this posted by Addendum in comment #4.

"Lots of adults have now grown up with working moms and saw just how frazzled and burnt out, these moms became AND many of them actually wanted to spend more quality time with their children before they grew up."

Growing up, my mother was CEO at a publishing company that produced several magazines. The salary and perqs were nice, but the hours were long, she was often away on business and she was almost always in a horrible mood (negative, impatient, critical, confrontational etc.) at home.

Just for the record, the same thing happens to many men in that situation, but we're talking about mothers atm.

My best friend on the other hand, had a SAHM that was much more involved in her children's daily life. They did projects together, went out together, cooked together and she was more involved in their school as well. They had a much closer bond than I've ever experienced with my mother and they're still going strong today.

This is just an example and I know that not all SAHMs are great and that working full-time doesn't mean that people don't bond with their children as well. My father also works full-time, is great and always has been.

Like Add pointed out though, growing up like that has made me think. If I ever have children I want to work either part-time, have very flexible hours or maybe even take a few years off so that I can be there more.

If young Swedish are wanting to stay home because of growing up in a similar way, I totally understand.

If however, they're looking at all the stupid shows like Real Housewives and thinking they want to be a kept woman that doesn't need to do anything since her man is rich, that's sad.
16:45 October 26, 2011 by johnoleson
I think part of Western civilization has lost touch with what a family is. It is not personal ambition and fulfillment ahead of the good of the family unit. No roll is less than when it comes to the wellbeing of the family nor is the roll of primary caretaker of children and household "lazy". To think otherwise is indoctrination. The planners who mandate institutionalized childcare as a "one size fits all", are stealing the heart and soul of society. The family, not the individual, is the building block of countries. The family is the only truly successful use of socialism, whereas socialism in government always ends up in failure.

These families who choose to forgo part of their income to better nurture their children need to be applauded. Their impact on society will be much greater than what would be accomplished in the workforce.

Johnoleson, a family man.
17:20 October 28, 2011 by sparklerose
I think we are missing an important point here. Whereas, I agree that all families are individual and should be free to make decisions on what works best for them, we all have a responsibility to society as a whole. Female oriented jobs are still worse paid that male oriented jobs and there are fewer women in high positions. Part of the reason for this is because women take bigger breaks from their careers to look after children and also take on much of the responsibility of running a home. We are all responsible for making this change. Furthermore, if our children are brought up with the values that women should stay at home and men work, then this will just be perpetuated. Thus, we need to think of the longer term consequences. Another matter that has been touched upon briefly is the trap that many women can find themselves in if they have been "kept" all their lives. If they have no career and no particular skills, then they have no way to support themselves if they wish to leave a relationship, unless of course they meet a new partner who can keep them, and if they themselves get dumped, they find themselves in a pretty sticky situation! Thus, of course we should do what is best for our situation on an individual level, but we should bear in mind what the longer-term consequences are to ourselves, our kids and to society.
03:51 October 29, 2011 by för30årseden
Equality does not mean that everyone has to be the same. There is nothing more anti-egalitarian then saying that differences imply inferiority.

But a woman will be inferior if she believes that she has to be a man, or like a man, to be a valued member of society. Freedom means that she should be free to make here own choices with her partner. She definitely should not have to answer to some statist ideologue.
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