Everyone hits that point in his or her life: when being a housewife/husband is depressing.
I have been working or studying for the past 10 years since I started college and left my parents’ home. Besides cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry, I always had something to do. For sometime now though I had nothing to do. And it’s not nothing nothing, just stuff that isn’t seen by anyone as thing being done.
Being in a foreign country makes the abysmal feel evening stronger; you never know when you will get out. The support system isn’t the same; the connections are not the same as home. The glamour of being a housewife with a bebe jumper and Louis Vuitton bag is both mundane and disturbing.
For the first since I arrived in Sweden I understand what it feels like to be doing nothing and just be someone’s sambo/husband/wife. Someone who is waiting for something to happen.
Numerous girlfriends have told me how they moved to Sweden for their love and now they cannot find a job or anything to do. You apply everywhere and hear back from three to zero companies. McDonalds won’t even hire you, let alone look at your CV, because you don’t speak Swedish. You don’t have a large network of friends and family to rely on, so you waste away at home. And worst yet, hell bent on ensuring your frikort’s demise, your bank account is sucked by a dementor.
It is a mind numbing experience.
I am lucky. I realized I am blessed with a great network of wonderful friends and colleagues. When I moved to Sweden, I found a job within weeks and avoided enduring soulless months of job applications. When I lost my job, I could reach out to my network to find a new position (fingers crossed!). And I speak decent Swedish to get myself around town.
Although a low point came when a company after several weeks of interview and case studies denied me because I was not fluent in Swedish (they stressed this at the first meeting but evidently didn’t bother to follow up on their thoughts right after). I knew I was a true foreigner, not the foreign professional I had believed I was.
I knew I would be stuck at home for some time doing the dishes, cooking food, cleaning up, doing laundry, cleaning the bun’s tent, I just did not realize how mentally difficult it was. Even though I kept myself busy working on this blog and other sites, taking and editing photos, teaching cooking, I still felt empty.
So this post goes out to all the foreigners in Sweden who are unwillingly stuck at home, realizing their dream to be with a sweetheart but unable to find a place in the workforce. Housewife (househusband) work is difficult and it is rarely appreciated.
If you are a housewife/husband/sambo reading this, take a night off and go enjoy yourself. Know that you will get back into that groove and find a job and social network that you love. Have a cup of tea and watch the snowfall, it’s enchanting and glorious. Enjoy the little things.
Being a housewife/husband is hard. Being a housewife in a foreign country is harder. And for that, I bow down to all foreign housewives in Sweden and elsewhere; making their way, home and endless dreams.