Danish Happiness - Part II

 

Family Time & Men pulling their weight

 

I never realized completely, how out of balance childcare is in the US until I observed how many men wandered the streets with children in tow in Denmark. I guess when you're accustomed to stay at home or working moms pulling the literal and figurative weight of child rearing it becomes normalized. Not here, the men happily pull just as much weight as the women and are seen with kids running errands, grocery shopping, cooking, and relaxing on any given day. It's normal and expected for a high level executive to declare the work day finished or the meeting closed because he/she needs to go pick up the kids and prepare dinner! 

 

Maternal and Paternal Leave- the Danish get a whooping 9 months of leave and can decide how to share the leave between the two parents. Maybe a few weeks together in the beginning, then the wife takes a few months and then tags in dad for a few months!

 

Smiles Building Smiles

 

On another note of happiness I never observed slander, complaining, or gossiping, just smiles. Granted, I couldn't understand everything that was being said around me, I can read body language and what I observed was friends enjoying one another's company and companionship. It's so refreshing! No ranting, no anger looking for validations, simply smiles building more smiles! 

 

Work:Life balance

 

The Danish believe that work:life balance is crucial and do not wish to cultivate a workaholic culture. Everyone leaves work early around 3 or 4 and a full-time work week is usually 30-34 hours, instead of our 40. Plus, the Danish get an average of 6 weeks of paid vacation every year plus 18 government holidays! Many Danish take the entire month of July off, so if you're planning a trip to Denmark in July just know that you will be traveling alongside countless locals. 

 

Equality, Support, Dignity, and Safety

 

The Danes pay greatly to assure equality. An average of 50-60% tax yields them the support and safety necessary to not sweat the small stuff. 

 

They don't feel trapped, instead they feel supported and safe- they can quit as often as they like, go back to school and learn new skills, and do what they love so they love to work. They are not a slave to money because the tax structure assures they come out around the same as their neighbors. The more they make the more they give.  This frees up your mind to follow your passion and focus on family as the main currencies.

 

Changing jobs doesn't effect their paid leave, pension, or sick time. Oh, and did I mention they receive paid sick leave if their child is sick?