A New Chapter- The Emigrants*

By: Pia Johansson

In roughly two weeks. That’s when we move, to Sweden! In three weeks I start my new job, thereby ending my maternity leave, my last maternity leave at that. I have accepted a new kind of job at Lund University and I am taking my whole family there and the plan is to settle. For the first time, we are planning to stay. It is exciting and nerve-wracking.

So first things first, why Sweden you say? Well, I am Swedish and my family lives in the region we are moving to. Having them close by is definitely one of the reasons why we chose to move here. My sister also has two small children and I would love for my girls to grow up knowing their cousins and grandparents well. And obviously, having the possibility of some relief in the child care area is going to be a great thing. And I can work out how everything works, no more second guessing or not understanding due to my poor German skills.

I am also super excited about bringing the girls home, to do all the Swedish things, like for Xmas and Midsummer. I have already bought some Xmas outfits and cookie cutters. And there is a whole new Foodie Culture in Sweden which I have never been a part of. And it is very beautiful of course. B596B8DE-EDF0-4196-B9A8-87D435CA499B.jpeg

The job (manager of a new gene editing facility at Lund University) is a good one but perhaps not my dream job and it is definitely a side-step career-wise. It is however in a good scientific environment, it is in Sweden and is great for when the girls are still small. It involves a lot of changes and challenges some good and exciting some less so, but let’s see. A new chapter for sure.

So what am I concerned about?

1. The weather. Yes, that´s right, coping with the weather gets its own section. Rain, grey, windy and cold. Not very hot and lots of rain in summer and pretty grey and dark and icy with not so much snow in winter. The weather in Munich is really really great in comparison (I actually do think the weather is quite good here). And bad weather makes me stay inside and feel bored. Sound like the right place for me, doesn’t it? So adopting a completely over the top “Can-do” attitude is going to be vital. And buying a lot of candles and throw-rugs. And really warm, wind-proof and water-proof clothes. And thermal underwear. 77406EC5-CC8C-4DF1-B986-61BD26C74D9D

2. Actually settling in and finding balance. I am always a bit guilty of not living in the present. Certainly of not being mindful enough but also in the sense of not dealing with problems because this situation is temporary. Sometimes this approach works fine because if I don’t manage to go to the gym because I am home alone with the kids all the time it´s fine because I am not going to stay at home forever. But, now I have to find a way to make it work! But I am also looking forward to making it work, finding my new grind, my healthy, active, happy new grind. Since becoming a mom I have become a big fan of routines!
So of course, as I stand on the absolute cusp, just about to go, there are a lot of worries (I have become such a worry-wart since having children) and concerns, for the girls (will they survive without Breeze), for my husband and for me. What if we really don’t like it?! I haven’t lived in Sweden for 20 years, what if we no longer fit. We will also miss Munich, we like it more than we ever have and were closer to staying than we ever were. And I really found my tribe here. I will do my best to find like-minded people in Sweden as well but until then ÜberMoms thankfully has a large online presence so I can still be with you from a distance!

Anyway, this is just a start of this journey and I will write again soon; Part 2 – “The Immigrants – Onto a Good Land.”*
Let’s hope it is.


The Emigrants is part 1 of a classic (published between 1949 and 1959) Swedish book series, The Emigrant Series. Written by Vilhelm Moberg and chronicling the emigration and settlement of a Swedish family in North America in the mid-1800s.



44CE1A9C-0F2F-4755-A9AA-487FBB5721B1Pia Johansson is a research scientist (neurobiology), mother of two and working-mum. Ex-pat for almost 20 years (Australia and Munich and a short wild stint in Dublin many many years ago). In the throws of being repatriated to Sweden with my Australian husband. Likes talking, running and talking about running. And chocolate (although mostly 85% these days, crazy as that sounds). In addition to staying fit and eating healthily and raise happy healthy children, I dream of doing something a little bit creative like writing or becoming a photographer. Or at least organise our photos soon.

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