Day in the life: Tess in Malmö, Sweden

My name is Tess and I am a 37 year old Swede that loves making things (especially cute kids). I currently live in a one bedroom apartment in central Malmö (Sweden) with my American husband David and our two children Eden (2 years) and Phoenix (6 months). We have big dreams about buying a house in a year or two.


I’m on maternity leave with Phoenix until November 2nd when I am scheduled to go back to work (as a graphic designer for IKEA). David who currently runs his own business as a carpenter will then be home for 8 month before Phoenix can start preschool. I love that the Swedish maternity/paternity leave is so generous and equal.


I also design and make jewelry under my brand Nova designs. I have been selling on etsy since 2008 but after the kids were born the business was put on hold. I started sewing a lot instead and I love making cool and colorful clothes for my kids.


A day in the life:

Our day usually starts when Eden wakes up around 5-6am. We’ve tried everything to make her sleep longer but decided it’s better to embrace it and get up with her then it is to fight it. Coffee is key to our survival. That, plus our mantra that we repeat when things get crazy; “This too shall pass”.


After coffee we eat oatmeal porridge (well the majority of us do). A certain little lady likes to pinch her lips shut and mutter something about “iwantmilkwithstraw”. So I don’t have any great tips for what to feed your two year-old unless ice cream is an option (which it unfortunately isn’t in this household). Breakfast is usually followed by a series of well timed events that ultimately gets us out the door. It involves wrestling clothes on a screaming 2 year-old followed by impossible toothbrushing as said lips then are glued shut. But some days are definitely better than others. I’ve learnt to stop asking her (Eden) if she wants to do something like putting her shoes on. Instead I give her a choice between two sneakers. Either way she gets something on her feet and we are good to go!


We don’t own a car so we do everything by bike or foot. When I take Eden to preschool I put both kids in their big retro Brio sibling stroller that I sewed a new green corduroy cover for. If I am only going out with Phoenix I use our retro Emmaljunga that I’ve made a new cover in blue corduroy for. I couldn’t live without these strollers. They are unbreakable and you can almost fit a month worth of groceries in the shopping basket underneath the emmaljunga.

Eden’s preschool is an all outdoor preschool that is located inside a park. It takes about 30 min to walk there. Since she is outside regardless of the weather (rain or shine) she is always wearing comfortable and functional clothing. It’s rare that I put a dress on her. It would kind of cramp my little climbing and jumping monkey’s style.


After I pick her up we usually go and play in the park by our house for a bit. There is this big inflatable pillow thing that she would bounce on until bedtime if I let her.
But by 4 o’clock I’m all hopped out and I bribe her to get back in the stroller so we can head home and start dinner. Laying puzzles on my phone usually does the trick. Or if she is really fighting back I’ll break out Maya the bee or some other cartoon on Netflix.

At home I try to entertain her with Playdough, making beaded necklaces, painting, drawing, bubble baths (usually mandatory after painting) while I prep and cook dinner. But let’s face it. She is two and has the attention span of a squirrel so at some point the iPad probably makes an appearance so mummy doesn’t burn dinner.


David always comes home for dinner around 5-6pm so we can all sit down together. Well almost all of us. You-know-who has ants in her pants and makes numerous trips to go potty, get a book, pick stuff up from the floor etc. before she can eat. It is getting better though, so I believe there IS hope.

After dinner it’s bath (unless we already did that), story (like five hundred of them) and bed by 7-8pm. Hopefully followed by blissful sleep (insert big glass of wine here) until it all starts over at 5 a.m. the next day.


I’d like to say that I’m all crafty and creative after the kids are asleep, but the times when I haven’t accidentally put myself to sleep at the same as them,  I can usually only muster up enough energy to crawl to the sofa and reach for the remote…

Becoming a mother has definitely been the hardest but also the most amazing and rewarding experience of my life.

If I haven’t mentioned our son Phoenix much it’s because he is still at that glorious age when they don’t argue with you about anything. He’s just happy to be along for the ride.



Tess wearing her BLANQI maternity high performance support tank when pregnant with Phoenix.

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