The pursuit of happiness

So here I am again pondering that daily question: Can anyone ever be truly happy on the school run? For me, it’s the  low point of my day, which is a shame because it happens three times a day at the moment. I know I’m not a sociable person and I go out of my way to avoid situations where large groups of women are gathered. My ally in these situations at the moment is my coat hood. In the summer its my sunglasses. I spend a lot of time pondering if my inability to make small talk with mothers influences my children ability to form friendships at school. I’ve come to the conclusion that it does, after all if the mother doesn’t want to talk to me or thinks I’m strange then they probably will encourage their child to find other friends.

Happiness is an odd concept though isn’t it? I’ve had probably the worst two years of my life and its sort of carrying on. Redundancy, surprise baby, too much freelance work (not moaning so much about that as filling my personal time with it), a nightmare child-minding client who seemed determined to make my life a misery, stress over school choices, worries about children and health. I don’t feel happy,  I might sometimes project a facade of happiness but deep down I’m quite miserable and I’m starting to worry about the effect of that on my marriage and my own health. The main culprit in this is definitely the school run, whenever I have a few weeks off I feel better, the household seems more harmonious, life is better.

What does one do? I’ve tried asking for help with the school run, I’ve even tried to pay someone to do it, but to no avail. I’ve put my children on waiting lists for a different school, Ive tried to convince them that home education is the way to go. I’ve tried CBT techniques. None of them have really worked. I require a major life change. We have looked at moving house, this doesn’t seem feasible. A lottery win could be one solution. That leaves me with doing radical options for myself and trying not to stress about my children’s lives. Thus the happiness plan:

Read more books
Develop the garden as much as possible
Take more time for myself
Rediscover my sewing machine
Remind myself that this is just a phase

Life with 3 young children is hard, really hard. It’s lonely, tiring, both physically and mentally demanding. That’s without starting work at 7pm when they have gone to bed (on top of childminding work). I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry for me, I wouldn’t. But maybe you’ve gone through the same thing. If so, tell me how you got to a stage where you felt truly happy with your lot in life.

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6 Responses

  1. Aussie Mum 18th March 2013 / 10:45 pm

    Hugs to you! I'm still working on it and I don't have any fix all answers but hang in there. Life with three little bundles of joy is hectic but it does get better (I think). Just imagine what it will be like when they are all at school – you will be happy to do the school run in the mornings so you can drop them off and have 5 minutes to yourself for a change! xxx

  2. Muddling Along 19th March 2013 / 12:07 pm

    I think you&#39;ve got a bad set of parents – am lucky that my class seem to be ok and are at least fairly friendly <br /><br />Can you stagger drop off times so you don&#39;t get the same ones? We can kiss and drop at main gate in the morning which means can avoid talking to anyone then which would reduce it down<br /><br />Sending((hugs)) and hoping it does get better soon

  3. Jen Walshaw 19th March 2013 / 12:26 pm

    I hate the school run. But you have to realise if you can not change the situation, then you have to change your thinking around it. Have you read the happiness project? I think it will really help you to have a prohect on the go, it will suit your way of thinking and if that project is happiness then why not!<br /><br />I love it and am currently working through the follow up happier at home

  4. londondaddy 19th March 2013 / 1:00 pm

    I get the feeling that the school run may not be your problem, so much as the point where your problems manifest themselves. Low self-esteem and low energy levels can feed off each other and make it hard to see your way through. Is there any way you can slow down on the freelance work, give yourself a little breathing space? Talking to friends, or a counsellor, may help you find coping strategies

  5. Damson Lane 19th March 2013 / 1:01 pm

    I don&#39;t have to suffer a school run at the moment but I don&#39;t feel any need to be friends with the school mums when mine eventually start school as I have friends. I made the mistake early on of thinking I wanted to make friends with the mums I met with babies the same age as mine but now I realise that just because we have children the same age doesn&#39;t mean we have anything else at

  6. LittleMissnDuke 19th March 2013 / 2:11 pm

    Sorry to read that you&#39;re feeling so low. If the school run really is the issue then I can only say what Jen has said above, if you can&#39;t change a situation, change the way you think/feel about it. I had two children very close together and man, was it HARD having a toddler and a newborn. They are both now at school, and I sometimes long for the days when life was simpler, when we could

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