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.