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To ask how to get more fulfilment from my life?(17 Posts)
I am happily married, love my husband, have 3 kids (8, 7 and 10mnths). We live in a 3 bed semi in a nice, quiet area.
I work for myself, from home, doing minimal hours (10 a month). We don't have lots of disposal income but we are not broke or in debt. We have to watch what we spend very carefully.
On paper, my life looks great. So AIBU to feel unfulfilled - dare I say, bored? I seem to spend my days in a bit of a day dream state, looking for some exciting non-exitent wfh job, but the highlight of my day is what to have for lunch! In fact I eat through boredom/lack of motivation and weight is increasing! I love my baby, we go to toddler group once a week but because I'm 37 and on child number three I often am much older than the other mums that go to these things.
Why can't I just throw myself into being a super duper wife and mother and feel fulfilled by doing housework, providing a clean tidy home for my family, cooking lovely meals for everyone - why? Help!
Could you get out in the evening and take a class in something? Something fun perhaps?
It would give you something else to think about.
Why would you want to feel fulfilled by something that is not fulfilling you? Who is telling you you should be happy to be home and caring for the family?
If it doesn't fulfill you then it doesn't.
Why not start with a completely blank slate and brainstorm things you might find fulfilling - hobbies, study, volunteering, sport, paid work... don't think about the barriers at first, just about what you might want to do...
I think you have already answered your own question; you need to get a job. 10 hours a month isn't really working imo. If you can't find a paying job, then you could find voluntary work through do-it .org.
Housework and cooking are desperately boring imo, and something which comes bottom of my list as I run my own business part time, and have a 2.5 day per week day job and two voluntary jobs. If all you have to do is housework, cooking and child care, the chances are that most days are the same.
btw. I don't think your life 'looks great on paper'... I mean, it looks totally fine, if you are happy with it, but it wouldn't suit me. I am in a sport club and like to train for events/challenges. I also work (from home) more than you and love my job. I am not in any way fulfilled by 'keeping home', though of course I totally understand that some people do enjoy that but we're all different aren't we?
I've recently done a course in improving self esteem and one of the issue covered was what you do each week for you, not your children, husband etc, just for you.
What do you do for you? Could you could go running with baby in a pushchair once the older ones are at school, see if there are any local music / craft groups where, particularly school mums, meet up for a natter once a week?
Thank you for quick responses!
I have started going running with a friend 3 times a week at 6.30am, before everyone is up, and I do love that and get a lot from it.
One thing I was thinking of was doing a degree with the OU. You don't have to pay back the fees until after you have finished and you have a job earning x amount. But I am suffering from 'what's the point?' syndrome, is there any point in doing a degree for the next 3, 4, 5 years if its not going to lead to anything?
I have considered getting a job but (here comes my WTP syndrome again) after I had paid two lots of after school club and nursery fees for the baby I wouldn't be left with any money!
Oh god I sound so miserable!!!
My life is a little like your's but I have a huge range of interests and hobbies, I do voluntary work which I love and is really fulfilling and makes me feel I 'contribute' to society.
What are your interests? What do you like doing? Do you get proper time to yourself to do your own thing?
Doing a degree is great just for the point of 'doing a degree' - it doesn't have to lead to a better paid job, you can do it for the fun of learning.
To be brutally honest, we could all say 'what's the point?' about a lot of things we do, but the point is we enjoy doing them and its better than sitting around being bored .
You have to find out what your passion is, it may be well hidden. If you could do or be anything in the world what would it be? Obviously it's unlikely you'll become a noted scientist or an award winning actress but your dream no matter how fanciful can lead you to something that brings you fulfillment.
There seems to be this notion that women are somehow unreasonable in not wanting anything more in their lives than children and a man. I think you are entitled to be more selfish, in that you can find something that inspires you (it might be your running) but usually something you are good at and can improve at, and indulge your interest.
It could be an evening class in something you failed in at school. Quite often its the striving that provides the satisfaction as much as the achievement.
I wouldn't do a degree unless you actually want to do it - it's a lot of work so you're just not going to want to put the hours in if it isn't vocational and you aren't doing it for your enjoyment. I agree, either more hours work time or maybe volunteering?
And you're not weird, or ungrateful or selfish either. You're also not alone.
Try and do just one thing each day just for you, something that inspires you.
You have to have things to look forward to, to work towards, and sometimes they have to be just about you and tickling your own fancy JUST BECAUSE.
You do sound miserable, but if you feel it YANBU!
Have you ever read the "The Feminine Mystique"? It's a bit dated in some ways, but she describes what you're feeling and calls it "the problem with no name".
For most people, there's more to life in domesticity. It matters, but yes, there is more to life.
I agree with squoosh about finding your passion. Is there a cause you feel strongly about, or have you a creative side you'd like to explore? Take some time to experiment - it's okay to try a few things and then decide they're not for you.
I was in a very similar situation a few years ago. As the children grew older and slightly more independent I took up the following...
Made friends with the much younger mums after a huge effort. Some worked out and some didn't. But still in contact with one that did.
Voluntary work but keep it varied and not too involved as they can take over your life. ;-)
Back to college to help me with maths and English so that I could set a good example to my DC's and help them with their school work.
Part-time degree in a very varied subject which is 6 years and still working out for me, fitting in with family life quite well.
Date nights with DH at home. Cook a quite complex meal and we get dressed up for the occasion.
Oh, and I just did a VERY physically challenging fundraising event for a major charity as a girls weekend away. The fundraising part alleviated any guilt I might have struggled with about using family money or leaving the DC's for a couple of days.
I read an interesting suggestion that, in your situation, you should think about what you enjoyed doing when you were 10 - because the odds are that what you liked doing when you were 10, is what you would like doing now, if you give yoruself time and permission to do it.
I'm also a big believer in voluntary work as a way to add fun and enjoyment to your life (although also not allowing it to take over your life). There are a few things I do that give me a big boost, even though on paper they're pretty dull.
Oh, and I hope you won't mind me saying that simply as you've described it in your OP, your life sounds pretty dull and limited at the moment, rather than great. From what you've said there, I think you're perfectly reasonable to decide that you want more out of life.
"What's the Point?"
- The point is your fulfillment and happiness.
Why do you find that isn't justification enough? You deserve to be happy and fulfilled, and if it's not detrimental to other people in your family then do it.
(And even if it does ask for compromise from others in the family, at the very least discuss it).
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