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Is this what life really is?

(179 Posts)
Pers Sun 17-May-20 15:28:47

I'm sitting here wondering how many people are genuinely happy, living in suburbia with 2.5 kids, compulsory retirement age, doing a job that you have to commit to until you get your kids through university.

So the question is:
Is that generally what people are happy with, or are we doing what is expected of us

OP’s posts: |
borntohula Sun 17-May-20 15:30:28

Depends on the person, doesn't it?

AnneLovesGilbert Sun 17-May-20 15:31:58

Some people like it, some hate it, a lot of people don’t think about it like that.

BeatrixPottersAlterEgo Sun 17-May-20 15:33:15

I wouldn't be happy with 2.5 kids, I'd be wondering what the other 0.5 was up to.

I don't live in suburbia either.

Pannsies Sun 17-May-20 15:34:09

I definitely think doing what is expected of you is part of it. Especially having kids.

ofwarren Sun 17-May-20 15:34:32

Some people probably do like it, or haven't really even thought about it.
I don't like it and we are going to be making some big changes once coronavirus has gone or is more manageable.

Hwyrynos Sun 17-May-20 15:36:13

Well, that’s not what my life is like confused I don’t think it would make me happy, so that’s not how I’m living. And I’m bot sure who is doing the “expecting” either? Did you not want to marry? To have kids? To buy a house? To qualify in your area of work? Which of these things do you regret?

museumum Sun 17-May-20 15:38:20

I have 1.0 children and am self employed - does that make me a major rebel??
We’re happy and if we wanted to do something radically different we would.

pleasenomorechocolates Sun 17-May-20 15:39:36

I just try to never think about stuff like this because to be fair I don’t think it does too much good. Everybody I know who is constantly thinking about how ‘mundane’ the 9-5 is, how we are all under the thumb of the establishment, how life is a repetitive circle etc seems to be perpetually unhappy. If I begin to question things in the same way I also go down the same route and start questioning whether I actually do enjoy my life. The less I think deeply about it, the far happier I am. May get flamed for living with my head in the sand but that’s just what works for me.

SandysMam Sun 17-May-20 15:40:49

I agree OP. I adore my kids but get sick and exhausted of the daily grind. Constant cleaning and cooking just to get up to a basic standard. Working in a job that I like but also have to do as too far in to do anything else and we need the money. No expected inheritances so short of a lottery win, can’t see any way to change life.
I am grateful for what I do have though, but i’m not living the dream.

Lenny1980 Sun 17-May-20 15:43:40

Depends on the person, depends on the job. Might even depend on the children!

The last few months have made me realise how much I live for holidays. And experiences more broadly, not necessarily fancy things just nice days out, either on my own or with the family.

It’s also made me realise I’m definitely going back to work after maternity leave, I am not cut out to be a SAHM long term.

Bumpsadaisie Sun 17-May-20 15:45:43

It's just a fantasy isn't it. People live complex lives where something things are good sometimes and some things aren't.

I don't live in surburbia.
I do a job which I don't love passionately but am happy to do as it pays quite well and it's a great organisation. And sometimes there can be real satisfaction and reward.
I am also training to do something totally different on the side which is extremely rewarding and life enhancing.
But that means life is BUSY!
I have two kids. Generally I think things are great with them. Sometimes I worry. Sometimes they wind me up.
I have a good relationship. In general things are great. But at times not. This weekend we are struggling to be in the same room without wanting to kill each other. But DH has just offered to cook a special curry for us later so I think the bad patch is in the way out.

If I wasn't doing the retraining thing I would feel a good deal less satisfied. As it is it feels like there is a whole world still ahead of me.

SingingSands Sun 17-May-20 15:47:15

Well, what do you want the answer the be?

I'm in my forties, two kids, stable job in legal, live in the suburbs and I'm happy. Those are just the baselines in my life. I also have passions and interests, friends, volunteering, travel, fitness, clubs, events... the list goes on.

I agree with a previous poster - don't sit and dwell. I'm luckily to be working, to have my health and a safe place to live, so it is because I have those things that I can spread my wings and enjoy life.

Marsalimay Sun 17-May-20 15:48:44

Isn’t this what that new Fearless book is about?

Lockdownlife Sun 17-May-20 15:51:01

I think about this a lot. Especially as I've just reached a milestone birthday.

I don't want children or marriage but I'd be happy to have a long term relationship. I have a joint mortgage. I envision my future filled with travel and experiences.

I sometimes worry because everyone my age is starting to settle down with children and more have plans to do the same. I haven't met many people my age who want the same things as me. I worry about having friends to spend time with but realise many might prefer to have 'mum friends' to go on playdates with.

The above won't make me want to have a family but I still worry about what my life will be like if I don't do what's considered 'normal'.

soberfabulous Sun 17-May-20 15:52:50

Definitely not for me. I like a life filled with adventure and a life with meaning. I'm making this happen every day.

Hwyrynos Sun 17-May-20 15:53:07

I think we’ve been brought up with a Disney fantasy of how “happy” we should be. Without wanting to be flippant (I know I am being, sorry):
First World Problems. We weren’t put here to be happy, life is a game of survival. Of all the humans and animals on the planet, 2.5 children in suburbia is the jackpot. But we don’t appreciate it as such because we don’t have to fight for it and the people around us have the same as us. We don’t feel like the Winners we are.

ScarfLadysBag Sun 17-May-20 15:55:26

I don't think many people have a life so simply categorised or that's constant in that way.

We have the nice house in relative suburbia, but have chosen to have just one child. I'm self-employed so flexible with my work. I am not good with a daily grind so I made decisions to try to avoid that: only one child so I have time to enjoy my personal passions, self-employed so I'm doing only work I choose to do, I don't really get stressed about a a bit of mess or always cooking from scratch. We live life to enjoy it and don't really bother with social 'norms' in many respects.

DDIJ Sun 17-May-20 15:56:29

I was brought up with the expectation that you study hard at school, you study hard and enjoy yourself at university, don't take a gap year either end, then you knuckle down and work with zero enjoyment until you retire. You could go to a garden centre at the weekend once in s blue moon if you wanted to do something thrilling.

I'm not asking for the moon on a stick. Just a tiny bit of enjoyment would make the rest a bit more bearable. Instead I've been waiting to die for the last 30 years.

bumblingbovine49 Sun 17-May-20 15:59:05

The less I think deeply about it, the far happier I am. May get flamed for living with my head in the sand but that’s just what works for me.

I agree with this though it.has been only in the 40s and 50s that I have managed to do this at all. In my youth , I spent a lot of time thinking ' Is this all there is, there must be more to life?' and I was pretty miserable. I am a lot.more content nowadays. Lockdown has also taught me I don't need holidays and I realise I'd be quite happy never to have one again , though Id be equally happy to have own again. I'm just not 'living for something that is over the hill' . I try to make the most of now

icansmellburningleaves Sun 17-May-20 15:59:28

I’ve been married 25 years to my best friend. We have one adult child. I’m semi retired and extremely happy with my lot. If I died tomorrow I will have had a great life. I’m also proud of myself and my little family. After an abusive childhood I I didn’t know what a happy family life was So I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot!!

Candyfloss99 Sun 17-May-20 16:00:22

Not I wouldn't like it and would never do it.

ScarfLadysBag Sun 17-May-20 16:01:56

Comparison is definitely the thief of joy, and also living life how you think it should be lived instead of how you want to. It's fine to have one child, it's fine for your house not to always be pristine. Don't let other people's, or your own, expectations make life more difficult than it needs to be.

antipodalpizza Sun 17-May-20 16:02:09

I am but then I have a job that I love and enjoy going to every day, it's not like a job, it's a way of life.

VladmirsPoutine Sun 17-May-20 16:02:11

Surely it entirely depends on your circumstances. The life you describe would leave me feeling fairly empty but for others it's the dream.

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