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My life is objectively very good - why am I so unhappy and what can I do about it?(27 Posts)
I have two lovely healthy children, a lovely home, my husband tries very hard to make me happy/arrange fun things to do etc. We're wealthy so I'm a SAHM but have a nanny housekeeper as well, and can have as much leisure time as I want.
But....I'm miserable. It's getting worse. I'm not suicidal, but I do think about getting hit by a bus or something - I wouldn't have to do this anymore, the children are young enough to forget me, DH would meet somebody else, the nanny would probably be better at looking after the children anyway.
I'm just unhappy, but it's ridiculous and I can't work out why or how to improve it.
Hi, what sort of things did you used to enjoy? Would a part time job or volunteering somewhere help? Sometimes it's good to get something to focus on for a bit of the week that's not sorting out domestic/day to day?
Maybe it’s because you don’t feel you are needed or have a vocation
Go study, work, sack the nanny and housekeeper and do some travelling
Then when you are busy you will see what you want to outsouce and what you don’t
I thought I needed a cleaner, had one for a while then realised I was happier doing some of it myself and DP was happy to do the rest: not a financial decision but because we both like to be busy x
We are planning to send the wAshing and ironing out instead 😊
Well you’re right that on the surface that sounds like everyone’s dream realistically I think I’d struggle mentally if I wasn’t working as I like to have a purpose and some validation. What do you enjoy doing or find interesting?
I find that i'm actually happiest when busy, with barely time to think.
Leisure time is a relatively new thing (in human evolution terms) and lots of time without structure or direction leads to boredom and exploring all sorts of things like wild emotions we wouldn't otherwise.
Maybe it is a primal instinct to be needed or for life to have sone relevance.
That relevance is something for you to determine. Having healthy happy children is a relevance but it doesn't need to be enough.
What about education formal or a new skill?
I go by a 10% rule. 10% of my time and money to helping the world be a better place (charity). Its enough for me to feel comfortable with enjoying the little indulgences we can afford as a family. It gives me a bit of balance.
I don't think you should feel guilt for wanting variation in life. Life can get a bit stagnant sometimes. The great thing is with the other elemenrs of life sounding reasonably stable you have the autonomy to experiment with you stuff.
Read The Happiness Trap -Stop Struggling and Start Living
Plenty of the case studies in it describe your situation. It is pretty common. The book is a life-changer imo.
Being a bit evangelical about this but I'm currently reading Derren Brown (yes, that one) "Happy". It's really quite useful in identifying what makes us unhappy and how to change it.
Sorry you feel like this, and if you're feeling like this long-term, do speak to your GP but in the meantime, do try that book.
What do you do now? And what did you do before you had children? Do you want to be a sahm?
I think you would might be happier either being a SAHM with no nanny or having a job. At the moment you don't seem to have a role, well you do but its more of a job share with the nanny who you feel inferior at childcare too.
The other option would be carry on but do lots of leisure like a private sports club, go swimming, do aerobics or whatever there to fill your time. Or voluntary work.
I do think you sound very depressed and worth speaking to a doctors, your husband and getting help.
Having an apparently great life is no barrier to depression, it can affect anyone. The fact you are considering dying and not being here should be taken seriously, speak to your GP. Personally I think the time when I just wanted to die/not exist I was actually more poorly, than the time when I was actively suicidal because back then I didn't even have the motivation to do anything about it.
The good news is that with the right treatment you can feel better again. See your GP.
Thank you for the replies.
I do feel useless. I'm highly educated, was a professional and at one point was very focused on my career and doing well.
Then....I don't know. We had difficulty TTC, the pregnancies were tough, the first delivery was traumatic and physical recovery was slow. I wasn't coping with the house and baby so DH hired help which was obviously really well intentioned and we're lucky we can afford it.
But I have no idea how to actually fill my time now, of how to get any sense of achievement and I'm sort of drifting around.
The person who said I'm job sharing with the nanny is exactly right, we split all the housework and childcare between us.
And yes I suppose I ought to speak to my GP, but I feel so absurd complaining when on any rational measure things are really good. DH got exasperated recently and asked what would make me happy and I really don't know. The things I most enjoyed before the whole children thing aren't really possible now (for complicated outing reasons) and I haven't found anything to replace them.
I'm sure you're not useless but I think most mothers job sharing with a nanny would feel useless as the nanny is professional trained, we are just amateurs. I think this will be what's at the route of your depression.
Would you like to work again? Maybe part time though professional part time jobs can be a challenge to find. I would think about different scenarios and think about how you would feel but I would go with either working or being a full time SAHM. My guess would be working as it doesn't sound like you've ever been that happy as a SAHM.
Have you heard of Mazlow's (sp) hierarchy of needs? When we have our basic needs met, we need more things for self-fulfillment/happiness. Seeing it in diagram form is really useful IMHO.
You say objectively your life us good...
I have two lovely healthy children, a lovely home, my husband tries very hard to make me happy/arrange fun things to do etc
The thing that stands out for me is that you say your husband "tries hard to make you happy".
Can you say more about your relationship and how you feel about your husband? I thought there was something very telling in how you say something about what he does, but not how you feel about him.
If you can afford it (and sounds like you can), it may be worth speaking to a counsellor or psychotherapist about what might have gone wrong. MN is great but the professionals can give you more focused exploration of your history and current state. You don’t need to go through GP, can google for local BACP or UKCP registered counsellors and therapists. They tend to have websites and talk about the way they work, and some offer a free consultation before you start.
I had Postnatal depression after DD1 and seeing a therapist at the time helped loads.
I would also reccommend seeing a councellor, I've found it very helpful over the years.
The thing with depression though is it doesn't need an obvious reason and sometimes councelling on it's own is not enough. Any GP worth their salt will understand this. I have found that ADs allowed me to get to a point where I was well enough to make the changes I needed to through the councelling. The fact that you are considering dying as a viable way out suggests to me that you are looking quite unwell and really need to reach out to your GP.
That sounds rough. I think figuring out how to fill your time will be helpful. After I started really recovering after a sudden hospitalization, I saw how everything was going pretty well without me and felt really unneeded and out of sorts (particularly as all my career plans were pretty kaput then as well).
One thing that really helped though it still sometimes feels a bit fluffy is in a notebook writing 3 things I enjoyed or a grateful for that day and why they each happened. It helped me focus on finding the good in my day and help me see what I enjoyed so I could do more of that. As I continued recovering, I broke down the things I found and things I found I kept thinking about into sections (similar to SpongeBobJudgeyPants
I don’t want this to sound patronising but are you bored?
I have a life where I have a lot of free time and I get so so bored, I have to be very careful that I don’t slip into sadness.
I’m in the same place as you.
It’s actually reassuring to know people who are wealthy are also going through what I am feeling. I often sit here thinking that if I had money my life would be better as I could get more helping would have less to worry about. Clearly this isn’t the case and shows that mental health does not discriminate against its victims.
I have no words to actually help you, just wanted you to know that you’re not alone in feeling this way
Thank you for all the replies, I've been reading and thinking about them. I've downloaded the books and will spend some time over the next week thinking about what changes I can make.
and for all.
I don't want to be flippant but you sound like you need to keep busy and stretch yourself.
I am a simile personality in that if I am not busy I will get anxious.
Even if you are wealthy I think working might be a good idea for you.
Not flippant at all, I think there's a lot of truth to it. We became wealthy quite suddenly and sort of launched into hiring all the help and not needing me to work, I haven't really adjusted to how to fill my time or find value in what to do.
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