Commuting times.(20 Posts)
How far would you be willing to commute when you have young children?
I've just applied for a job (old boss asked a favour of a friend) which is in city X for two years, then moves to city Y for 3. Commute to city X would be train 1:15 and then a 20 minute walk. Commute time to city Y would be 50 mins.
I have childcare organised for 3 days a week, twice a nursery and once MIL. Legally, the children can only be there for 10 hours a day which means that even working 50% over 3 days, I cannot do the hours and still pick the kids up.
If I get an interview and I'm asked about working hours would it be ridiculous to suggest a) 3 short days and then every couple of weeks an extra day to make up the hours b) counting one of the train trips as working hours and working on the train? Or would it seem that I'm not being serious about the job?
(DH is half an hour away from the children in the event that they would have to be picked up because of illness etc --and he would have to accept that he has to take some responsibility for them for once--)
After doing a 2hr each way commute for 2 years, I swore I'd never do more than 1 hr. but DH is getting angry that the children are in nursery and I don't have a job. But if we take them out then I can't look for a job ( waiting list was 1 year) because we have no childcare organised.
I can't contemplate more than an hour each way. Any more would exhaust me too much.
As for negotiating conditions... how desirable are you?
Why can't your DH do pick ups and drop offs?
Otherwise I would rent in city X for two years and then move to city Y.
It's a long commute. IMO a bit cheeky to ask for travel time to be counted as working time and the complications of having to work short days etc. would you be assured a seat on the train to be able to work?
I have done long commutes. It's horrible.
I have done a lot of commuting in my previous job where I worked on short term projects at various client sites. Mainly by car but a couple of months of train.
I found driving for an hour each way was fine. Up to 1h20 was bearable. Over that and I became very tired and found I wasn't able to put in my usual (long) hours at work as I was knackerd from the drive. At one point I was doing 2h on a busy mway in winter each way and I was arriving at work really tired.
Train was less tiring but more annoying with three legs to the journey (get to train, train, get home)
I agree with making dh step up and pick up and drop off the kids. Although I have to say the commute would be exhausting to me. I think the idea of asking to reduce/rearrange hours is a good one. I don't think asking about working on the train would fly very well. Good luck to you!
Why can't the children be in nursery for more than 10 hours a day? Is it not open for more than 10 hours? Ours is.
Yes, I commute further than that and, to my surprise, love it. Its me time. I get to stare out the window, read a book, a newspaper, email friends etc. I wouldn't like it so much if I have to drive and concentrate on that. Of course, it goes wrong sometimes and there are delays but, generally, its fine and I just do it on auto-pilot. It helps that the commute is to get me to my dream job...well, dream job in that its pretty dull but its the only way to combine my field with fixed hours/part time.
I used to do a 1:30 - 2:00 commute each way. It was knack wring but now that I have a 10 min commute I miss my long drives. Would a CM be an option? They can be more flexible re hours.
However why can't your DH do pickups and dropoffs? Mine did.
Your DH is "angry" that the DCs are in nursery?
Why can't your DH do either pick up or drop off if he is close by?
Other than that, you need a nanny.
OP here. Legally the children are only allowed to be 10 hours in childcare. That counts for anywhere in the country. The nursery is open for longer, but they are strict with the times because it's a council run one (which also means that it's means tested). I think if it's unofficial granny looking after them then this fudges slightly, so I could potentially work longer on that day.
I spent nearly two years commuting 2 hours and it was awful (doctorate). I often went one day, then slept under my desk/in a friends office for a night and worked two long days there and then paperwork at home. I had a very lenient boss who didn't care when I was there so long as the work was done. Obviously with children, I can't do this. I also worry it would exhaust me too much, especially as I do all the night wakings. I'm quite confident I would get a seat on the train, I'm only looking at ones which would be a single train journey rather than train, train, bus because I feel it's too much and too much chance of missed connections.
I don't want them to have a nanny/CM. DS loves his nursery, they are great and I trust them. They do lovely things with the children and I don't feel they are expensive. Plus which they are there mainly to learn the local language. DH is angry that we are paying for them when I'm not actually working. I'm applying for jobs, but not getting anywhere. He agrees that 100%, even 80%, would be too much for the children, but I can't find anywhere that will take a part timer with no previous experience in the "real world".
DH doesn't like to be restricted by the children. Although he has fairly regular times, it means he would have to alter that. At the moment he leaves at 7 and gets home at 17:30 so he would have to work later a couple of days to compensate. I did some work experience in between the DC's and he would regularly call me at 4 and say he wasn't getting them today so I would have to leave early to get them. In all fairness, he does have a lab-based job, so it can mean things crop up, but I'm not sure I could rely on him to get them. He would expect me to.
Thanks for the advice. I wasn't sure how cheeky it would seem to ask for commute time to be counted. I'll drop that idea, but I think short days with an extra to make up the time should be ok to suggest then. If I get an interview. And if I get offered the job. Fingers crossed because I'm getting desperate!
Honestly, before you start worrying about commuting times you need to tackle your husband's attitude first - it stinks. He wants you to work but gives you grief about the fact that you have organised childcare in advance. If there is a shortage of places I think you have been very sensible to do that. I don't imagine he/you would be happy to be offered a job and then have to turn it down because you couldn't find childcare.
You are considering a huge commute but also do all the night wakings and your dh can't be relied upon to do the pick-ups if it doesn't suit him and he is placing restrictions on what percentage of time your dc should be in nursery? What do you think is going to happen when you are back at work if you have to work late, the children are ill, nursery is closed? He has to be prepared to take on a fair share of the arrangements or you are going to have a breakdown with trying to keep everything going, combined with a long, stressful commute.
We manage two 60-90 mins in our house for the 2 days a week DS is in nursery. DH and I take a "shift" each: I do morning drop offs, the nursery opens at 0730 and I get to the office just after 9, and DH does the pick up, starting work at 0745/0800 and leaving by 1645 on nursery days to pick DS up at 1800/1815. Haven't heard about the 10 hour rule. This works for us as my office has a long hours culture with usual start times of 0930, so it's difficult to leave early (I can, and do if DH has to work late/go out), I feel better staying.
Do work on DH. having a penis does not disqualify him from taking part in the logistics of family life. Yes, sometime it is hard to get out on time but if it's one or two days a week mark it in the diary like any other meeting and work round it.
I don't think the OP is in the UK, hence the reference to the 10 hour rule.
I wouldn't do it. I had an hour and 20 minute commute prior to having DS1 and knew halfway through my mat leave that I couldn't go back to it. Applied for flexible working and a different location and was extraordinarily fortunate to get exactly what i wanted though I might add I also took a 50% drop in salary! But...I wouldn't change if for the world. DP is the main breadwinner now which has been hard to accept but I work five minutes from my house, ten minutes from DS's nursery and feel I have struck the right balance. I would have been spending that 2 hours and 40 minutes of everyday working day fretting about the time I was missing with my child.
I do a long commute - usually 1.5 hours (sometimes more) in a morning, same in the evening, 3 days per week.
It only works because my DH helps - seriously, you created the children together, you care for them together. To be honest, when you've got nursery aged children, its 10 times easier than when you have school children and the school day is 9am - 3pm, rather than a nursery day which is 8-6 or thereabouts. He's going to have to get on board sooner or later. Your MIL needs to have a chat with her son!! If he doesn't agree to help (apart from the fact that its not good enough!) can your MIL help with collection perhaps to make it work? You're going to need some help to make it work.
I leave at about 6.15am - DH gets the children ready for school / nursery and does drop off. He's about 20 mins from work so he gets into his office for about 9.30am. He does extra hours on the days that I'm at home (usually he isn't home until after bedtime) to make up for the days he gets in late. I'm usually at work for 7.30-7.45am. My contracted hours are 8.30 - 4pm for 3 days - for 2 days I do leave on the dot of 4pm and collect children at 5.35-5.45 depending on traffic - if I have any problems, DH has to step in. He finishes early one day to collect children, I stay late (until say 8pm) to catch up (can't actually do my job in the hours!).
It is tiring but I've been doing it for 10 years now (3 before children and 7 since I had them). The evening journey is quite stressful as I'm always worrying about late, but the morning journey in a strange way is quite enjoyable - no children and just listening to the radio in relative peace!
Your DH doesn't like to be restricted by the children?
Well perhaps he should have thought of that before he had any?
Did you post about this situation before OP? About him getting angry with you for not working but being entirely unsupportive in terms of helping with childcare or anything else?
No offense, OP but your DH sounds like a knob.
I get what you mean about your husband, some are just harder to get on board than others, and then it IS hard to rely on them. In my case it changed when I had a full-time job and just could not be there. He did take on a much bigger share, although always a bit grudgingly I have to admit, which did add to the stress. It does sound like quite a tricky situation, with the long commute, and the unsupportive husband. If it's your only option, just go for it, and then keep an eye open for jobs nearer to home. It would help build your CV. It's got to be the near-perfect job though.
Alibaba... - Yes, but not here!
See, at the moment the idea of having a whole hour to myself seems like bliss. But I'm sure if it was reality and I was sitting there thinking of the DC's at home then it would be a different story and I'd just feel guilty.
I'm hoping that once I do have a job things will change. Maybe this is foolish, but I do know for certain that nothing will change if I don't have a job. All that will happen is that he will pull the children from the nursery. He definitely resents me not working. I could go on, but this wasn't meant to be a thread about that. I wanted to see how realistic a long commute is with young children. (My MIL's great idea is to find a nursery near the job so I could take them on the train with me every morning...)
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