Can I make this commute work?

(77 Posts)
thepobblewhohasnotoes Tue 07-Jan-14 02:10:17

I've got the possibility of doing my dream job. It's just a contract for 6 months but it'd open doors and I'd love to do it.

However I'm just not sure it's possible, can anyone help me work this out?

(It's long, sorry!)

DP works away a lot, so it's basically me on my own with the kids most of the time.

The dream job would be 21 hours a week, and I could chose my hours. But it's over an hour commute from my house (not including dropping DD & DS off at childcare). DD would be 15 months, DS is at school, but this would start in June, so it would cover the summer holidays too.

The journey is 1hour 20 in all, each way. But then I have to factor in dropping off at the CMs. I haven't found a CM yet, but let's be optimistic and say that would only take an extra 20 minutes. Then the whole journey would be 1 hour 40. Twice a day.

I don't mind doing the commute myself, what I mind is such a long day for the kids.

If I did 9:30-5:30, 3 days, I'd be away from the DCs from roughly 7:50am to 7:00pm. It's too much, isn't it?

An alternative would be to do 4 days, fewer hours per day. But then that's more time away overall as it's adding over 3 extra hours commute a week.

Or maybe I could get a CM near work, we could travel together (I did this when DS was little, it worked well for us). However that'd mean DS and DD being at different CMs when he's at school, that seems a bit silly - doesn't it?

Or, the back up is a not so great job in my town. 9-5, I'll be 20 minutes away from the kids, if that. But the career prospects in my industry not so great in this town.

Is there some solution I haven't thought of?!

WWYD?

NatashaBee Tue 07-Jan-14 02:21:13

I'd do the 4 shorter days, if I could afford the additional child minder costs.

JessMcL Tue 07-Jan-14 02:29:29

Go for it. Why put your life on hold for your children who in 10, 15 years time won't be dependant on you? They won't thank you for giving up your dream career to wipe up pureed vegetables and change dirty diapers. The opportunity may not come up again.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 07-Jan-14 02:34:35

For 6 months? Do it. You'll regret it if you don't.
I'd go for the three long days option, to reduce travel costs. The kids will have a great time at a CM and won't miss you a bit.
Is there any opportunity for working from home?

Twistiesandshout Tue 07-Jan-14 03:04:00

I'd do it over 4 days. Definitely go for it. Congratulations!

SaltySeaBird Tue 07-Jan-14 05:37:54

My work is hour and 15 min commute door to door not including nursery drop off which adds 10 minutes. I'm doing 8.30-5.30 (2 days) and they are long for DD but she is fine. I do a third day working from home 9-6.

I'd do three longer days personally.

Good luck, definitely go for it!

JanePurdy Tue 07-Jan-14 06:28:14

For just 6 months? I'd do it. Would do 3 long days personally.

BrokenFairylights Tue 07-Jan-14 06:41:38

My commute taking into account dropping off the children (one at school , one in nursery) takes me 1 hour 30 mins. It's a rush in the mornings but you get used to it. Personally I'd go for the 3 longer day option, get it all over with and enjoy those commute free days.

I did similar over winter so de icing car, snow etc. wouldn't want to do it long term but six months over summer is doable.

You'll regret it if you don't grab the chance. If you try it and don't like it, it's only for six months.

twentyten Tue 07-Jan-14 07:28:30

Could you get a nanny/ au pair for the duration? Sounds like a fab chance.

VermicularCanister Tue 07-Jan-14 08:11:01

For me, the problem would be picking up the children at 7pm, as it would then take time to get them home, calmed down and ready for bed. Depends on your DCs of course, but I think mine would struggle.

I would second Twentyten's suggestion to get a nanny. Then you would save the 20 mins of CM drop off at each end of the day, and you would avoid the rush to get children home and ready for bed at the end of the day.

Good luck!

CaptainSweatPants Tue 07-Jan-14 08:13:13

A nanny who comes to your home to look after younger child & does the school run?

thepobblewhohasnotoes Tue 07-Jan-14 10:03:42

Thanks for all the replies everyone smile
I'm not sure if we could afford a nanny, but maybe ...

Sorry to be accused of drip feeding! I didn't quite tell the whole story as my post was so long I thought it would just confuse matters!

It's actually a placement for uni. I could get one in my town, but the city down the road is a centre of excellence and innovation in my chosen subject. There are loads of great companies, who are genuinely pushing the boundaries and at the forefront of innovation in the industry. I'd love to get a placement with one of them, it really would open doors for me.

I could get a placement in my own, much smaller town, and then I'd be right on the doorstep. But the same kind of companies simply don't exist here, I've been researching them, and the ones who are here not working to best practice (pretty shonky, some of them!). But it would look good on my CV (as opposed to brilliant) and I'd be near the kids.

There is one place which seems to be great here, but it's in a related area, and really if I do a placement for my CV and development, it should be in the area I want to get work in, shouldn't it?

For background, I've been on a break from uni for nearly 2 years, I was doing well when I was there, and this would be my return. The placement would be paid, and up to 9 months, but there is the option of doing it for 6 months, then 3 months at another place, so I was thinking maybe I could do the 3 months in my town.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Tue 07-Jan-14 10:04:25

Oops, that should have said. "Sorry, I accept I'm about to get accused of drip feeding, but ..."

thepobblewhohasnotoes Tue 07-Jan-14 10:04:51

As I'm a student I get a grant towards childcare, but only for OFSTED registered providers, and even then I'm not sure we could afford a nanny, although it does seem like a great solution.

We've talked about the possibility of getting an au pair at some point to help at home, but asking them to do sole-care of a 5 year old and a toddler is too much isn't it? Isn't that a nanny's job? Or have I misunderstood that?

JeanSeberg Tue 07-Jan-14 10:09:50

DP works away a lot

Is there any possibility for your partner to approach his boss and ask for less travel during this 6-month period?

I think you should do what you can to make it happen by the way.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Tue 07-Jan-14 10:28:05

Thanks for the lateral thinking!

However DP graduated himself last June and managed to get a job in his chosen industry where jobs are like hens teeth (we hadn't appreciated quite how difficult it would be how when he embarked on the career change). He's one of only two in his year for that subject, to get a job actually in the industry they studied for, to our knowledge.

And his job is for a start-up in its first year, so they're working stupidly long hours. In the future it should settle down and there may be some room for flexible working. But this year, we'll hardy see him, and there's not much we can do about that.

Ironic really, as he changed careers as his old job took him away from his family, and he didn't want that. We didn't expect this one to do as well.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Tue 07-Jan-14 10:29:08

What's the going rate for an OFSTED approved nanny I wonder?

thepobblewhohasnotoes Tue 07-Jan-14 10:30:30

To clarify, because DP is working stupidly long hours, he's staying in the town his job is in, in the week, rather than commuting. He plans to start commuting instead at some point.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Tue 07-Jan-14 10:33:05

I suppose if DP starts commuting, then maybe he could do a morning or an evening once a week at least. The problem though is we have no idea what his hours will be this summer (it's not a 9-5 type job) so it's really hard to plan for.

JeanSeberg Tue 07-Jan-14 10:34:09

I understand, pobble.

Go for the placement and the details will sort themselves out. I'd go for 3 days personally.

Out of interest though, would 5 days be an option?

JeanSeberg Tue 07-Jan-14 10:34:58

Make your plans assuming your partner won't be able to help, then anything he can do will be a bonus but you won't be reliant on him or get 'let down' at the last minute and it will be less stressful for all involved.

thepobblewhohasnotoes Tue 07-Jan-14 10:35:17

Note to self. In the next life, perhaps not the smartest idea for both partners to change career, while starting a family, oh and moving house at the same time for good measure. grin

Hey ho.

delurking85 Tue 07-Jan-14 10:38:53

Is there any chance you could do some of your work on the commute eg phone calls, emails, reading, and therefore leave a bit earlier? I had a boss who did this altho depends on the sector/transport style.
nanny rates really depend on where you are! is a nanny share an option, I think that's a bit cheaper?
not sure of your financial situation but sometimes you have to consider actively investing in your career if the payoff and quality of life impact will make it worth it.

JeanSeberg Tue 07-Jan-14 10:39:58

Note to self. In the next life, perhaps not the smartest idea for both partners to change career, while starting a family, oh and moving house at the same time for good measure.

Ha ha, I've never been one to make life easy for myself either!

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