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To want my DH to move from 5mins to 1hour's commute to be nearer my family?

(85 Posts)
NewToAllThis11 Sat 28-Jun-14 17:39:09

I feel like I might be BU but maybe not...

DH is starting new job soon which is 5mins from where we live. I am currently SAHM with 1year old DS. We like where we live and I've made some good friends in the last year since I've not been at work, but we only moved there initially for work and did not intend on raising family there etc.

Longer term plan was always to move closer to my family, who are 1.5 hours away, so compromise seemed to be to move nearer to them but still be reasonable commute for DH. So is an hour's commute (car, country roads, 30 miles) reasonable or too much, considering he is literally down the road at the moment?

We definitely need to move to a bigger house so we could possibly move in the area we already live in, although it's expensive, or make a bigger move now and hope that DH can find a job which is closer in a few years.

Don't want to be moving around too much once DS starts school too.


NewToAllThis11 Mon 30-Jun-14 18:23:54

That's what's always difficult - jobs all come up at the same point so you have to make a decision quite quickly and then possibly wait a whole other year for the next round of jobs. If he feels he can be a bit picky, then that hopefully means he's not finding it too difficult at the moment.

rainbunny I agree. I've had a very long commute myself and it was hard, so I don't want that for my DH. We both wanted it to work but every time we do the drive it's about an hour, and that's with relatively light traffic. Since we've been discussing this he's said he was really worried about it, so he's glad I've gone off the idea. Not that I'm so dominant and trying to dictate his drive to work - that's not the case at all!

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 30-Jun-14 18:13:58

He's done a year so far. A couple of interesting possibilities for jobs have come up, one he would have liked but went to an internal deputy in the department who was also Catholic - in a Catholic school, the other he didn't like the school ethos - lack of discipline and too much focus on C/D borderline kids with no high flyers or motivational programmes for those who a grade is a good personal achievement. DH cares, a bit too much sometimes, about all his kids and is keen that everyone achieves their personal targets.

Our plan was three years max. Year one and two being quite picky about jobs, year three realising that you can't be quite that picky if you want to see family too.

PhaedraIsMyName Mon 30-Jun-14 18:10:36

If I were your husband I'd say no. End of discussion. Commuting is just awful. I have a long working day which is only bearable as it's 5 minutes to home. If I were leaving work at 8,9 10 at night I think I'd be suicidal if I had an hour's commute after that.

Rainbunny Mon 30-Jun-14 18:07:20

It'll be a hard transition. I went from having a 45-1 hour commute for years to a 5 minute walk to work and then had to start commuting 45 mins again when we moved to a new city. It's SO hard to deal with the commute again after the bliss of walking to work everyday. My quality of life was better as well, my energy levels and general mood were much better when I could walk home at the end of the work day. Now I'm driving again I realise how the commute seems to zap that last bit of energy out of me. Just something to consider.

NewToAllThis11 Mon 30-Jun-14 17:52:14

Really interesting misformumnotmaid. I'm glad it's working out for you, but it sounds like it's hard going on both you and your DH at the moment. How long has your DH been doing the term time commute and is he looking for jobs atm? The trouble with teaching (as I'm sure you're aware) is that there aren't so many jobs around if you are looking in a quite specific area.
What you described (grandparents, family around etc) sounds so nice. That's what DH and I would like for our own family but it's going to take a while to get there. All things considered it sounds like it was the right decision for you. We do like where we currently live, so I don't feel upset to stay, more a bit frustrated because I want to get things sorted and us all settled down!

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 30-Jun-14 17:10:27

Dh is a teacher and we actually did move from a five minute journey to work to just over an hours (typically its working out at 1.20).

He has missed time with the children and its always been part of the plan to find the right job in this area.

The fuel costs and car wear and tear are significant. He's more tired in the week. I do just about all the kids stuff in the week. We eat fewer meals as a whole family.

We are getting by at present by him leaving very early (6.30) so he does his bits and pieces of prep pre school. He stays two nights a week for meetings/ parents evenings and one night for socialising with colleagues. He doesn't see the children at all on these days. Two nights a week he leaves on the bell and we all eat dinner when he gets in some time after 5pm. Our youngest is not at her best by this hour. But he gets his holidays, my parents are on hand if we want to have a stroll in the evening when the kids have gone down, we can just pop in for a coffee/ so can they.

For us the move has been the right thing - but its not yet complete. My eldest needed to be in special school not available in our old area, youngest has complex needs that there are support services around for progressing diagnosis and our middle son has access to other children and his cousins to play with. We had a bit of a life changing event that meant we were no longer able to feel safe living where we did before.

I have no regrets about moving and see this time of a few years sorting jobs etc as just part of the whole move process. The commute to a good job for a year or three, its associated cost in time and monetary terms are something we knew was part of the whole package. Once DH finds the right job the next how ever many decades with DC, grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins on the doorstep are something we can now look forwards to.

NewToAllThis11 Mon 30-Jun-14 16:50:38

Thanks for all the advice; we're going to stay put for a few more years and then look to move once DH and hopefully I have new jobs in the right area. Everyone who said that I needed to put my Dh's welfare above my own desire to live nearer my parents was right.

We both felt that it would be good to live closer to family and be able to see them and friends round there on a more ad hoc basis, rather than having to pack up the whole house for a weekend visit, but we've coped so far. I guess I'm a bit worried about having another DC and coping with DS and a new baby, but DH being 5mins away will really help with that. I think I need to go with the flow a bit more, rather than always trying to plan everything!

DeWee Mon 30-Jun-14 09:28:58

Have you factored in the extra expense too? Not just petrol wear and tear to the car-you may also find you then need 2 cars.

Dh usually works a bike ride awy from where we lived. He was placed out an hour away for 3-4 months when the dc were little. Firm hired us a car, I didn't realise until he did it how much effect it would have on our family. He arrived back exhausted, at just before the dc's bedtime so they got excited, were later to bed, he found it very difficult.
In fact I haven't found it so nice, but it is actually easier the times he has worked away for the week (back at weekends) when it's been further away.

Wouldn't choose the commute ever.

seaweed123 Mon 30-Jun-14 08:58:03

I always thought that colleagues who did similar commutes were crazy, but last year I moved a 50 min drive / 1 hour bus journey from both our works. I love it - we have a dream house that would have cost double in town, and a rural location, which we wanted.

We can also visit PIl as a day trip rather than needing to stay overnight.

For us, it is definitely worth it, and I'm glad DH talked me into it (I initially thought it was too far, for all the reasons PP have said). The drive is nice when we do it together - a chance to get all the work talk out of the way before we get home. The bus is nearly door to door, and an excuse to switch off for an hour and read a book. So not at all stressful.

I think it does depend on the commute.

KatieKaye Mon 30-Jun-14 07:56:19

Moving would add 40 hours a month to DHs workload. Which is another working week. So not something I'd even consider given the circumstances you describe. Your family is only 1.5 hours away and you aren't working so if you want to see them more it would be mad to even consider moving.

For the future, a move will depend on many factors: is he happy in his current school? Does it offer opportunities for progression? What is the likelihood of you both being able to find jobs in a new place rather than staying where you are , with the security of his job when you start looking? I'd be considering all these factors very carefully, but at the moment I'd be staying put and putting my DHs welfare above my own wish not to have to drive to see my parents.

bragmatic Mon 30-Jun-14 07:49:00

If you can avoid an hour's commute then I'm of the opinion you should so so. Commuting has hairs all over it.

sashh Mon 30-Jun-14 07:43:40

Don't do it.

A 1 hour commute can become 2 hours if it snows, there is an accident or roadworks.

And it means you have to maintain a car, have you looked at how much the commute would cost in terms of petrol and wear and tear on the car? Would dh have to miss a day's work if the car needs an MOT?

And that's on top of what everyone else has said

NewToAllThis11 Sun 29-Jun-14 23:32:56

Thanks, weetabix. Yes, long term plan is to have more DCs (hopefully) and go back to work, part time at first. I take your point about it being way better to have DH there to help with mornings and evenings a bit. DH will definitely be in new job at least 3 years so we'll almost definitely have to move once DS has started school but think that's unavoidable...

Coveredinweetabix Sat 28-Jun-14 22:44:13

What is your longer term plan? Are you hoping to have more DC? Do you intend to go back to work? Do your parents/other family members work or are they retired?
If you're going to be a SAHM long term then, other than for the social side of things, do you need family support? If your DC is ill, you will be able to collect them from school. If you need someone around to service the washing machine or because something is being delivered, you can be at home for it. You don't need to rely on your mum or someone popping down the road to do it in the way that you may do if you were both at work full time.
If your parents and other family members work then it may not have that many benefits anyway as they will be out of the house as much, if not more, than your DH is. If your parents don't work and would be willing to do childcare a day a week or something like that, then that is a different factor to put into the equation. Even in the latter scenario, think through the logistics. Do they go away a lot? If so, will they realistically look after your DC every Wednesday or will it be every Wednesday except the two weeks we're in Majorca in September and then we have A&B coming to stay at the end of October and are planning day trips with them so it's not really appropriate to have DGS that week either etc meaning you can only really rely on them for as hoc childcare which they can probably do whether they are 1.5 hours away. How old/healthy are they? Looking after one 1yro is very different to looking after a pre-schooler and a toddler.
If you are planning a second child, do not underestimate how that changes things. My DP is rarely home from work before 8pm. That wasn't a problem when I only had one DC. With DC2, it was nigh on impossible. Trying to cluster feed whilst also doing tea, bath & bed with a toddler was a real challenge and it would have been totally different to know DP was only 5mins away and would be home for some, if not all, of that. Likewise, he could have helped get DC1 dressed & breakfasted whilst DC1 wanted another marathon feed. If you have given your DH a longer commute, then he won't be home for this and, if you have family just down the road, you will probably ask them to pop around & help and it will be of great benefit to you and very kind of them if they do. But, after a busy day and a long commute and possibly not having seen his DC the previous day due to there being a staff meeting or something which meant he was home late, will your DP appreciate coming home to find his MIL there? You say they get on well now but then they only see each other every three weeks.
If your child is 1 now, they will be starting school in Sept 2017 so you will be applying for school places between Oct 2016 and Jan 2017 (if the system doesn't change) which gives you 2.5 years in which to decide where to live and sort out jobs accordingly.

RiverTam Sat 28-Jun-14 20:15:38

the positive thing to remember is that teaching is very flexible, location-wise, so as you're lives as a family change and progress you have the option to move. We are stuck in London for work, like it or not, which is great much of the time but an utter bore some of it!

NewToAllThis11 Sat 28-Jun-14 20:00:56

Thank you - I really appreciate all these comments. A stranger's objective perspective is so helpful. We've just had a little talk about it, and I showed him this thread. I think we're going to move but stay in the area we're in so DH keeps his short commute. Hopefully we can move to where we want to be longer term but the priority is for us to be able to spend more time together as a family and for DH (and me!) to not be exhausted by travelling/childcare. I think the day to day reality of an hour's commute would be too much.

FellReturneth Sat 28-Jun-14 19:31:30

Ok, if your DH's family are five hours away it makes sense to be a bit closer to at least one set of family, and 30 miles in the context out five hours in neither here nor there to them.

However, I agree with MadameCastafiore about the rural roads - very slow and a real pain in the neck in poor weather and the dark, short days of winter. I would try to compromise and find somewhere nearer to family, but near a major trunk road for DH. A stressful commute can take a real toll on your quality of life, and he doesn't have the kind of job where he can opt to work from home sometimes.

500smiles Sat 28-Jun-14 19:10:15

DH has gone from what your DH has to what you want your DH to do. It's killing him tbh and I would really like him to switch back. Don't do it is my advice

maninawomansworld Sat 28-Jun-14 18:51:34

That's quite a long day you're consigning him too - every single day.
That's 40 hours a month in a car or 480 hours a year - that's an incredible 20 DAYS... just so you can live a bit closer to your parents.
If he's happy for it then fine, but it's a big, big ask.

A friend who had a very good job 10 mins from home did it a few years ago. She (and family) moved about an hour away to be nearer her family with the idea that she'd work 4 longer days and compress the week , giving her a longer weekend to get over the commute.
Within a year she had left the very well paid job she loved after being off for a couple of months with stress and exhaustion.

Don't do it, you will regret it.

PixieofCatan Sat 28-Jun-14 18:47:20

Bad weather is the other thing. I'm a nanny and my family are away, so I planned to split my working day across today and tomorrow, but do 8/9 hours today and 1 or 2 tomorrow, but because it was starting to get dark and the rain was really heavy at 5, I decided to come home as I didn't want to be driving in heavy rain on country roads in the dark and I'll just do more tomorrow, but when you haven't got a choice in the matter it's not fun having to drive home in horrid weather!

SueDoku Sat 28-Jun-14 18:38:06

I commuted 20 miles each way for 23 years - in the summer, it wasn't too bad (an hour each way) but in the winter it was vile (my record for the journey home was 4.5 hours..! shock). Luckily I had friends who lived near my work, and several times I had to stay with them when the roads were completely blocked.
Stay where you are - unless you both obtain new jobs near your parents.

BackforGood Sat 28-Jun-14 18:36:33

No way would I swap a 5min journey for a (usual) hour's journey - which of course has the potential to become a lot longer with weather, accidents, blocked roads etc.

If it's too big a trip to visit family / for family to visit more than once every 3 weeks, why on earth would it be OK to do it every day ? confused

Think also about when he has to go back in, in the evenings - concerts, open evenings etc, which he can now pop home for an hour inbetween school and evening, but couldn't if you moved.

If you add 2 hrs of travelling on to a 10 hr day, he's never going to see his ds, and nor are you going to spend any time with him - let alone have him contribute much in the home.

As dc get older, and need ferrying about more, you will love the fact he has a short commute, and a certain amount of flexibility after 3.30 on the odd day when you need it, which you will lose if you move.

Delphiniumsblue Sat 28-Jun-14 18:36:27

Commuting is very stressful- really tells on your health.

Happydaysatlast Sat 28-Jun-14 18:34:15

People's situations are very different though arnt they.

I would move the earth to get dh a 5 minute commute.

I would, and do would he be bloody ecstatic with an hours commute to be honest.

He works much further away and is away all week.

Don't do it op. Family life and time together are priceless.

Stay out but look got jobs in the area you want y
To settle in.

Iseesheep Sat 28-Jun-14 18:33:53

I'd echo Sigyn. I've never lived close to family (closest was 2 hours) and have managed fine for the past 15 years. The only time I needed fast help was when my dad was on his last legs and a really good neighbour and friend helped out until my husband could take over. If I'd been close to home no family would have been able to help and I'd still have had to rely on friends. Never underestimate the reliability of mates!

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