Twins and a long commute - am I mad?!(26 Posts)
After some advice please - I have 5 month old twins and I’m due to go back to work when they’re 1. The only childcare option we can afford is a subsidised nursery at my work, but that is an 1.5hr+ commute each way and so me working 9-5 would actually be an 11hr day for us all. Im thinking of asking to do shorter days, but that would still be a 7am-5.30pm day for them, with a long drive at the end of the day. Am I crazy to even be thinking of attempting this? Friends have advised that it might be a big issue if they nap in the car on the way home, and then won’t go to sleep in the evening. A nursery closer to home won’t work sadly as we can’t afford it (twin childcare costs are crazy!!), plus we want at least one parent (ideally me) to be in the same city as the girls just in case we need to get to them quickly. Has anyone done this/opted to not return to work - any experiences welcomed! TIA
That does seem like a long day for you all. Is the journey 1.5 hours in the car each way? Looking to the future, that’s also a long time to be in the car when they are toilet training...
Trust me when I say this-
You will absolutely hate that commute- 3 hrs a day spent just getting to work and back!
If there is any way not to do this I wouldn't.
I would get a lodger, work nights, work in a supermarket, tutor, work Saturday and Sunday (I don't know what you quals are).
It just sounds awful for all of you.
Nope no way in hell. Your DH could take a second job, or you could do weekend baby sitting to get in some extra money, but I wouldn't do that commute with twins
I think a 3 hour car journey every day with babies will be absolutely awful for all of you tbh
Of course you can do it if you need to keep your job and want to. The morning should be ok, though they may well nap on the way home and that will mess up bedtime. You could speak to the nursery and try to get them to ensure they have a good long nap after lunch to help prevent this.
Look, it isn't forever. When they get to 3 you will get 30 hours childcare free so they can go to a cheaper nursery nearer home.
Have you looked into all options? Childminder etc
I thought that might be the case but it’s really helpful to get other advice on it so thanks for commenting I found the commute hard enough when pregnant with twins, but the only other option at the moment seems to be to resign and try to find something closer to home...easier said than done (I work in quite a niche field) but sounds like a career break would be better than putting the twins through that commute. Thanks again - really appreciate the responses!
I couldn't face a 1.5hr commute each way with one, let alone 2.
Your friends are right - falling asleep in the car on the way home will mess up night time sleeping if my DD is anything to go by.
Use the next few months to move jobs - much better life balance
Oly5 yes unfortunately a childminder works out more expensive, and also we’d have the issue of neither parent being in the same place as the twins if they needed us in a hurry. I might speak to my Work and see if there is any flexibility that could help me out.
Could you go down to three days a week? Or if you and DH both do a 4 day week, the. That's only 3 days with the nightmare commute? Could you afford 1 or 2 days at a local nursery, combined with another 1 or 2 days at work nursery? Could DH collect them early a couple of nights per week?
If you need to make it work you will find a way but to be honest that commute would be really hard going with one child never mind two. Will they have 3 meals a day at nursery? If you are coming home and then having to prepare an evening meal it won't be a happy time for you.
Im in outer London and a childminder, my families commute in and its well over an hour on a good day, If the children get sick I care for them until parents can get to me. Plenty of parents do this. We are first aid trained and have permission to take to hospital I also have permission to give calpol etc and just talk to parents first they drop me a consenting email and I administer. It works fine much better than a commute. One family now have children in year 1 and 5 and they have been with me since 6 months old. No changes I know their friends who com to play, its like a second home and if something happens at school I collect them and sort it out until a parent arrives.
That commute would be so unfair on your children, you cannot possibly put them though that.
I'd be job hunting pronto to find something closer.
It's hard op, childcare is ridiculously expensive.
Thanks all, and Jannier thanks for your perspective too - seems like the only realistic choice is whether it’s worth taking a massive financial hit in the short team and hiring a childminder/nanny, or whether to have a career break until I can find a job closer to home. Unfortunately my DH can’t do a 4 day week as we’ve explored this option and it just makes things worse financially as we’re pretty dependent on his salary as it is. Childcare is ridiculous!
My colleague does it with twins. It’s a train commute and they do it first class then taxi within London. She manages just fine. She puts them in a lightweight pushchair with all their belongings. Her subsidized childcare only costs 600/mth for them both. Considering she earns 80k pa it was a no brainer. Like yourself she has a London job.
I put mine in the nursery near to home and then did the hour commute. not being in the same city was only a problem once (and we were both 100 miles away with work at the time).
The nap on the way home will kill your bedtime routine.
Childcare for twins is ridiculously expensive!
I used to commute with my dd to a workplace nursery between the ages of 1 and 4. It was pretty hellish. Commuters generally hate buggies and aren’t particularly sympathetic to small children. It was stressful and difficult and if I had my life again I would have used a local childminder (I did have one when she was 4-10 years old who did the school pick ups and she was 👌🏻)
Have you tried a test run at work times? I haven't found late naps an issue but it will depend on your child/ routine.
One thing to bare in mind if you do go down the route of the long commute, is that getting a sick child home from a distant nursery is not something to take lightly. Literally think if the child is vomiting. Just about do-able with a 20 min trip home, but 1.5 hrs would be a nightmare.
My son comes to the nursery at my work, and that's a half hour - hour commute depending on traffic/buses. At worst, I can walk it in 50mins. I definitely couldn't have managed a longer commute when he was small (and he often slept all the way home, which brought its own challenges later on).
It's wonderful to have him at work, but that commute would just be too rotten for all of you.
The other thing to think about is if one of your children needs to stay off nursery due to being unwell... It would be handy to will be able to send the other one so you're only looking after one child
It's got to be about what suits you and DH. Does it need to be your job that takes the hit or is that the way you'd prefer it?
We were in a similar situation with 1st DC and it worked out as 12hr days with the commute. I managed a month of this before stopping. I loved my job and have made sure it would be easy enough to return to once youngest is nursery age. It never even occurred to us for DH to take the hit as his job had a higher earning opportunity.
Nap times didn't and have never actually mattered for any of my DC so I think it depends on the children and the routine in place. Mine can fall asleep at 6pm in the car and will still go to bed, whereas my nephew can't sleep in the day or he'll be up all night.
Do you want to go back to work, if you enjoy your job then you having nothing to lose by trying it? Could you ask to do less days, if may be manageable if only 3 days a week.
Alternatively if your work nursery would do P/T, you could maybe do 2 days with a local childminder and 3 days with the work nursery.
I went back to my old job 6months after having DC1 (it was 11 years ago, so we had less maternity leave then). I thought it would be a bit of a nightmare and it was, we only lasted 6 weeks, but I'm glad that I gave it a try. I ended up working more locally.
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