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Does anyone have a long commute to work??

(27 Posts)
stevienicks Wed 13-Jul-11 11:36:24

If so how long does it take you and how do you cope or do not cope with the journey?
I am looking to move to Dorset but will have a commute of 2 1/2 hours to work from Dorset. A few people where I work actually do this and have been doing it for a while.
I would more than likely driving to and from work. I have thought about changing my job but there isn't a lot of work down there. I also am not sure If I could cope with the stress of a new job as well as new schools moving etc. I am sure I could but just want some advice please.

EmmalinaC Wed 13-Jul-11 12:23:54

stevie do you mean 2.5 hours each way? Or 2.5 hours total commuting time each day? And would you be working full-time?

I commute for 1.5 hrs each way which adds an extra 3 hours to my working days (already long). It means I have to be out the house before my children get up on those days, which I hate.

Sometimes I drive (hurrah for Radio 4), sometimes I take the train (which means I can read) but mostly it feels like wasted time. The reason I do it is because I've been in my job over 10 years and they have given me both flexibility and seniority which I would struggle to find part-time closer to home. Plus I work in a quirky industry and their aren't that many jobs around.

Also worth bearing in mind that if you have a long commute and get delayed for some reason it can be unbelievably stressful - and if your commute is in rush hour, you will experience delays - accidents, cancelled trains whatever. You need to make sure that whatever childcare arrangements you have in place have a degree of flexibility - nursery/afterschool clubs are a nightmare as they close at a specified time and fine you if you're late, which adds to the stress! Fortunately I have a fabulous childminder which really helps.

Sorry, am going on a bit but if there is anyway you could find a similar job to the one you do, closer to home, then take it. Commuting is such a waste of time... It's the one part of my current lifestyle I would change if I could.

stevienicks Wed 13-Jul-11 12:56:26

Hi EmmalinaC, it would be 2.5 hours each way so 5hrs a day travelling. I work part-time so it wouldn't be everyday. So not so bad for me but my poor DH would have to do it an average 3 days to 4 days a week. I will have grand-parents helping out with childcare although that has its pros and cons at least they will be flexible. We haven't sold our house yet so it is all in limbo also looking at the possibility of changing my job increasing hours etc in the field I am in as my current job not very challenging. So as you can see I have all sorts of pots on the boil but none actually coming to fruition and with one we can't have the other. My DS starts school next year which will be a help as far as the GP's are concerned as I know its hard work for them looking after him the days I work now. I throw all the balls up in the air as don't know which one to tackle first. Help!!!!

EmmalinaC Wed 13-Jul-11 13:13:40

That all sounds very stressful!

You're lucky to have GPs to help out - takes away some of the stress of what might happen if your DCs needed you (for example if they fall ill at school and need collecting).

5 hours travelling might be sustainable for a bit (for example if you move before you've found another job) but it would be tough in the long run.

Then again , if you're living a in wonderful rural environment and the only way you can have that is with the long commute then you might find it is worth it.

Also, don't forget to factor in the cost of a long commute. 5 hours driving is going to use a LOT of petrol even if you've got a frugal car!

I'm probably not helping much. It's a tough one!

Forester Wed 13-Jul-11 13:19:02

I think that sounds like too long a commute to do in the long term - particularly if you are driving. Is it an option to have a crash pad near your place of work so you and/or your hubby would not need to drive there and back every day?

stevienicks Wed 13-Jul-11 13:22:18

I know we have thought about all of this, my DH has said this and I am always the optimistic one.

No thats fine, just wanted to see how others coped with a long commute, I drive for an hour now each way, so used to driving fairly long distances. I wouldn't use the train as incase I needed to get home to the children, so the option of getting a job nearer to where we will live will be much more sensible in the long run which scares the hell out of me as have been doing my job for such a long time and I couldn't do what I do in the same area because of cuts in the public sector. So would have to look for somehting totally new or put up with the commute until things changes suppose its a case of doing it and seeing how I get on.

LaCerbiatta Wed 13-Jul-11 13:28:26

I could have written Emmalina's post; also have a 1.5h commute each way. I only do it 3 days a week but I hate it! I take the train and even though I can read or sleep it still feels like totally wasted time. I hate not seeing the dc in the morning, I hate the stress of when the train is delayed (way too often) and have to find someone else to pick them up. Because I get up so early I'm always tired and grumpy and often struggle at work.

2.5 h is way too long. Don't do it! Whatever reasons you have for moving to Dorset they don't make up for the loss of quality of life, specially if your dh has the same commute.

Sorry for being brutally honest.... Good luck!

stevienicks Wed 13-Jul-11 13:35:55

Thanks tugamommy, so what are you going to do about it? I ask myself this question every week as I drag myself into work. I don't really like it where I live or where I work thats why I want to go to Dorset. I feel that I have to change something or it will keep going on and on and until something gives, I wish I didn't feel like this but I can't help it I need to have some form of change as I feel stuck, does that make sense?

LaCerbiatta Wed 13-Jul-11 13:58:43

So sorry you feel like that Stevie! Just wanted to share my experience.

So will you be getting a new job? I understood you'd keep the job and move further away. If you're not happy with your job is moving house going to make it better? Why do you want to move to Dorset in particular? Is that where your family are? Can you not move somewhere a bit closer but still nice sothat you feel like you're having a change? Can your dh work closer to home so that only one of you have a bad commute? Can you condense your hours and work 2 very long days and stay overnight? Or maybe work one of the days from home? Or can you find a different job that is home based?

Sorry, so many questions! blush I know it's difficult! After 3 years of looking I finally found a job close to home and from September will have a 10 min commute! smile

GooseyLoosey Wed 13-Jul-11 14:07:13

I commute 2 1/4 hours each way and have done it for over 10 years. I do it 3 days a week.

I don't find the commute stressful at all - because of the length, it is mostly on a comfortable, fast, quiet, intercity train and I always get a seat. I can easily work on the train or relax and read a book. No problem with that bit at all.

The bits to consider are as follows:

1. What time would you have to get up to do this? I get up at 5.00am and after 10 years, I am still not used to it. I am chronically sleep deprived.

2. Same point really in relation to what time you would get home and whether you would actually have any time left for family life. I deliberately get in to work as early as I can and have an agreement that I can leave early and be home be about 6.00pm. I then work in the evening after the DC have gone to bed if I need to.

3. Are you being realistic about the length of the commute? My train journey is just under 1.30mins but then I live 10 miles from the station on the home side and have to catch the tube on the London side. The tube bit is by far the worst.

4. The commute is excruciatingly expensive. My season ticket is over £6000. On top of that, I have to pay for the Tube and car parking at the station. The travel must cost me around £10,000 a year. Would you earn enough to make the travel costs worth while?

5. What would happen if you got delayed - is there someone who could look after your children for you?

6. Do you need to live so far from work? Could you move closer? Look carefully at your reasons for not moving and consider how much they mean to you.

It is doable, but it is not easy and you need to think very hard about whether it is the best thing for you and your family.

stevienicks Wed 13-Jul-11 14:10:28

Excellent news re the new job. The problem I have at work is that I am part-time, to have a more challenging job it seems I would have to go full-time as they don't really like you being part-time although they will be seen to appear to accomodate you in your requests to apply for other postions but you will not be successful in getting many of the jobs that you apply for. I can see it from their point of view re a business issue, but I do not work for business without divulging too much information here. I would love to persue my career again and fly up the ranks as they say but another side of me says what about the children maybe I should wait until they are older but by that time I will be able to retire from my job. Anyway thats another post I feel but it is all connected. Dorset because we have in-laws there and my parents want to move there also. I have put in place, staying with relatives on the days I would be in London, also for husband. I feel like I really want to take the plunge but little pockets of doubt are creeping in.

LaCerbiatta Wed 13-Jul-11 14:25:05

Would you be allowed some work from home or to condense your hours? Full time if you can work from home is easier than part time commuting!

stevienicks Wed 13-Jul-11 14:34:43

No, don't have that sort of job. With regards to compressed hours they are refusing those requests as well. My mum really wants to go down to Dorset but will not go without us. Anyway it may not happen if I can't sell my house but just feel like I put myself in this limbo position for a better future for my family. If the truth is told I really want a year off work on a career break to be with my DS before he goes to school next year, this is not pheasible due to large mortgage and DH doesn't want to be the main breadwinner and means all plans on hold for another 12 months and money will be extremely tight, its tight now with me working part-time but pay out for petrol to and from work, nursery fees for two days a month so at least we won't have those ,arguments for going, can work more hours as will have more childcare available with GP's could get a job nearer home with less pay though. Its a tough one and a decision that has been going on for a while in my household, has anyone else ever had these dilemas.

LaCerbiatta Wed 13-Jul-11 15:06:08

Getting the perfect work life balance is really difficult... I spoke to someone at work the other day who also does life coaching as a hobby and she told me 'you just can't have it all!' sad

It's really depressing! I want to be there for my dc but there's no way i would give up work. I want to work part time but have a really unsupportive dh who thinks that it's not fair that he works full time and I spend a day home doing nothing hmm. Also, we can't really afford for me to work part time with bloody expensive rent and bills and nursery fees.... We also are from a differnet country so we have no family support.. I suppose you can consider yourself lucky in that respect!

stevienicks Wed 13-Jul-11 15:42:30

I suppose I am. I know I have been told that many a time "We can't have it all" but we can have good bloody try at getting it all can't we. A lot of people that are jealous of others positions I find usually pass comments like that. For example an ex boss of mine who had to give up her aspirations of a career due to having a child and settle for what she had and resented anyone that was part-time. As if to say I worked fulltime so why can't you. I had to settle for a crap job so why can't you. We don't have a lot of help from family at the mo.

SarkySpanner Wed 13-Jul-11 23:34:31

I am a long-term commuter and would not consider what your are suggesting. Would be just about feasible by train IMO. But not by car.

Sometimes when you try to have everything you can spoil the good things that you have.

LaCerbiatta Thu 14-Jul-11 08:07:59

We sure can have a good bloody try at having it all! Anf feel damn proud about it!

Hope it all works out for you!

Putthatbookdown Thu 14-Jul-11 08:25:56

I know lots who do it besides myself The ones happy are those with the big jobs and can do their work on the train If you have no time to enjoy new location no point

Oblomov Thu 14-Jul-11 10:12:06

I think what you are considering is not realistic, not sensible and would be so draining, it would be incredible.
Where is London ? And where in Dorset ? Roughly?
I only ask becasue we live on M25, Surrey. Dh had a job in Reading. M4 , or back roads commute, which he did for 3 years and killed him. Now he has a job on bottom of M25, 30 miles. constant delays, road closures. regualrly 2.5 hours. it kills him.
We go down to Dorset regularly , to Blandford to our caravan. So will you be going M3, A31 or M3, A303 ?
Because I can't believe you are seriously considering doing this journey. As a regular COMMUTE.

I wonder what the alternatives are, for you ? I sure hope there is one.

thinNigella Thu 14-Jul-11 10:22:55

I used to do it. it was utterly exhausting - 1.5hrs each way, leaving the house at 6.00 and getting home at 5.30pm - so working 730-4.00.

I turned into a very impatient bad driver (shouting at tractors in my way), hated the evil country roads - and I was not a very good emplyee as I had to get out on time - never easy in any job - and the pressure of doing everything on time in full with no room for error was immense. I was totally miserable, but I loved my job and at the time I felt I had no option.
Then I got really ill, and ended up in hopsital with exhaustion. it was horrendous.
I have now got a lovely new job with a brilliant company with an even longer commute. I stay over one night a week and work from home the rest of the time. I am so lucky and privelged to work for them, they are great. Still hate communiting but necessary evil where I live - in a similar rural area oop north!

stevienicks Thu 14-Jul-11 21:09:43

Thank you for all your advice so it seems a lot of you out there have done and are doing long commutes.

So I think once we have moved I will be looking for a new job, with less money but no long commutes fingers crossed it works out for us.


fivegomadindorset Thu 14-Jul-11 21:13:46

Stevie, I live in Dorset and didn't apply for my ideal job because it would mean going the other side of Bournemouth for it. There are jobs down here, just have to look hard, not sure what field you are in.

theothermrsclooney Thu 14-Jul-11 21:25:01

I commute just over 2 hrs each way 3 days a week, it's not too bad at this time of the year but can be hard in winter. I negotiated my hrs so that I work on the train getting in at around 9.30 and leaving at around 4. It means I get home to see DCs most nights. I do often catch up on bits of work when they've gone to bed. I am lucky to have a trusting, flexible boss.

stevienicks Sun 24-Jul-11 20:43:20

Hi fivegomadindorset.

I work in the public sector. I think the best idea is to look for a job nearer home when I move to Dorset, which hopefully will be in the not too distant future. What would your ideal job be and what work did you end up doing???

LadyLapsang Mon 25-Jul-11 22:09:21

I think both of you commuting 5 hours per day each sounds too much however you may think you're having it all. I do know people that spend this amount of time or more commuting, mainly dads with SAHMs or working very part-time hours locally. Mostly moved out of London for larger houses, better education and improved quality of life, (for the whole family). One guy told me he never sees his house in the daylight in the week - leaves at 5 something everyday and is obviously sleep deprived. Can't see the point if both of you are doing this.

I commuted for three hours per day for a long period and it wasn't bad, nice to catch up with the papers and reading / work, however the driving bit could be bad if it snowed etc. and the train bit got extended regularly, (leaves on the line, person under a train etc. etc.). Also, need to think about your responsibility to be punctual for your children - if the train is regularly late, how will that affect your relationship with the grandparents and your children?

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