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Is 3 hours of commuting a day doable?

(49 Posts)
joanofarchitrave Tue 22-Nov-11 22:46:53

Just that really.

I had an interview today that went well. It would involve 2 hours of commuting most days and 3 hours perhaps twice a week. I really, really don't want to move, although I would consider it in 3 years when ds would be coming up to secondary. Can family life survive??

timidviper Tue 22-Nov-11 22:49:31

I wouldn't do it but then I'm not very committed career-wise.

It's a very big commitment IMO and you'd need to think carefully.

DamselInDisarray Tue 22-Nov-11 22:50:17

I'm just about to start a job with 4 hours of commuting (2 hours each way) on the train. I'll have to do it about 3 times a week. I can work on the train, so I see it as 3 hours of non-interrupted office time and an hour of non-working travelling (mostly walking). I see this as preferable to the previous situation of 8-10 hours of commuting (all driving) once a fortnight and sometimes more often.

joanofarchitrave Tue 22-Nov-11 22:53:41

Mmmm. Yes, that's the problem. I can do one or two of the short-commute days by train but the long commute days have at least one change in the middle of the journey, which IMO makes it much harder to achieve any work. I also have to move around both towns after getting in to work.

When I applied I had good reason to think they would accept part time (like, emails to exactly that effect from the head of the interview panel). But now it's full-time only. I suppose at least we would have some money which would be nice.

HoneyandHaycorns Tue 22-Nov-11 22:54:32

I wouldn't do it, but I know lots of people who do. I think family life can certainly survive, but there will be a cost - you have to decide if the job is worth that cost. And if the time that you'd save if you didn't commute would be worth the cost of not taking the job.

Ambi Tue 22-Nov-11 22:57:34

I couldnt do it, it just feels like wasted time to me and mine's 30-40mins each way, that's too much at times. Plus the blardy cost of it all and the avoiding roadworks and accidents. Your commute isn't every day though is it?

Ambi Tue 22-Nov-11 22:58:46

Also thinking about getting home in an emergency..

HoneyandHaycorns Tue 22-Nov-11 22:59:43

Would they let you work from home on some days?

DamselInDisarray Tue 22-Nov-11 23:00:07

I think it's very different if the commuting is going to be tricky to work during. And also if you don't have significant flexibility.

I'll have loads of flexibility and my new line manager has been very clear that she is not into presenteeism, so I can work at home/elsewhere whenever I don't have meetings or classes so long as I am contactable by email. She's also happy for me to arrange things so as not to be in early (which means I can do the school/nursery drop off, work on the 1.5 hour train journey and then turn up at work).

Without that, it'd be unworkable.

DamselInDisarray Tue 22-Nov-11 23:01:37

In an emergency, DH can pick up for us. He works 10 minutes away from nursery, and 20 from school. I've spent the last several years being the emergency contact, so it can be his turn for a while.

gaelicsheep Tue 22-Nov-11 23:04:04

It is doable, but I don't think it's doable with children. I used to commute 90 minutes each way (120 mile round trip). It was knackering and I only did it because I really really wanted the job and I really really didn't want to move. After 6 months we moved.

gaelicsheep Tue 22-Nov-11 23:04:32

That was before children. There is no way I would do it now.

MollieO Tue 22-Nov-11 23:05:46

I do it every day and am a single parent. Not easy but perfectly doable.

MollieO Tue 22-Nov-11 23:06:17

that should be every week day....

joanofarchitrave Tue 22-Nov-11 23:07:50

I don't know. I'm the breadwinner, dh works at home and his work isn't paid at the moment. I have one child aged 7.

Can't work at home, it is therapy work so I have to be there.

Urgh! I almost hope they don't offer it to me!

cat64 Tue 22-Nov-11 23:11:54

Message withdrawn

DamselInDisarray Tue 22-Nov-11 23:11:57

Well. You do have DH at home and your child is at school. Loads of people in a similar situation wouldn't think anything of this kind of commute, especially if it were supporting their families.

gaelicsheep Tue 22-Nov-11 23:12:05

What are the hours likely to be and what time would you get home? Will you have to do extra hours? I'm the breadwinner too and it does add extra pressure, both to take a job and to keep it. I guess if it was my only option I would do it now - thankfully my commute is around half an hour and that's enough at the end of a long day.

gaelicsheep Tue 22-Nov-11 23:14:05

DamselinDisarray - just because you personally wouldn't think anything of it doesn't mean that others wouldn't, especially when they wish to have a family life.

The point about winter is a good one. The stress of my commute was added to enormously by having to drive across snowy countryside in the dark at the end of a long and tiring day.

NormaSparklerFlashBangAhhh Tue 22-Nov-11 23:14:42

I do this. Working on the train is impossible, too crowded after the first 15 mins. I can do it atm only because dh does childcare, and is 5 mins from home. There have been times when he has had to go away or had duties, and that phas been hard, but I am lucky to have an understanding employer (who want me to stay)

An0therName Tue 22-Nov-11 23:18:55

If your DH can do childcare then I think its ok - however if you get offered the job ask for reduced hours at that point - I did this recently and got them

DamselInDisarray Tue 22-Nov-11 23:19:22

Well actually, I did think long and hard about it. But I know several people who wouldn't give it a second thought. It strikes me that (like many women) the OP may well be feeling a need to be there, when many others (very often men) would not. Loads on MNers have husbands who commute for hours each day.

I think being able to work on the train definitely depends on the route and what the work is. My train journey is never some into London nightmare with standing room only.

3monkeys Tue 22-Nov-11 23:22:21

I commute 45 minutes eachway. As others have said, the added stress of bad weather is awful. I certainly wouldn't want to go any further

gaelicsheep Tue 22-Nov-11 23:23:42

You've hit the nail on the head there. Whether we're the breadwinner or not, as women we still feel the need to be at home. That has always been my dilemma and I'm feeling the home pull pretty strongly just now.

joanofarchitrave Tue 22-Nov-11 23:24:37

Yes I know a lot of men reading this (are there any?) are thinking 'Woman up, wimp'.

I also wonder if the fact that I will be spending approx £200 a month on fuel and fares will take the edge off the pleasure of earning a living wage for once.

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