Find the perfect family friendly job
Will it piss dh off having a long commute? I only ask because if he can walk through the door happily at the end of each day, even if it takes a long time, it will make a big difference to you all. I hate commuting and become a miserable old cow after a long commute which of course, affects everyone!
I suppose the length of his commute will only matter if he has long working hours aswell? If he can't see the kids either end of the day, every single day then personally, I think that's too much.
DH doesn't have to commute at all - about 5 miles each way - grrr!
I do about 40 miles each way. takes me between 1.25-1.5 hours in a morning and just over an hour on the way home (as I finish early). Only reason I put up with it is
(a) I only work PT so only have to do it 3 days a week,
(b) I finish at 2:10 two days a week so miss the rush hour traffic home, and
(c) can't find another non-teaching job that will pay me the same amount and give me the same amount of holidasys with so little stress.
I have a longish bus commute and don't mind it - listen to radio, read book etc, arrive chilled. I'd hate a drive commute where I'd have to be alert all the time - would arrive frazzled.
DH, on the other hand, has a drive commute and finds it much less stressful than the bus as he's in his own little pod shouting at the radio, playing loud music etc and arrives chilled too - would hate sitting next to the Masses on public transport.
FWIW I loved the house where I had a short commute and DH a long one as it meant I got all the dull stuff done while he wasn't there and he'd come home to gorgeous tidy house, laundry all done etc and have Quality Time in evening rather than running round doing chores - made me feel v proud, organised & wifely. BUT this was pre-kids, which makes a huge difference.
One advantage of a longer commute home if that you do get a fair bit of wind down/thinking time to yourself. So by the time you get home all those work things that have been buzzing about in your head have normally gone away.
We live 5 mins from dh's work but it makes it harder for him to ever switch off and puts him in position of feeling obliged to always be the one (there are 2 other directors who live further away) to answer alarm call outs, open up and lock up workshops at weekends etc. He's often abroad for weeks at a time so commuting time sort of becomes irrelevant then. He's usually up and out of the house within 5 mins of waking and home after dd3 is in bed anyway. We did move to our village to be nearer his work and I suppose, when he is in the country, it is nice to know he's only f 5 mins away in an emergency. He's only made it to 1 school assembely in 6 years though and drives past our front door to PAY for lunch in the pub. Grrr.
dh cycles to work each day, takes 2 hours in total travelling. Sometimes it affects me if I have to rush off to a BSL lesson in the evening. Fortuneately his work means that he can start and finish when he likes and come back earlier so that I can go and do my own thing.
ds is not in school yet although I have a feeling that once he is, I'll be the one that's taking him there and back.
Dh has a 5 minute walk to the station this end, then a 1h 23 min train journey, and then a 2 minute escalator to his desk at the other end. It works for him because he can relax/read/work on the train (we see his first class ticket as a completely necessary expense to guarantee him a stress free journey). He comes home in the evening with work stress out of his head and ready to take over. He is also able to leave the office at 5pm, so gets home in time to finish teh bath and put the kids to bed (he does then carry on working at home in the evening though)
Tbh I'm not sure that a driving commute would be the same though - if he's coming home stressed from traffic you may end up competing to see who has had the most stressful early evening. And not seeing the kids during the week is a big thing- both in terms of giving you a break and inhis relationship with them. And having teh kids at school/pre-school if anything makes the witching hours of 5-7pm worse, not better, cos they are more tired and grumpy.
My journey is one hour door to door - 10 min walk, 30 min train journey, 20 min walk.
Dh has 10 min walk, 35 min train journey, 20 min tube ride/short walk so his journey is longer.
Yes we can read on the train and yes I think it is overall less stressful than suburban rush-hour driving, but we are constantly on hyper-alert in case the trains go wrong and we are late for work/late to pick up the children.
It's different strokes for different folks though CF. We both commute so can have "my day was crapper than yours" competitions while cramming thrown-together dinner down the family.
If you are sure you will love the town then give it a go. But to be really honest, have a contingency plan as well. I have seen at close quarters what a wedge a long-distance commute can drive between a couple
Oh and you also have to be really careful not to live completely separate lives when he works far away from where you live. We struggle slightly with this- I am building up a really good group of mummy friends and some true friends in the village we now live in, whilst dh still has the life we both previously had in London with the majority of his friends being through his working life. I can get frustrated with what I see as his lack of effort to integrate into the local community - he prefers to spend weekends having old London based friends up to stay, whilst I would prefer to concentrate on new relationships in the village. And we talk about completely different things - as he wroks all day he is still in the old loop of e-mail/phone based gossip about our crowd in london, wheras I, with limited pc time during the day, am more in tune with school gate gossip - and we find it difficult to be interested in the others news having less connection with it.
I'm being almost as doom and gloomy as you aren't I? I do love where we live and wouldn't go back to living near work - it's just good to be aware of the potential issues before they become huge
My partner leaves shortly after 6am, gets back just before 8pm (on a good day when the trains are on time). He probably has to stay late, on average, about 6 times a month (without overtime) so might not get in till 9pm.
His travel time is just under 2 hours each way and involves train and tube(s). I don't get the impression he winds down much at all, as, particularly on the way home, he rarely gets a seat. He also finds the dirt and squash of London travelling very demoralising.
We live about 50 miles from London and can't afford to buy an adequate home anywhere nearer.
And spend £400 a month on commuting alone.
There are no comparable jobs in his line, or any line he could do, anywhere near where we live so 'tis a Catch 22 situation all round.
I HATE it. I absolutely hate having to eat so late each night. I hate having to feed the kids and us in 2 shifts. I hate the fact that by the time we've eaten, I then have to start work myself ( I work from home) for the rest of the evening. I also feel vulnerable sometimes should there be an emergency it would take him 2 hours to get home.
He hates it too but feels trapped all ways round. Even a local job paying less (but with lower travel costs) wouldn't balance the books.
Sorry I can't be more positive ...... but the situation is all such a drudge. The phrase "there must be more to life than this" often springs to mind.
I travel 40 mins to and from work, on a very reliable tube line. The area I live in isn't great but would hate to live further out and have a more stressful commute.
Previously lived 20 mins from work but in a much smaller place...I guess it's all swings and roundabouts really
My DH commutes to London. We live 4 minutes walk from train station and his journey (train, tube and 10 minute walk) takes about 70 minutes. He leaves home at 0745 and will return at 1805. DH likes the commute because he reads a lot.
I work 20 minutes drive from home, 3 days a week and because it is flexible hours, I prefer to start early which means I drop the twins off at nursery at 0730 h and I will be in work for 0800h. During the journey I will listen to either music CDs or, like this morning, practise my German. I also pick the twins up after work.
We are quite happy with the arrangement atm
I commute by train for 1.5-2hrs each way into London and have done for the past 2.5 years. Its really hard at first then you develop coping mechanisms (like ipods to block out the guy on the phone and ways of getting yourself maximum space). I think for a long commute its worth looking into train travel (tho I know the Caltrain isn't brilliant)
However the reason I do that is so we can live in an area that we both instinctively felt was home, where DH and DS can walk in the woods every day and where I can completely forget about work.
The downside is that work is very pressured for the hours I'm here and I am always out the door bang on leaving time which isn't ideal for the team. I've got a laptop/blackberry/phone and just accept that I will be "on call" until I get home as needed. The hard thing for you in the US is that they have a very very tough work culture of presenteeism and it may mean that your DH ends up working long hours plus the commute. If that happens you need to find ways of dealing (like he works as needed Mon-Wed and then is home by 6.30 on Fridays...).
in terms of my seeing DS - I get up at stupid o'clock to get dressed/showered/house cleaned etc so that when he wakes up at 5.30 I can spend an hour totally with him before I leave. Also I do all the night wakings. Plus then have him all w/e so DH can have some time off.
should say I'm only on here now cos am working my notice so that being pressured at work bit doesn't really apply anymore.... lol
Hi, how is suuny USA, I think you will find the long commute is common there as you know I worked in the same industry as your DH and I always had calls with HQ at 3pm our time, 7am their time, they all use to go in early to avoid the traffic also long commutes as housing in the valley is so expensive.
I walk 10 mins (with DS on his way to school), tube 40 mins, walk 10 mins. I always get a seat - end of the line - and read all the way. It is just part of life, not an issue for me. Once a month I have a day trip to Aberdeen, start 4.30am home 8.00pm.
DD and DW get up after DS and I leave the house. It was more of an issue when the children were very young and dw needed a break from them, but it (and they) are easier now.
I drive 20 minutes to work and it's fab - even if I work til 7 or something I'm still home before the children go to bed. I've done long commutes in the past and it's been horrible tbh. Is there any middle ground Californifrau, could you live somewhere nearer and not as nice? Or negotiate some home working/staggered starts?
you just reminded me of another reason i won't live in the US again: i always had a hella commute. turned me into a pack/day smoker.
no, no way.
i had a 30-mile/day commute that took at least two hours in the car.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.