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commuting to london full time

(32 Posts)
markedimprovement Mon 11-Nov-13 16:28:53

I have been found my dream job which is full time and involves commuting into the city. I have 2 young DC's and just wondered how manageable this would be. I just wondered if anybody else does this and if you could share you experiences.
Thank you.

Pinkandwhite Mon 11-Nov-13 16:33:46

Hi markedimprovement, how long will you commute be and have you got access to good childcare? If its your dream job then I'm sure you could make it work. Lots and lots of people do it.

Thurlow Mon 11-Nov-13 16:42:15

I commute f/t, it's about 1.15 from door to door. I don't mind it, but it's not brilliant. But then I suspect some of the "it's not brilliant" is because this really isn't my dream job, it's just a job, which in my sector at the moment is better than nothing...

The commute itself isn't too bad most days, if you get a seat then you can learn to use it as "me" time and read, check your emails, MNet etc. And you get used to the length of time quite quickly.

The downsides for me - and maybe most of these won't apply in your situation - are that I'm out the house pretty much all the time my young DC is awake, so at the moment I'm doing that "dad" thing of just coming in and doing bathtime and bedtime. I'm happy working f/t but I'd rather have much less of a commute. Also DP works f/t in London too. We only make childcare work because he does shifts, and we have a VERY supportive CM. if we're both at work then everyone - me, DP, all the grandparents and aunts etc - are over an hour away, which I don't like in emergencies. I've been called back once because DC was very ill and it was horrendous. Oh, and if the train line breaks while we're both at work, we're fucked!

If you have a DH who works nearer, good family support etc then I think it could be a breeze. It's not as easy as driving 20 mins to work, though, which is why I wanted to be honest. But if it is your dream job I'd try it - you can always get another job if you hate the commute.

MumOfTheMoos Mon 11-Nov-13 16:52:02

I'm going back next week and will be commuting into canary wharf but only from SE London so only about 45mins - seats are not always available!

The plus side is that it will be really easy to pop and do things in lunch hour etc and you won't have to cook your DC meals when you get in (we're making a big deal about sitting down together for breakfast though).

HappyAsASandboy Mon 11-Nov-13 17:26:08

I think it depends on how long the commute is, how long the hours are, what your Childcare costs are, what your Childcare hours are, whether you have any local support for emergencies, how much you would love the job .... too many unknowns for us to comment!

I commute just under 2 hours each way. But my employer is flexible about when I work my hours, I have two days a a week when I don't have to get back early, my DH is able to drop off at Childcare in the mornings, I have local backup in case of an emergency pick up from nursery, my salary covers nursery fees and travel costs (with a little spare) and I mostly love my job. If any of those things changed, the whole thing would topple like a house of cards.

markedimprovement Mon 11-Nov-13 17:27:26

Thanks all.
We have no family support. Dh is currently out of work so to start off with he will have the Dc's until he finds work and then we will need a find a reliable and supportive childminder. The commute is just over an hour once I am on the train. I do not like the thought of being so far away either and just getting home for bed time. It is my dream job though and this company only operates in the city and is a very specialized role so couldn't find it elsewhere. There is another potential job which isn't my dream but I would probably like if not love and is only 20 minutes in the car, so that is my dilemma. What would you do? Not a great deal of difference in money once you deduct travel costs.

Thurlow Mon 11-Nov-13 18:07:08

Honestly? Well, having had one of my nightmare scenarios come true today as the Tubes just broken with me on it, now I will be v late to collect dc, very stressed... I would actually be thinking about the local job. Sorry.

It's just that relying on trains and the Tube leaves the easy potential for things to go catastrophically wrong.

What sort of work will your DH be looking for? Would that be local and flexible?

specialmagiclady Mon 11-Nov-13 18:12:09

I think you should take the "dream job" if it is well-paid enough to pay for everything while DH job hunts. He can be SAHP for a bit and hopefully find a local job.

Could that work? I am assuming you are earning more

WallyBantersJunkBox Mon 11-Nov-13 18:12:49

I would hate to say it but local job for me too.

Sometimes I feel like a ghost in my own house, and winter is super depressing.

If your DP gets a job you need to think about childcare which can be very restrictive.

When I left my London job I had a slightly less enjoyable one with a 30 min drive via nursery, but had a much better quality of life.

Lexis1980 Mon 11-Nov-13 18:13:06

I would probably take the local job. I commute by train and it only takes a single snowflake or breeze of wind for the trains to grind to a halt.

plantsitter Mon 11-Nov-13 18:20:29

If it's your dream job, is there no possibility of moving closer?

pepperrabbit Mon 11-Nov-13 18:31:47

If you settle for second best you may regret it and wonder "what if"?
I have just relocated from my Canary Wharf job, to the same role in a regional office, I honestly do miss the buzz of working in the city.
However, I also have a "been there done that" feeling about it and working closer to home means I can do shorter days and not need childcare as much.
If you want it to work, you can make it work for the right job.

markedimprovement Mon 11-Nov-13 19:15:14

Thanks for he replies, lots to consider, I hadn't really considered the "what if things go wrong with the trains" scenario either.

eatyourveg Mon 11-Nov-13 19:21:06

I'd stay nearer home - that way its quicker to get to school when dc are ill

Pinkandwhite Mon 11-Nov-13 19:27:40

I'm really sorry but it would probably be the local job for me too. I spent a year doing a commute which involved a 45 minute journey on a great western train into London (the journey was about an hour and twenty minutes each way in total) and every week at least one of my journeys was delayed. Sadly there were numerous suicides on the line which meant I was often an hour or so late to work or late home. There were also numerous unexplained delays/cancellations along with bad weather issues. The winter months were particularly depressing.

If your partner is going to take a local job then maybe my answer would be different. Otherwise, if it really is your dream job, could you move any closer to it?

Lexis1980 Mon 11-Nov-13 19:28:06

Which train line would you be on? Do some research. Some are better than others. I'm not in London myself, but my train line is crap, most trains for the last two weeks have been delayed and they were cancelled after the big storm

Snog Mon 11-Nov-13 19:40:01

Does one job have better prospects than the other?

ArabellaBeaumaris Mon 11-Nov-13 19:54:28

I commute 1.5 hrs each way. 45 mins on a train is fine but the 45mins on the tram to the station is a pain. I barely see my kids during the week & I miss them. It would be impossible for me to do nursery runs as I leave at 7.15 & get back at 6.15 if everything goes smoothly. It works because DP only works two days & my marvellous mum has them those days. It is totally impossible for us both to work full time as his hours are unpredictable & frequently long & unsocial.

However my job has good prospects & is only 2 years in this location. So we are sucking it up & DP is staying part time till that's done. Could your DH do part time work perhaps more locally?

Thurlow Mon 11-Nov-13 21:33:42

It can work easily - but it means your DH possibly taking the career hit and doing part-time or a local job he'll enjoy less. No reason why it can't be this way around. How does he feel about it?

But in my experience, it's almost impossible for both parents to be fully pursuing their career with very young children unless they have supportive family on the doorstep, or earn enough for a nanny. At the moment DP is pushing hard in his career, and mine is on the back-burner. And generally one parent is going to end up doing nothing more than early mornings and bedtimes (which also in my experience is considered pretty unusual if it's the mum rather than the dad doing it).

Your trainline would be a real decider for me. Some lines are shocking. If you're doing an evening pick up and the train breaks, you're probably even more stuck than in a serious traffic jam. It only works for us because our CM is one who deliberately sets out to do flexible hours - which is quite rare re evenings - and because we pay a contingency fee as part of our monthly fee to cover these problems.

NK5BM3 Mon 11-Nov-13 22:15:16

We both work full time but dh works from home and my work is literally 10 min away. Having said that it involves quite abit of late nights and evening/weekend work and we have no family support near by. Last week I almost didn't see the kids all week till Friday. I wasn't home for dinner 4 nights and when I did see the kids on the two nights that I managed to get in earlier (8 and 9pm) they were bathed and in pjs. I felt quite guilty.

Can you deal with that?

This week I have 2 late nights at the least. Tomorrow and Thursday. Tomorrow I won't see the kids at meal time. Thursday possibly after dinner.

Next week I won't see the kids all week as I'm half way across the world for a conference. Leave Monday back Sunday.

So... I think you need to consider the trains and also the possible guilt factor. Good luck whatever you decide.

I think it's not unusual that there are families where mothers work hard or even harder than fathers. There should not be guilt in the 'I don't see the kids' sense but alot of women do. More significantly though I think a lot of women give other women that sort of 'grief'. So all I would say is do what's best for your family. Consider why this is your dream job. Is it because of job prospects, what you studied for? Prestige? Money?

CinnamonPorridge Tue 12-Nov-13 09:39:40

I lasted 6 months commuting into London, just over an hour each way without disruptions. It did me in, was so stressful, I had underestimated it completely. Made me resent the job.

But - dh has same commute, so both being over an hour away from the dc was an issue for me. We have no family in this country.

I'm afraid if your dh can only work in London too, I would take the 20 min drive. That's 1 hour 20 minutes every day as a bonus! You could spend it with the dc or have some time for yourself.

I have resigned to the fact that I will only work reasonably local until my dc are older. Otherwise I pay a fortune in childcare while I'm being sqashed on a train or tube.

CinnamonPorridge Tue 12-Nov-13 09:45:29

Oh, before I get flamed, dh is the main earner, I get peanuts in comparison. He's out 12 hours a day so so I'm the one looking after the dc and home as well (though he does his share).

squeaver Tue 12-Nov-13 09:49:35

In the current economic climate, I think you should take this job rather than give up on it for a "potential" job.

squeaver Tue 12-Nov-13 09:50:21

Also, if it really is your dream job, you will always regret not, at least, trying it.

Lomaamina Sat 16-Nov-13 17:14:32

Can you work from home a day a week? That'd give you less commuting and at least once a week at the school gate, seeing children in daylight etc.? I'd personally only do it if it was a direct train. The added tube would do me in. And also only if DP was working locally, so available in emergencies.

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