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Long commute vs short walk to work and significant pay cut...

11 replies

Gooseysgirl · 28/07/2012 14:59

Hello everyone, am looking for some advice... Have a gorgeous DD who is 5 months and I'm due to return to work full time at the beginning of Sept. She is booked in to one of our local nurseries. We both have lengthy commutes in to Central London (1hr - 1hr20 each way, depending on how well public transport is running). A job has come up that would suit me, less than a 20 min walk from where we live. However if I got the job it would mean a large pay cut (at least 5k, probably more) and also giving up very good mat pay package (full pay for 3 months, half pay for 3 months - another loss of 5k if I went for new job and went on mat leave again). DD is our first and we are hoping to have at least one more DC. DH and I are going to sit down and look at the figures - our original plan was for me to continue commuting until we complete our family and then leave the job, so we could try and save for a deposit on a house. For those of you with experience of lengthy commutes and very young DCs just wondering if you think it's worth the pay cut for what would be infinitely less hassle in terms of managing our family life?

OP posts:
mamababa · 28/07/2012 15:05

But you will save in travel costs surely? They can't be cheap. I am on mat leave with DS2 and would love to not have to commute. It's tiring and stressful and two hours less each day with your DC. But can you afford it I guess us the question and what about the job itself is it what you want?

oreocrumbs · 28/07/2012 15:11

I think there are 3 things to consider, in no particular order

  1. Money

2. Tiredness
3. Time with DD.

Once you deduct parking/petrol/bus/train etc how much will that change the amount of money you will lose?

Also IME you will be exhausted once your DD gets on her feet and into the toddler years, making your working day 2 hours longer every day will take its toll.

You will most likely miss your DD terribly and that can make you miserable. That 1 hour after work can be spent playing/bathing/reading, just generally being with her. You can become very resentful if you feel deprived of this time.

For me personally, I would choose a short commute and less money.
hatesponge · 28/07/2012 15:13

Think about how much of a difference to your net salary there will be - I'm assuming the £5k difference is gross not net?

Then look at your travel costs - I know for me to commute to London is over £1500 pa, so that would be a significant saving. Presumably also you could reduce your childcare hours slightly as you will be so much closer. commuting is stressful, I've done it with 2 DC (who are now secondary school age!) and the worry of rushing back to collect DC by 6pm when trains etc get delayed is awful. I honestly would have loved a job I could walk to - for me the slight (after travel costs taken off) difference in salary would be worth all the other benefits - no long journey, more time with DC, being able to get to nursery quickly if DC were ill, that kind of thing :)

Rhubarb78 · 28/07/2012 15:16

Take a pay cut IMO, if you can afford it obviously. Life is too short and dc's are too precious. Things have happened to me in the last couple of years that have made me realise that. I have just got rid of my car so I can stay part time and spend more time with ds, you will manage and you can always make cuts but you can't get the time back when they are young. If you have other kids, you will manage too but if you dont you may regret missing out. Sorry if I am digressing, just think you shouldn't overly plan the future, you don't necessarily know what it holds. Good luck whatever you decide, I Haven't commuted long distance for a while now but live 20 mins walk from work too and it's great to know you will be home handy, couldnt bear the thought of it taking over an hour to get to and from work

Piffpaffpommelhorse · 28/07/2012 15:17

One thing also to consider is what would happen if something happened with DD at the nursery if she was taken ill or had an accident? 1.5 hours is quite a long way away, DH and I were both about 1/2 an hour away from our nursery and we both had to do a couple of dashes to pick up an ill DS or DD.

How easy is it for you to get another job? If easy, then maybe give the long commute a go and if it doesn't work out then look for another closer to home. If however you are in a specialised type role where jobs don't come up that often then I would think long and hard about taking the new job now.

surroundedbyblondes · 28/07/2012 15:20

I would take the pay cut for the easier commute. Especially if the job content is interesting and fulfilling.

Even if you're planning on further DCs, just think how knackered you'll be doing your current commute while pregnant and coming home to a toddler with wants and needs.

I'm currently home on maternity leave (we moved house just after DD2 was born, so I can't return to my previous job) and I am really focussed on finding something near to home for my next job. Especially as DH commutes 1hr each way.

CaroleService · 28/07/2012 15:46

Take the paycut. Just be sure there is no danger of being transferred to another office once you've started (happened to me - would have been 3hrs at least additional travelling a day).

Gooseysgirl · 28/07/2012 16:30

Thank you so much for all your responses Smile I really needed to hear the viewpoint of those who have done it... I do think that commuting will eventually start to really take it's toll on me (teething has begun!!) and that is something I'm giving serious consideration to. At the moment I can drive to work or get the bus and tube, but will be losing my parking space due to a new build on the site where I work. I think financially we should be able to manage it with a bit of organisation and cutbacks here and there. And yes Rhubarb you are so right... she is precious, and at the end of the day our decision will be most influenced by what's best for her! The house can wait...

OP posts:
changeforthebetter · 28/07/2012 16:36

Snow
Strikes
Leaves (or worse Sad) on the line
Engineering works
Sweaty commuters
Season ticket price hikes
The sinking dread at the end of the day that you still have a long journey ahead..............

Can you tell I used to commute from Central London? Grin It's a bit of a no-brainer to me. And it's not just about your DD, it is about your quality of life too - which still matters Wink

tribpot · 28/07/2012 16:47

I was going to make Piffpaff's point as well - the difficulty of being such a long journey time away from her in case of illness or even just getting to nursery before it closes.

If you stay with your current job, would you be sharing the nursery pickups and days when she can't attend because of illness with your DH? Or is the expectation that you will need to factor all that into your job? The only reason I ask is to highlight that this almost certainly will fall to you if you have a local job - which may or may not be practical depending on what kind of job you have.

Are there any alternatives to make the commuting less grim? Can you work from home at all?

Waswondering · 28/07/2012 16:55

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