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Anyone with a long commute?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Although I've still got time (I'm only 6 weeks pregnant) I'm trying to make decisions about work and daycare. My main concern is my commute, which is 55-65 minutes each way by car. There are no carpool/transit options, and I can't move, as DH has to live where we do for his job. So I'm trying to decide if I can do the commute with a baby, and if it would be better to look at daycare options near home or near work. I work full time plus a little, so if it was near home it would have to have good extended care options. DH is gone a lot and has the worlds random-est schedule when he is home, so pickup and drop off will have to be on me. 

 

Anyone have recommendations on near home or near work for daycare? Or encouraging stories about dealing with a long commute with a new baby?

post #2 of 9

Congratulations and welcome to MDC!!!

 

I think there are a lot of things to consider:

 

-Are you ever going to be working from home? 

 

-With Dh's schedule are there times he will want to, say spend 1/2 day with baby before or after work?

 

-What is the winter weather like where you live? If you have snowy winters, will you be able to get to the center to pick up on time if there is a storm at rush hour?

 

-Can you find centers with extended hours near your home if you have to work late? Is there an extra charge after a certain time of day or a certain number of hours in the center?

 

-If something happens at the center (illness, injury) will you be comfortable being that far away? Some centers have a very strict 1 hour pick-up rule for sick children (to decrease the ill child's time in contact with staff and other children)? How flexible will the centers near your home be on their sick child pick up policy? Is there someone else (with a car seat) who could pick up near your home?

 

With DS1 I had a 30-45 min commute and with DS2 it was about the same as yours. We had some hard times for sure, but I found that classical music made the commute easier on all of us. 

post #3 of 9
I have a long commute. Mornings, it takes me about 35 mins and afternoons, close to an hour. The kids go to daycare near our house. DH works from home so he does drop-off and I do pick-up. I do like that it's close to home so the kids are not spending a long time in the car. Also if I take a day off from work, I can still drop them off and get errands done. When DH travels, I do have to pay extra for 6:30 drop-off and my boss knows that I can't stay late on those days. I work 7-4,but I go in earlier if I need to catch up on things.
post #4 of 9

PP had some good questions to ask yourself!

 

I know someone that had a 60 min commute, and she preferred to spend that time with her children, even if it wasn't the most quality time, in the car. Plus, she was right near by in case they needed her.

 

Personally, I could not imagine spending 60 minutes each way with my babies in the car. My two have both been car screamers up until maybe 10 months or so. It would have driven me insane to have a screaming baby in the car for that long. I barely made it with a 40 min round trip drive with a screaming newborn to pick up my older son from his care situation twice a week!

 

Working from home would be the best option!! :) (not that most of us can do that!!)

 

 

post #5 of 9

Hi there! I worked full-time with about an hour commute each way when DS was little. We chose a daycare that was close to home, and I dropped off DS in the morning and DH picked him up in the evening. In the end, it was a really good thing that we chose a daycare close to home because when DS was approaching his first birthday, the commute was really wearing me down and I decided to take a new job much closer to home. So for that reason, I was REALLY glad that we had chosen a daycare close to home...that way we didn't have to go back on waiting lists to find a new daycare!

 

My son would not have enjoyed my long car rides, particularly because there is a lot of traffic around here (Washington DC metro). When he was young, I imagine he would have napped, but now that rarely happens. He is also very demanding about what music we listen to orngtongue.gif. Also, at this age (19 months), I would much rather let him have more active time (up and running around with his friends at daycare) as opposed to inactive time sitting in the car. It seems to help tire him out for bed.

 

I hope this helps. Good for you for thinking about this early!

post #6 of 9

I have a long commute - if everything goes smoothly then about 45minutes-1 hour but usually traffic makes it more like 2 hours each way, so thats 4 hours of travelling a day. It works for us because my partner is at home, otherwise I'm not sure how we would manage..

post #7 of 9
For the first two years of my older DD life I did an hour commute each way. Like you, my DH had a wonky schedule and could not consistently drop off or pick up. It was all on me. I choose to put her in a center by my work, because it made for shorter hours in care (extra hours get expensive fast). Also, if there was an accident or bad weather my one hour commute could turn to two. With baby along we just stopped and nursed, stopped and rested, stopped and played. The thought of being stuck in traffic racking up daycare overage charges gives me an ulcer. But where I live overage is $1 per minute. So an hour over would be $60. Not an option.

It worked well for us because DD mostly napped in the car and so it was usually a peaceful drive.

That said, my absolute favorite childcare option is a reliable nanny. Much less stress for everyone, and may be cheeper than you think.

Good luck.
post #8 of 9

DH and I both work about an hour away.  We were very luck that my mom, who is retired, offered to watch DD and she lives about 10 minutes from my office.  Our commute is about 30 min in the morning, but about an hour or more in the evenings.  DD has always loved car rides.  I think it was because my Mom had surgery while I was on maternity leave and I took care of her afterwards so right from the beginning DD has spent a lot of time in the car.  When she was an infant, she mostly slept and as she got older, we would sing and I'd tell her stories.  There were only a couple of time when I had to pull over because she was crying.  Now, she has car toys - books, art supplies, we still sing and we make up stories now, etc.  If traffic is really bad, sometimes we pull over and have dinner at a "grown up" restaurant which is a treat for her or if the weather is nice, we'll stop at a park or something until it dies down.

 

Even if my mom couldn't watch DD, I would still choose a daycare close to work.  I wanted to be able to get to her quickly if something went wrong.  Also, my back up sitters are all in that area, so when my mom had an appointment, etc , I could take "lunch" pick up DD at her house, take her to a back up sitter and be back at work within an hour.   She's going to kindergarten next year and we choose a school that is again near work.  Mainly because I want to be able to get to her quickly if necessary and also, I'd rather have her spend 2 hours after school waiting at my parent's house and then commute with me than have her spend those 3 plus hours  in an afterschool program. 

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much to everyone for all of the stories and advice! I'm still not sure what we are going to do, but you've all given me a lot to think on. If I can find someplace close to home, I think we will likely end up going that route, since we have a much better support network near home than near my work, and when DH is in town, he will want to spend lots of time with baby, and having child care accessible to him would be worth it. 

 

I'm much more encouraged...when I originally posted here, I just wasn't sure I could do it, but hearing how all of you have handled it has given me faith that it can be done!

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