On the Road Again

I don’t even have the kids in activities right now, and I feel like all I do is drive, drive, drive in the evenings. It will get worse once I sign the girls up for gymnastics, no doubt.

I never wanted to be one of those people alone in the car on my work commute. I took buses or walked to work for years. (Or worked at home.) Those days are long gone. I’ve been commuting half an hour each way to and from my job for three and a half years now.

And I still don’t like it.

(The commuting. The job is fine.)

And now, NOW. Sigh. My drive in the evening is sometimes more than a hour.

Leave work. Drive for 20 minutes, exit the highway to pick up Flora. Depending on traffic, this can be up to 10 minutes. Depending on Flora — what she wants to show me, what she needs to put away — pickup can take another 10 minutes. We get back in the car, drive another 10 minutes to pick up Michael. Then another 5 minutes to get Kate (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). Then, finally, home. To feeding, homework, cleaning, bathing, bed.

Thursdays, add in the drive and stop to pick up the CSA share, about another 15 minutes total (drive to, stop, drive home).

Weeknights are brutal.

Before you ask: Yes, Kate and Michael could go the same place every day. Only we decided not to do that. We didn’t want to move Michael yet. There are many factors that influence this decision, not the least of which is the fact that, at 9 months, he is going through separation anxiety. Some days (depends on how tired he is), he melts down if I even walk out of the room.

It ain’t pretty.

My guilt over all of this is multifaceted: contributing to climate change — sure to get worse once we trade up for a bigger vehicle; lack of quality time with my children; having a decent job that I don’t want to drive to (does this make sense?) in this time of economic instability; having my kids all over the place instead of together.

This is our bed, though. And I’m driving all over it.

What about your schedule do you feel helpless to change?