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?

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11 thoughts on “On the Road Again

  1. What’s a schedule? For better or for worse tho: work is the thing I do when I’m not not-working, which cuts both ways. It’s the last thing before bed and the first thing when I get up. I knew what I was stepping into, but it doesn’t make it easier.

  2. That schedule does seem pretty brutal, RPM. However, I admire how it is being done with your kids as the priority – the steady schedule, familiar faces and routine, and healthy eating (CSA) are great for them. So why does it have to suck for the mom?

    • I know, I wish… I wish I could construct my time differently. I don’t really want major changes vis-a-vis kids’ school/day care or my work. I just want to be able to manage time in a different way. *sigh*

  3. As a favor to you, you can consider me as a hedge against your excess emissions by my taking the subway into work every day instead of idling in gridlock and emitting carbon dioxide by screaming at the other drivers. I have a subway station about 3 miles from my cave so my car commute is about 10 minutes.

    You’re welcome.

  4. My commute. I refuse to live out here in the Westmoreland County where I work. I like living in the city. So, I have a 45 minute commute. It’s against traffic so I never sit, but I really hate losing an hour and a half every day. Maybe I’ll learn to speak Chinese or something.

  5. I have about a half hour commute–and I recently found something to make it enjoyable.
    audiobooks.
    I know-they’ve been around for awhile-but I have completely avoided them because I like to read. print. I could not imagine not holding a book and reading it. But a friend loaned me the 50th anniversary edition of To Kill A mockingbird narrated by Sissy Spacek-and poof. I am hooked on them.
    Just a suggestion for the kid-free portion of your commute.
    btw–Really recommend THAT version of To Kill a Mockingbird audiobook. Sissy Spacek is amazing as the reader. The husband even listened (and held the last cd hostage until he was finished with it first) and reading isn’t one of his hobbies.

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