The realities of commuting parents.
Everyone knows the average working day is 8-9 hours but what we don’t often realise is the hours spent commuting for some parents and the impact it has on children.
Commuting parents depending on the travelling times can spend a few hours a day in the car to get to and from work. It is a huge time restraint and one that is difficult for parents.
Here are the realities of commuting parents…
Early mornings- For commuting parent’s early mornings are part of the job itself. Most will get up in the early hours of 5 or 6am to prepare and then travel to work.
Screaming kiddies- If both parents are commuting it means getting the children up at a ridiculous hour so you can drop them to the minders at silly o clock. This will not be welcomed by the nippers and they will scream and sometimes cry. Making mum and dad feel like a*&holes!
High childcare costs- If both parents are commuting it means there are extra hours of childcare needed for them to be able to travel home and collect the kids at an unsociable hour-potentially outside creche hours. This adds a huge amount of cost to childcare and while it isn’t ideal, it must be done.
Monday to Friday is a blur- Between the children, school, work and travelling the weekdays are a blur and haze of running around followed by collapsing into bed. The summer gives some respite as the evenings are brighter giving parents some time to walk or go to the park.
Organised chaos- To be a commuting parent you must be organised. The kid’s lunches for school must be prepared, your lunch must be ready too and dinners probably need to be cooked and frozen on the weekend. It is not possible to make dinners every day after work. The kids must have their bags ready for swimming and the calendar will be full of notes and reminders.
Traffic woes- Traffic is a killer and adding in accidents and bad weather means that no one day is the same as another. You can never guarantee you will be home in time for anything at all.
No daylight hours in the winter- In the winter you will basically leave the house in the morning while dark and return home in the dark too! It is miserable.
Miss events or occasions- As a commuting parent it isn’t always possible to make meetings or every match or piano session your child has. You won’t be able to volunteer and certainly not do much for the bake sales as you have no time-ever.
Kids can’t always do the activities they want- As commuting parents, some activities you are unable to get your child to if they are after school or in the afternoon. The only ones you can do are the evening ones and even those are a push unless you can car pool which isn’t always possible.
Tiredness- The biggest things is the sheer tiredness from working, commuting and then preparing for the next day. Even at the weekend you must prepare all the clothes, cook dinners ahead of time and plan for every single eventuality. It isn’t easy; at all.
Written by Emma Hayes, staff writer with Family Friendly HQ