Do you struggle to get to work on time? or get anywhere when you plan to?!?

I have to admit, I had time issues even before having kids and being a working mom, but this brings it to a whole new level!! Just when I thought my morning routine could not get any harder, where I walked them a little over a half a mile every day and back to the apt to get into a car and THEN drive 45 minutes – 1 hr to work … we just put T in a new school that now adds an additional stop on my morning routine. 

I decided to document this current schedule so I can look back and laugh at myself and say “Man, what was I thinking?? Thank goodness I am doing it better now!”

Watch below of the video I recorded on my way to work (late!) describing my “everyday” morning:  

 Before getting too into this … here are some questions you might be wondering:

1. My kids are currently 11 months old and 3 years old

2. Matt leaves for work at 6 am in the morning so I am on my own every morning. (He does pick-up and has dinner on the table by the time I get home, so he is a super parent too)

2. While they DO NOT start the night in our bed (they both go to sleep in their own beds…) lately they seem to both migrate to our bed by the morning.

3. They go to two different schools right now about .5 miles apart from one another 

4. I do have a car and while those that do not live in the city might ask – Why don’t you just drive them to school? duh! Well, in NYC driving can be a bigger headache than walking – where there is no parking, traffic and no way to leave the car to bring them inside to school .. trust me, that would be a complete different layer of stress!

 

With that being said, below is the “plan/goal” versus what is the reality:

The Plan/Goal:

__________________________

6:00 am: Matt leaves for work

6:30 am: I get up

7:00 am: Kids get up and get dressed

7:30 am : At the table eating breakfast

8:00 am: out the door

8:10 am: Drop T off at school

8:30 am: Drop Lee off at school

Text garage to get my car ready

8:45 am: Get pumping bag

8:48 am: Get car from garage and on the road!

Drive 30 miles north .. 

9:30 am: At work! (if no traffic)

*note best case scenario still gets me to work after 9 am 🙁 … *

The Reality:

__________________________

6:00 am: Matt leaves for work (yes! that is consistent)

7:00 am: I get up 

I get everything set for the morning and wonder when they will get up …

8:00 am: Kids get up and get dressed

8:15 am : At the table eating breakfast

(the oh crap, look how late we are moment!)

8:50 am: out the door

9:00 am: Drop T off at school

9:20 am: Drop Lee off at school

Text garage to get my car ready

9:35 am: Get pumping bag

9:40 am: Get car from garage and on the road!

Drive 30 miles north ..

10:30 am: At work! (if no traffic)

* sigh… just sigh … *

Did you notice something about the above? Even in my best case scenario I still don’t get to work until 9:30 am. That is best case!! Which I admit is primarily on choices we made. I acknowledge that things could and need to change and that we have the control to do so.

Step 1: Possible Solutions:

Instead of just sitting here complaining about my situation, let’s list out what elements could change to help with this morning craziness and give me a solution to my current problem.

1

Shorten the commute by living closer to work or getting a job closer to home!

2

Location of schools closer to home

4

Get up earlier

3

Get a nanny

4

Quit my day job

5

It is what it is .. deal with it!

Step 2 : Breakdown the possible solutions

Seems straight forward enough .. now let’s break down these options … 

Shorten my commute:

I drive 30 miles north of the city everyday for work. This translates into a 45 minute drive on the morning commute and about an hour of sometimes longer in the evening due to increased traffic … into the city.

I’m always reminded by a study that I read on how the length of commute is directly correlated with your overall life happiness .. and I believe it! That being said, I DO NOT WANT TO MOVE TO THE SUBURBS .. I have nothing against the suburbs (heck, I grew up in the suburbs on Long Island). I just know that I would rather live in the city. It’s sad that I don’t want to move to the burbs because for the price we are paying in NYC on housing, schools, garages… would probably all be cut in half price wise.

Location of school

This one is something that we are actively looking into doing and makes a lot of sense. If I did not have to walk over a mile to bring them to school, I would gain an hour. An hour to get to work “closer” to on time. 

This would not happen until September though as many Montessori’s will not accept mid-year students. It feels good that there is a potential end in sight .. but then tired when I think .. September is a long time away.

Get up earlier

This would make sense, as one of the biggest current impediments is that they don’t get up until after 8 am on many days. Which makes it extremely difficult to get to school at 8! 

Currently, we put them to bed at 8 pm … I know we could in theory put them to bed earlier but I personally don’t get home until 7 pm 🙁 … which means as it is I only have an hour of time with them. It would be so painful if I came home to them sleeping without having a chance to spend time with them and hear about their days. I’m getting sad just thinking about it!

Get a nanny

It is very true that a nanny would solve these problems. He/she would come to the home and be there for the kids, allowing me to have the freedom to leave on time. It would not be an issue if the kids were sleeping, playing or even throwing a tantrum because they would not have to be anywhere.  I should also note that a nanny with two kids would actually be more economical than what we are paying for now. Matt even joked that we could hire a nanny with a masters degree in education. 

The reason why we never chose to go the nanny route is that we really think that the social aspect of school is invaluable. I also have a funny feeling about one person alone with my kids all day … I mean, I don’t think the person will do anything to harm them, but it’s just less accountability. 

For those reasons, the nanny option is not an option for us.

Quit my day job

We probably have all dreamed about quitting our day jobs, but I have to face my reality. Unless I commit to a major lifestyle change, the reality is that the salary that I have, allows us the lifestyle we live. Unless we commit to changing that … I am working. 

That being said, I should also note that I like working and having a career. For me and my personality, it would not work well if I did not work. I truly think that I am a better mother, person for it and my kids are also gaining a lot by having the social interactions and education at school. (Which is also why we never opted for a nanny)

It is what it is .. deal with it!

Honestly, this is a valid option in that I know it is temporary. Come September, they will both be (hopefully) in the same school and I will no longer have the nearly 1 hour drop off time that I do now. 

That said, living like this for 6 months or so can seriously damage my overall sanity!!

Step 3 : Evaluate and make a plan!

What do you think? Which solution seems best to you?

Let me first say that going through and thinking/writing this all out has helped tremendously in my thought process. I highly recommend you do the same when faced with an area in your life you would like to improve upon.

After going through the above options I have decided on two plans:

Plan 1 : Long term plan:

Put them in the same school closer to home. This will solve many of my current problems plus I love the idea of them being in the same school. Unfortunately this will not happen until September and while it’s not that far away, it is still FAR AWAY. This is why we need a Plan 1B.

Plan 1B: Short term plan:

Since Plan 1 will not be immediate, I need to implement a short term plan. What is that? Looking through my possible solutions, the short term plan that I chose is to tackle the challenge of getting everyone up earlier (This includes myself!). That means we all need to get to bed earlier .. which means, I need to stop typing and get to bed!

Thanks for tuning into my working mom trouble shooting on how to create a better work life balance and schedule!

Here we are  – ready to go and start the day! (Time: 8:45 am … sigh… #workingmomfail )

Please share your stories, problems, solutions, goals … or just say hi!!

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