Commuting with your Kid
I love my job. I love the town my family lives in. What I don’t love is how long it can take to get from one to the other. On a good day, the drive is about 35-40 minutes. On a bad day, it can be an hour plus and with recent road construction in my area, lately the bad days are outnumbering the good. The commute was a big issue when I was pregnant and trying to figure out child care. I loved the idea of being close to my baby all day long and being able to stop over on a moment’s notice but couldn’t imagine how the baby would do with the commute. At the same time, child care options near home were limited and I hated the idea of being so far away from my baby every day. If you’ve read some of my posts you know that ultimately we chose to go with the center near work. The commute was my number one concern from the beginning and, so far at least, I think I’m significantly more bothered by it than Liam is.
When he was younger, he generally slept the whole way both morning and night. Now that he’s gotten slightly older I’m generally serenaded by baby babble for the morning commute while the evening commute serves as his second nap of day. I know that I got very lucky with a baby who is good in the car (from colleagues I know this isn’t always the case) and I’d like to think I had some magically advice for making it go smoothly (keep infinite amounts of snacks and pacifiers in your glove compartment?) but really, the biggest thing I think I’ve learned is to be flexible.
Sometimes he’s going to sleep the whole way home on a particularly long commute which then throws his whole nightly routine off. Rather than trying to keep him to his schedule, I’ve stopped trying to fight it and those days we stay up playing a little bit later. Some days he’s going to get a little hungry and fussy in the car and my backseat is going to end up looking like the aftermath of a food fight. So be it. And some nights, like Wednesday night this week, crazy weather will cause absolute gridlock traffic. This week I decided not to fight the traffic and headed to a Target right near work to wait it out. We were both soaked and tired by the time we got there but ended up having a pretty good time getting some snacks, picking up a few things we needed (and a whole bunch more we didn’t) and playing peekaboo down a few quiet aisles. Nothing like the sight of a giggling 11-month old covered in graham cracker crumbs to help put a good spin on a bad situation.
Any other moms with experience commuting with their child? Please tell me it doesn’t get worse as they get older like I’m afraid it might!