Dear Penny:

My husband and I have a daily commute to work that is over an hour long each way, and now that we have had our first child, it’s making juggling time much more difficult. We decided to sell our house so that we can live closer to our jobs, but after 12 months on the market, we haven’t received any offers at all. Our house is beautiful, and is practically show room quality, but still no takers. What can we do to either sell this house or to relieve the stress of such a long commute?

Help us Penny!

Penny Says:

Let me suggest that you first give yourselves a pat on the back. On the stress-o-meter, your lives are quite hectic and trying and I am proud of you for asking for help before you implode!

Wow! This is a weighted question indeed. I would like to address this in a two-week column because of the intricacies of the scenario. (And because I have so much advice to give in such a short space!) First, let’s talk about time management, and then we will tackle your household hardships next weeks.

Having a new baby at home and having an hour commute is more than taxing. This is where the old adage “it takes a village to raise a child” becomes more literal. Start using the community support around you to take care of your little one while keeping your sanity. Ask other moms, grandmothers, aunts and uncles if they have any time saving tips for your morning routine. You may find that grandma is willing to come over and change the baby and put out the dog while you shower and prepare for work!

As for your commute, talk to your managers about working around the most heavy times in traffic. If traffic is less tying at, say 10 a.m., explain your situation and ask if you and your husband can come in then, avoiding the morning rush and giving yourselves some extra time at home. More and more bosses are willing to allow flex schedules than ever before. You could site this research study which shows that people with flexible schedules are more willing to work and produce more in their working hours if you bosses don’t go for the idea right away.

Some workplaces are even offering satellite schedules to benefit not only the workers, but to cut down on overhead. A satellite schedule allows some worked to work some days in the office and some days from home.  Such an option may already exist at your work.

Next week, I will talk about your worries about selling your home and a little more about how to lessen your commuting chaos. Until then, take a deep breath, kiss your spouse on the cheek and let someone outside you house know about your stress. You never know who is willing to lend a helping hand!

penny b2 Household Woes Grow Complex With A Long Commute


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