Story Of A Commuting Dad

I’ve been thinking about this commuting video ever since I watched the advert which had the soundtrack I’ve used. It’s so easy to capture on a GoPro and edit these days. I hope you enjoy the video, some additional thoughts below.

I love working London, it’s as addictive as crack cocaine. It’s like the Baz Luhrmann track “wear sunscreen”.  You have to work in London but leave before you think you’re too cool (and start to ride a grown ups micro scooter). 

But I’ve found working in the big smoke is seriously challenging when you’re a parent of young children.

I’ve worked in and out of London my whole career really. I’ve had a few stints in soulless industrial parks in the outer regions, but they lack the energy you get working in the capital. 

Based on the bonkers price of property in London and my modest salary, I’ve had to face about an hour commute from places I’ve lived including Streatham, Tottenham, Richmond, Willesden and Watford. I now find myself in Aylesbury, as I needed a family home a few years back and kept going out on the train line until I could afford a suitable property. It’s a good little town to be honest. Most towns are getting generic these days, so it doesn’t really matter where you lay your foundations.

I work in Marketing / PR so I’m very mindful of the stat I read earlier this year “if one spouse commutes longer than 45 minutes, you are 40 percent more likely to get divorced.”. I can see how and why this stat has some merit. The friction between the pressure of work and the pressure of home is a tough tug of war.

The fact is, if I don’t leave work pretty sharpish come 5pm ish, I’m not home to see my kids before they go to sleep. I’m sure there are plenty of weekend parents or people which work random hours which face this daily dilemma.

I’m lucky enough that I can work from phone, online, evenings on laptop if needs be. It’s the way of the world now, surely the 9-5 is dead anyway?

I’m sure some people would think, well isn’t it just easier to live in London to save the commute. Sadly I don’t currently have £1million+ for a family home and personally I do not think it is the place to bring up children.  

The video I shot shows some of my journey home each evening. Holborn to Euston, Euston to Tring and then a couple of miles drive back to Aylesbury. 

I might only get 30-45 mins with my kids most nights, but it’s essential. It’s great to get a hero’s welcome, but some would say (my wife) the nice peaceful time on the train is a real luxury over looking after screaming children.

Lets face it. No one on their death bed looks over and whispers to the nurse they wish they worked harder ….