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I propose a medal for..

July 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Whoever decided to put a nursery in the train station at Watford Junction.
After moving to Watford from south London (about which more later) I had a few days panic of figuring out the childcare/commuting question.

The formulas most working mums have to juggle are:

  • long working hours + long commute ≠ most nurseries closing at 6.30pm at the latest
  • availability of childcare near home or availability of childcare near work = quandary of being near enough to get there in emergency, or having a day off and having to commute anyway
  • getting child to nursery (in car or pushchair) + expensive/no parking at station = add (journey home to pick up car + to nursery to pick up child + commute)  deduct this from 6.30pm to see what time you have to leave work (hoping for amenable boss/flexible working times/reliable train operator)

Once you bear in mind train times, not getting out of long meetings on time and the added issue of if your child is ill/the nursery is closed for training for the odd day, then you have a jigsaw with ill fitting pieces and the thing that has to give is your stress levels, and often, sadly, your career.

My saving grace currently is Buffer Bear nursery in the (ample) car park at Watford Junction train station. Mornings involve a 7.30 departure, a 5 minute drive, followed by dropping Eleanor at nursery – slip through the (genius) swipe card door to the platform to catch the 7.44 to Euston (20 minutes – more genius) and be easily be at work before 8.45am. Hometime is the other way around – I leave work at 5.30pm on the dot, catch the 5.51 from Euston and arrive at WFJ at 6.11. There is a swipe card door from the platform (repeated as it’s too good to miss the first time around) to the nursery, where I can pick Eleanor up at around 6.15, and be home for 6.30pm. Milk and a biscuit, some cuddle and playtime before bed and calm is resumed, wine in hand, by 7.30.

Medals all round.

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