Friday, July 06, 2007


Updated with new developments below.

Life is hard. I'm on vacation. We're supposed to be going to my parents' cottage tomorrow morning for a week, nearly 5 hours' drive away, with a couple of days in Ottawa to visit my sister. But our mentally ill family member is in the midst of a bit of a crisis, although of course it's not a big enough crisis to actually get any help for her.

On top of this, we're trying to decide on the issue of Sugar D commuting to Toronto, essentially adding four hours to his working day every day, meaning he'll get max. one hour with Swee'pea per weekday. Meaning I'll have to do the whole morning routine, which I've been depending on considerable help from Sugar D before now, AND the grumpy evening routine all by myself. Five days a week. And both of us keep waffling. Of course, all this hand-wringing could be moot because he hasn't actually gotten a job offer. But he has gotten a phone call from the same company for a different job interview with a different department, a department that could be more in line with Sugar D's career's goals. But doing the interview puts a serious dent in our holiday plans, pretty much kiboshing the Ottawa bit and shortening the cottage bit. Is it worth it for a job that he may not even take because of the commute? Well he doesn't know enough about the opportunity yet to know.

We've considered the possibility of moving to Toronto but house prices are out of control and we keep coming back to the fact that we really like living in our town. And our mentally ill family member lives here with virtually no one else to care for her or watch for opportunities to get help or manage crises.

I hate this shit. I was doing fine, managing the uncertainty and keeping positive, and Sugar D was doing well too. But now it all feels so overwhelming and frustrating and uncertain. We've been planning this holiday since before Sugar D lost his job because Swee'pea's daycare is closed. I don't have enough vacation days to take another holiday and Sugar D can't afford anymore time away from the job search either.

Any crack decision makers out there with good ideas? Help...


Edited to add: Ok, I may have been a touch hasty here (I KNOW. That NEVER happens to me.) Our good friend Banana pointed out that if a company can't respect a one-week vacation before they've even hired you then how flexible will they be when Sugar D is spending 4 hours a day trying to commute there? So he's rescheduled with no major consequences. And it appears the mental health crisis is no longer a crisis and there's nothing that would really be gained by staying home this week. So it looks like perhaps our vacation is still starting tomorrow. The commuting issue remains a dilemma and open for discussion... thanks to the commenters who've already added their two cents' worth and sympathy.


bubandpie said...

Oh, ouch. Hubby's commute to picturesque-small-town-law-office is about 35-40 min., and I'm starting to get really reconciled to moving there, even though that means I'll be the one doing the driving.

It's just hard to keep two people employed outside Toronto. That's the thing. But back when it was looking as if hubby couldn't find an articling position, I was devastated at the thought of moving to the land of long commutes and astronomical housing prices.

No good advice here, I'm afraid. But lots of sympathy.

kgirl said...

Whoa. I don't think you should even consider the commute. Unless you are thinking of moving at least half-way from where you are to Toronto, it sounds like absolute hell. If he could take a train, it would be significantly better than driving, but seriously, I don't know anybody that comes that far for a job in Toronto.

Let us know when you're moving here!

(it's not that bad b&p!

Mad Hatter said...

Oh Sin,
No solutions just lots of sympathy. Can SD come back for the job interview and then pick you up in Ottawa afterwards?

Mouse said...

Again no particular solutions from me, just sympathy.

I, personally, usually find a commute of about 30 minutes pleasant. After that, it depends on the traffic and such. I'm looking at an hour each way when we move to the small town near my in-laws. But that's just about my limit. On the other hand, I can definitely understand where it might be the right decision for a whole host of reasons.

NotSoSage said...

Sin, I have the perfect solution: housing prices are not yet TOTALLY out of control in my 'hood. So c'mon down! He could walk/bike to work.

Okay, I'm sort of kidding, because I know how difficult a decision it is to move, so I'm not really tyring to make light of it.

I am glad, though, that the company was thoughtful enough to change the interview date. That is pretty key.

Beck said...

Hm. I think that you guys should move closer to Toronto, maybe. Four hours of commuting is HORRIBLE. My husband has a twenty minute commute to-and-from work and I'm a suck about THAT (I worry a lot, especially in the winter).
I hope things work out for the very, very best.

Christine said...

This is a rough dilemma, with no easy solutions. Maybe just wait until the interview happens, then take it from there. At this point just enjoy your time away.

Bon said...

ouch indeed. i read the edit and was glad, because a vacation planned is a vacation earned, methinks...

but the commute? icky. i hope something more local turns up and fast...i'm a serious commute-hater. and a look-after-the-baby-all-by-my-lonesome hater, too (ie, a much-more-grateful-than-i-used-to-be child of a single parent). but seriously...four hours a day? twenty hours a week? my favourite aunt lives in Guelph and works in TO and loathes it...

could i interest you in moving to lovely PEI? we have no jobs worth mentioning, true, but housing is cheap and you literally CAN'T drive four hours a day without going in a circle.

Kyla said...

Lovely edit. Good points.

And I love, love, love that photo. Wonderful.

And in regards to the commute? It would never work for Josh and would be too hard on both of us. But it depends on the two of you and how you think you both would cope with it. And Swee'pea, of course. Would he notice Sugar D being gone so much? I know that our kids would. KayTar says "Daddy work." about 300 times per day. By 5pm, her head is about to explode when he walks in the door. *sigh* Tough decisions, Sin. Best of luck in making them.

cinnamon gurl said...

Well that's just it Kyla. I don't think we could manage for any length of time. It would have to be temporary (because you can get through just about anything if it's temporary)... I'm hoping he can maybe negotiate working from home for a day or two a week. That we could manage. But they don't seem very open to that (he asked at the first interview).

Oh - and thanks for the kind words about the photo.

Moving to TO is very tempting with all the TO bloggers around, but I don't know if we could actually do it.

slouching mom said...


no advice, but sympathy in spades.