I went back to work part time a few weeks ago and even on reduced hours I was really struggling.
I work 20 miles from home, my daughters nursery is near home and opens at 7:30 so the absolute earliest I can hit the motorway is 7:45. It takes me at least an hour to get to work and I can’t leave the office any later than 4pm so I can pick up from nursery. Assuming I don’t get stuck in traffic I’m already 30 minutes short per day! To try and alleviate the stress I’m now working from home on Mondays and it’s made such a huge difference.
It makes no difference to my work as I’m just doing what I’d do in the office but I’m not starting the week stressed about making my hours or rushed. The day I’m at home I get so much more done. The time I would normally spend in the coffee queue is now just waiting for my own kettle to boil and while I’m waiting I can get a load of washing in the machine. The 2 hours I would spend in the car I can spend studying so I don’t fall behind at uni and I’m still managing to collect the baby at the right time.
A better work/life balance is one of the great benefits of ditching your extra stuff and that apparently extends to ditching your extra travel time!