A commuting mommy’s horror story

traffic jam

A typical morning commute

After I drop Hugo off at school around 7:35 in the morning, it takes between 40 minutes and an hour to get to work in rush hour traffic. Some days are worse than others. One morning last week, Hugo made a few grumbles about going to school but was in good spirits and happy to see his friend when I dropped him off.

My traffic app took me far off the regular route. Apparently there was an accident or construction on the highway I normally take. I had to go to the bathroom pretty urgently most of the trip. I listened to music and tried to relax, finally arriving after about an hour and ten minutes.

I was never so happy to see my cubicle, and the bathroom. I felt like I was at the end of a tremendous journey and looked forward to settling in for the day’s work. When I finally made it into the bathroom, I got a call from Hugo’s school. I was immediately in denial and did not want to hear what his teacher was telling me.  Hugo was not sick, I knew he was fine. She said he was whining and tired and saying he didn’t feel good.

“You don’t understand,” I said. “I just walked into work. It took me over an hour to get here.” She said something inane about hustle and bustle that made me more upset and furious. Finally she said she would see if he got any better in the next half hour and I would call back.

I sat in one of the new armchairs in the bathroom and cried. My boss is so understanding when it comes to working parenthood. He would have let me work from home if Hugo had woken up with a fever, which he had not. Now I had to explain this ridiculous situation, leave the office I had battled so hard to get to, and hopefully work from home whenever I collected Hugo and made it back.

My boss was as sympathetic as usual – everyone had a crappy commute that morning. After checking my email and eating breakfast to keep the queasiness that followed me into the second trimester away, I packed up and drove 30 minutes this time to pick up my son.

Dashboard drive time

Total time wasted:


He was sleeping on his nap mat. Hugo did end up having a low grade fever, which he never tolerates but is always his usual self after ibuprofen or acetaminophen. I think it may have just been teething since all of his two year molars have finally broken through! Hugo’s school is always good about looking after kids who may have colds or are a little under the weather. Of course they get sick – they’re around other kids all the time. It was just coming to accept the inevitable that was so difficult that morning.

I don’t want to live close to my job, and I don’t want to drag Hugo on my commute to a school that’s closer to my work. I guess I will have time to think about a solution when his brother is born in a few months.


6 thoughts on “A commuting mommy’s horror story

  1. Christie, you brought back the memory of a very similar situation I had with my son….some 20 years ago when we lived in Brick and I worked in Edison and he was in elementary school. So even in this day of technologic advances, being a working Mom is still a hard job!


  2. Pingback: Potty training – waving the white flag | Long Live Go

  3. Pingback: Lessons learned in maternity leave and finally loving my job again | Long Live Go

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