All three of us commute together in a car daily. We’ll park at my office, and my husband will take the LRT to his office. And since Isa’s crèche is at my office, the arrangement works well in the situation we are in. We are subject to long commute hours (about 2 hours per day) but at least we get to spend some family time in the car. We talk and tell stories. It works well.
Until these last few weeks when my husband is doomed with tonnes of works due to his department’s peak time – that me and Isa waiting for him for three hours after work doesn’t seem doable anymore.
Hanging out in the shopping complex is tiring. Play ground can only be visited if it is not raining.
I have earlier told my husband that once Isa gets to a certain age, or once we add another kid – this routine must be changed that we need to commute separately to give our children a sense of routine. Something more consistent than some ad hoc plans.
It’s for myself too – I thrive on routine and improvising it. I thrive on something that I can plan, and it’s exhausting to live even for one day not knowing when you can exactly reach home.
And I love to cook for my family. I’d love for Isa to eat homemade food, and though my husband doesn’t mind I still want to prepare good food for him. Since I can normally leave the office at 5.30pm, reaching home at approximately 6.30 means I have more time to get the house in order, bring Isa to the nearby playground, go for a walk with him – if I choose not to cook.
Of course money comes into the equation too. Hanging out in waiting in such a high-end mall doesn’t come cheap either. Parking charges are horrible, and if we have to dine there that will cost us a lot.
So yesterday, I proposed to my husband : Let’s try a new routine.
Since we own two cars, it is still feasible to commute separately. I’ll drive with Isa to work, he can drive to the nearest bus station or LRT station. He said yes. Let us give it a go this week.
But today as I parted with my husband, I tried hard not to be sentimental. Isa behaved well in the car seat (another reason I thought separate commuting will work since Isa adapts well with the new car seat for toddlers), but I am missing our morning conversations. We have been commuting together since we got married (first on the LRT, then he drove me to work once I got pregnant), and that routine minimised our separation time.
Nevertheless, I guess I just have to believe in the change we are making. It is necessary. Isa needs routine. And I need other stuffs in my daily schedule apart from going to work and go straight to bed afterwards.
Traveling alone with a child is not much of a problem. It’s a fact. Many people ace it, go through it on a daily basis. But it is a slight challenge for me, because after almost two years being a wife, I am spoilt. I am spoilt beyond imagination (of my single self) – I lost the independent side of me which I took pride once, because of the pampering husband I have (hence I don’t really get the part where people keep accusing of Muslim wives/women of being oppressed, because if you get a good husband who abides by the rules, you are definitely going to be spoiled rotten.)
So yes, I was the one who could manage driving alone 400km up north and 400km down south the country during my single days with ease, now have to find strength to drive 20km to work.
(Darn marriage, what have you done to me?)
It is a necessary change, and though I miss laughing together over the Radio announcers’ anecdotes, I must learn.
I must learn to believe in the change we are making.