After all of January’s talk of resolutions and goals, I got to thinking about one of my long-term goals that has been in the works since before I even had kids. One day, I was talking to a coworker in an office in another state. We were working on a deadline, and she told me she had an appointment, but that she could be back online and working within the hour. I told her not to rush or cut anything short – and she mentioned she didn’t need to, since any place she needed to be was within 10 minutes of either the office or her house.
I thought that was brilliant, and I vowed to do the same. Eventually. At that time, I was working in Orange County, California – and nothing was a 10 minute drive. Most times it felt like something 5 miles away could take an hour to reach. So I put the thought aside.
When I moved back to Arizona, my husband and I chose a spot between our two jobs to live, and we discovered how much we loved Scottsdale. After renting a home here, and then buying – I felt confident that my “radius” was here to stay.
As the years have gone by – I have slowly created what I like to call my “Working Mom’s Radius.” My job is 7 miles from my house (which was the result of a very positive job change) and the following areas of my life are all within my bubble:
- Daycare (this took a lot of time, patience, and interviewing to find the right fit in the right area)
- Pediatrician and dentist (Again, interviews)
- Dermatologist (both mine, and my kids’)
- Doctor/OBGYN (as well as the hospital where I will give birth)
The only two areas my husband and I refuse to budge on are our eye doctor and dentist. Both of which we love so much we would travel an hour to see. The majority of our everyday stuff though, is all in one concentrated area, and I cannot begin to tell you how much stress this takes off! For example:
- I can schedule lunchtime appointments that will actually only take a lunch hour to get done. No more driving 30 minutes, waiting 20 minutes, seeing the doctor for 20 minutes, and then driving another 30. I can have my quick check-ups completed with time left for me to grab something and eat at my desk.
- I can run errands at lunch or right before I pick up the kids. If for some reason we didn’t get to the grocery shopping over the weekend, or I forgot half of what I needed for the week – I can run to the grocery store and drop everything off at home without a toddler making it a two-hour excursion.
- I can be available for home repairs. We’ve had a few calls into our home warranty company this past year, and there’s nothing I hate more than a 5-hour service window. I love that they can call me with a 30-minute heads up, and I can leave work then to get it all completed. No waiting around for them to show up.
- I can take a much deserved lunch Target trip. Or Marshalls. Or Barnes and Noble. Sometimes a mama just needs to escape for a bit and roam some aisles. Particularly when I am on a stressful deadline, it helps to be able to clear my head with some alone time.
OF COURSE there are days I can’t leave my desk I’m so busy, or days that I have meeting after meeting. And I would go to the ends of the earth to find the “right” or “best” doctor for me or my kids. My choices were never solely based on proximity and location, there was a lot of research and interviewing that went into all of these decisions. Juggling work and being a mama is a fine balance—and my “Working Mom’s Radius” has reduced a lot of stress as the years have gone by and I’ve made Scottsdale my home. Not everyone is fortunate enough to work so close to home – I get that, but it’s definitely something to consider over time. I’ve certainly benefited from it! Did I miss anything? What else do you do to reduce your appointment/errand stress that may seem a bit unconventional?