A single mother with a long commute to her inner city law firm has used lateral thinking to get away from the worst of the semi-stationery carpark which masquerades as the Auckland motorway. She moved her children to a different school, this one on the train line.

Previously the children had travelled to school by bus. She, on the other hand, had been spending more than two hours each way fighting through heavy slow traffic.

With the change, even though the children now have to leave home a little earlier to travel with their mother instead of catching the school bus, her travel is executed much more calmly and efficiently. The family drive 35 minutes to the nearest train station. The two early-teen children disembark at the station close to their school 20 minutes down the line. Mother then calmly completes the one hour ride into the city with no stress, no traffic hassles, no parking and only a short stroll to the office. Although there's not much difference in her travel time there is a huge difference in stress levels.

One factor that appeared at first glance to be a disadvantage has provided three major benefits.


She HAS to leave work by 4.30pm in order to catch the train that coordinates with her children's after-school care. Previously she'd regularly worked very long hours - with family on tap for the kids she'd had the 'luxury' of not having to be home at a set time.

1. With the new regime she is forced to be more organised with her departure times - this has stopped her working silly hours.

2. She can rest and recharge on the train - read, work or nap as she chooses.

3. She now has daily quality time with the children as they drive home that final 35 minutes to their home.