What would you do if you had four hours extra in your day? This was the question that director and producer Grace Lee asked of six working mothers in a short film that premiered at the TED Women's Conference in San Francisco last month. We don't think their answers will really surprise you.
The film begins with each mom describing their typical day. "The to-do list is never-ending -- that's just what moms do," one of the moms remarks. "Before you know it, it's like the end of the day," another mom says. In short, the work never seems to get done. Sounds familiar, right?
So, how many extra hours would they need? Some answered eight hours, but the number that came up often was four more hours. (One of our favorite answers though was, "I am most productive at 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. If I can have two of those in a day, I think I'd be the president of the United States.")
Four more hours every day add up to 60 more days in a year, which, as the video points out is enough time to "learn to code" or "sew a quilt." So what would they want to do if those extra hours were granted for real?
Oh, just think of the possibilities. One mom said, "It would be nice to get more sleep. I would get massages. I would get my nails done. I would get my hair cut more than once a year!" Another mom just said she would use it to "pause time for a moment to be able to rejuvenate or get some rest."
But one mom was even more blunt than the others (and we love her!). "I know I am supposed to say exercise but I hate to do physical activity. I think it's a waste of time," she says initially. Later she adds, "I think that the answer I'm supposed to say is that I would take time for myself, and meditate, take a bath. That's not what I'm going to do. I'm probably just gin to pile more work in."
The state of motherhood is always changing. Recent studies show that moms spend more time (too much time, actually, according to some experts) with their kids now compared to their parents of the past decades. Although there is nothing wrong with that, moms are also losing twice as much sleep compared to dads. If you think caring for babies is the most toxic stage in a mother’s life, a study found that it’s when the kids are in middle school that is stressful for moms.
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The good news is moms are good at adapting to the changing times -- we need to because we are always thinking about our kids. But because of this selfless love for their kids they hardly pause and bask in the opportunity of having more time for themselves.
Do you agree? We want to know your thoughts. Please take a moment to take our poll and sound off in the comments on what would you do with the extra hours if granted.
How Much Is Enough short film is a collaboraion of Chicken & Egg Pictures, TED, and Lifetime.