An Extra Hour

This article, entitled "An Extra Hour," comes from Erin Ferris at

A few weeks ago I read a post written by a fellow blogger about how moms really and truly don’t have any time for themselves, and how she’d fill – if she were blessed with them – three extra child-free minutes in her day.

This blogger’s post, along with last month’s “spring forward” time change (to which I’m somehow STILL adjusting), started me thinking about what I’d do if an extra hour of child-free time suddenly and miraculously appeared in my day.

  • Sleep. Though my children are nearly three (Hallie) and five-and-a-half (Will), I still find myself stumbling to their rooms in the middle of the night at least twice a week in response to their cries. Last Tuesday night Hallie fell out of bed, and the following night Will desperately needed someone to finish wiping his little butt after a 2am poop. I’m certainly not as tired as I was when my children were infants, but as the parent of preschoolers I still feel far from well-rested.
  • Shower. It only takes six minutes for Hallie to cover an entire beige wall with pink marker, which means my showers need to be shorter than six minutes when Hallie is the only child at home. It only takes four minutes for Will to tie Hallie to a lawn chair on the back porch, which means my showers need to be less than four minutes long if both kids are home. So while I probably wouldn’t need an entire hour to shower, I’d love to take one that lasted more than four to six minutes.
  • Grocery Shop. I have no idea why, but my children are complete terrors at the grocery store. Their behavior baffles me because 1) they’re usually pretty good shoppers, and 2) the grocery store offers free balloons AND cookies to kids, I always bring snacks, and I allow each of them to bring along a small toy or game. I do my best to grocery shop when both kids are in school, but occasionally my best laid plans are thwarted and I end up having to drag them, kicking and screaming, with me to Kroger. An extra hour would allow me to shop without having to pretend like strangers shooting me with eye daggers don’t hurt my feelings.
  • Vacuum. The moment at which I decide to vacuum is also the same moment at which my kids decide to dump all of their Legos, blocks, and/or Playmobil figurines out on the living room carpet. And then, since they’re both terrified of the vacuum (which I think is odd, considering their ages), they scream and scatter – leaving behind all of their toys – as soon as I flip the switch and the “scary monster sucking machine” comes to life. Vacuuming could be completed three times faster and would be much more satisfying if I didn’t have to periodically stop and fish teeny, tiny plastic swords out of the vacuum canister.
  • Clear Out My DVR. And by clear out my DVR, I mean catch up on all of the television shows I don’t have time to watch during the week. Right now seven episodes of House and four episodes of The Firm are quietly calling, “Erin…Erin…” every time I turn on the television. I miss you, too, Hugh Laurie. So, so much.
  • Try on Clothes. Purchasing clothes for myself is terribly difficult because I can never try them on when my kids are with me. (I’m mostly talking about Hallie here, as I don’t try on clothes in front of Will anymore, but at one time I had these problems with Will as well.) More than once my kids have “escaped” – by crawling under the dressing room door – while I’ve been indisposed and I’ve had to chase after them in less-than-flattering and less-than-appropriate clothing. My kids have also talked loudly enough about bodies and nakedness (I love their curiosity but not their timing) that I’ve heard fellow shoppers laughing in neighboring dressing rooms. I’d love to try on clothes without worrying about coming face-to-face with the dressing room employee who just saw me sprint past her in a see-through tank top or heard me explain to Hallie why I wear a bra.

What would you do if you suddenly discovered an extra hour of child-free time in your day?

About the Author...
Erin Ferris
My name is Erin, and I’m a wife, mother, and writer living in College Station, Texas.
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