Everything is about balance in life....to be healthy you should eat a balanced diet. To be a good member of society, you must balance taking care of yourself first and not becoming self obsessed. To be a good parent you must balance taking care of the kids and taking care of yourself....even homeschooling is a fine balance, for me. It is the struggle between doing too much outside stuff and staying home and taking care of business, and of course, having down time.
Right now, all the spring Parks and Recs catalogs and library class catalogs and co op catalogs are coming out and I have to be careful not to over schedule my kids with all the "fun" stuff I find. And yet, I need to also make sure I don't let my introvert daughter hole up in her room just creating art and not taking part in the world.
So I gave them the catalogs and insist they choose one thing from one of the catalogs, and at least 3 classes for their co op.
When I wasn't working, we used to go a lot. We went on fieldtrips, we went to the museums, we went to the zoos, to playdates, etc. Now that I am working, and we cannot run all the time, my children are NOT deprived. In fact, they are happier than ever. They have more time to create, more time to just play. This lesson was an amazing one for me and one that I had been TRYING to do for a while, to stop all the running. But when you see all the really great things out there, you want to expose your kids to them.
On the other hand, if I am not careful, we could just hibernate our lives away and just stay home all the time, which is my nature really.
So I have started making sure we go on a fieldtrip a month and that the children have playdates every 2 or 3 weeks at the least and no more than 2 playdates a week so we make sure we get all our schoolwork in. Again, it is all in the balance of things. And when we go on fieldtrips, I make sure it is something special, not just running here or there. If the kids have no interest in something, they won't get much out of it. My oldest are 10 and 12 so they know what they like and don't like. Giving them input, assures that they will co operate and enjoy themselves.
This month we are going to tour a nut and snack factory. The children will get to make their own cotton candy. And in two months from now we are going to go to a Glassblowers. And in between trips, we will laugh and play games, and snuggle and watch movies, and read great books, and do schoolwork, and more.
And the house will get cleaned eventually and we will eat healthy and in the summer grow our own veggies and get out and walk and hike and swim, and sleep out under the stars, and ....and try and stay balanced.
Which really is just a resting point while we are running from one extreme to the other LOL, but we can keep trying, right?