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Always on the go, or happy at home?

Categories: Hacking Life, Making Time, Parenting, The Juggle, Uncategorized


I have to admit it: In spite of my crazy-long commute and sometime-hectic schedule, and in spite of my tendency to clutter and my inability to stay on top of the housework, if I had to choose between being all “Go, go, go” and spending a quiet weekend at home, the quiet weekend would win. In general, I mean, not just right now.

I’ve always been a bit of a homebody/bookworm. So when my kids — big and little alike — ask me, “What are we going to do today?” I often catch myself wondering, “Why do we have to *do* anything?”

(Actually, our big kids ask far more often than our littles do. Maybe that’s a blended family thing; different households have different expectations and different definitions of “normal” and “ideal.”)

For a long time, I avoided scheduling anything on the weekends. But then Tae Kwon Do creeped in. And then my youngest daughter morphed into a social butterfly, and my youngest son followed suite, with birthday parties and playdates to attend. And now I find myself scoping out events and destinations, especially if the big kids are with us, because having a ready answer to “What are we going to do today?” is better than feeling frustrated by the question.

Sometimes, honestly, though, the answer is “Laundry party!” and other times it’s “You’re big! Amuse yourselves today!” I’d like to introduce them to the quiet pleasure of a sunny day, a hammock, and a good book — but to them that sounds more like boredom than peace. That’s not to say that I’m completely inactive. It’s just that a quiet day at the little local lake (which is where I took my youngest kids today) is more interesting and relaxing, to me, than a day spent shelling out money for amusement at Six Flags.

Some people are energized by activity and stimilation. Others need quiet to recharge. Which do you prefer?

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3 comments so far...

  • Peace & quiet please. I’m the mom who brings a book to the park rather than following my child along every piece of equipment.
    I love the fact that it gets really cold here because no one faults you when your plan for a below zero day is tea and a good book.

    Mich  |  August 30th, 2010 at 11:46 am

  • My reality is, home isn’t totally our “home.” I live with the people I work with - and the house is also our home office. The “boss-lady” is a single, childless workaholic who thinks it’s a sin to spend five minutes just enjoying the breeze in the backyard, regardless of what time of the day / night it is. She also fails to understand that what feels right for her isn’t right for everyone else. We also have a semi-permanent Houseguest here who gets under my skin. In fact, all of these people get under my skin because of the way they interact with my kids. So I take my kids elsewhere as much as possible.

    This isn’t what I’d prefer to be doing. Even my kids will sometimes say “I don’t want to go to the park, I want to go home.” But it’s our reality.

    Luckily, I’m getting better and better at making this work for us. When the weather allows, we hit all the parks or go for long walks. I bought a membership to the rec center (with indoor pool) so we’ll have something to do during the cold months. The museums are open late on Wednesdays. I’ve found shopping areas that also offer my kind of food and relaxation. This is not the way I was raised, but it doesn’t seem to be hurting anything.

    SKL  |  August 31st, 2010 at 10:36 pm

  • I definitely prefer to laze about, but I’ve realized that if I never plan activities on the weekends, my life will slip by and I’ll have done nothing but work and veg out–not exactly an existence to be proud of. And so I plan activities (although sometimes the plan involves things like sitting by a lake and trying to relax with a wriggly toddler in tow).

    agirlandaboy  |  August 31st, 2010 at 11:34 pm