The other night Noah and I were discussing life, future plans and priorities.
He asked me if I ever thought that I would have 5 kids. I laughed. When I was in Jr. High I was convinced I would have 13 children. When we got married we thought 4 would be a good number. I certainly never thought we would have 5 because HE has been so adamantly opposed to an odd number of children. But life (and children!) can change plans.
I certainly never thought that I would be putting in 20+ hours at a job outside the home, but that is our reality. I also never took into account the long hours that Noah would be gone everyday. I had a mom that didn't work outside the home and a dad that was home by 5:00 every day.
Our biggest question is this: Do we raise our kids in the chaotic environment of a semi-big family while also providing for them as many individual opportunities as a child in a smaller family may have? Or do we sacrifice some of their individual opportunities in order to maintain some sort of sanity in our busy situation? I know big families that let their kids pursue their dreams regardless of the strain on the family schedule. I also know big families that strictly limit their kids' activities.
Somehow, we must strike a balance.
I am with the kids all day long. We spend a lot of time together, just me and the kids, due to homeschooling. Because of that, letting them be in activities not only gives them an outlet, but in a sense, it gives me a break. On the flip side it also gives me more running around to do, which is hard for the other kids (and me!) And I feel like since Noah is home so little, the kids being gone in the evening really limits their time with him.
Maybe the baseball 4+ nights a week is just getting to me :) But I know that this discussion will continue this summer as we start to look at our fall homeschooling/activities schedule!