One thing that we have been keen to change as a family is the sense of always rushing from one activity to another, hurrying out of the door five minutes later than I intended to join one of the busiest stretches of the M25 on our way to book group/swimming/climbing ...
Activities always sound so interesting, so educational, so sociable. They tick boxes for me as a home-edding mother, evidence (ammunition?) in those conversations that doubt my educational choices. But we feel run ragged; what the children really love is to be told that we have nothing planned, that their time is their own. They don't really want to be all that busy.
So we plan to slow down.
But I am afraid that they won't have friends or social opportunities. And so the activities are creeping back in, already!
My daughter is going to try the local dance class, as good a place to meet other girls as any, surely. My middle son has his first football practice on Sunday. My eldest plans to join the local amateur dramatics society - I just need to hunt down the youth contact who I have heard such good things of. And then there is church, and Pony Club, and horse-riding. Plus trying to find some "play-dates" and going for a walk with neighbours or extending and invite for tea and cake.
It scares me to not be busy, to not spend a lot of time with people. But it exhausts me. So we'll choose not to: we won't go to Pony Club just yet and we'll not try to fit in swimming too, or invite anyone next week. I'll cope with the nerves and anxiety and I'll make a note in my diary to review it at half-term (only six weeks away) and I'll choose to let my family begin to experience the space we've longed for.