Before the snow began to fall last year, our daughters Millie and Ellie asked to have a teeter-totter for our backyard.
To this day, we’re not sure where they got the inspiration for the ask, but their father quickly agreed. I think it was a combination of feeling bad for them — COVID’s been tough on everyone, especially little kids who don’t really understand why we can’t go anywhere — and desperately wanting a new project. And so, Kyle set about building one.
Like most new ventures, it was more involved than we’d imagined. Although I couldn’t help with searching YouTube videos, taking measurements, drawing up plans and ordering wood, tools and supplies — I am not handy in the least — the growing time-suck of a project still involved me. The time that hubs needed to do this work meant he had shrinking availability to watch the kids on the weekends — generally the only time I have to sit down to edit and write.
Not only did the kids and Kyle benefit (the children, from their new custom playground equipment, and Kyle, from something that gave him a mental break from his daily grind), but as soon as I got over my lost work time, I did, too. I really enjoyed the extra time with two of my favourite people on the planet. Children are so wise: it’s as if they knew that this teeter-totter would bring balance to our lives.
This real-life event was our lightbulb moment for the theme of this issue, Striking a Balance. And coincidentally, the imagery came up a couple of times with our writers: in Jon Willing’s and Kita Szpak’s respective columns on how they maintain balance in their lives. We also have a story about how local entrepreneurs juggle their careers and home lives, and Angela Counter writes about how families with new babies can find equilibrium. Play, as all children know (and many adults have yet to learn) is just as important as work, and Mike Carroccetto covers the new line of Schleich toys.
We also have a full lineup of education stories. Sheryl Bennett-Wilson gives us the straight talk on dyslexia and how to establish good work habits and new contributor Janhabi Nandy writes about how to choose an after-school program for your child.
From our publishing family to yours, we hope you have a healthy, happy March Break and — whether or not you have a teeter-totter to remind you — finding that Holy Grail of work-life balance.