Sometimes parenting feels like walking a tightrope.
It's hard to know how much is enough, and how much is too much. Like most parents probaby do, I find that I rely on a combination of my own upbringing, extended family practices, Jewish parenting hashkafas, what I see being practiced around me, and current parenting "thinking."
For instance, in a family in which Sunday is a "day off" such as ours, I'm wondering how to balance wanting to have fun and do activities together with the expectation on the part of the kids that there will very often be a fun activity to do on Sunday.
RaggedyDad has a corporate job and so, like many other workers, he's off on Sundays. Aside from his (often significant) MBA homework, there's no work on Sundays. He tries to leave schoolwork for when the kids are asleep, which is feasible because they go to sleep on the early side around here.
As a child, Sundays at our house were very different from what my kids experience. My own father still has the same appliance store he worked at with my mother's father and uncle. (Anyone need 220v?) "The store" took up almost all of my dad's time, 6 days a week, all year. And it was definitely on his mind when he wasn't there. If our lives had been a play, "the store" would have been a character all its own. They've since moved from the Lower East Side to Long Island City, but I'll never forget the original "store".
Also, my mother did not drive, nor does she now. To us kids, this majorly limited what we could do on Sundays. Even going to a friend's house who lived a bit further away involved trying to shnorrer a ride. To be fair, Mom tried to have fun with us. Once in a while, we took the bus to the train to Manhattan. Greenwich Village was a favorite of hers and she reminisced about what it was once like. I remember a particularly shleppy day on West Eighth Street, going into just about every shoe store (on a block of nearly nothing but shoe stores) to help Mom find a particular style of boot. We did find it in the end.
As we got a bit older, Sundays meant one or both of my brothers helping out at the store. Mom and I would walk down to the stores on Main Street. Maybe times were a little less scary, but I was old enough to be left in the public library for an hour or so while my mother picked up groceries. Staying at the library while my mother shopped was a big treat as far as I was concerned. I had to temper my desire to take home a huge stack of books with the knowledge that we were walking home, uphill, almost up to Union Turnpike, and then another couple of blocks in. Choices were whittled down, and the take was limited. Sundays were often boring, but usually relaxing.
So I worry as I see Ann getting older, getting more savvy and asking, expectantly, if we might get pizza or bagels, and if there's a visit to a zoo or a park awaiting her. RaggedyDad and I are cognizant of our mutual aim to counterbalance every parent's wish to give their kids the world, and (most) every parents hope that their kids don't turn out, well, spoiled. There is certainly a difference between spoiling kids with "things" and spoiling kids with "time and attention", but I think that overdoing the "experiences" reeks more of "things" than of "time and attention".
I think we're working it out, and I think we're coming out ahead. However, it's a long, fun road ahead.