I have found the balance! I am on holiday. Holidays for parents provide the perfect work-life balance. You don't completely chill out because you're looking after your kids, and kids have ENERGY and want to DO STUFF - and they also still want to eat, be clothed, washed on a regular basis, etc.
So life on holiday is a beautiful balance between the "work" (see above) and the absolute fun or relaxation in between.
Before I had kids I was appalled at the average "family holiday" as it appeared to me. Camping, caravan parks and the like seemed to me to be a holiday for dad and the kids and just uprooting the domestic chores to a more difficult place for mum. I couldn't believe that women could really be happy with these "holidays".
As a result, when we had our girls, having only got over the hard bits of looking after two babies by the time they were around two, I was not keen on the standard holiday park getaway for some time, imagining the worst. When we finally did it, it was wonderful. WONDERFUL. Two days in Sorrento (Mornington Peninsula, not Italy) staying in a huge old fibro shack were two days of absolute, easy, relaxing bliss - with two happy, relaxed toddlers.
Since then we have done one a year and I am a complete convert. Give me a cabin with a deck near a playground and trampoline or pool (or both - o joy!), a suitcase full of colouring books and Barbie accessories and a fridge full of fruit and wine, and I am in heaven.
The only drawback - it's still hot, sort of. It's very breezy where we are near the beach and not quite warm enough for really satisfying swimming, but it is humid and I am STILL bathed in sweat and mopping my forehead from morning to dusk. You can see what I am like in the heat here.
But - we are on holiday; no work or responsibilities outside of our family unit for a week.
And life is good.