Considered chronologically, family is the first leg supporting a well balanced life. By family I include friends that become so integral to our lives that they become "family". As babies we survive only because our family fed and clothed and loved and held and taught and played and cared for us. Without them, at this stage we would be lucky to survive even a few hours on our own.
As we grow and take the first tentative steps toward exploring our world, the length of time we can survive without our families lengthens until as adults we can survive, physically, without any family support. Psychologically, however we never out grow the need for "family". Humans are social animals with a strong need to belong, to share and care and rejoice in those close to us knowing that, when we are down, others are there to support, encourage and challenge us. A well balanced and refreshed life requires an investment in and an involvement with our families. This requires an expenditure in time as well as energy.
All too often I hear people saying, "well I don't spend as much time with my family as I should, but the time I do spend is quality time." Nonsense. There cannot be quality without sufficient quantity. Families cannot survive, physically or emotionally without our feeding, clothing, loving, holding, teaching, playing and caring for them in our turn. Nor can our table top remain balanced for long with this leg weakened or missing.