This week has been very different. A forced different as Riley has been sick all week. He woke up Saturday with a fever and worsened cough (he’s had a cough for the last 3 weeks). We had planned to go to the pumpkin patch, so instead we stayed home and Brad and Landon did a little work in the yard while Riley slept on me all day long. He was pretty miserable.

He woke up Saturday night with a 103.4 fever with meds in his system! I called the on-call ped, and ended up taking him in first thing Sunday. The doctor was pretty sure it was viral. So with a sick, cranky, icky thick snot, really bad coughing child we pretty much stayed home all week. I thought we would go crazy. And there were times that I thought we would, but for the most part this week has been great for many reasons.

Superman jumps (only done a few times for the sake of testing camera settings!)

The not so busy life is kind of nice. We normally are pretty busy with play dates, activities for Landon, appointments, shopping and general errands. This week we’ve stayed in or played in the back yard, done a LOT of puzzles (Landon’s newest obsession), and just played with whatever Landon wanted to play with. There’s something to be said for days (and weeks) like this.

I think it’s easy for parents to fall into the mindset that they have to be doing something all the time with their kids to be good parents. While I’m going to be the first in line to advocate for spending time with your kids and providing meaningful activities and experiences to help shape their little lives, I think that someone could be doing all those things and more and not reach that goal of a “good” parent (whatever that is anyway) – most of the time without realizing it.

Kids don’t need edible finger paint and pumpkin pie play dough, crafty projects, or wacky science experiments. They really just need you. Your full attention. Your interaction. Those things say “you’re important to me” more than any fancy scented seasonal play dough you can make. Sometimes the most meaningful experiences are found in the unplanned, child-led play.

I of all people struggle with falling into the trap of feeling the necessity to stay busy. My professional life before my role as full-time mom was filled with planning meaningful educational experiences. Never did we have full days in Kindergarten where we just sat and played. I thrive off of the structure of knowing what we are going to be doing and having a plan for everything. While that’s important to have – I think there’s a balance of the planned busyness with the unplanned, child-led play.

The goal is quality time spent with your child. The play dough, paint and crafts are a means to achieve that goal.

It’s been 6 days and Riley is better in he has no fever but still has the cough that shakes the house and a icky goopy nose. Landon has the sniffles…we may be doing this next week as well. Perhaps not because a child is sick though.

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7 Responses to Everyday Life {Illness and slowing down}

  1. I left teaching at the very end of May 2009, and Naomi was born the first week of July. We moved to a teeny-tiny apartment in the second floor of a farmhouse in Minnesota. Our landlords lived below us on the first floor, and I cracked my head on the sloping ceilings more times than I could count. It snowed from October to April, it was a tiny town with little to do nearby, I didn’t have any friends, and we went through everything from pink eye, to the flu, to a second pregnancy. Anyhow, it was a SLOW year after teaching for 6 years, and I thought I would go batty from being cooped up inside all the time with Naomi looking to me as her only entertainment.

    Somehow we survived our first year though, and now I’ve adjusted to the slower pace of parenting. Since Brad’s schedule is the crazy-busy one now, I try to keep things simple and routine (casual, unhurried, not busy) for me and the kids. Then we can be flexible when he needs us to be, and I can be the stable and steady homebody for them. I used to love and thrive on my busy jam-packed life, but now I love and thrive on my quieter one. I just keep trying to “bloom where I’m planted” and enjoy each stage of our family’s lives.

    Anyhow, you’re doing great, and it sounds like you’re filling your time with lots of good things for your boys. Follow your mommy’s heart, and do what you feel is best for your boys. Some kids thrive on activities, and others thrive on quiet. My kids are opposites, but both need some of both. Once you know what suits them, you can adapt their schedule accordingly. You already do so much with them around your home, that I’m sure they don’t need a lot of outside stimulation. As you already know, kids can learn a lot by cooking, cleaning, doing yard work and chores, painting and more alongside you and your husband. Whether watching you or participating with you, they are learning the skills required to become mature adults. 🙂

  2. The Monko says:

    this is a brilliant post and speaks to me so much this week as we have also been under the weather and taking it slower and i have really enjoyed time connecting with Goblin that I hadn’t even realised was missing. Thanks you.
    I am sharing this on The Sunday Parenting Pinterest board and featuring this week.

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you! I figured it would speak to some of the fellow bloggers. It’s easy to get caught up in the doing and no enjoying the time spent together!

  3. Enjoyed your post and have also linked it up to The Sunday Parenting Party. 🙂

  4. […] Everyday Life illness and slowing down post talks this week about child led play and not keeping up with others.. Child led play is so […]

  5. Kendall says:

    I absolutely love to just spend time with the kids. One time this week, I ditched all of our craft projects and other things I had planned that day and instead the kids and I just played with whatever they wanted the entire day. It was really nice. 🙂