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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.
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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