Getting Through Bare Patches of Play


To say the last two months have been difficult for our family would be an understatement.  Are you familiar with the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale?  We scored with moderate to high levels of stress.  We’ve been on vacation, gone through the holidays, put our home up for sale, and buried my father-in-law.  As I write this we are in the midst of a double move – first to temporary housing and then to a new home.

I find it hard enough to keep the kids engaged in screen-free play and risky fun during the cold winter months, but adding all these additional changes and stresses on top of the winter doldrums has meant we are in a MAJOR RISKY RUT.

I can’t tell you the last time we played outside.  I can’t remember the last time we did something all together as a family.  Our days seem to be a blur of traveling, packing, errands, and in the midst of all of it the kids are entertaining themselves with screen time. Loads and loads of screen time.

I know that it’s a rut, and I know that as sure as the flowers will bloom and the trees will bud, we’ll emerge from this tumultuous season with a renewed desire to simply PLAY.  However I also want to remain honest with you.  It can be so easy to read magazines, blogs and Pinterest and feel inadequate.  In my mind the families I admire are living the life I want to lead every minute of every day.  But that simply isn’t true.  Sometimes we just have to get through the day.

This blog is both a way to inspire you and a way to hold myself accountable to living a spirited, playful life.  It’s also real life, though, and sometimes it gets in the way.  So if you’re ever reading our posts and thinking that you can’t possibly live up to our standards (even as low as they are!), rest assured that we are just as human as you.  Be inspired, but cut yourself some slack.

For those of you who’ve been down this path before, perhaps you can inspire us now.  How do you manage to get through life’s rougher patches and still find ways to play?  This Risky Family (and I’m sure a few others) would love to know.




  1. My life is not nearly as stressful as yours in right now and my kiddos are younger, but with the cold weather we have been having way to much screen time around here too. I find myself setting super low, but completely attainable goals. Like make the kids go outside and play for 10 minutes, or get out one activity that they love but I dont (like painting) that engages them. 🙂 It seems lame, but often meeting that one little goal helps me keep it going- or just feel better about letting them watch 1 more episode of Doc McStuffins.