The unexpected trait I use every day as a mom (Guest Post)

Today, I am introducing a new guest post series on parenting. Adventures In Parenting is about the unique perspective and experience each of us acquire in our parenting journey. It's about lessons learned, challenges overcome, and tears shed as we 'learn the ropes' of being a parent. 

The first of my guest writers for this series is Katie of Pick Any Two, a blogger I admire for her writing style, healthy living tips, and humor!

Before I became a mom, I was fully aware that parenting would require a lot of patience, resilience, and top-notch communication skills.

What I didn’t realize? Just how much being a mom would require me to flex my creative muscles. I’ve found creativity to be an extremely valuable - and yet totally unexpected - parenting trait.

The Unexpected Trait I Use Every Day as a Mom (Adventures in Parenting)

I’m not talking about an ability to write poetry or paint beautiful landscapes, neither of which I’m even remotely good at. I simply mean the capacity to think outside of the box, to come up with innovative and unexpected solutions to parenting problems.

Need some examples?

Here are four ways parenting has stretched my creative imagination:

1. Food

Even though my son isn’t a particularly picky eater, he’s still a 2-year-old - which means mealtime battles are constantly looming. My brain is continuously thinking up new ways to make eating a fun experience for everyone involved.

What’s worked well so far: Referring to broccoli as “dinosaur food,” serving food in unexpected bowls and dishes (finger food served in a muffin tin is a huge hit!), and turning ordinary fare into fun shapes and characters (like Teddy Bear Toast!).

2. Waiting Games

You don’t hear the phrase ‘patient child’ too often, probably because it’s an oxymoron. I’ve stretched my imagination many times to think of games, puzzles, or other distractions to help make waiting less painful.

Long line at Target? Think of a game.

Slow service at a restaurant? Think of a game.

We parents are constantly coming up with clever ideas to help our kiddos pass the time. Our favorite right now is when my toddler pretends to be an animal and I have to guess what it is.

3. Photography Antics

Getting the perfect shot of a child requires a parent to do some crazy, silly stuff! I’ve come up with the silliest faces and the most ridiculous voices, all to get my kid smiling and laughing at just the right moment.

4. Rainy Days

I don’t have to do much to keep my child entertained on sunny days - just stick him outside with a ball and a bottle of bubbles and he’s content! Rainy days, however, are a different story.

Stormy conditions are when truly creative parents shine - when pillows become forts and masking tape becomes the foundation for a toy-car highway. I created a ball pit in my basement, which has been a lifesaver on those days when the sun refuses to shine!

Becoming a mom has certainly brought out the best in me; it’s made me more compassionate, more patient, and – surprisingly - more creative. I’m so thankful my son has taught me the importance of thinking outside the box, in parenting and beyond.

Has parenting made you more creative, too?

Katie Markey McLaughlin, M.S., is a freelance journalist and blogger, plus mama to a very energetic toddler. Her blog Pick Any Two encourages moms to do anything, but not everything. You can connect with her on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Read about the Adventures in Parenting guest series, and how you can contribute to it.

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Katie @ Pick Any Two said...

Thank you so much for sharing my parenting adventure with your readers! Honored to be here today!

Tarana said...

Happy to be hosting you, loved your post!

Tove Maren Stakkestad said...

The waiting game... you mentioned it and I started to get all anxious inside. There is nothing that brings out the creativity more than having to wait in line... And food - you are SO right! We have renamed every dinner item something dinosaurs would eat... to no avail! :)

Dana said...

Parenting made me much more creative! At this point, I'm using creative problem solving skills to navigate adolescence. Any advice for getting teens to eat their vegetables? Calling it dinosaur food just won't fly anymore...

Caroline - My Family Ties said...

You have to be so flexible and willing to get creative as a mum! Some great tips to share #ShareWithMe


moderndadpages said...

Good post! Yes I agree with becoming creative as a parent. Everyday there is something new and different to deal with! Gotta love them though... they keep us on our toes lol :)

moderndadpages said...

well I have a rule... I have 2 teen boys, no devices till your veggies are eaten. after a one week battle they now eat their veggies without a problem! lol

Tarana said...

Waiting really makes our creative juices flow, doesn't it?!

Tarana said...

Tell them it will make their skin glow!

Tarana said...

So true, isn't it?!

Tarana said...

They sure do!

Louisa said...

Lovely post.I have a special funny face that I only use when I need all the kids looking and smiling in the same direction #sharewithme

Lystra Maisey said...

Hello there, I really enjoyed this and you are so right about having to think outside the box-they certainly keep us on our toes x #sharewithme

Chris Carter said...

YUP!!! It's amazing how many times we are challenged with the idea of stepping OUT of the box to raise our kids!! I swear I do it every single day.

Merlinda Little said...

So true! Being a parent would make you think and come up with creative things! A nice read! #sharewithme

Tarana said...

That's so cute!

Tarana said...

They really do!

Tarana said...

So true, there really is no clear cut way of doing it!

Tarana said...

Thanks Merlinda!

Jenny Ripatti-Taylor said...

Great guest post. I love it because I am the same always trying to be creative when I am not and use my imagination as if I was 1 and 3 for my two tots. They have no patience neither of them hahaha I had to giggle at the waiting in target line they always have the longest lines. lol Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

Tarana said...

Thanks Jenny! Sometimes you really have to get in their heads to understand them :)

Mike said...

Great guest post, Katie, and thank you for sharing her with us, Tarana. My favorite stories to read (hey, I know it's THEIR pain - sorry) is of the trials and tribulations of parents and their creative ways to get the younger kids to eat. Been there a long time ago. Dinosaur food is new one on me and fantastic! :)

TheMissusV said...

Oh number 3 LOL The voices and the faces I make just to get them to smile, I kind of gave up on this LOL

Tarana said...

Getting them to eat is a serious challenge!

Tarana said...

Haha, it's so tough to get them to stay still!

Kristi - Finding Ninee said...

YES to being outside being perfect with a ball and some bubbles but the indoor days? Yikes. I've become a master couch-cushion fort builder. And the photos? Don't even get me started. I have to be almost aggressively crazy to get an eye contact AND smile in the same shot!

Tarana said...

Aggressive crazy, haha!

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