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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