Quiz: Does your parent image need an overhaul?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Being a parent can quickly overshadow other aspects of your identity that you once considered crucial. Sometimes thinking of what's missing can get even the most dedicated parents down. Can you tailor your parenting style and your personal panache so the two mesh comfortably?

Your typical kid corral includes your bunch, plus 50 of their closest friends. Any way to escape the confines of a minivan on the road?

You are hereby banished to the 1980s, minivan! Just don't automatically gravitate toward a tank, however, unless you want to waste 15 minutes every time you need to fit into a parking space. Nowadays there are plenty of vehicles that offer a compromise between space, gas mileage and sleek design.

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Your kids' middle names are apparently "spill" and "on mommy," despite what their birth certificates say. Any way you can avoid shopping for cheap new clothes every other month so you can appear in public without looking like you're wearing a food fight?

There are clothes out there that are touted as "stain resistant" but they probably aren't up to every challenge your kids can throw at them. Still, it could be worth a shot next time you need to make a wardrobe addition.

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Speaking of attire, you're sick of a diaper bag being your most noticeable accessory. Any way you can ditch the diaper bag for good?

If you've got a baby, you're pretty much guaranteed to be toting a diaper bag much of the time. But don't fret! That doesn't mean you can't still look stylish. Plenty of diaper bags are unadorned with saccharine animal scenes, untouched by pastel palettes and gaudy polka dots. A simple online search can produce a diaper bag more to your taste -- one that can easily pass as the perfect purse or other style of bag.

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You're so busy, you can't remember the last time you read a book that wasn't illustrated. Any way you can squeeze in a little alone time to read the latest best seller?

There are lots of places in your life you can look to for freeing up sessions of me-time. Do your kids pitch in on chores? Do you have consolidated cooking sessions when you freeze food and have meals for the week premade? Do you alternate carpooling to school and lessons with other parents? Measures like these can free up some much-needed time for relaxation.

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Sometimes alone time isn't what you're looking for, and it seems like you and the spouse are always tag-teaming when it comes to parenting. Any way you can get a little downtime together?

Before they hit a certain age, kids obviously can't be left to their own devices for long. But that's why God invented babysitters! Even if you don't have family who can take over for an evening, surely there's some kid in the neighborhood dying to make a little cash. Call the prospect and schedule a mini meet-and-greet.

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You're almost out of maternity leave and you're returning to the workplace. Any way you can know who wants to hear you chat about your new addition, and who would rather pass on that conversation?

It can be hard to tell sometimes who wants to hear all the latest stories about your little one, but there are some ways to navigate these waters. Listen for hints like an attempt to change the subject as you near the end of an anecdote. Look for signs of an engaged conversationalist versus a bored or bewildered audience. Pay attention to who approaches you for details and who stays put at his or her desk. Approaches like these can help ensure you don't go overboard.

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Back at the workplace, you're trying to juggle your old work responsibilities with your new duties as a parent. Any way to perform this transition with grace and efficiency?

There are lots of strategies for making this transition flow smoothly. It's important to be organized, for example, making realistic to-do lists that take into account what's essential and what can be postponed. Discuss issues with your boss such as contingency plans or flexible scheduling, as well as securing a private space to pump. At the same time, reassure the boss that you're fully willing to work hard, as long as he or she can work with you on developing a game plan for accommodating your new responsibilities as a parent.

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Your backyard is littered with Tonka trucks, hula hoops, bubble wands, squirt guns, you name it. Any way you can have that elegant outdoor living space you've always dreamt of?

Encourage your kids to look after and put away their toys -- perhaps by designating an outdoor toy box that's easily accessible -- but also craft your backyard to meet everyone's needs. That could mean moving the swing set to a spot where it's less of an eyesore and planting some pleasing landscaping to make it more picturesque. With a little effort on your part, your backyard can be both a place your children cherish, and a place for you to relax with friends.

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