Parenting feats that should be Olympic sports

Written by: Amanda Simkin

These parenting feats should be Olympic sports.
Photo credit: Vincent Angler/Flickr
Olympic fever is alive and well in our house. The excitement of close finishes, the talented and determined athletes, the national pride..what isn’t there to love? And what I find even more inspiring is that many of these athletes are parents, which means that while training for the Olympic Games, they are also participating in the Parenting Games.
Which got me thinking about what types of “sports” there should be in the Parenting Games…skills and accomplishments that make you feel like you have mastered at least some part of parenting. So tell me, have you gone for the gold in any of these activities?
The Floorboard Walk
As any parent knows, it is a sign of deft expertise to be able to walk through your home silently and avoid all of those floorboard creaks, whether with a sleeping child in your arms or just after you tucked someone in and are hoping to race to your adult beverage and remote control before your little one wakes up.
This vital parenting ability is also related to stepping on LEGO without screaming every expletive imaginable and walking past musical toys without setting them off (not only waking up everyone in the house, but also freaking yourself out a bit….because those toys are WAY creepy once night time settles in).
The Diaper Challenge
We have been surprisingly lucky to have kids who enjoy eating at local kid-friendly restaurants and behave rather well through the course of a meal, but there is always an element of going out to eat that truly puts our parenting skills to the test: changing a diaper when there isn’t a diaper changing table.
Figuring out how to change your wiggly little one and keeping him or her from touching all of the nasty surfaces in a bathroom definitely proves that parents (especially those awesome dads out there!) earn the beer waiting for them back at the table.
The Target Tantrum Side-Step
Target is my happy place, but not so much when I am there with my kids. Why? Because they too fall under Target’s spell and want EVERYTHING! And when Mommy says no, guess what happens? Tantrums.
Tantrums so bad that their faces get almost as red as the cart they are strapped inside. So every time a parent manages to either ride out the tantrum or head out the door while wrangling wailing kiddos, she should get bronze, silver AND gold medals.
The Sleeping Child Transfer
You know what’s awesome? When your kiddo conks out in the car and you can drive in peace (and maybe even hit up the Starbucks drive-thru). You know what’s not awesome? When your child screams and fights being in the car seat only to fall asleep five minutes from the house. But when you are able to somehow maneuver your child from the car seat, through the house, over to his bedroom without waking him, you have officially mastered parenting. Tuck yourself in as well, and enjoy a hard-earned nap.
What parenting task do you think should be an Olympic sport?

Amanda Simkin, a lifelong Chicagoan, created her blog ( to share how she celebrates motherhood in Chicago. She offers “insider’s guides” for both well-known and off-the-beaten-path family-friendly gems. Her fans include Red Tricycle Chicago and Chicago Parent Magazine.


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Posted on August 04, 2016 at 12:46 PM