We all have these ideals about our lives.  Maybe how we hope to raise our children, what our families will be like and what our homes might look like! – Right? There are many areas of my family life that require creativity – some more than others! 

Here are 5 ways my creative family ideals sometimes fly out the window AND the surprising realities of life take over.


With the multitude of birthday parties Miss 13 is invited to and the large number of family and friends birthdays we celebrate, I like to be creative with gifts. They are really fun, people love them and it helps a lot $$wise. I do some things like:

  • Making Birthday Cards on white card stock and using a fabulous recent photo of the giftee for the front
  • Photoshop-ing the giftee (kid) into a picture with their favourite celebrity & print it like a photo
  • Photo of your kid and their kids together framed in a cool frame for the giftees room
  • For thank you gifts after holidays, I bundle all the photos relevant to those families and put them onto a disc, collage some pics onto a cover sheet for the front and pop them into a DVD case.  Easy to post, cheap to make and always well received.

Are you creative with gifts for people? Photos, Baking…?

Or are you like me on other days… we raced around the shops yesterday to buy two birthday and one welcome home presents with not an ounce of creativity in sight.

Being short on time won that day!


In all honesty, our budget doesn’t actually compute.  But ‘somehow’ it generally works, week in-week out. Creative accounting helps, with getting 80% of weekly bills paid direct out from my wages at work (before I can even touch it). For example, rent, school and sports, giving and donations, car payments, dancing fees, sponsorships, insurance, power, phone, storage, petrol, and  savings.

Sometimes I do have to get creative with my payments. I have asked many places over the years if I can pay a monthly or term fee to them off weekly, so they are paid in full by the time it is due – 9/10 times they are more than happy with that and appreciate that you are taking charge.

Do you pay things off weekly?  What helps you with budgeting?

Or are you like me…I had forgotten to note down on my long-term-replenish-shopping-list to allow for double lot of Sanitary items, Razors & Toilet Paper.  This required a very creative reshuffle of the items going in and then back out of my shopping trolley this week!

creative single parents

Playing Mom/Dad role

As a Single Parent Family, day to day most of the parenting of Miss 13 is left to me, so sometimes I have to play the role of both Mom and Dad.

The benefits of this, I get to be even more encouraged to get out there and do the fun stuff.  There isn’t the Dad to fall back on, in that moment, for a large proportion of the stereotypical ‘fun things’ Dad’s do or the more ‘masculine’ activities.

It can take you to School Camp, water sporting, bush tramping, running, playing in the mud, paint balling, standing on the sidelines of every sports game, building that school project and erecting that 8 person tent all by yourself.

Do you play a Mom/Dad role sometimes? What’s been the most surprising thing about it?

Or are you like me…most of the time I’m cool with it and it’s fun…but just sometimes the reality of playing Mom/Dad can just plain suck. At times when you need back up or support, it’s a sucky reminder that you’re in this on your own!


Asking for a toolbox for Christmas when I was an 18-year-old set me up well for being a bit of a DIY chic.  It’s always been me with the toolbox and the little projects going on.

I’m going to get my creative DIY on this weekend…Miss 13’s aluminum and fabric wardrobe/shelf unit had a total collapse, dumping an entire wall full of her clothing on the floor!  A very limited budget and space is making my DIY creativeness work overtime on a new wardrobe solution.

Being able to do even small DIY tasks around your home does a huge amount for your confidence and is a great example to your kids of what can be achieved when you set your mind to it.  Whether it be screwing up a smoke alarm, building a letterbox or a full on renovation.

When did you last get your creative DIY on?

Or are you like me……happy to DIY yourself (as you’re an independent woman and you mostly like it), but in reality would love it if someone else would do it for you…or even just simply offer to 😉


Cooking isn’t something I love, so it takes quite a bit of effort to not just bung some bread in the toaster and be done with it.  I have to get creative in the supermarket to find that balance between ‘value for money’, ‘quick’, ‘reasonably healthy’, ‘tastes good’ and ‘filling’.

I’m learning and places like food blogs, Google & budget food ideas on Facebook are teaching me a great deal.  For the first time in my life, I’m finally starting to be a little creative and kindof ‘Meal Plan’, learning to cook more than one portion at a time and then freezing the second portion for another night.

Are you creative with Meal Plans or cook double portions?

Or are you like me…In reality…no ‘real’ dinner was made Tuesday night…it was ‘Mousetraps’ = Cheese and Sauce grilled on toast…hey, it did have vegetables on it…Tomato Sauce is a vegetable right?

Creative family ideals are awesome, but at the end of the day they are just ‘ideals’ and you just have to roll with life. That’s when a new type of creativeness kicks in…”just get through the day anyway you can, do only what’s essential and tomorrow is another new day”!

How do your creative family ideals vs the surprising realities of life?

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Pip manages a busy office by day and is a closest blogger and computer geek by night. She writes about Parenting, City Living, Teenagers, Adventures, Faith, Travel, Single Parent families and whatever else takes her fancy, over on her blog www.wellingtonchic She is precariously navigating an adventure filled life as a single parent to a very busy teenager and fits in her writing (via a 3.5 inch screen) whilst standing in Supermarket queues or on the sidelines of sports practices.

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