I work hard to give my kids what they want—but worry that I’ll spoil them

There are things we couldn’t afford when I was a kid that I enjoy having now.

I work hard to give my kids what they want—but worry that I’ll spoil them

I grew up in a middle-class home. My parents worked extremely hard and provided me with everything I needed—a roof over my head, food to eat, clothing, love and a Catholic school education. But I was not handed anything on a silver platter.

I never got that Teddy Ruxpin I pined for. Samantha the American Girl doll was something that just wasn’t going to happen. I knew it was a huge deal when I went away to camp with my friends because my parents saved money for months to make it happen.

At 13, I started mowing my neighbor’s lawn and sending him monthly invoices. On my 16th birthday, I got my first official job. When I wrecked my hand-me-down car in high school, I had to pay the $3,000 in repairs on my own. In college I went to school full-time and always worked about 30-40 hours.


After my parent's divorce, my mom worked two jobs—by day she was an elementary school teacher and at night she worked at a department store to make ends meet.

I was taught to work hard. And to buy what I needed, not always necessarily what I wanted. So I did. That’s how I lived my life.

I work hard and I’m really proud of that. And I have my parents to thank for it. It’s one of the number one reasons for my success in life.

One of the big reasons I work so hard today is because I want to live a certain lifestyle. There are things we couldn't afford when I was a kid that I enjoy having now.

I want to be able to get my nails done or go on a nice vacation. I want to get my toddler that toy he just can’t live without and the Paw Patrol comforter for his big boy bed without worrying if we can still pay the bills.

But the other day, out of nowhere, it hit me: Am I spoiling my kids?

I can afford to spoil them—at times—and I love it. I want them to have more than I had growing up. I don't want them to have to work as much as I did when I was a teenager. I have realized that one way I show love is by giving. When my 3-year-old gets a superhero action figure and squeals with joy, it makes me so happy.

But then I also have a lot of guilt about it. Shouldn't I be teaching them that they have to work hard to get nice things?

I want them to have a strong work ethic, but I enjoy giving them things that make them happy. It's a thin line and and sometimes I don’t know what to do about it or how to set boundaries around it. I certainly don't want to turn them into spoiled children who have a tantrum every time they don’t get what they want immediately.

So I’m taking a step back. I’m re-evaluating my choices as a parent along with the mountains of toys in the playroom.

I am going to reward my kids when they deserve it.

I am going to teach my kids that not everyone is as fortunate as they are. I want to teach them the power of gratitude.

I am going to clean out the toy room with the help of my children. We are going to talk about the fact that we don’t need to keep toys that they never play with and that we’re going to donate them to children who don’t have many toys.

My child has a big heart and I want to focus that big heart in the right direction. I want him to appreciate what he has. And I want him to WANT to give to others.

I don’t want my kids to act spoiled, but I want them to be able to experience a lot of the things I didn’t get to as a child.

I don’t want my kids to work so much they have to stress about finding time to do their homework, but I do want them to have jobs as teenagers and learn the value of a dollar and what it means to save.

I don’t want my kids to think it is wrong to have things you love, but I do want them to be grateful for these things and at the same time—understand that ‘things’ aren’t everything.

One day, I want to see the strong work ethic my parents instilled in me, reflected in my boys. And I want them to know that nothing is more rewarding than a hard day’s work.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners
International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

Keep reading Show less