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I'm a 'lazy parent' and proud of it

I have come to embrace this laid-back parenting style—and that's okay.

I'm a 'lazy parent' and proud of it

I am not too proud to admit that there has been a time or two when I've given my child my phone to watch something while I caught a few more z's after an early wake-up call. And I'm not too proud to admit that chicken nuggets, shredded cheese and carrots sticks is one of my go-to dinners. I'm not too proud to admit that I have outright cheered when my child has been old enough to help me do something or get something for me, easing the load of motherhood just a little bit. (Honey, could you throw this diaper out for Mommy, please?)

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If you want to call this "lazy parenting" I won't be offended. I have come to embrace this laid-back parenting style. It fits me like my "lazy mom" uniform (aka capsule wardrobe) of yoga pants and t-shirts does—naturally and comfortably. It speaks to my soul. It just gets me.

How?

1. I don't worry until there's something to worry about.

(Aka, I take it easy on my nerves when I can.)

There are plenty of instances with raising children where the "something to worry about" comes up. So when those times arise—when my preschooler has a 104-degree fever, my toddler keeps repeating a fresh word, my teething baby seems so uncomfortable—I typically worry. But there's also a LOT of things that I *could* worry about (like whether I should be buying everything organic or what other people think of my mom abilities) that I try really hard not to get caught up in.

For example, you won't catch me following my older kids around the playground reminding them to be careful. I keep my eye on them of course, but I also let them do their thing. I will run as fast as humanly possible when they actually need me, but otherwise, I'll be pushing my 7-month-old on the swings.

2. I teach my children to do things for themselves.

(Aka helping them become independent humans.)

Now, when you call this 'Montessori', it sounds more pleasant, I think. And that's what I am doing. I am teaching my child to be self-sufficient. And right now since they are four and two (I let the 7-month-old off the hook with this stuff for the time being) that looks like moving their cups and plates to a cabinet they can reach.

Or ordering a Brita filter with a spout so they can get water when they are thirsty. Or teaching them to put their dishes in the dishwasher when they're done, watering the garden, picking out their own (weather-appropriate) outfits, putting their own toothpaste on their brush and brushing their teeth, or letting them take a shower and wash themselves (I still need to be in there, but I can be answering emails, etc. if I need to).

My 4-year-old can now buckle both car seat buckles by herself. I do a check once she's done, but she is really good at it and I've only had to fix it once. I know this sounds so small in the grand scheme of things, but I feel like it was a game changer. I guess when you have three kids you'll take the wins in efficiency where you can…

3. I encourage my kids to play with each other.

(Aka I'm helping them build strong social skills.)

My husband and I joke around with each other about the fact that we created baby #2 and baby #3 so that they'd all have people to play with. So they can entertain each other when we need to get something done.

Siblings are nice to have around for companionship and entertainment, for sure, but I do get that some people only want one child or maybe a family is experiencing infertility or a long adoption waitlist—so many a sibling to play with isn't the answer. But, fear not! Friends, cousins, neighbors, classmates—scheduling a play date even for an hour or two can give you a much-needed break.

It's not like you could go run errands or say, "See ya! I'm going to take a nap!"—you still have to be around to supervise and whatnot, but you can probably cook dinner or get another task done that's on your list without having to entertain at the same time.

And believe me—the whole "playing with each other nicely" does not always work. There's fighting, arguing and yelling. But then there's the laughing, the singing, the dancing, the pretending together. And so even if you get 15 minutes, let's consider that #winning, shall we?

4. I buy things that make all of our lives easier.

(Aka I spend our money wisely and efficiently.)

Why get shoes with laces that you have to tie when they're little when God (or someone else) created velcro? (Save those laces for when they're a bit older…) We've been gifted a step stool for each child that we keep in the bathroom so I don't have to pick them up every time they need to wash their hands. We also encourage them to pick it up and move it about the house as they need to reach things.

We've bought kid-safe chopping knives so I can have little sous chefs help me during dinner prep and a small broom so they can help us sweep after dinner.

So, sure, maybe this is "lazy parenting" at its finest… but if you're going to call me 'lazy,' please also call me 'creative' and 'efficient', too. 😉

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14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

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Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

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Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

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Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

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Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

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There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

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Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

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

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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