As a mother, I’m asking, can you please wear a mask?

My 4-year-old has adapted. It's time for grown-ups to do it, too.

As a mother, I’m asking, can you please wear a mask?

It was just a couple of months ago—but it feels like years ago, now—when my partner and I received a package of fabric masks. My sister dropped them off at our home and rushed away so that we wouldn't come into contact with her. My husband and I wore them when we went to get tested for COVID-19. Thankfully, we were negative, but all the talk about the coronavirus wasn't lost on our 4 year old son.

My 4-year-old, a non-neurotypical child with sensory issues, surprised everyone by demanding his own mask. While adults all around us are rejecting masks, my baby—who has every reason to reject them—embraced wearing something unfamiliar and uncomfortable on his face.

This little kid who has sensory issues and hates it when he has to wear anything besides a very specific kind of jeans from the GAP, who can't stand a collar or tags that itch or elastic waistbands that are a smidge too tight, whose whole routine was disrupted by the pandemic, demanded a mask.

"I need a blue one," he told me in his sweet baby voice. "Because of the virus."

I was so surprised that he would even want to wear one. This is a kid who refuses the painting smock at day care, refuses to wear a pinny in gym class, who struggles with things like raincoats and who even in babyhood acted like bibs would kill him. I had been so sure that it would be a problem, I'd basically just planned to keep him in the house until the world was safer. But when we explained why mom and dad were wearing the masks, he wanted one, too.

When his little blue fabric mask arrived in our mailbox he was very excited. As I slipped the elastic loops over his tiny ears I wondered how long he would keep it on. Minutes, I figured.

That elastic, tight and unfamiliar against his soft ears—that's got to be bothering him, I thought. All that blue fabric, stretched across a little face that won't even wear a scarf in the winter—that's got to be bothering him, I thought. This is going to be a sensory issue, I thought, counting the minutes.

He wore it all afternoon.

And so a new part of our routine was formed. Routine is so important in our family, and the mask became central to our going out dance. Shoes, backpack, mask. Got to have the mask.

Going out is still kind of rare, because as my son knows all too well, most of his favorite places are still closed or not safe for our family right now. He will rattle off the list of places that are closed—"the pool, the library, the ice cream shop"—and tell you that "people still have germs" and that "the coronavirus is a powerful virus."

But when we have to go to an appointment, or when I'm stuck without childcare and have to take him into the grocery store, the mask goes on. He doesn't fight it at all (unless it's dirty, he cannot bear cookie crumbs or a smear of chocolate on his mask) and tells people why he wears it.

He gets it.

What he doesn't get is why other people don't wear them. His whole routine, his whole carefully planned social schedule, has been completely disrupted by the pandemic. He wants it to end. He wants to keep older people safe. He does his part. And when he sees people out and about without masks he is confused.

"Why doesn't that guy have a mask, mom?" he asked me way too loudly when we ran into a store to grab an online order.

"Maybe he forgot it," I told him. Maybe all the people who are out and about right now without their masks forgot them. Maybe the men who loudly complained about our local golf course closing simply forgot their masks when it reopened. Maybe the people lining up to get into home goods stores the first day they reopened forgot their masks.

This week the U.S. hits a grisly new milestone with the highest single day of new coronavirus cases since April, with more than 45,500.

And this week my child, who has so many sensory issues and all the reasons in the world to throw a fit about wearing a mask, will put his mask on and wear it to his newly re-opened day care.

"He's so good about it," his teachers say. "He keeps it on all day. He sets a good example."

Yeah, he does. And he's a 4-year-old with special needs. If he can do it, we all can. We can protect each other, save lives...and we can get our lives back.

Check out some of the kid-friendly masks our kids actually want to wear (and one of our favorites for mamas as well) in the Motherly Shop!

Cubcoats puppy and tiger masks

Cubcoats kids masks

These durable masks transform little ones into playful animals. Plus, they have elastic ear-loops and a shapeable metal nose-piece ensures a comfortable and secure fit for little faces.


Uki the unicorn mask buddy

Cubcoats uki unicorn mask buddy

This might just be one of the coolest masks we've ever seen. Designed to keep track of easily, it transforms into a bracelet or hair tie when not in use.


The love wins face mask

Ahida Correale love wins face mask

Just like the embroidered t-shirts we've loved for years, this stitched denim mask will help you elevate your face mask game. Made with comfortable ear loops and breathable, washable fabric, this will be your new go-to mask.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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.

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