Saying ‘yes’ to my kids is helping me stay sane

"Mom, can we ride bikes for the 15th time today?" "Great idea!"

saying yes during quarantine

When my kids look back on this time in their lives, I hope they remember it as being fun or, at the very least, not so bad. My parenting style during quarantine is pretty similar to how it was when we were out and about in the real world, except these days my kids…tend to get whatever they want. (So long as it's within the realm of what I can offer them.)

"Mom, can we have eggs, toast, pancakes, waffles and a bowl of cereal for breakfast?"

"Sure, no problem."

"Mom, you'll wash the dishes and clean up all the toys we left out without us helping, right?"

"Yup, you got it."

"Mom, can we take a break from doing school work and ride bikes for the 15th time today?"

"Great idea!"

"Mom, can we watch YouTube Kids for three hours this afternoon instead of doing those last few assignments?"

"Yup, you bet."

Whatever makes my kids happy and helps me stay sane, that's my motto. I don't know that it would be considered good parenting, but I'm okay with that. Since I've been saying yes so often when I do have to say no, my kids go nuts and don't really understand what just happened. (Which doesn't feel great.)

But you know what? Most of the time they're happy, kind children and I know in my heart I'm raising good kids.

If I had to analyze my 'yes mom' status, it wouldn't just have to do with the coronavirus. It is also because I have a different perspective than many because I lost a child a few years ago and was never able to give her everything she wanted. She never got to ride a bike or eat every type of breakfast possible in one sitting or play with her twin sister who lives on for both of them.

She never got to do some of the great things her siblings have gotten to do, and maybe especially, get to do during quarantine, like cook and bake with me, have dance parties, build forts, do scavenger hunts around the house, set up nail salons in the bathroom, go on nature walks or watch some of my favorite childhood movies like Troop Beverly Hills or Mighty Ducks.

Sometimes I think it's therapeutic for me. And I'm okay with that.

Don't get me wrong, even with saying yes, we've still had our stressful days and I cherish the moments when my kids are asleep at night. But instead of constantly stressing about things like homeschooling or all the cooking, cleaning and laundry I'm doing, I decided I need to let go a little. Sometimes chores can wait. Sometimes it's more important to have fun. The memories are well worth it.

Saying yes has also acted as a stress reliever for me. I realized early on in quarantine that if I say yes, my kids are happy. If I say yes, I don't have to listen to my kids complain about me saying no. I also don't have to feel bad that I'm not doing what they want to do. In fact, when I say yes, a lot of the time, I'm able to relax and have fun with them, too.

I know constantly saying yes may be more difficult for families working from home right now. I also know this is more difficult for the amazing parents on the front lines. No matter what your circumstances may be, if you just do your best, I think your kids will be able to look back at this time and remember it as being fun or, at the very least, not so bad.

I hope that's what my kids will remember.

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

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.

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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

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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