Best Of live

Lady With the Glasses

Do we even risk it?
My Mom asked as we pulled out of the shopping center.
It was nearly noon.
We were both hungry and anxious to try the infamous Olas taco place around the corner from the outlets.Β I turned back and looked at Lil W in his car seat.

Me: Well, he’s been good so far.
Mom: Yeah, but do we push our luck?
Me: I’m pretty hungry, and I could go for a crunchy taco.
Even as I said it, I knew no taco would be worth what Lil W would likely put us through
in our attempt at a nice lunch out.
Mom: Alright,let’s just go for it.

I selected a table on the empty patio in the 90 degree heat
in hopes of avoiding the disapproving looks of others enjoying their lunch.
My mom went inside to order while I attempted to finagle Lil W’s wriggling body
into a sticky high chair. Β Naturally, he wasn’t having it.

W: Truck, Truck. Touch it?
He said while spreading his legs as wide as he could to prevent me from getting him into the seat.
Me: We can look at the trucks aaafter lunch.

And then the whining started.
And the back arching.
And the spilled cup of ice.
And the pushed over chair.
And the plate of food nearly dumped on the floor.
And the high pitched squeals.
And the foaming at the mouth.
Ok, so he didn’t foam at the mouth, but he might as well have.

W: Up-eee, Up-eee. Out. Out.
Me: We’re not done eatting yet.
I had only taken one bite.

More squealing followed by some kicking and screaming.

Just when I had decided to ignore him for the remainder of the meal,
I caught a glimpse of a woman sitting on a nearby bench watching the scene unfold from behind her expensive black shades.

And so I did what I always do when I fear my “energetic” child is upsetting those around him.
I released him from his hi-chair, ignored my yummy tacos, and pulled him away to have a “talk” with him in private.

Me: Look at Mommy.
Lil W turns his head.
Me: I said, look at Mommy.
He glares.
Me: We do not act that way.You need to eat your lunch and sit still, do you understand?
I’m nearly positive he shakes his head no.

I take a deep breath,
walk over and hand his squealing body over to my mom.

Me: I can’t take it right now. See if he’ll listen to you.
I go inside with the excuse of getting more salsa.
I adjust my wrinkled shirt and wipe the sweat from my forhead
just in time to see the lady with the sunglasses step up to the salsa bar next to me.

I’m still flustered.
The last thing I need are her looks of disgust or disaproving words.

She pulls her shades onto her head and looks me in the eyes.
Oh boy, here we go, I think to myself.

Lady: I want you to know that you’re doing a great job.
Me: Excuse me?

Surely I did not hear her correctly.

Lady: You’re doing a great job. You’re a fabulous mother. I can just tell.

I stare at her, silent, mouth slightly ajar.
Did she not just witness the melt down, my lack of patience, and the disaster zone that was once a plate of rice and beans?

Lady: It’s supposed to be hard. This stage will pass. You’re doing great, so don’t be so hard on yourself. Besides, he’s adorable.

My eyes fill with tears.
I want to hug her, maybe be her new best friend.
But I can only muster up a muted thank you as I turn and take my salsa to the table.

I sit down, take a deep breath,
look at Lil W who is now happy as a clam with his chips and salsa,
and I can’t help but chuckle.
I look over my shoulder.
The lady with the glasses glances over and winks.
I smile back, a bit more sure of myself thanks to her kind words.

And at that very moment,
I vowed to say something nice to at least three strangers this week.
You never know the impact your words may have.

Thanks sunglasses lady.
That was just what I needed.

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  • Reply
    Katie {Sweet Rose Studio}
    August 9, 2011 at 3:26 am

    What a wonderfully uplifting story. THank you so much for sharing! Your new site looks gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Amy White
    August 9, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Oh, what a blessing. She’s just what you needed at that VERY moment. I’m not super religious but I believe God puts people in our lives for a reason, and she was totally planned. πŸ˜‰ Keep up the good work- just like the lady said, you’re doing a great job(!!!) your (stranger) blog readers know it, and others do too!

    Amy in Texas

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 3:39 am

    You are doing a great job!! I could lie and say it gets way easier as they get older, but my 9yo girl……tho she’s the bestest, most amazing child ever!!!, totally has her moments still. Tho mostly about clothes right now…..totally a typical girl πŸ˜‰ BUT… Baby W grows, so will his awesomeness, enjoy every single moment, cause one thing “they” are right about is, it really does fly by! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 3:56 am

    That’s such an awesome story, thanks for sharing it! I’m glad she was so kind. What a good reminder of how we can impact others with just a few nice words. And she’s right, you are a great mother! πŸ™‚ Love the new blog design too!

  • Reply
    Laurie @ Gallamore West
    August 9, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Yay!!!! I’m so happy to see your new site. It’s gorgeous!! And I love this story. As a Momma of three little boys, so many times I get “wow, you have your hands full” and it drives me crazy. Last week a lady at Ikea came up and I thought for sure that was what she was going to say {as we were eating ice cream cones after a long shopping trip} but she surprised me by saying that I had three very handsome and well-behaved boys! I wrote about it on Facebook that day, how that kind lady totally made my day.

    You ARE doing a great job. You’re a wonderful Momma!
    [email protected] Gallamore West

  • Reply
    Amy ruble
    August 9, 2011 at 4:19 am

    Ashley, love your momma antics, ad I can whole-heartedly relate!! You are doing a great job! Love the new site, looks amazing πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 4:27 am

    I love when women encourage each other like that! Just how it should be. Some mothers of grown child act as if they have “forgotten” how hard that phase is, giving their annoyed, judgement stares. And good for you for wanting to pass the kindness along. I think I’ll take on that “challenge”, too. It really is the little things like this that strangers do that can brighten your entire week! Or month! πŸ™‚
    Btw, I LOVE your new space!

    • Reply
      August 9, 2011 at 4:31 am

      I really should have proofread that comment before posting it! …grown *children*… * judgmental* stares…

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 4:28 am

    That was such an amazing story. You are doing a great job, even if we only hear a few bits of parenting here and there….I know you are an amazing Mom.

  • Reply
    Cerrisse Wood
    August 9, 2011 at 4:28 am

    Sometimes it is those really nice strangers that can have a huge impact on your whole day. I know I get a total attitude adjustment just from other bloggers. It is so refreshing to hear positive words when you don’t feel totally put together. I know what you are going through, my little guy is getting to that stage. They are so fun….buy oh boy they are a lot of work πŸ™‚ But you seem like a very great mom and your little guy is so adorable!!!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 4:28 am

    I LOVE how you told your story.

    It happens to all of us. Some days-more frequently than others

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Oh Ashley, I just have to say that your post brightened my day as well. I would love it if someone told me that I was doing a great job with my son (he’s 3) because, guess what… he is extremely active, stubborn and hard headed just like Baby W. And my younger son (17 months) is taking lessons from him. I’m not so sure how I feel about that. Everyone around me tells me what a stinker he is and how they would never be able to do it. Then they wonder how I do it because I have five all together. The oldest three are girls and let me tell you… there is a HUGE difference!

    However, I’ve been told that the more active and rambunctious kids grow up to do GREAT things!
    Here’s hopin’, right?

    I’ve decided that there must be a reason for him {them} being the way they are… maybe I need to learn patience? Well, Heavenly Father is blessing me with opportunities to be patient every time I turn around with these two little boys. I believe that’s what he does, you pray for something {like patience} and instead of blessing you with patience the easy way, he blesses you with opportunities.

    Just keep praying and doing what you’re doing. And now that I’ve rambled on and on, I’ll now shut up. πŸ˜‰

    Babblin’ Brooke

  • Reply
    Kristie Fox
    August 9, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Amazing the blessings God gives us right when we need them!!!


  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 4:42 am

    It is such a nice, refreshing change when people actually encourage us instead of make us feel bad about ourselves. What a blessing to have those kind words from that woman in the midst of a tough situation!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 4:42 am

    Great post!! THANK YOU for sharing!! Love your new blog design! So fun and uplifting just like you! XOXO

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 4:52 am

    What a WONDERFFUL story and now my eyes are filled with tears. I had something similar happen to me when my daughter was a toddler, but the people weren’t as nice and they complained to the waiter and asked us to either quiet her down or else we would have to leave. I was furious and embarrased all at the same time and felt like a HORRIBLE mother….so my point being is YOU are a wonderful mommy and don’t you ever doubt that.


  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Thank you! I also have a 2.5 year old boy and he can be a handful at times. It is hard and so many times I feel like people are looking at me and thinking what a horrible mother I am for “allowing” my child to act like that. If only we could all have a “lady in sunglasses” reassure us that we are doing our jobs well!
    Site looks great!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Miss Mommy
    August 9, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Were you there at the lunch I had the other day with a friend??. You just described exactly what happened to me last week when I attempted lunch with Lilah. Leave out the nice lady part though. What a beautiful gesture she did, and i’m glad it made your day.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Thank goodness for strangers. I can think of a very few experiences like you just described.
    Do you think they’re angels?
    Maybe the lady with the sunglasses was an angel.
    Good job Mama.
    Believe me, we’ve all had those moments.

  • Reply
    Jennifer O
    August 9, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Hey Ashley….finally so great to see your new site!!! It’s fantastic…still you and yet fresh and pretty πŸ™‚

    About this post…so great. I had tears in my eyes as I read about the lady telling you about how you were doing as a mommy..and you are so right, I agree its good to pay it forward πŸ™‚

    So glad to see your site!!! You are and always have been an inspiration!!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:31 am

    What an amazing moment. I always have that fear of strangers judging my kids and my parenting. It’s nice to have those who see you in the heat of the moment and “see” through all that and know just the right words to say to encourage others.

  • Reply
    Trisha @ 3 Four and Under
    August 9, 2011 at 5:31 am

    What a nice lady. She would have totally made my whole year, if she had said that to me. I wish there were more people like her, unfortunately people tend to criticize and judge. Thanks for sharing that story.

  • Reply
    Andrea Worley
    August 9, 2011 at 5:31 am

    what sweet words that lady said to you. we all need to hear that every now and again. completely reminding us that motherhood, parenting it’s hard but we’re doing a good job. thanks for sharing Ashley!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:32 am

    So sweet! I always go up and speak to strangers like tell someone in the supermarket if they were helpful or if a woman is particularly beautiful. Im one of those that has to go and tell people if I have something nice to say. Most people look at me like Im crazy although that could be the Brit accent to ha ha gets em every time πŸ˜€ Seems like you did everything right so you deserved the compliment; credit where its due and all x

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:33 am

    What a sweetheart! Obviously that lady has had a few kids of her own! Every day as a SAHM is a challenge and a blessing! One day, one moment even, as a time! So glad you had your “happy ending” and THANK GOODNESS for your MOM for helping out to!

  • Reply
    Sally @ A Blessed Existence
    August 9, 2011 at 5:36 am

    Wow. That seriously brought tears to my eyes. My “energetic” almost three year old has been going through some issues lately with a change in our home schedule. He has yet to act this way in public, ever, but I just know that it’s coming. He’s usually really mellow when we go out to eat because he loves to just sit and watch people, but the way he has been acting lately, even at my parents which never happens, makes me want to hide away at home.

    I’m so glad that the lady in the sunglasses lifted you up with inspiration. Sometimes it’s just what we need to hear to make it through the day. Great post.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:36 am

    I related to every single thing…being completely flustered and out of control of the situation, beading with sweat from stress and getting looks from those around you when you’re trying to do your best. I loved the ending. Good job lady and good job mom. PS. I think you’re a good mama, too.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:37 am

    This post made my day. I am a mother of four and it is SO hard!!! I feel judged and looked at and talked about (behind my back) by strangers. My children are FAR from perfect. I am way FAR from perfect. Life a mother is SO hard, SO HARD! When someone takes the time to say something so kind, a stranger, OH! BEST THING EVER!!!!! Don’t we all need to be more like that?

    Perhaps others have also walked in our shoes… perhaps we need to put ourselves in others shoes as well.

    its wonderful to see that there are still people out there who love and encourage. Bless that woman’s heart and life! seriosly!!!

    Thx for sharing!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:45 am

    I loveeee this post! I was just thinking as I was driving home today that the world would be such a better place if everyone just said nice things to people every day! A stranger, a friend, a coworker, a hubby… kind words ALWAYS make people feel better & you NEVER know what kind of day they are having! I am the type of person to reread kind words over and over again… in fact-when I’m having a bad day, I pull those bad boys out and read them over and over again!

    Now, to get super behavioral therapist on you… I once had a mom who hadn’t been able to take her family to a restaurant for 6 years, yes 6 years, because the last time she did, her daughter threw a piece of cake in her boss’ face. 6 years later, she finally told me about that infamous night and with confidence I decided we could tackle the outside world. I packed a little bag with very special toys (new toys that the little girl loved but didn’t always have access to. Toys that would keep her busy but not cause a mess). In the restaurant we allowed her one toy at a time, she played in her high chair until she got bored, then we would give her a new toy. We got through our meal that way. People might be skeptics of it, but the reality is, I get bored when I’m sitting and eating… it is a BORING thing to do. So I can’t even imagine how boring it is for a kid! I think it’s totally okay to give your kids toys to play with and crayons to color with in order for you to have an adult conversation. After all, you need adult time too!

    I think you are an AMAZING momma. I love reading your posts… baby W sure gives you a run for your money!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Wow! What an amazing story! I wish I had the nerves to share something like that with a total stranger. My son is the same age and throws the same tantrums! Oh how uplifting and encouraging to know that I’m not the only one and that this “stage” passes. I’m ready for it to pass!

    I think you’re doing an awesome job to! Super Mom!

    P.S. You’re site looks ah-may-zing!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:58 am

    FABULOUS!!! I love love love this! I probably would have thrown my salsa on the floor and jumped on this lady! This kind of goes right along with Ashley’s challenge at the Shine project! You two are totally on the same page, and I’m loving it! You are an awesome little momma! I look up to you so much!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Thankyou, I needed to read that today, I’ve had the exact conversation with my 2 and a bit year old Little W also. Good to know that now it’s meant to be hard.

    Great blog, heaps of fun to read.

  • Reply
    Michelle Parrott
    August 9, 2011 at 6:23 am

    If I didn’t know you were writing about Baby W I would have thought you were replaying a all-to-common scene in my life. Those little ones know how to really ‘get’ to us, and yet, that lady is right – this too shall pass and that you are a good Momma! It’s always hard to see it in those little “fits”, but it’s still the absolute truth. So glad “sunglasses” lady was there to shine some light – but I have to believe that the Lord had some hand in this as well. He knows just how hard you work and wanted to send encouragement your way. Hope you have a wonderful Tuesday Ashley! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Thanks so much for your post. I am so happy that the lady with the glasses took a moment to say what so was thinking. I agree with the previous poster. The world would be such a better place if we all had the courage to say the goo things that we are thinking and keep the negative to ourselves. It’s too many times that the opposite happens. I hope she brightened your day and helped lighten your burden.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 7:13 am

    I’ve had moments with my son JUST LIKE THIS many, many times. I related to this story on so many levels. The sweat, the stares, the kicking, the screaming…it’s completely frustrating. It’s so hard to remember to breathe when so much is going on. I always seem to think that this ONLY happens to ME. I loved this post…thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    ana {bluebirdkisses}
    August 9, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I love the look of your new site! Yey! Congrats momma!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 7:50 am

    First, love your new site! Second, what a lovely little story. I love how the little things can have such an impact on your day and life in general πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Jennifer Dawn
    August 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Great story with a great message! What a wonderful start to your new site!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

    what an awesome story! thank you for sharing. just what i needed to hear today:)

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Just reading your story had me tear up! Your time out with baby W is just like it is with my little W. The back arching, the screaming, the kicking legs….no person in their right mind would subject themselves to that craziness…yet we do! If someone came up to me and said what sunglasses lady said I’m sure I would just sob! I always feel like THAT mom when I go out..the one that’s annoying everyone, getting disapproving looks for no being able to control my kid, the one bargaining with a human being who still goes #2 in his pants and can’t pronounce a single world correctly!
    Thank you so much for sharing….I will be doing the same-encouraging strangers!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I have to say, I had a very similar thing happen, only at the IKEA selt-checkout counter, the other day. So your description of the wrinkled shirt and sweaty brow were spot on. My son doesn’t talk yet, but I can only imagine! Yay for that woman to speak up…she sounds amazing. I definitely had a tear reading this one!

  • Reply
    Lauren Guess
    August 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I feel like I was listening to the story of my life!!! I was almost sweating just reading that! Especially the back arching—I can’t handle it for the life of me. That was just what I needed to read this morning! Thanks and have a GREAT day!


  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I had a similar moment when I was waiting on my husband’s return from Afghanistan. It was late at night and he was still turning in gear. My boys had been with me for hours waiting and waiting. They had stopped listening to me hours ago. I felt like the only words coming out of my mouth were their names and the word no. I had lost my patience and my temper was rising. A Soldiers mother came over to me and told me she’d been watching me all night and thought I was a great mom. I was shocked to get the nice comment right as I was feeling like the worst mommy in the world.
    I will always remember that comment. Whenever I think of it, I kind of think of it as a challenge to be the “great mom” that that woman thought she saw b/c after all that is what my kids deserve.

    Thanks for this post b/c it really reminded me of that moment.
    Love the new site. It was worth the pain it caused you I think.

  • Reply
    Jen J
    August 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    That story made me tear up. It’s so nice to get sweet comments, especially on days when we are frazzled and feeling like the worst mommy.

  • Reply
    Rae Mattson
    August 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Ashley,

    Ive been following your blog for months now and adore you and what youre doing over at little miss momma. Im also convinced that I mothered Baby W’s older brother Baby B!! I swear I can finish your stories and know your childs next move because of my little munchkin! I love this story and so needed to hear this. It may be the strength to get me through my day! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Oh my goodness. My baby is only 4 months old. But I know exactly what you are talking about. I have a 2 1/2 year old niece. One day I offered to take her along with us to Target so my sister could have a free hour. Managing a baby and a 2 1/2 year old? pssshhhh, no problem. Haha. whatever. It was AWFUL. I wanted to die from the looks I was getting. You are one brave momma and you ARE doing a wonderful job!

  • Reply
    Erica @ Acire Adventures
    August 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    What a an amazing story! You really have a knack for writing, dear. πŸ™‚

    It’s a good lesson to learn, though. Often when we think others are judging us, we are only judging ourselves. Toddlers are difficult and anybody with some common sense knows that. The funniest part was how you took him aside to talk to him, I always do the exact same thing and I always say “look at me”, too. I wonder if it’s a toddler thing or a boy thing to avoid eye contact and try to ignore their moms? Haha.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Sloan
    August 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Love this story. So, so sweet. I always feel that way, like people are glaring and judging when I am sure it’s way more of people thinking-God bless her, I remember that stage and all the joys and sweaty crazed moments.

    ALSO-your story helps me because of your response to the lady…just kind of stunned and muted. I have experienced sweet comments similar and have tried to return them to strangers just to get odd looks that seemingly say-what does this person want? Is there security in this store? Is she selling something? And you’re talking to me WHY?
    But now I can hope that my words just stunned them and left them a little muted. : ) HA so just something to think about when you go about speaking sweet things into the lives of others…you might get an odd response. I was looking for a happy reaction, a look or gratitude…but got awkward : ) What is it? Awkward and awesome? : ) Yep!

    Lots of love today! And I haven’t had the chance to say…LOVE the new site. I hope all the tech issues are over for you. You & your blog brighten my day.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Wow. What an amazing story! It’s so encouraging to hear that strangers can still be nice. I am sometimes too shy to give encouragement to strangers, but I realize now how it can completely change someone’s day.

  • Reply
    Melissa Hinkle
    August 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I’m so happy for you and totally teared up myself reading this. Isn’t funny how a compliment like that is worth 10 times more than a “did you lose weight?” Such great validation from a perfect stranger is an amazing feeling πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Beautiful story. That totally made me tear up. I wish there were more encouraging people out there. It would make the world a better place.

  • Reply
    Andi T.
    August 9, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    That lady is awesome! So glad she offered you encouragement instead of saying something completely harsh… Looks like God sent her your way at just the right time πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Ashley, I’ve got a two year old little girl, and I think she and baby W are on the same page. I feel like claiming this story because I think too often we as mommies feel more disapproving stares and don’t realize how many people really think we’re doing a good job! You’re a great mom!

  • Reply
    Shanna Watson
    August 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    WOW, how AWESOME is the “lady with the glasses”. If only the world had a few more of her πŸ™‚
    Have a great day & she’s right you are a WONDERFUL mom!! Any mother will tell ya, the meltdowns happen to us all.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    That is such a heart warming story. It’s nice to hear that there are nice people out there. I think your idea to say something nice to three people this week is a great one. BTW…you are a GREAT mother. I love reading your blog and adventures with Baby W. I also LOVE your new site. It is AWESOME. Great job!

  • Reply
    Amanda M.
    August 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    This was such a good reminder to make sure we are affirming others in this world and making them feel wonderful, too!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Wow! What a great story! My little girl is at the stage when she screams every time we buckle her into the cart or high chair at a store or restaurant. And I hate the looks I get when I walk through a store with her screaming and me telling her why she is buckled in (becuause if she isn’t buckled she stands up and will fall out). It would be nice if there were more people out there like the lady in the sun glasses! Your story made me cry!

    Your new site looks great!

    P.S… I just ordered a necklace from you yesterday and can not wait to get it! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Danielle Warren
    August 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Wow, go sunglasses lady!!! She obviously is mother & know actually what you are going through. When I am the mother of a two yr old, I’ll be able to read back on this post (& all of your other ones) & know that I am not alone! Thank you for shring!

  • Reply
    Ashley Meyer
    August 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    People can ALWAYS surprise you! not to mention he is ADORABLE!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story! I needed something uplifting after the difficult morning with my 7 year old daughter. Thanks for brightening my day and giving me a different perspective, which I really needed!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I think all us mommas have gone through something like this. Unfortunately, we don’t always get the nice stranger…. I usually end up in tears in my car… its a phase it will pass right???

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I feel like that’s my life everytime we’re out in public! What a sweet, sweet story, though! Made me cry a little!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Awesome story. What a kind lady to speak up like that! And for the record, she’s right. I used to avoid going out of the house like the plague (2 year old twin boys, thank you). But now they are 4 1/2 and outings are actually FUN! I took them shoe shopping for THREE HOURS the other day, a lunch stop included, and they were great – we had such a nice day. So hang in there, and just remember all those times baby W is actually a sweet little angel (because I’m sure there are plenty of those days, too)! Thanks for sharing this story – reminds me of how supportive we all need to be of each other. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Mandy G.
    August 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    That brought tears to my eyes! What a wonderful woman. It’s always nice to have someone (especially a complete stranger) validate the most important job you’ll ever have…especially when you might feel like you’re not doing the best job at that moment. Just from reading this blog I can tell you’re a great mother!

  • Reply
    Maria-Isabel @Agape Love Designs
    August 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I love this post. I have been there before and it means the world when some you tells you nice things when others are judging you. So I try to do the same for others too. I am glad that lady did that for you, because you ARE a wonderful momma!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Awww, you had an angel visit you:) Sometimes we need a reminder that we’re doing our best! Good job mama!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I love your stories. My daughter is the same age and sounds like they have similar meltdowns. I know the feeling. This time will pass and we will both look back and chuckle at these days. Love the new site!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    My 16 month old son likes to screech at a pitch so high that my eardrums feel like they are going to rupture. And it’s so lovely when he decides to do it while we’re on the subway. I’m not really used to getting dirty looks because just a few short months ago he was a precious little baby and people didn’t seem to mind as much when he started to cry. But now that he’s a toddler, a very loud toddler, I’ve gotten a few glares. I’m learning to smile at those people. Or bite my tongue. It’s hard!

  • Reply
    Brooke Anderson
    August 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    What I wonderful story. I’m sure you’re doing a great job at mothering. I don’t have kids yet, but I don’t let their naughty times in public areas bother me.

  • Reply
    Lindsey S
    August 9, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I totally feel your pain! I had to go to the DMV today (literally waited until my license was almost a week past expiration!) I just love the looks I get when I walk in with all 3 of my kiddos! Luckily I had my mom to help with my 2 yr old (he’s an energetic little man…him and baby W could cause some major trouble together!), and 6 yr old, that only left me with the 6mo old…but as soon as he made the smallest noise…all eyes were on me! Sorry people…I have kids…lots of them…and I need to drive them around (legally) If you don’t like it…look somewhere else, put your fingers in your ears, and sing really loudly!
    I still get super stressed when my kids flip out in public (expecially Jordan the 2yr old), but I’m trying to just roll with it, laugh it off, and force myself to realize that someday they wont want to hang out with mom at the DMV. Good luck with baby W…he sounds like a keeper! I love him, and his sweet mommy (in a not crazy way!) Take care and congrats on the new site!

  • Reply
    Amanda B.
    August 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    What a great story. I am a mom of 5 boys. Going out in public is a complete chore. I know people look at me like “Those all cant be hers.” The looks on peoples faces are priceless. When I tell them they are all mine.

  • Reply
    Megan @ Meg's Craft Creations
    August 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    You are a wonderful momma Ashley! I don’t have any kids yet but i’m sure they all have “those days.” I LOVE the new site!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Dearest Ashley! This post was awesome with a capital A! To say that I loved it would be an understatement! Perhaps sunglasses lady was an angel in disguise. I DO believe they are all around us! I wrote a similar post titled, Confession, where I confessed that my kids drive me nuts! Ha ha! I too had an angel help shift my perspective, but we were in the produce section at the grocery store! I’m reminded of the movie, “A League Of Their Own”…when Gina Davis’ character (girl can rock red lipstick) is going to quit the team because–as she says–it had just gotten too hard to play. To that, Tom Hank’s character responds, “But the hard is what makes it great.” LOVE THAT!! Motherhood is hard, the toughest gig on the planet, but the hard is what makes it great…because we learn and we grow and we improve through it all. The hardest things are the things worth doing, because those are the things that make us BETTER; those are the things that make us shine. Best wishes to you, my friend! (Raising a can of Diet Coke to you, while sporting my hip mustache necklace!!!!)

  • Reply
    Sarah E.
    August 9, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    More times than not, moms need to hear these things!

    There was one time this year that my daughter (3) decided she would start screeching and fake crying for no reason when we walked into the grocery store. I really didn’t have an option to leave because we NEEDED groceries, so I tried a couple different things to distract her or get her to stop. Nothing worked. So I just ignored it and shopped. We started in the produce section and had been about 3/4 the way through when a woman walked up and started talking to her. Asked her if she was helping Mommy shop for groceries and asked her about what she was wearing. She talked to her for maybe a minute and then told her to be a good helper and squeezed my shoulder and said “You’re doing a great job. Hang in there” and walked off. My daughter was good for the rest of the grocery shopping and I couldn’t have been more thankful.

    BTW. Love the new look πŸ™‚ It’s very crisp and organized!!

  • Reply
    Pati @ A Crafty Escape
    August 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Yay for a supportive woman! That would have made my day. It’s definitely better than the stares I sometimes get when I say no to my son in the middle of a costco aisle.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Oh, thats so encouraging!
    I hope that when I have those moments people think I’m a good mama… we all doubt it, I think, but I also think most of us are doing a better job than we think!

    P.S. I LOVE your new layout. Amazing!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    That is just plain awesome!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    That post seriously made me tear up. I think it’s really sweet that she came up to you and said something so kind. You ARE a great mom, Ashley! Keep up the good work πŸ™‚

    ps…your new layout is adorable! i saw it the other day but didn’t comment about it, but i LOVE it. its so you and so creative!

  • Reply
    Linda O.
    August 9, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    so i really never comment, but i know i should! this time i just could not help myself. yesterday i posted something very similar to this on my blog. isn’t it ironic. (sorry for the goofy song pull, but it was too easy :-)). please check it out if you would like. funny how even though no two momma’s are the same, we all still have so much in common.
    i love your blog and have been able to pull some great inspiration for my own from it. so thank you, thank you. congrats on your big move to word press. i am so excited to see where you go from here.
    oh and you are a great momma. don’t ever think different…

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Love this story and your new blog design!!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    It is always great to hear a positive word, and even more encouraging to give some kind words! I laughed at the last part, “thanks sunglasses lady!”

    πŸ™‚ You are doing great, and he is really cute! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I’m so glad you wrote about this! I used to compliment strangers, especially moms, often, but my husband gets embarrassed when I do it. I always said, everyone likes compliments who cares? But he thought I was creepy :-). I can’t wait to share this story with him!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    aw great ending πŸ™‚

    I was hoping to meet you at BlogHer, but looks like you were busy with a new blog design! Spotted your iconic stache necklace on someone also πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    This story made my day. I can’t wait for the blessing of a little guy like that who pushes you to your brink only to teach you great life lessons!

    And yes he is so adorable I dont know how you kept from putting him in a taco shell and eating him up too!

  • Reply
    Kelli Marshall
    August 9, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    i’m pretty sure a tear just came out reading that. I feel the same way as you.. my daughter can be a disaster to take out places and i get so flustered and feel like i’m the most horrible mom ever. Encouragement or a good word form onlookers is ALWAYS a help in changing my attitude and realizing, that this too shall pass and this stage doesn’t last forever…and even if i wanna pull my hair out, when i watch my little girl sleep at night, i can’t help but think of all the fun and joy and excitement she brings to my life and i wouldn’t change it for the world!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Ashley, you are such a FABULOUS writer, and I LOVE your new blog look. You really inspire me and make me believe that I, too, can become a well known blogger/writer.

    Anyway, I loved this post. It really touched me–especially now that I’m a new momma to my own little boy. I had quite the melt down today, and this really made me feel like I’m not alone. Want to know what happened to me? I was nursing Adam (and I wasn’t even dressed yet…just in the g’s) and then all the sudden I heard the door unlock and open. My heart started beating so fast as I envisioned intruders breaking into my house to kidnap my baby when I heard somebody call, “Maintenance!” Apparently, there was a typo on a maintenance call and so they came to my apartment by accident. It took me over an hour to turn my imagination off and stop crying. I just really thought somebody was breaking in. It was awful.

    There are some out there who may scoff at our little “melt downs,” but really I think that makes us good mothers. We obviously CARE enough to worry, you know? And to second what the lady in the sunglasses said, you ARE doing a great job.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Oh wow. Where is that sunglasses lady so I can give HER a hug?! It takes quite a person to not only sit back and watch that happen without judging, but for her to actually get up and follow you inside just to give you encouragement…I’m sitting here wondering if I would have even THOUGHT of doing that. But I will from now on. Totally going to give out compliments to frazzled mommies everywhere πŸ™‚
    As for the kids and eating out thing – ugh. We’ve all been there. We’ll probably all be there again. You will find some tricks for dealing with it and as he gets older those horrible experiences will be fewer and farther between. But I’ve come to the conclusion that being a mother is one great big exercise in being patient over and over and over again.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    what a beautiful story! told so well, too. that was such a nice thing for glasses lady to do…and what a difference it made in your day– even week! here’s to meeting angelic strangers!! thanks for such an uplifting post!


  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    it’s so true, sometimes you need a stranger to say something kind to you to make you feel happy! so many times i’ve had a bad day or have felt upset about something only to have a cashier say “your outfit is cute!” or “i love your necklace!”..totally changes my perspective, even if just for a second!

    and i just read a blog entry the other day about a blogger starting time outs with their little girl . I cant for the life of me think who it was but if I find it I will let you know!

  • Reply
    Jennie Larsen
    August 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm


    Great story. Glad you shared it and got that support you needed at a very frustrating time.

    I had a very similar experience recently… the thing that is different now with now baby # 4 … is that NOW when I feel the glares or stares I DON’T care. Its taken #3 and #4 to not care. I figure if they think they can do it better they can be my guest. Or I think if they have children or raised them themselves then they should have some sympathy.

    However, back to my similar experience it was Mother’s Day this year and my mom sis and I with partners (all the fam) were meeting at Golden Corral for lunch. I hate going anywhere with all four now even with my hubs extra set of eyes and hands. The new baby luckily slept the entire time. My 9 yr old and 5 yr old did real well too. My 2 yr old ANOTHER STORY… I kept feeling this stare on the side of my face and I would glance every so often and this old lady whom I thought was more then likely very wise and been there many years ago done the mothering thing like a pro.. and that she was surely disappointed in my ways. After many trips back to the buffet and back for 3 kids and many wiping the mouth and settle downs… The elderly woman stood up faced me and looked right at me saying “You have allot of patience and are doing a great job.” I was so relieved. It was the Cherry on top of my Mother’s Day. Hope you like my novel HA! winks-jen

  • Reply
    Shirley L
    August 9, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Well that is not all how I thought this was going to end, but really how awesome was that?! I have to say I am that type of person who likes to compliment and smile at strangers – just because. And now I have confirmation that I may have just made someone’s day at some point. I’ll keep spreading the love. So happy you shared this.

  • Reply
    Maureen Polderman
    August 9, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Ok, that made me cry! I feel like you could have inserted me and my little man into that story and had it be completely accurate. That’s why I love your blog Ashley! You are real and transparent…and so much like the rest of us out here! Thanks for sharing such an uplifting story today!

    P.S. LOVE the new look! I’m getting one too…

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Soooo… I may be overly emotional (because Im pregnant), but having a 2 1/2 year old and going through situations like this, Your story made me cry πŸ™‚ How sweet of that lady and how encouraging!
    Keep up the good work
    Heather Root

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    i love this post!! what a swet thing for her to do… and she is 100% right. you ARE a great momma.

    ps. love the new layout!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    i love doing things like this for people. its always nice to hear great things from people that wont sugar coat things. you are a fantastic momma and im glad she told you so!!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 12:15 am

    This is wonderful! It’s so true too πŸ™‚ I think you’re doing a great job! I’m glad the lady in the sunglasses spoke her words of truth to you!

  • Reply
    rachel foos
    August 10, 2011 at 12:26 am

    oh ashley, what a great story. You made me smile! Love you, and the new site is fabulous! LOVE IT!!! Love, Rachel

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I can totally relate to every part of this story because I had something similar happen to me a couple weeks ago, except I was in a store with all three of my kids, about ready to explode when a woman started clapping for me. I felt a little akward and strange but at the same time wanted to give her a huge hug. And she is very right, it’s only a stage that will pass. My youngest is now 3 1/2 but I’m about ready to have #4 and I’m already preparing myself for all those stages again!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 12:46 am

    I love this! And, I love that she said, “it is supposed to be hard,” because it IS HARD! I have 2 year old twin boys that sound like they have a lot of the same “energy” as Baby W and it makes for some very long and hard days. But, I loved hearing about this random stranger, who not only understood, but had the courage to let you know that she understood. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 12:56 am

    This story made tears come to my eyes. I know exactly how you were feeling and I have been feeling that way all day. Thanks so much I really needed this!!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Great post!
    This site looks fantastic!! My jaw dropped when I opened it! Love it!

  • Reply
    Abbey DeHart
    August 10, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Awesome story…my son does the same thing. He did it while trying to get ice cream the other day. I got home and I cried…literally I cried. I felt so defeated because I couldn’t calm him down in public and had to carry him out SCREAMING. I wish someone would have said something nice to me that day, it really helps. By the way, your new site is too freaking cute…much like you and your kiddo πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 1:13 am

    This post is JUST what I needed to hear. My lil Will is 20 months old and I have had melt downs this week galore…..It is nice to know I am not alone….Thank You for this Post!!! and You are a Fabulous Mama!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 1:17 am

    This is such a great story. Thanks for sharing! Most often, strangers are rude or give strange advice, so it’s nice to hear of a positive experience!
    Love the new site!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 1:18 am

    I love when people surprise you and say something completely unexpected. It is nice to knot that there are still people out there that are willing to lend a kind word.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 1:26 am

    So funny!! All of us Mommy’s need to be reassured sometimes! I am a first time mommy of an almost one year old and there are alot of days when I just know I am doing it all wrong.I think the best part is this is our kiddo’s first time at all of this stuff too!
    Love your blog!!!

  • Reply
    nicolette @ momnivore's dilemma
    August 10, 2011 at 1:49 am


    i for sure thought that this was going to be that-rude-lady-in-public story.

    but it wasn’t.

    pleasantly surprised…

    the 2s are rough. I find full bellies make eating-out more tolerable…

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Awesome story! Thanks for sharing Ashley! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 2:25 am

    I’ve had something similiar happen to me when I couldn’t get my son to sit in a cart at the store. I was wrestling with him and this nice lady came up to me and gave me words of encouragement. I will never forget her words, and that “all of us moms need to stick together”.
    When I needed it most someone came up to me and told me that it was ok, and I was doing great. I make it a point when I am out and see another mom “stuggling” with their toddler to try to help out and lift her up as someone did for me. I have four children so you can only imagine the glares I get at times, but I proudly walk by and know I do my best and that’s all that I can do.
    By the way, love your blog!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 2:46 am

    What a great thing to hear!!! That is too sweet of her. My daughter is in the temper tantrum stages too and sometimes it’s just ridiculously tough!

    I love your new design by the way!!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 2:52 am

    What a lovely story! I’m not the kind of person to talk to strangers, but I try to always smile at those mothers who seem to be having a “difficult” day.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 3:02 am

    I am an older mom of boys (16 & 19) and I remember these meltdowns so well. I often see moms out with their little ones having these types of challenges in the store etc. I always want to say, your doing great, keep strong. I mind my own business not sure how it would be taken, but maybe the next time I will speak up. It might just be the encouragement she needs. Oh, by the way enjoy every minute with W. it goes by in the wink of an eye.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 3:04 am

    Great story! I hate to say this – but I love to see other parents and how they deal with a breakdown. It makes me feel all warm inside knowing that I am not alone – I am not the only one with children that can act out in public. πŸ™‚
    I have two boys – 3 1/2 and 2. They oldest thinks he should be pushing the grocery cart and the youngest thinks he is too big to sit in the seat part of the cart. I dread the grocery store these days!!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 3:15 am

    I was inspired to write a blog after reading your lady with glasses entry. http://[email protected]

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    August 10, 2011 at 3:17 am

    1st of all, You ARE an amazing mother! Being a mom is HARD!!! And every mom knows it, that lady was AWESOME! We should all make more of an effort to tell other Mom’s they are doing a good job!

    2nd, LOVE LOVE LOVE the new look around here! LOVE

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Hi Ashley,
    I literally stumbled across your blog looking for advice on how to write a good mommy blog so here is where I say: I absolutely love your blog already!

    Thank you for sharing this post about your experience at the taco place as I was reading I kept thinking: ‘this sounds just like Sally and I,’ especially the part where you get impatient and self-conscious. Whenever my daughter throws a fit outside I tend to look around in shame convinced that people are judging us. I was pleasantly surprised by the lady’s remark and like you it provided me with some reassurance πŸ™‚


  • Reply
    Sarah @ Scissors and a Whisk
    August 10, 2011 at 3:25 am

    VERY inspirational!!!

    I should do the same. I’m going to try my best to do the same!
    I left a positive sticky note in the fitting room at Ross (inspiration from The Shine Project). Now you’re inspiring me even more. Sheesh! All this inspiration!

    I also love this new look!!! It’s adorable. And chic.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 3:27 am

    Wow, gotta love when you are so moved by someone’s kindness that you decide instantly to pay it forward! What a great story to share! And may I just say… your site is absolutely fantastic. I have been spending the last 20 minutes looking through all the fun new graphics, pages, new logo treatments, branding, everything! Fab! As always, I wish you much continued success!!! ~Bri~

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 3:45 am

    It took me awhile to find you again! Although this looks nice I like the old set up better. Love your Blog. why the change?

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 4:07 am

    I wish people would give us moms words of encouragement more often! Instead of just the stares and glares! I think I will use your post to encourage others! I know I could use some (like today at Hobby Lobby when my child was hugging my leg blowing snot all over my calf). I’ll start with you. YOU ARE A GOOD MOTHER! πŸ˜‰ BTW, I LOVE the new look! πŸ˜‰ AND, my bff LOVED her mustache necklace!
    Scissors & Spatulas

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 4:21 am

    happens to us all, wish everyone was as nice as the sunglasses lady

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Me&Mine
    August 10, 2011 at 4:28 am

    wow what a tender mercy kind of moment. that was SO sweet of that lady she probably had no idea the impact she had on your day too but I would have bawled if something like that happened to me. we had a similar experience out to dinner tonight. there quite possibly WAS foaming at the mouth. i will take this and also try to go out of my way to say nice things cause I could have used that tonight and every time we go out!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 4:32 am

    What a blessing this post was to me. I never comment on anything, I am the typical blog stalker, loving everything and commenting on nothing. I felt tears come to my eyes, and the lady with the glasses wasnt even talking to me. Thanks for being candid and sharing your struggles. Its easy to use a blog to appear perfect, but you are honest and make me feel as though I am not the only one going through terrible toddler struggles. Oh and btw, even though you are having a hard time going through it, you always seem to look great. Thanks for being a blessing to my day.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 5:31 am

    You know what? That happened to me twice today. TWICE. Two perfectly good strangers said the nicest things to me. And my eyes couldn’t help but well up with tears. It was what I needed. What I’ve been needing for a while. I should say nice things to strangers too. Because I just might make their day.

    And also, you are a wonderful mommy. It is so so so hard. Keep up the good work Ashley <3

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Wow! How great would this world be if everyone said something nice to 3 strangers? Count me in for 3 nice stranger comments!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 6:19 am

    That made me tear up a bit πŸ™‚ I am in the stage now where all my kids are older and I don’t have to worry about the little ones ruining meals for others. I am never annoyed with young moms dealing with feisty babies. I had 3 of them. I will make a much bigger effort to make positive comments to moms who are in this very situation. You inspired me πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

    This made me tear up a bit. What a lovely woman for giving you just what you needed. I try to compliment strangers as much as possible, normally on their clothes! haha.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    What an AWESOME story! Thanks for sharing. It is good to know that there are people out there that will give a mama the “props” she deserves. Restaurants are so tough with kids. I am from the U.S., but living in the Netherlands and here you will VERY rarely see kids in restaurants, so it helps limit the temptation we have to head out to one. Instead, we stick with Ikea and McDonalds. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Jenn Camling
    August 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Ashley, thank you for sharing this. Im sitting here and my eyes are tearing up, its things like this that make me believe there are still good people in the world. and I think Im going to do the same thing, tell three strangers something kind this week πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    What a lovely lady. I had an almost identical experience with my then-2 year old son at Disney World when he had a melt down on the safari (we were stopped for about an hour, in the heat, while an animal laid in our path). The nicest lady sitting in front of me offered my little guy goldfish and told me not to worry about what anyone else thought. That everyone who’s ever had kids has been there.

    I always try to send a few kind words to a a fatigued, troubled, harassed mother when I can. I know it helped ME tremendously!

    And, you ARE doing a great job – toddlers are TOUGH.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    You are doing a great job. I’m sure you don’t hear it enough, so I’m really glad this wonderful lady stopped and told you. πŸ™‚

    Love, Shellsea Blog

  • Reply
    Kristen Duke Photography
    August 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    WOW….so wonderful! I LOVE kind strangers!!! Agreed, we all should make nice conversation with strangers…tears welled in my eyes with this story, thank you for sharing;)

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I love when strangers take the time to offer kind words and compliments. It’s not done nearly enough. I would probably cry if someone came up to me and said that after the girls were having a meltdown. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Great post! I have a 2 yr. old boy and really needed to read this! He peed on the floor today and I stepped in it, been one of those days! I love your blog!!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    I teared up just reading this! I don’t know how many times I wish someone had said something like that to me, and now I’m going to try to do the same for another momma. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Lindsey Williams
    August 10, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Awww, I love this story AND I love your new blog layout!! I read often but rarely comment. sorry. I’m going to join you on your quest to be kind and uplifting to three stangers this week. Pay it forward πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Wow, that story actually made me cry! I read your blog all the time and, believe me, I feel your pain. I have a little boy who turned 3 this April and he is, let’s say ‘trying’ πŸ˜‰ Hard, hard work but so, so worth it. I also have an 8 month daughter and seriously? Absolute angel. No kidding. I know she’s 8 months & people keep telling me ‘just you wait til she gets older…’ (why do some people always feel the need to tell you a storm is coming when the sun is out?) but when my little boy was 8 months old I swore I was never having any more children. Nada. Uh uh. No more. Obviously, I relented, and now I have my beautiful little girl. But that mealtime you just talked about: my dinnertime, almost every night!!! Love reading the fantastic way you put your daily life into words :0 xoxoxox

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Also, on another little note, on the quest for kindness to strangers, I think you & your little family are beautiful πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    snif, snif…wow that brought a tear to my eye. very sweet story. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    kathy h
    August 10, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Awww..that made me cry! So often I’ve been in that situation and I’ve felt those dreaded stares, which I always assume are those judging me. We all do the best we can do. Loved this post!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Yay! I am so glad you were encouraged. It makes me so happy when other moms, especially those older than me encourage my heart and remind me that it is hard but to enjoy it as much as you can. And that I am doing a great job. Thank you sunglasses lady for encouraging Ashley! I loved this post!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    How encouraging is that! I wish I came across more people like that. I have 3yr old triplets, 2 girls 1 boy. And the back arching, leg spreading, screaming and sweaty forehead sound very familiar. I too am super hard on myself and think I should be able to handle them if God gave them to me. I’m not always good at accepting I do the best I can, and on some days it’s people like that that help us see the little glimmer of hope we need just to get to bed time.

    I have been stalking your site for quite some time and I love it! Thanks for putting yourself out there!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this story. I have a 2 1/2 year old son and understand completely how you feel. I LOVE reading your blog and love how open and honest you are about motherhood. After the da I had today this story was so encouraging:) Thank you!

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    Malory H
    August 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    That is just the sweetest and kindest thing I think someone can do…to not only compliment, but to encourage πŸ™‚ I’m not a mother, but this is something we all can do…should do πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

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    james @ a girl called james
    August 11, 2011 at 1:15 am

    this made me tear up. i know how hard it is. i have a two year old myself.

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    August 11, 2011 at 1:45 am

    It is so true isn’t it tough. We are sooo used to critism that we are shocked when we are complimented. It reminds me to be nice too. I will go out of my way to make 3 strangers happy this week also. We should all do it. Cheers to sunglasses lady from Chicago.

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    August 11, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Love stories like this! I had a similar experience today when I was in the post office and my little guy wouldn’t stop squirming while I was trying to address my package. A nice lady behind me offered to hold him, so I took her up on it. She was so sweet to him. It’s nice to encounter kind people.

    Also, my son makes that EXACT same face all the time!

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    August 11, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Thanks for using the time and effort to write something so interesting.

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    August 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Amazing story!
    It’s so easy to forget how much impact our words can have!

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    August 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    …. i don’t know that i’ve ever commented before (btw. i’m happy you switched to word press. i haven’t been able to read your blog for the past few months, mostly intermittenly b/c anytime you posted pictures, the words just plain disappeared.. )

    …. so many times you tell stories about baby w & i can totally relate. i hear the things you are saying & i can visualize myself back when my now 7 year old was that age. he never was much on tantrums, so much as just living LOUDLY & WILDLY. e v e r y m o m e n t. i wasn’t a stay at home mom, so i can’t relate on that level.. but i get it.

    …. i remember talking about my son with my sister in law, shortly after she & my brother started dating. i think he was about 4 at the time, and i’m pretty sure i was apologizing for some sort of behavior he had while we were together. she told me that my brother had talked about my son, and had described him as ‘willfull’. for some reason in my head, that translated into ‘difficult’… or pain in the butt. i never really had considered him anything other than a energetic child up to that point. never really questioned the situation. we didn’t have any other kids, and i was the only one of my friends with a child at the time, so i didn’t have anything to compare my situation to. knowing good & well still that no two kids are alike. i knew it was emotionally & physically tolling to try & keep up with him when we went out. still is. i remember thinking, wow, my brother thinks my kids a pain in the you know what. but he didn’t. he doesn’t.

    …. i also remember a few years ago, when he was 5 maybe… it was easter & after i specifically told him NOT to eat any candy before lunch, he did. he came in with the wrapper in his hand & confessed. i told him it was good that he was truthful, but because he disobeyed me, he wouldn’t get any candy after lunch. he launched into a fit. crying & throwing himself under the table. it just so happened there was a non-family guest at lunch that easter, which is not typical. she was an older lady. i was mortified at his show. i was firm with him & then i just let him act like a fool throwing himself all over the floor underneath the table. my mom was there, and she wanted to pick him up off the floor & calm him. i asked her to let him be and ignore the tantrum, not to add fuel to his fire because he was aiming for attention. when she couldn’t stand him crying she left the room & i was alone with the old woman, who i thought for sure was thinking something along the lines of, ‘your child is so awfully behaved, you obviously aren’t cut out to be a parent.’ to my surprise, once we were alone she said ‘it’s an incredibly difficult job to be a parent. it wears on you, for sure. they bend you until you think you will break, physically and emotionally. but i think you did the right thing. too many parents give into their kids these days, and look at how that turns out. you should be proud of yourself for standing your ground.’ i thanked her & as soon as i could manage without being impolite excused myself from the kitchen to wipe away the tears that i’d been holding back at the rims of my eyes.

    after a hellish first few months in kindergarden. hellish, what the heck is going on nightmare of a first semester in school.. and many many doctors appointments and a few psych appointments, my son was diagnosed with ADHD. i hated it. HATED it. i always thought that too many people were lazy & instead of punishing their child & being present in their lives, they just medicated them. and here i was, having the same label put on my kid that i looked down my nose at other parents for seeking out. we fought medication long & hard until it got to the point where there was NOTHING else save food & water we could have taken away from him to punish him. no other logic we could come up with to combat his behavior. the kicker? he wasn’t being BAD. he wouldn’t stay in his seat, he wouldn’t stop talking, he wouldn’t stay in line, he wouldn’t finish his work, even though it was apparently clearly obvious that he knew the material. no amount of ‘if you.. then we’ll’ worked on him. NOTHING. and he would cry. he would cry & say he hated himself. say he hated that he couldn’t listen. he didn’t want to go to school because he was always in trouble. he was becoming something he wasn’t. he was sad & he didn’t like himself. at 5 years old.

    so we started him on medicine, with the hopes that we could rebuild that self-confidence & help him get control over his impulsive nature. help him to see that there COULD be a diferent way. hoping with all hope that somewhere down the line he would grow up & have control over himself with maturity. because having someone with a Ph.D tell you if you don’t medicate him, he’ll self medicate with alcohol & drugs as a teenager is enough to get you to consent.

    1st grade it was like he was an entirely different kid. our kid. the kid that was silly and funny and energetic, but one who could reign it in when asked. he still has some impulse control issue, but we don’t expect him to be perfect, because neither are we. he’s also gifted. he’s SUPER intellegent, and all that bad behavior in kindergarden? it’s because he was so far beyond all the other kids he was bored. go figure!

    i started typing this, not entirely sure of where i was going with it.. just one of those things that comes out. here’s the thing. i have bad days. i have good days. i think about things people have said, bad & good. i want to cry & i want to tell them to mind their own stinking business. hearing you are doing the right thing is completely rewarding. giving a positive comment is sometimes even better. i’m having one of those i’m a horrible parent weeks…. but i guess what i want to say is.. you never know. you never know what someone else is thinking, you never know what your going to find out about your child that will bring everything into focus later on.

    so my pain in the butt kid ended up being a super smart curiously aware child who needs to be constantly challenged to keep him from driving me insane.

    keep your chin up.. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 12, 2011 at 4:36 am

    this is an awesome post! my kiddo is just like that and nearly impossible to take into a restaurant or store…or public for that matter! haha love the lady in the glasses…what a great thing for her to say to lift your spirits!

  • Reply
    Linda O'Neil
    August 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Lovely Story <3

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    August 12, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Thank thank thank you for sharing this! It’s so important for all those mommies (including myself) to see other mom’s struggles – and victories! And how wonderful to have such a positive encounter with a stranger. After following your blog, I have no doubt you are a wonderful mommy πŸ™‚ I’m happy to see other people see that in you too!

  • Reply
    August 13, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Is he 2?

    That is a great story. I think that was wonderful of the lady to tell you that.

    I’ve kept my grand a lot. I remember every bit of that. Twice she cried and carried on so badly in a bookstore about not wanting to leave. So the next time I told her, this is is, your last chance in here. You can go in here, pick out a book and play for x minutes. When it is time to go you will leave without me carrying you out. And guess what she did it. Oh, happy day. you just have to keep trying to teach them how you want them to act.

    And my grand is 9 now, loves the bookstore and books and is on her 5th Harry Potter book:)

    This will pass. I too, think you are doing a wonderful job with an adorable little guy.

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    August 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Talk about “pay it forward,” that woman was awesome! She probably didn’t realize what an amazing impact she was having. What a beautiful example of how women can build each other up. Thanks for sharing.

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    August 13, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    this made me cry. no one has ever told me out of the blue im a good mom. i feel like i fail at it every single day. its nice to have some encouragement.

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    mama marchand
    August 14, 2011 at 1:57 am

    This post left me with tears streaming down my face. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in this same exact position with my daughter … feeling so frustrated that I can’t enjoy a simple meal out. It would be lovely to hear those words from a stranger! πŸ™‚ You were certainly blessed that day.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    What a wonderful story to share. Your words ring true, “one never knows what kind words can do to someone’s day.” Something worth thinking about!

    Congratulations on the newly designed site. Looks fabulous!

    Have a great day, wonderful mom! Wink. πŸ™‚


  • Reply
    August 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    More people needs to be like her

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    August 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    There needs to be more people like that! I can definitly relate to your story but my child acts like that 2 million times a day,and it’s so hard. thanks agin for sharing that there are still some civil people in the world.

  • Reply
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    August 15, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Wow, that is incredible! You are so right we should all say positive things to strangers but especially the Mom who at that moment feels like such a failure. I can say that because I have totally been there and I wish at least ONE of the people staring could have said something nice like that. However I have to ask, are you sure you didn’t hallucinate her? Seems too good to be true:)

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    August 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I actually started to tear up when I read this. Thank you for posting. It’s nice to know that people don’t always see us parents as bad parents when we have a fussing child on our hands.

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    Aprill Lytton
    August 18, 2011 at 6:53 am

    This made me cry. So sweet of that woman to speak up. You are a good mommy. I have been reading your blog for a few months and I can see you are such a good person in all you do:) It made me think the same thing: I need to speak up more often even to strangers. The truth needs to make people feel good more often:)

  • Reply
    August 20, 2011 at 12:12 am

    I just saw this post and I have to say it made me tear up (and I am no crier!). Being a mom of an almost toddler I know exactly how it feels to be in this situation…but how wonderful to have someone recognize that you are a great mom! I think it is so hard for us to actually believe it most days when we are up to our elbows in dirt, diapers, runny noses, etc. I don’t know you, but I can bet you are a terrific momma! Keep doing what you are doing πŸ™‚ Thanks for this encouraging post!

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    August 24, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I seriously think that sometimes, God sends us mommies angels in disguise to lift us up at the very exact moment we need it! I wrote about almost the exact same experience when I went to lunch with my little one before his sister came along –

    Seriously, these people are amazing!

  • Reply
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    September 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    That was a great story thanks for sharing my eyes even got all teary!

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    November 4, 2011 at 4:04 am

    What an awesome story!!! I had a similar experience with a sweet stranger when I was waitressing. I saw a lady in the bathroom after a super rude table had made me cry about a meal that was made wrong by the kitchen. She told me I was doing great…not to stress about mean people…etc. Towards the end of the mean table’s meal the lady that was paying their bill (which was on the house due to the mistake) stood up…got in my face and proceeded to yell at me some more. All of a sudden…out of nowhere this guy grabs my hand…gets in between psycho lady and me and says, Don’t listen to this woman…you are doing a great job and you should be proud of yourself!! I was stunned! The guy walked off like nothing happened and I opened up my hand to find that he had handed me a 100 dollar bill! (It was the lady from the bathroom’s husband!) There are AMAZING people out there all over the place! Its such a blessing to have strangers cheer us up when they can see that we’re struggling!! So glad she made your day. You ARE a fabulous Mother!!!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Dear Ashley,

    I never posted something on a blog, but I’ve been following your blog for a while now. You inspired me to start my own blog, just a couple of days ago. But that’s not the reason I wanted to leave a comment. A couple of weeks ago I was having diner with my Love. When we entered the restaurant there was a family with two little kids. All the while we where eating, over two hours, these kids where just playing at the table and of course they walked around. How could you expect two kids ( about 5 years old) to sit still for more than 5 minutes. I told my Love about your post. When I saw the mom go to the bathroom, I followed her and waited until she and the little one came out. I told her that I was amazed at how sweet these kids played. She smilled and thanked me. Hope I made someone feel the way you felt.

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    August 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Wow…what an awesome story! So glad that lady said something to you. Often it’s all perspective and I’m sure Lil W felt the shift too!

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    August 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Love this story. It literally made me tear up at my desk while at work with no Kleenex to be found…lol. My daughter is three and a half and if going through a defiant, lash out at mommy stage. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that we are doing a good job. Thanks for sharing.

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    amy @amy+mayd
    June 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Okay now that I am in tears, thank you for writing this. It is just what I needed. I am now 38 weeks pregnant with number two and yesterday was a hard one. My daughter is very similar to lil W and is super energetic, opinionated and stubborn, which I love but sometimes its a little trying. Nice to know I am not alone. I try so hard and sometimes I feel like i suck at this whole mom thing. But reading your stories makes me realize that it is all just part of the lovely wonderful job of being a mother. xo

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    March 6, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    ohhh I have tears in my eyes now! What a kind thing for her to do… I love the inspiration in knowing how her words made such a difference. It’s time for me to step out of my comfort zone and do that for someone. We’ve all had those days and we need to keep encouraging each other instead of judging! Love this story!

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