Taking toddlers out in public is a minefield. Will they have a melt-down? Will they lick the traffic lights? Will they try and chase pigeons?
In this case, Ashley's toddler is guaranteed to take off his shoes and socks. Regular enough toddler behaviour that she's sick of being shamed for.
Posting on her blog, Puzzle of Five, she calls out people who judge her parenting skills on the presence of socks- or lack thereof.
"You know that mom you’re judging because her kid has no shoes or socks on at the store?" she begins. "Yeah, that’s me."
Shes's here to call out people who judge her, because they don't always get it right.
"Listen, I know you are super concerned about my child.. I mean someone has to, right? But I got it covered.
"I see you pulling out that hard judgement card, but I’m going to need you to go ahead and stick that back into your pocket. Actually, just rip it up and throw it in the trash because you shouldn’t have it anyway."
She knows her child doesn't have any socks on, she doesn't need a stranger to tell her.
"I’m aware his feet are bare. I’m aware it might be a little chilly out (or maybe it’s warm, I still get the same looks) I’m fully aware his poor little toes may of gotten a tad bit chilly on the walk from the car to the store. How. Dare. I."
But how would you like to constantly lose a fight to a two-year-old?
"Here’s the thing.. in the midst of your judgement on my parenting I’ve become extremely tired of picking up his socks from the floor. I’ve become extremely tired of realising a shoe is missing and retracing my steps through [the supermarket] to find it.
"I’ve become extremely tired of grabbing something off a shelf and having a shoe fly right by my face. I use to try to make him be fully dressed head to toe while we made our trips to the store, and chances are his socks are tucked safely in my diaper bag because I tried to put them on and he took them right back off. But my patience is low with silly things so I probably already gave up.
"He hates things touching his feet, but do we blame him? Socks and shoes are just little sweaty feet prisons, screw them. And I’m in no position to pick this small battle with a 2 year old."
At the end of the day, she;s his mother, and she's got it under control.
"So I thank you, I thank you so much for your concern, but I got it. His feet are bare, but he is fine. He’s happy and I have some of my sanity in tact. So excuse me while I go grab the laundry soap I came here for and 738291 other things I don’t need."
Preach it mamma! Every mum has her own way of parenting, so as long as the kid is happy and healthy everything else seems silly right?