Why I’ll Never Tell You How to Parent

Over the weekend, on Facebook and a few blogs, I “overheard”some heated exchanges over a sign on a tupperware box.  Of course, I’ll admit that I get myself lost in reading the drama late at night sometimes…..it’s like a train wreck you can’t turn away from.  The original photo has now disappeared from Pinterest and blogs….I’m not sure why…..maybe because someone was tired of being attacked? I don’t blame them. I felt bad for them. Here they thought they had a great idea and then all the attacks and rebuttals started……over……a tupperware box. I can’t even find the original source now:

Toy Ransom Box via lilblueboo.com

My first reaction was: who cares.

My second reaction was: if you don’t like the idea of a tupperware box holding your kid’s toys for ransom….then don’t make one.

My third reaction was: wow, you have to have a thick skin to put yourself out there on the Internet.

Of course I didn’t write any of these comments because you can’t suck me in to the bottomless pit of mommy wars……

Nothing makes me run faster in the opposite direction than:

Women judging other women.
Women who complain about other women.
People who complain in general.
Parents nitpicking and judging perfectly good parents.
Parents nitpicking and judging perfectly good teachers.
Parents who constantly brag about how smart and gifted their kid is. Leave it to the grandparents.
People who “one-up” about anything and everything.

Why? It takes too much energy……I can sum this up in one graph:


BFF Probability via lilblueboo.com

Wait, am I judging people that judge other people? I can’t tell.


Maybe this will make someone feel better about themselves today……here’s where I fall on the parenting spectrum:

:: I spank. Mr. LBB doesn’t. Boo laughs at my spanking. It’s obviously not effective. I still do it. My parents spanked me. I turned out okay.

:: Mr. LBB believes in one scary, booming reprimand. It scares the bejeezus out of Boo….and me…but it’s effective. And he only has to warn that he’ll do it.

:: I think organic food is awesome…..and I think McDonald’s and Chic-Fil-A only enhance it’s effectiveness. Organic food seems really overpriced.

:: Mr. LBB and I don’t curse or swear around our child. Ever. But she watches R-rated movies. And sometimes we curse behind her back.

:: I am obsessed with safety. The first thing I bought for our new house was a pool safety fence. I’ll judge here: Pool fences will never be overpriced.

:: Boo always rides in a child seat….except for the times I’ve forgotten it. Mr. LBB has never forgotten the child seat. He’s obsessed with safety too.

:: Boo has a strict bedtime…..somewhere between 7 and 11.

:: Oh and you might remember that I didn’t breastfeed. Bring it.

:: Sometimes I take Boo to church just so she’s entertained for an hour and a half.

:: I’m kind of a germ-a-phobe. If you have a messy, germy house I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you…..but I might make up 101 excuses why I can’t come over to your house for a playdate.

:: I let Boo eat stuff she drops on the floor. I don’t let her ride the germy 50 cent rides at the mall.

:: If I ever witness Boo being mean or bullying another child she’ll have all privileges revoked. I won’t tolerate it.

:: I’ll admit I’ve encouraged Boo to shove another kid back to defend herself.

:: I don’t want my kid to be the smartest kid in the class. Ever. It seems like too much pressure.

:: I’d totally use a tupperware with a sign on it to get my kid to pick up her stuff.

:: I turn into an insane lunatic over whining.

I’m a walking contradiction.  And I am an imperfect parent.


I have two sister-in-laws that live in southern California….so we spend a lot of time together. And all three of us couldn’t have more different parenting styles.

First, there’s Jenn. (You know, the one whose house I can’t find.) Jenn’s parenting style is like a perfect little cupcake.  Her kids take a nap at the same time every day and go to bed on a strict schedule. They are always dressed and coordinated with bows in their hair. Her house is perfectly organized and there is a place for everything.

Then there’s Carolyn. She flies by the seat of her pants. She doesn’t care about having everything in it’s place. She has three kids under the age of 5 and sometimes when they leave, you feel like tornado just came through.

I think I fall right in the middle of the two.


Parenting Styles via lilblueboo.com

Both are amazing mothers I look up to….but in their own unique way.  And we all respect the others’ parenting style.  And sometimes……I wish I had a better schedule like Jenn and that I could be more laid back about things like Carolyn.

And just because I do something now doesn’t mean it’s not subject to change. I’m always open to becoming a better parent.  When 40 people emailed me about the dangers of BPA……guess what I did? I threw out Boo’s old bottles and bought new BPA-free ones. Actually, that’s a lie. I gave the old bottles away to Goodwill. And I’m a horrible person for it. I wrestled for days over what to do: Do I send the old bottles to the landfill and let BPA leak into the groundwater…..or do I send them to Goodwill so someone can feed their baby BPA?  Decisions exhaust me and I gave them to Goodwill and left it up to them to make the decision.

I’m sure a lot of you don’t agree with some of my parenting choices and I’m sure I don’t agree with some of yours.  My feeling is…..if someone has an issue with the way you parent or I parent….it’s their issue.  And guess what….sometimes I feel guilty for some of the choices I make when I’m parenting. And that’s my issue.  I don’t need anyone else’s help in feeling guilty over it.


Anyways, the whole tupperware box thing really got to me this weekend. It just seemed like such a super lame controversy. Yes. Super. Lame. Now I’m judging the controversy.

And something you’ll never find here….me telling anyone how to parent.  I might tell you over and over how I parent…or I might encourage you to be a little bit nicer to other parents….and I might, just might tell you how lame your choice was to bash a parent over a tupperware box…..but I should make sure to include my disclosure statement:

Disclosure Statement (that I just made up): I don’t have all the answers. I just do what works for me and my kiddo. As long as she’s loved, fed, and clothed…..I think I’m doing okay.


Update: To my friends that are now emailing and asking if the reason I never scheduled a playdate was because your house wasn’t clean…..it wasn’t you….it was me. I have commitment issues with playdates. To the lady at the vet that wanted to schedule a playdate with your dog and Diesel….sorry, that was because of you. I don’t do doggie playdates.



  1. Jenny says

    Totally agree! No one is perfect – we’re just doing the best we can and what’s best for our family!

  2. says

    I couldn’t agree more. If someone were judging my parenting based on today they would be appalled! I have majorly failed in the parenting department today and I will pay for it tonight as I fall asleep with guilt and regret. No need for anyone else to make me feel bad about it! As long as my kids are fed (fruit snacks count) and dressed (underwear optional) I pat myself on the back! And for the record I am making one of those tupperware boxes!

  3. Jen Petersen says

    Now I saw the picture of the Tupperware bin and thought “what a good idea” but I know I’d never follow through with following through to make sure a chore gone done so the kid could get their toy back!! I can’t believe there was controversy over this!!

  4. Annie Wetherbee says

    The whole thing is unbelievable! I personally liked the idea of the bucket…but if you don’t like it…….duh, don’t use it.
    I appreciate your kindness and honesty!

    • michelle says

      I agree!! I thought it was a GREAT idea. I for one am SICK and TIRED of telling my children to pick it up (usually the same item). I feel like if I purchased and want to hold it for “random” well that’s what I can do. I might even say to my child; if you choose not to do ur extra chore, maybe another little person would respect the item more.

    • Kate says

      Very, very good quote on a great article. Not sure I’ve ever commented (except maybe to try and win something??) on LBB, but Iove you, love your posts, love the energy you bring to my life, including this post!!

  5. Nicole says

    And this is why I love you and your blog!!! You tell it like it is and don’t judge. This is by far one of my favorite posts:) Thank you!!

  6. Heather H says

    It sounds to me like you’re doing a good job. My parents spanked me as a child as well. They used a wooden paddle that my dad made. I have no resentment or issues with them for that whatsoever. There are other things we didn’t agree on that caused issues but not being spanked as a punishment when I darn well deserved it. hehe I can’t understand why anyone would have such a problem with the way someone else parents. Crazy.

  7. says

    All I have to say is AMEN. You are exactly right. I am the same way…you parent your way, I parent my way. And darnit, unless you are harming your child (like serious harm, not a spanking)…do as you please. Who am I to judge? Oh, I am totally going to use the tupperware thing in the next year!

  8. says

    I agree with you. If some one is always complaint and gossiping about other people I want no part of it or them. I think the tupperware box is cool and would use it too. My mom took all of our stuff we left laying around and put them in a big trash bag and stuffed it in a closet. We found it years later when we moved and I never missed it and it didn’t hurt me in any way. I didn’t breast feed either. I’m so sick of these parents that criticize every one else, who says their way it better. Perhaps they should be more concerned about what they do and less concerned about what others are doing that they don’t like.

  9. Khris E. says

    Bring it! LMAO!

    My dh and I have been married almost 20 yrs, and the one major argument/ongoing disagreement we have ever had? Spanking. I’m against it. We were both spanked as kids btw.

    What I’ve learned after all these years? It all balances out. No parent parents perfectly. You do your best and hope for the best.

    FWIW – if I had a backyard pool and small children I would have a double fence around it. 😉

  10. says

    I’m going to step out on a limb here… personally, I like the tupperware idea. I think that It helps to teach responsibility, how to pick up after ones self Oh and that in life there are consequences. I saw it pinned on Pinterest and thought it was a great idea. I’m with you Ashley… everyone has a different parenting style, beliefs and etc… it’s what makes the world go round. Mom’s should come together and support one another instead turning into adult “Mean girls.” :(

  11. Jennifer says

    Lovely post. Everyone needs to stop judging and realize most mom’s are doing the best job they can and in the end loving your children is the most important!

  12. susan says

    I thought it was an awesome idea that I’m going to implement. Lots of my friends thought it was a funny post on FB. It’s a pretty simple tool to teach kids responsibility. If they don’t follow the rules and pick up after themselves then there are consequences. Pretty simple and I bet it works pretty good!

  13. Veraleigh says

    I totally did this when my kids were younger. Once it was in place, I NEVER had to remind them to pick up their toys or personal belongs. It was sweet to hear them remind one another to pick their stuff up ‘before Mama gets it’! I love your blog too!

  14. iza says

    i totally agree.. most parents are doing their best to raise their kids.. there is no reason to judge them for the differences in their parenting style.. i feel like the only people who do that only do so to make themselves feel better.. they were probably bullies as kids and that’s their way of carrying it into adulthood.. i found myself feeling superior to parents before i actually experienced certain situations and have gotten bitten in my pious behind for it in the form of my child acting out and my “superior” plan to correct it failed miserably.. everyone does things differently because we are all different, same with kids.. and i see things the way you do, if the kid is fed, happy and clothed then why bother with nitpicking?

  15. Chandra says

    I’m must fall into the horrible parent category as I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was a stellar idea! I’m tired of stepping on all those damned Lego pieces on the floor around the house!

  16. Rachel says

    I thought the tupperware idea was GREAT!! Wish I had found that pin or idea sooner :) Although as of right now my daughter only has two toy bins seeing as her bad behavior got the rest taken away from her. My daughter knows having toys is not a necessity and that if she misbehaves they get taken away and then she has to earn them back. Most of the time though she doesn’t care LOL she just finds other ways to entertain herself which allows her to be creative! ! ! So it’s a work in progress right now to find out what will work for my 4 year old. But when I do find out I guess I may not want to say anything as people might be rude if they do not agree….hehehe

  17. says

    Well said! And now I am kind of curious to read the heated discussion about the Tupperware box….I literally can’t think of ANY reason there should be anything wrong with it????

    • Kimberly F says

      Me too, I can’t for the life of me think what serious objections there could be.

    • says

      Most of the comments were that it was teaching that chores are punishment. And that it was “theft” or teaching that theft is okay. But all of Boo’s things are technically MY things…except for maybe a few of her drawings…since I bought them.

      • says

        Theft????? Thats completely absurd! haha………
        At least they get a chance to earn their toys back. Our mom would have just thrown them away! haha. There is a great article out (i’ll have to find it) about how this world is in for a real shocker with the new generation that is being raised….they called it the “Entitlement Era.” This generation of kids are growing up with the sense that they are entitled to everything….what happened to good honest hard work? Dad used to have to deliver news papers on his bike every single morning at 5am before school, and caddied at the golf course on the weekends. My boss used to bag groceries in high school. I think kids can do a few measly chores to get some of their toys back!!!! Shoot 😉

        • Tleshia Farrar says

          We don’t call the things Lilly Kate is responsible for doing around the house “chores” they are called “Her family contributions” . Things like helping unload the dishwasher, and such as that…..We discussed how it takes everyone helping out around the house to help things running smoothly and gives us extra “fun time” as a family. If I was going to do this box (read my comment above, I already do something similar without the box) I would label it “chores” and have it be things that are “extras” that don’t get done very often around our house. That way you don’t have any confusion about helping out around the house being a punishment.
          Oh and I agree, the theft things is CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!! Since we by all the stuff it is not stealing. That is just crazy, not that I’m judging or anything, he he he. When I was in the classroom, I saw some stupid parenting stuff…….and everyone always said I would change my mind when I had children, well guess what I have a 6 year old now and I still think it is CRAZY to say that it is my fault that your 3rd grader did not turn in his homework, because I FORGOT TO REMIND HIM……….like I said CRAZY!!!!!

      • says

        Good gravy, people really over think stuff sometimes, don’t they? Seems like prep for real life to me. So when you’re a kid, if you leave your matchbox car on the living room floor for two days, mom puts it in the bin. If you want it back, you have to pay a fine of sorts for it’s return. Let’s see, as an adult, if I leave my car on the street in a no parking zone the city will tow it away. If I want it back, I have to pay a fine to get it. The city isn’t “stealing” my car nor would anyone try to say that they did. I think Tupperware lady is on to something.

      • Amy Mac says

        Oh my word. I could leave it at that, since we’re on the same page and any further statement on my part will only be preaching to the choir. But while I’m up here on my soapbox, I may as well preach! First, I saw this on Pinterest a while back. LOVED IT! WISHED I’D THOUGHT OF IT FIRST! This is the brainchild of a clever mom who, like the rest of us, is reminded daily that she is “the picker upper of the toys.” (Other titles I give myself daily: The holder of things. The fetcher of water. The bath giver. The one who can find anything. yada yada…) I can calmly ask my girls to pick up after themselves. I can help them. I can offer them money. I can scream and pull my hair out. But tupperware mom is teaching her kids that they had the option to pick their stuff up, and now there are consequences. It’s a brilliant principle!! Good grief, when did we get so flippin’ scared to teach our children about consequences? This isn’t thievery, quite the contrary. This is a mild punishment, a slap on the wrists, and it’s showing a kid that they need to be responsible for themselves and their belongings. I’d love to read some of the negative posts, because I have rebuttals all lined up. But then again, I’m a middle child and love a good debate. Clearly my parents did a terrible job raising me 😉

      • Natosha Zachary says

        oh my gosh, when my son tells me “mine, mine, mine”, I tell him, “no, everything in this house is mine because I am the one who worked for the money to buy them.” I, like you, am a real, flawed person and I try my best to do what is right for my son, but I know I make mistakes. And, it’s good to be reminded that there are other imperfect people out there. Thanks!

  18. says

    Excellent post. I think I’m somewhere in the middle too. But I describe it as somewhere in the middle of the Pacific NW’s attachment parenting (where I live now) and the Midwest disciplinarian parenting (where I grew up). And yes, I realize that there are all sorts of parents in both regions, but I seem to run into more of one in one area and the other in the other area. I probably fail on both counts all the way around due to my inconsistent nature. Mostly, I find myself just getting through each day one at a time. There are a few biggies that I respond to fairly consistently (no hitting or biting, no name calling, no running out into the street) and then there is everything else. The everything else pile as you can tell is rather large.

  19. Eryn Marie says

    I just think its adorable that you apparently call everything plastic Tupperware. :)

    And no AshleyFanClub waiting in the wings, that’s not snark. I legitimately think it’s adorable.

  20. Sica says

    I agree completely. And honestly? My daughter [3 years old] knows that if she doesn’t pick up her toys, I confiscate them, put them in my room & the next day she has to clean up her toys [preferably without being told] & she gets them back [or a select amount back]. I’ve only had to do it once and threaten to do it occasionally, and it works. She cleans up her things after I ask her once., in general. If someone wants to use a box & add chores, it’s the same concept just more elaborate [and my 3 y/o isn’t exactly going to do the dishes. Lol.]
    I’m not perfect, I’ve made mistakes, I do things that they say I should never do. I don’t do things they say I should do. And sometimes, I do things I’m suppose to and don’t do thing I’m not suppose to.. But I love my daughter with every ounce of my being, I’m learning & trying to best I can to raise her right and have her grow up to be a strong woman. And, above all, I know that I’m the best person for my daughter. I know her – I know what works and what doesn’t work.

  21. Beverly says

    I remember seeing that box on Pinterest and feeling, like, RIGHT ON (I’m an older mom and that’s what we said back in the 60’s or so). When growing up we learned that if it got left out and not put in your room then it just disappeared. Of course it was always tossed in a bin in the basement :) I helped my children (currently 22 and 27) as kiddos with what they seemed to struggle with the most – one just got lost in books or the shower and also had some outrageous clothing combinations :) – so for her we learned all about the timer and even as a professional she might take the time in her bathroom – haha -and we also had drawers that we selected together for school and those that were left over for play, etc. Well, the youngest is the exact opposite and I’m still trying to figure her out….thanks for giving me the avenue to plunge into nostalgia!

  22. Shannon says

    Well, I personally had posted/shared that tote on my own personal page… I think it’s a great idea, and hell… If it teaches my kids to pick up after themselves instead of me hounding them to do it…. I’ll give it a try. As far as people nitpicking over other peoples patenting abilities… Whatever, no one parent is “perfect”, I am sure everyone of us has made a mistake somewhere along the line, I know I have on more than one occasion. My kids like Boo have a bedtime somewhere between 9 and 11 pm… School year it’s 9 period… I too will give my kid a good swat to the rear if needed, it didn’t harm me, and I’m fairly certain I turned out fine. I could go on for hours… But I won’t. Good writing as always…

  23. says

    I saw this awhile ago and thought it was a fantastic idea. Loved it. I don’t actually see what anyone could find wrong with it…

    and isn’t there something written somewhere about thou shalt not judge… 😉

  24. Diana says

    Yes…. Just love our kids. I love that they can all be raised differently cause we are all different. The same solution doesn’t work for everyone. If it did, we wouldn’t have 64 crayon colors or PCs and Macs… I grew up with a box like that but without the nice sign. And I fall in the same parenting style of right in the middle. And I have a happy toddler Keep up the good work :)

  25. says

    i love this post, i hate how women are so critical and mean to other women and other mothers…with that being said…i DID just post THIS AM…i am judging people at my church…NOW..my judgment is due to the disrespect that i believe the children are showing in God’s house BUT your post is a wonderful reminder that we should all just try to support each other. “can’t we all just get along”

  26. Jody says

    We taught our kids about the “Gunny Bag” in Joyschool and there is even a song that goes along with it that was part of the PAID for curriculum…

    • Dawn says

      I’m seriously going to make my kids a Gunny Bag. There’s a youtube video of it (several, actually). It’s pretty funny…and very effective!!

  27. jessica says

    perfectly said. There are just as many parenting styles as there are people.

  28. says

    I’m a grandparent now but I wish I’d had the tupperware idea when my kids were small. I think it’s a grand idea and teaches responsibililty and that there are consequences.

    There are no “perfect” parents and everyone’s doing the best they know how. Well, except for the nut cases that shouldn’t have children or pets due to violence. :/


  29. Joy T. says

    So glad I didn’t see the controversal bucket chatter… nothing more annoying than women tearing each other up… what the heck happened to love and support and community these days? So glad you provide a bright light on the web for those of us who just genuinely love being crafty and a good chuckle from time to time. Love you Ashley! Keep it up! And for the record… I have threatened my kids with giving thier toys to goodwill MANY times to get them to cleanup… I think the bucket sounds great if I could assure that the toys didn’t magically disappear from it… HARD to track 3 young kids when I’m working on no sleep and little food most days 😛

  30. Ali says

    Minus the extreme creativity you have (I have more of a form of “copy-ism”) and the fact that I struggled and struggled but did breastfeed, and the fact that you are a skinny mini and I am….not (especially not at almost 8 months pregnant)….I think we are twins!!! So so so with you on the safety stuff especially! And the floor…yep, drop it at my house ok, drop it at BoJangles…NO.
    I’m pretty sure I “pinned” the box and thought it was a great idea. You know…one of those ideas that I imagine all the “together” Moms are doing everyday, but I will forget that I pinned and find again when my Boy Boo turns 18 or 30. Keep on keeping on good Momma!

  31. Lilian Oliver says

    Thank you. I too sat up reading all the comments when this pic was posted and then I went on to read some others on the page and even though the page was to promote ‘positive parenting’, 80% of the comments were negative. I have been to a positive parenting class and I took some advice on board and let some fall on deaf ears. My twins seemed to be perfect angels compared to some of the parenting stories coming out of the class but I was not there to gloat, judge or belittle. I was there to take out information that may work and make our lives, and our children’s lives more structured, easy and above all, happy. But who is to say the kids would not be happy if you gave them discipline? Discipline is not Punishment. Teach your child not to bully others, but do not punish them when they are defending themselves. I love this post. You are a good parent to your children. xx

  32. says

    Oh my gosh! I was so surprised when I got my e-mail feed and clicked on your post and saw this photo!
    I found this same cute idea and “pinned” it on Pinterest and shared it on my FB page!
    I hope I didn’t help to contribute to the awful controversy!
    I had no idea that this thing had a blow-up on the internet and I’m bummed if it got removed, because I think it’s a great idea!
    I am a Grandma now, but when I was young and raising my kids (as a single Momma no less…) I just WISH I could of had the presence of mind to think of ideas like this.
    I was always SO stressed out and screaming like a “wild banshee” (sp?) half the time in order to get my kiddos to do ANYTHING I asked, so something like this might have helped our household! LOL!
    I love your posts so much…look forward to them everyday!
    I think you are an awesome Mom…(not that my or any one else’s opinion should matter)! Just my 2 cents! :)

  33. heather says

    I saw the tupperware box as well and thought it was a GRAND idea!!! I wish I knew who the original source was and I would send them an encouraging email telling them how great of an idea it is. If it works for their family, so be it! Good grief people… no one is perfect and nobody is the perfect parent. It’s a tupperware box used to teach their kids responsibility. It would be different if the post was about tying your kids up inside the tupperware and duct taping them in. Now that is the type of post that deserves some ridicule.

  34. Nicole says

    Always inspired by your words. I missed the whole tupperware box controversy, but just thought, I NEED to take a screenshot of this for when I have kids so I can remember it!

    THEN I thought, I could use this RIGHT NOW, I’ll just replace “mom” with “your honey” and instead of chores, it can be items on my ‘honey-do” list. Because, to be completely honest, my husband could use this as much as any kid.

    PS: His mother agrees and is constantly apologizing to me. lol

  35. maile says

    Amen! Moms should support each other and if you dont you aint no friend of mine. Stop judging and start raising your own kids. You are awesome and could totally be friends.

  36. says

    My mom skipped the Tupperware and threw stuff in the trash – so winning something back sounds cool to me. In fact, this bin seems pretty great compared to real life. I wish that I could just pull a chore and get take-backsies for some of the really crappy things I’ve done. 😀

  37. Lisa says

    Not sure WHAT the controversy was but when mine was small (but big enough to know better) if I had to pick it up, she didn’t get it back until I felt she deserved it. She would have LOVED the chance to “buy it back” with a chore. Doing chores and helping in the house started VERY young and was EXPECTED. At 22, she keeps her own fairly clean house and isn’t bitter about any of it. That said, people need to get over themselves – what works for one kid doesn’t always work for another so who is anyone to judge? I applaud the person that came up with something that worked for them and shared the idea.

    • Carre says

      Yes and hopefully someone tells that poor mommy she’s dong a great job! Really let’s be sweet and helpful to each other and not mean and a bully!

  38. Melissa K. in Nebraska says

    Curse behind her back… That’s funny. Or even funnier, is when you THINK you’re cursing out of her earshot and she gives you the “raised eyebrow – I heard that – look.”

  39. says

    Amen! I personally think that tupperware box is a GENIUS idea. I had friends whose parents threw their thongs and undies on their front lawn if they were on the floor in their room. MY parents never did that, but my dad did whack me with a wooden spoon for eating a plum in my room (TRUE STORY!). No parent is perfect, and I love bringing that wooden spoon story up to my dad. He just rolls his eyes, “I told you not to eat in your room!” I am strict about some things, like nap schedules and bedtime because I am selfish and need MY time. It is terrible. I would rather come home early from ANYTHING than have a complete child-is-so-tired meltdown at naps or bedtime. I’m sure I let my daughter watch way too much TV some days, but guess what? She is healthy, happy, and has learned a LOT of spanish just from watching Dora. So there!! hahaha

  40. says

    Okay…I laugh hysterically when I read your posts…..We are so much alike! And my oldest laughs at me too, even though I think I spank harder each time! Apparently, I dont spank as hard as I think. Now as for this tupperware. Love that idea so much that Im going out to get one to start doing this. I still havent figured out where the contreversy is or why people were mad. DO THEY WANT THEIR KIDS TO THROW LEAVE CRAP ON THE FLOOR!

  41. Nancy says

    As my 23 yr. old married daughter would say, “first world problems”…
    It’s her newest response for silly problems or controversies where one needs to sit back and just be grateful… Totes and parenting in a world where some have no idea what a tote is, or a child to parent…

    And then mostly the child with no parent…


  42. Annette Arndt says

    I breast fed both kids for a year. Both of them have allergies (one is tap water; chlorine). It also brought on post-partum depression. I did it because it was what I was supposed to do. In hind sight I realize that I have made a lot of decisions based on what others told me to do rather than what I felt was the correct thing to do for our situation. This outlash over this tupperware tub is sad. I guess there will always be haters but with the internet there are now thousands of them.

  43. says

    Preach it!

    (Random. One woman whose parenting I SO respect has raised four amazing young men. I’ve known them since they were little boys. She had “toy jail”. It morphed in to shoe jail too. Fridays, things got out of jail and not before Friday. It worked for her boys and her husband.)

  44. Mary Jo says

    you know yourself so well, and express yourself so well….. i love your outlook on life… your daughter is lucky to call you Mommy!

  45. Maree says

    Totally agree Ashley. I also see nothing wrong with that tupperware box, wish I thought of it. Only problem, I don’t think most of their toys would fit in that box. I would need a crate :)

  46. says

    well said! i think it would be great if more people had that attitude towards parenting & life in general. as long as we are all doing the best we can, why make other people feel terrible about their choices?

  47. says

    Loved your post on this topic, Ashley. I so agree with all you said & think the Tupperware container is a GREAT idea for toys not picked up. Wish I would have seen this when my kids were little (they are now in their 40’s – ouch). I remember getting so fed up when toys weren’t picked up that I actually threw them away. Yep, even took them out to the dumpster so they were lost forever. Wow, what a bad mom I was & surprise, my kids turned out fine and weren’t permanently scared by it. In fact, we were just talking about it the other day & none of us can even remember what the toys were. lol

    I always had lots of guilt over my parenting skills – or should I say lack of them. When striving for perfection, we always fail & I kept trying to find the magic key to being a perfect parent. I’m amazed at how well-adjusted my kids turned out in spite of me. Guess I wasn’t such a bad mom afterall. lol

    Always enjoy reading your blog and find your comments so refreshingly right on target. I give you lots of credit for being so open and non-judgmental. I still struggle with the judgmental thing, but don’t go off on people like is often done online. I have made comments about it being so sad to see so many hateful & hurtful comments hurled against others.

    Thanks again for a wondeful blog!

  48. Lisa says

    Heaven forbid the mom who created the Tupperware box actually want her children to pick up after themselves! How dare she have them learn to be self sufficient when she isn’t there to clean up after themselves. I’m not sure what the controversy may have been, but if these other parents want to pick up after their kids until they leave the house then let them. I however will be trying this chore bin out on my kids….and husband.

  49. cheryl says

    love this post. why DO women have to be so mean to each other???

    oh well, you’re a rock star!

  50. Dana says

    Awesome!! I actually was looking for that picture on pinterest so I can do it!!! Can’t wait to see what the kids do!!

  51. says

    AMEN! And I would like to add that I reserve the right to change my mind/style/course with barely a moment’s notice if I think it might benefit my children or allow me to be a better mother.

  52. Jawan says

    This is the very reason I am HOOKED on reading your blog posts…..you’re real. I think that you are a woman who “gets” the grace of God, extends it to your family AND to yourself. It’s not just that life is short but it’s more importantly about the fact that this life is not about ourselves. You serve others well….not to mention that you make me laugh.

  53. Lisa says

    I totally agree with you. I got alot of grief from people about the way I handled my 2 boys( how I fed them , the private school and the sports, etc) but they both have made me proud. Some parents need to get a life. I learned early that you have to pick the battles you want to fight. Some things are not worth fussing over

  54. Nelda says

    I wish more bloggers were more like you. Usually I don’t like reading about other people’s lives (too much perfectness ;-0). It’s good no know there are other normal people parents out there and they are not ashamed of that! Good on ya!

  55. Tleshia Farrar says

    i agree, i can not stand the way some women bash other women, MAN we are already too hard on our selves, we don’t need others to do it for us. i think we should celebrate our differences in parenting styles and take the ideas we think that would work and use them and SHUT our mouths about the ones we don’t agree with……if you are okay with your kid licking the water fountain at the park, good for you, i will not judge you, but don’t judge me either because my kid is not allowed to use it because I KNOW kids have licked it before we got there. to each their own my dear friends……
    we have had the rule since my daughter was old enough to pick up on her own…. that if i say it is time to pick up and Lilly Kate does not do it and I HAVE to pick it up, it goes away to an unknown place (the top of my closet) for a week. She only had to loose her favorite toys once or twice to the closet before she knew I meant what I said.

    ONCE AGAIN, well said ASHLEY!!!!!!
    p.s. how do I get my stinkin picture up instead of the generic profile???? I’m guessing I’m not tech savvy. LOL
    p.s.s. still waiting to post a picture of the inside of my purse, I’ve got some scary stuff going on … :-)

    • says

      If you haven’t noticed I can’t get the profile photo to work either! I think it’s a plugin for wordpress. I installed it but it doesn’t work. Maybe one day!

      • Tleshia Farrar says

        Bless your sweet heart Lisa!!!!! I’m headed over right now. Not sure why the little generic profile box bothers me…..my mom kept her facebook picture like that for almost a year until I asked permission to hack into her account and upload a picture that I had, :-)!!!!!!! Happy Tuesday…….

  56. Hillary says

    Love this one! (Geez, I love them all). I think what I love most about reading your blog is how open you are. You never try to be what you think others want you to be, you just seem to be yourself (love it or hate it). And I have to add that I am a spanker too. Even though my kids both laugh at me also. Haha!

  57. Charna scarpati says

    I always read your blog but don’t think I ever commented.

    I LOVE this post. Everyone is different, we weren’t born the same. If we didn’t believe in different things or acted differently it would be like we were robots.

    I personally loved the box. There is no reason why my son can’t do extra chores, especially if there is toys around that he was told to pick up. I wonder if I could do this for my fiancee to?!?!

    Thank you for this post again, because I have seen this controversy as well.

    By the way I think you are the coolest mother for all the things you make Lil Boo, and the strongest woman ever.


  58. Stephanie B. says

    I didn’t breastfeed either – with either of my kids. I spank, but only when Em is doing something that could hurt her – i.e., playing with the light socket, wandering into the street without me, etc. And while I think the plastic bin idea is a bit cheesy, I can’t for the life of me understand why there would need to be such a controversy. I saw the picture too, several times – but apparently I missed all the drama surrounding it!

  59. Cameron says

    Gee, my mom just used a black garbage bag. And her tirade on loose toys deifinitely did NOT rhyme. Who knew it was such a crime? In what way could you incorporate a chicken into this – I feel like this poor mom really needs a chicken named for the box. Or her.

  60. says

    What an amazing post! I agree so much with you parenting philosophy. I giggled and laughed out loud during the whole thing.
    I have a daughter Boo’s age, so I can totally relate.
    thanks for sharing!

  61. says

    My dad handed out attitude adjustments, aka spankings, when he got home from work. My mom taught me to swim by tossing me, kicking and screaming off the boat and into the lake at the age of four. If we left our toys out they were gathered in black garbage bags and “thrown away” in the back of my moms closet for months. We ate boxed dinners and dessert was bread with sugar on it. When the weather was nice my mom locked us outdoors until dinner. Yes, she really locked the doors. I’m pretty sure I turned out alright. And when I have kids I will probably hand out attitude adjustments when needed and lock them out of the house in the summertime 😉

  62. lynn says

    “As long as she’s loved, fed, and clothed…..I think I’m doing okay.”

    seriously?? i thought that was every parents objective! its not? dang, i must be living under a rock or something.

    heres the thing [and i know this from observing my mom with her 5 kids and my sister with her 2–i only have 1, so i dont count], every parent parents differently. a mom and a dad of the same kid parent differently from each other, and the same mom of 2 [or more] kids parents each child differently from the other. peopel can say otherwise, but its true. parents personalities are different from each other and each child has a different personality…you HAVE to parent differently! so, i agree with you, ashley…everyone needs to stfu and mind their own parenting business. no one got the golden parenting manual when their kid was born. and im sure no mother would take up the option of pushing a massive book out of their va-jay-jay right after they push out a kid, if they had the choice. until then, great job on making sure your kid is clothed, fed, and loved! definitely seems like its working. 😀

  63. Sheleah says

    Love it, Love you, and don’t these people who quibble (is that a word used in the correct context?) have anything better to do with their time?

  64. says

    Just throw another tally up on the board for why I LOVE all things about you! Thanks for “being so real!!!!”

  65. Jeanne Van Buskirk says

    I love your attitude. Your stories are so true and so real. Whether you are talking about cancer or parenting, it is always from your heart and honestly you. I’m always looking for your posts to find laughter or encouragement in my day.
    Thanks for that.

  66. cheryl says

    Amen. I also think the tupperware box is genius. I was the Mom that went through rooms after a week of them nor cleaning, with trash bags. Everything went into the attic and they could only earn things back.

  67. Sarah says

    Couldn’t agree more! I never understood why moms are sooooo hard on one another! We are all in this together…

  68. Liisa Sanchez says

    Amen girl, to everything you said. Life is too short. BTW, we take our teens clothes off the floor where he leaves them, and sell them back to him for a dollar a piece…usually when he has no clean clothes. AND we don’t feel guilty. Go ahead, judge that! 😉

  69. lisa currie-gurney says

    Listen… my husband and I have raised 4 children. Three boys and a girl. Our oldest, 27, just got back from one tour in Afghanistan.

    All great people.

    I use to throw their things away if I got tired of telling them, and tired of picking their stuff up. Don’t know if they ever caught on. Don’t really care.

    I just figure if something is important to them, they will learn to take care of it. If not, oh well.

    Hugs From My Heart

  70. abbey says

    Pretty sure I’m going to adopt your “disclaimer statement (that you just made up)” as my parenting philosophy… for the kids I don’t even have yet.

  71. says

    Wow, I must be an old parent of young kiddos – my Mom used a black garbage bag to collect the toys and items left about and we had to earn them back by doing chores…but then again when I was little there wasn’t all this internet stuff like we have now. I have very little ones and I’ll raise them the way I was raised…after all I got to adulthood…..black garbage bag and all.

  72. Rebecca Garrett says

    I really used to love Pinterest but more and more it’s filled with a bunch of nasty women writing mean stuff on everything. It’s always so funny how nasty and judgmental people can be when they are hiding at home on their computers.

  73. says

    AMEN! I do what works for me and my kids. I don’t judge or give a rat’s ass (Is rat’s ass just a NY saying?) what other parents do… or like… or dislike!

  74. Nicole says

    Wow…I think the tupperware idea is fabulous! Normally, I just yell, or spank, or nag, or take away (in a not so nice way) or all of the above when it comes to clean up time. I often feel like crap after…I think that is a nice solution. I love what you wrote and I love your honesty. You said you were a contradictory parent…I’d like to see one who isn’t.

  75. Jane says

    Such a brilliant post. I particularly love that you included a pet hate of mine:
    “Parents nitpicking and judging perfectly good teachers.”
    My kids attend a fabulous local government school and I get so disappointed when I hear mothers bitching and gossiping about the teachers. One that I’d heard was a ‘waste of a year’ ended up being my middle son’s ‘favourite teacher ever’. It breaks my heart to think he may have heard bad things about this creative and fascinating teacher. And besides, it’s a government school… if you really have a problem, go pay for private schooling, then you can complain to your heart’s content! Teachers are underpaid saints as far as I’m concerned.
    And yeah, I never want my kids to be the smartest, or the fastest, or anything that puts too much pressure on them… and on us as parents to help them pursue it, ha!

  76. Aimee says

    I actually made the bucket and my kids love waking every morning to see whose stuff is in the bucket! The chores aren’t hard but we are now on the fourth day, and guess what?? I am not tripping over toys that I asked them to it away!

  77. Amanda says

    I saw that bucket on Pinerest this weekend and thought it was a brilliant idea…and I don’t have kids. What does that say about me? :)
    Loved this post! You really do rock.

  78. Meghan Ledford says

    LOVE this post!! So funny! My favorite part was about the church! I’m a strong believer but I have def been there!!

  79. Terry says

    This is a great post–it just cracked me up. I am a grandmother now but I see the young mothers being so hard on each other. i wish I could send them all over here to read this.
    With regard to judging I love just thinking this to myself:
    “What you think of me is none of my business.”
    It just frees me up to move on to the important stuff–love and happiness!

  80. Denise says

    I LOVE YOU! I wish you and I were friends when I was raising my three sons. You are the coolest (and most talented) mom.

    Keep encouraging the young ones. Every parent needs to know they are doing an ok job in a very difficult time in which to raise good kids.

  81. Carol B says

    My friend shared that tupperware photo with me and we both thought it was brilliant!! Of course, I’m the mom that took the light bulb out of the kids’ room when I had told them for the 9 million’th time (No, that is not an exaggeration!) to turn off the lights when they weren’t in there. I have also removed doors from bedrooms because of slamming and I sometimes have them “pay” with hugs and kisses.

    I imagine there are moms that would have a hey day with my parenting, but my kiddos are loving, well-adjusted and seem quite normal if you ask me.

    • Carol B says

      They did get their light back and the door is back on the hinges…..after they “earned” them!

      • Bonnie says

        Carol, you’re the only other parent I know of besides myself who has actually removed doors because of the slamming LOL! Three teenagers trying to outdo one another will drive any parent this far. After not having a door on their bedrooms for about a week or so, they’re much more appreciative when they get them back!

        And call me stupid because while I collected all the things they wouldn’t pick up and put them into a cardboard box (no way was I putting them away for them), I certainly wasn’t clever enough to give them the option of a chore in return for their items.

        Such a GREAT post, Ashley!!!

  82. Jennie P. says

    My mom used to throw toys away as well, although it was rare that we’d leave anything out because the threat was enough. We were pretty good about keeping things up. I love the toy bin idea. I don’t see how it would be harmful in the slightest. It teaches consequences and responsibility for one’s own possessions and actions. I don’t think you’re ever too young to learn that and I don’t think it’s theft at all! If an adult leaves or parks their car somewhere they shouldn’t, it’s going to get towed. Is that theft? No, it’s the price you pay for not following the law. The impound lot certainly doesn’t give you your car back for free. You have to pay to get it back. I think that chores as a payment is pretty clever. If anything, it gives them a head start on what life is really like when you grow up. No one will be picking up after you.

    Although, if anyone goes the route of just tossing toys in the garbage when they get fed up, I hope they’d consider giving the toys to less fortunate children instead of the landfill. Maybe take them to a daycare center, an orphanage, Goodwill, or anywhere they can be used. Why throw out your hard earned money? The kids didn’t pay for those toys (in most cases), the parents do. There’s nothing I dislike more than unnecessary waste–but that’s just me. Maybe the child would be more grateful and value their toys more, if they see and understand that not every child is privileged enough to even own a single toy. And they would value and take care of the toy if they did have it.

    Even though it’s slightly off-topic, at Christmas time, my parents would always take us to the mall for Christmas shopping and they would let us pick one name from the Angel Tree. We’d then pick out a toy to be given to the child that would otherwise get nothing for Christmas. There were three of us kids and so we bought three toys every year for the children on that tree. I always thought it was fun to get to pick out something I thought the child would love. I felt a sense of caring and giving and hope and it was magical. It was such a great feeling. Maybe that’s why we were good kids. It has always made me think of those less fortunate than myself and be so thankful for what I had. It’s a tradition I hope to carry on.

    Geez, so sorry for the long reply…I can get long-winded.

    • Thankful for parents like yours says

      I was one of those kids that received a gift from the Angel Tree growing up. Thank you and your parents for caring enough when our parents weren’t in the best position to provide for us. Those gifts meant the world to me and my brother and sisters.

  83. Inez says

    Right on Ashley!

    And I do happen to have the smartest kid in the class. My daughter made a B once (she’s 15 now) and we had to convince her that a B was perfectly ok. I laughed later with my husband that we the parents were telling our kid that it was fine that she didn’t have straight A’s that report card.

  84. Linda B says

    Amen to that, Mama! I gave up perfect a long time ago. I love your common sense approach to life, parenting, and so on.

  85. dana hyde says

    What in the world were they griping about?! I saw this on pinterest the other day and thoughtit was the cutest thing ever! Someone must have way too much time on their hands!

  86. Marsha D says

    I am getting an empty tupperware container out of the attic this week, cleaning, and I am so making a sign like that to put on it. I have an almost 8 year that is always leaving things laying around the house and the car and then complaining when he can’t find them. I can’t wait to use this. I love your blog.

  87. Ashley says

    Love this post! I didn’t see the fighting or whatever went on but I did see the box. I thought it was a great idea and even showed my hubby. My kids are too young to understand it but looks like it would come in handy when they are older. I will never understand why people fight over silly things and put each other down. Life is too precious to be nasty and negative. You nailed it when you said if someone has an issue on your parenting it is just that…their issue. Love your parenting style and your blog! keep on Keppin’ on!:)

    Happily following,
    Ashley @ Thereisnoplacelikehomemade :)

  88. says

    I seriously love you. I read your blog – every single post – but rarely ever comment. (This is the part where I should gush everything I ever thought about commenting, but didn’t because you’re like the cool girl in school who I just assumed would never care what I had to say anyway, so I never did. Or maybe I’ll spare you.)

    Maybe not. Seriously. Love you. I love your honesty in every single thing you ever talk about. I love your attitude about life and loving people well. I love how positive you were throughout the cancer chronicles.

    And I. Love. This. Post. I think we could be besties if we didn’t live on opposite coasts. (And if you weren’t so much cooler than me.) And hey, my husband and I do go to Beech Mtn two or three times a year…and I almost crapped my pants when you posted the pics of you, your Mom, and Boo in the Valle Crucis Mast General store. See? Blog stalker, remembering things, right here.

    I promise I’m really not that creepy, I’m just a crafty momma doing the best I can who wanted to hug my computer when I read this post, because women like you are the “village” that everyone always talked about.

  89. Kristen says

    Well said.

    I loved that picture when I saw and part of me wanted to rewind time and do it for my two when they were smaller. Now I should just make it for me. 😉

    • Tleshia Farrar says

      oh Kristen I love your kitty, he/she looks like my Gus kitty who is about to turn 14……how do you get the picture to show up on your blog posts???? That is one cute kitty.

  90. Kimberly says

    Wow, didn’t even realize there was a controversy about the tupperware container! I saw it and thought it was a good idea to maybe used at a later date!

    I am a firm believer of I do what works for me, you do what works for you.

  91. kathy Oberry says

    OK so I don’t get the problem with the tupperwear box. Some Mom went to a lot of trouble to teach her kids a lesson. She choose not to be the Mom SCREAMING at their kids to pick up their toys.
    Ashley we have very similar parenting skills. Do what feels right. My kids got spanked not abused and they grew up just fine. So did I.
    Thanks for the words of wisdom.
    Kathy O’

  92. Barbara Kiphart says

    I guess it’s time to confess. I am a mother of 4 children, who were born in 63, 65 , 66 & 67. I have 7 wonderful grandchildren and am super blessed with 6 great grandchildren. And I’m still in my 60’s…alright 69! So my first child way back in 1963 was the ‘prototype’ for all to come. She was perfect until age 13 and then she decided the floor was the best place for her clothes and she dropped them in all rooms and in all conditions….clean or dirty. I didn’t have Tupperware but I had a car and I would pick up all her clothes in the evening and put them in the trunk of my car which she thought was funny because she had lots of clothes. But in 3 (three) weeks she had one jeans and 2 tops that were acceptable for school. She was warned before this plan started and a price was put on her clothes. From .10 cents for panties, bras & nightclothes up to .25 for jeans and so on, to be paid for from her allowance or babysitting money. Grandparents, teachers, neighbors and some friends (not many) looked down on this. Grandma could not get over the fact that I wouldn’t give her underwear back. It took longer than I thought but this girl is as hard-headed as her mother but she finally paid up and I washed her clothes for her. LOL Her brother and sisters became super aware of taking care of their belongings.

  93. Abbey says

    Love this post! People get so caught up in trying to make other people feel so bad. I’ve read so many comments on tutorials & posts that are so terrible. “Before you do a video you should clean your nails?” etc. Really! So mean! I saw this video posted on another site. Caution, it has the d*** word in it.

    • Barbara Kiphart says

      I saw the same kind of insult on many blogs & I was stunned at the nerve of a person who would watch the video to learn something new and then insult the blogger who had taken the time to share their knowledge with others. The internet gives ignorant people a place to act out and not have to face repercussions.

      I always comment and tell them their behavior is disgusting and they should consider that the person they are insulting probably does numerous crafts with dyes & paints which I know from personal experience do not wash off so easily and if not its none of their business anyway.

  94. Robin says

    I have had too many conversations with other moms lately about how their husbands didn’t have to do chores around the house growing up. Really…? Is that even a possibility. Funny thing now as they are grown men, and dads… They still refuse to do chores around the house. I think I will raise my little man to do his share around the house and hopefully someday, he will be a helpful husband and father.

  95. Catherine O'Neal says

    Ashley, this might be my favorite post you have EVER written. I love it, and I love you for writing it. Your disclosure list had me laughing out loud (and despite being totally alone), mostly b/c I agree with so many of your disclaimers. Keep being awesome – we love you for it!!!

  96. cindi says

    Loved this!!! my kids are now grown 18,20,22 and 26. Were we great parents?Probably not. Did our kids always know we were there for them and loved them unconditionally? Absolutely!!! We were always going by the seat of our pants, our house was not spotless, and our kids had their friends over all the time. Did we love it? Heck yeah. Would I do anything different? Probably not. As mothers, we just need to give each other a break. And for goodness sake…teach your kids manners and respect and the world will be a better place because of it. Oh and if you talk to one of my kids and they don’t say ma’am or sir…then you were obviously mistaken, it’s not my kid.

  97. says

    You rocked it on this post! Thank you! We are all so different & our children are different too, so it makes sense that our parenting will be different. I do the best I can at any given time, and offer all of my love. It’s important to remember that other parents too are doing the best they can at that time.

  98. Michelle @ Shee Designs says

    Personally, I was one who not only loved the box, but also plan to put it into use, but like you, I didn’t get into the drama of it all.

  99. Paula Gormly says

    I re pinned this idea. I thought it was a great idea. I have 3 & 5 year old girls that never want to pick up there things so i thought this was a great idea for me to try! What works for one parent doesnt mean it will work for another that is with everything in parenting. People are too quick to judge. We should all try walking in others shoes for even a day before we are so quick to judge. Your post is great.

  100. Holly says

    Life is to short to take the time to hide behind a computer and put people or their ideas down! When did it become okay to be rude to others…all I can say is hate to see how the kids of THOSE parents really act! Please keep up the awesome work that obviously soooooo many of us good people enjoy!!!!!!

  101. says

    Wow! I love your blog and have been a reader for awhile, but you rocked this post. Here’s to just plain loving the heck out of our kids and doing it imperfectly! (And not judging how others love theirs! Imperfectly!)

  102. Meghan Jensen says

    The tupperware gives em a chance to earn it back. I’ve picked up some things too many times I chuck it in the trash or donate it. I love you Ash! Your perfectly imperfect.

  103. says

    Well, I too love the Tupperware idea. I wish I knew about it when my kiddo was smaller. I believe in having consequences. And kids chipping in and being responsible for their things. Brilliant. I’m not judging but I just don’t understand anyone who could be vehemently opposed to it. Although I’m glad I missed the controversy :-)

  104. says

    I’m not a parent. I will never be a parent. That is all by choice.

    However, even I can appreciate that there are truly different strokes for different folks. When I saw some of this controversy on FB, I wanted to rail on the people who thought it was bad. Because you know what, I don’t believe being sent to the “naughty chair” is quite as effective as a swat on the butt!

    but that’s just my feeling on it. I was spanked, too. I’m not homicidal or clinically insane. So I believe I turned out fine!

    People need to butt out of peoples’ business — but that’ll never happen!

  105. Michelle says

    I can’t for the life of me figure out what would be wrong with making a kid do a chore to get back a toy that they would not pick up in the first place. I mean really, the note on the bin could have been way worse – that was polite and clever. I might have tossed a d*mn in there :-)

    Have we really gone that far off the deep end? What are these kids going to grow up like?! Something to ponder when I am staring at the ceiling at 3 am.

    Thanks for saying it for the rest of us!

  106. Vicky Li says

    I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for taking the time to write this post – great as always!

  107. Kimberly says

    Oh. I’m worse. I had the three kids under 3 and 1/2 (they are all teen-agers now) and my thought was “they are all alive” when Dad gets home SO everything is good…actually, I think I STILL feel that way…hmm.

  108. Rachel Fox says

    I just laughed when I saw the box! My mom did something very similar. She would tell us when we went to bed we better look around very carefully and make sure our toys and things were taken back to our rooms and put away. If she found stuff after we went to bed it went into a basket to be given back when she decided. I’ll probably do the same thing when the hubs and I start having kids. It taught my siblings and I responsibility and the house stayed a little bit tidier.

  109. Meagen Wyganowski says

    THANK YOU! I am also somewhere in between the cupcake and tornado. Everyone’s parenting is different and we all need to accept it and worry about our own kids instead of what other mothers are doing. I have 2 girls under 3 and I work full time. My house is not always clean and the laundry is unfolded, but I would much rather spend my preciuos time with my girls than spending 2hrs making sure I can eat off my floors. They are happy, loveable, polite kids so I guess I must be doing something right.

  110. Brooke says

    Funny story…My future sister-in-law’s employment as a nanny has led her to believe that she is the expert in child rearing. She often expresses her disgust with how other parents handle their children, and quickly points out how she would do it better, or rather “how it should be done” (her words, not mine). I should mention that she is very young and does not have children, yet. I usually let her talk (despite how bad she makes herself look) and then try changing the subject. It is really difficult reasoning with someone who really doesn’t have a clue about parenting since isn’t one. Babysitting (one child) and parenting (three children) are two very different things.

    Once, we visited her during our vacation in Chicago. There was a long discussion of where we should eat. She wanted us and my parents (on vacation with us) to go to a place with a VERY limited menu (I know because I looked at their menu online during the discussion). Many of the items listed I knew my kids (ages 3 & 5) would not eat, or if they did, they would only eat a few bites. I explained since we were away from home, the kids were tired, and we were having to pay, I wanted to go to a place where the kids would eat a good, filling meal. She insisted (yes, she’s like that) that we go to the restaurant she chose anyway, and stated that if those kids were hers, they would eat whatever she put in front of them. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! In that moment, I realized how inexperienced and immature she is. I’m patiently waiting for her “Ah ha” moment when she realizes that parenting is not a perfect science and that every child, and the way they should be raised, is different. I think she will be very embarrassed when this moment comes.

    Anyway, I learned from her that judging others on how they raise their children just gives people a good reason not to like you. Unfortunately, negativity is infectious. I run from it as if it were the plague. As a former teacher and a parent of three, I love the tupperware idea. I plan to give it a try. I am not a perfect parent, and never will be. I’m just doing what I think is best for my family and it changes everyday. What worked for us today may not work tomorrow. I call it the evolution of parenting.

    Thanks, Ashley, for posting about this “super lame controversy” in the manner you did. I swear it is as if you were typing out all the thoughts in my head. I wish I could reach out to the blogger that posted the tupperware idea to help lift her up. I can’t imagine how she feels after taking such a virtual beating. I truly feel bad for her.

    • ald says

      Oh, the young.

      My parents had the same food rule, but it worked. Kind of old fashioned, but I like the “eat what you’re given, or go to bed” rule.

      You ate what was in front of you, or you went to bed. Every time. After one night of a bad decision (not eating what was there), you learned fast, and appreciated and ate what was served the next night. Usually kids would “protest” and not eat every few months, but after the same “you eat what’s here, or go to bed”, they changed their tunes. Fast. But, it only works for your own kids if you’re 100% consistent. You can’t do it to someone elses kids… the parents have to live the rule, otherwise you get kids having a temper tantrum in a restaurant.

      • Alice H says

        I tell my kids that too @ald. And also that I am not a short-order cook. I do take into consideration what they like and don’t like but I still cook and they still have to eat. Our rule is that you have to at least try it.

        @Brooke – I do agree about not taking them to a restaurant though. Especially if you are spending money and you know they are hungry and wouldn’t eat what was on the menu.

        • Brooke says

          Alice H…yes, I agree that they at least have to try it. I’ve noticed as the kids have gotten older, their tastes are beginning to change, and they are liking more and more flavors. Ironically, I have found that to be true with my almost 40 taste buds. Funny how this happens, huh?

      • Brooke says

        ald…I agree that the “eat what is in front of you” idea 100% of the time can be effective, it is not, however, how my husband and I choose to do it. Now that doesn’t mean I fix whatever they want when they want; our kids are expected to eat what we fix at home. And they do, some meals are easier than others, but they do eat it. There are times and places where flexibility are critical, and this was one of those circumstances.

        After a LONG, tiring day, in an unfamiliar city, who wants to go to “eat” at a restaurant that has nothing on the menu you like? As an adult, I know that I wouldn’t like that. I think the same is true for a child. I guess I gave you the impression that my children threw a temper tantrum. No, they did not. Luckily, they don’t complain much. They sat there nibbling on bread without much of a peep. Given the circumstances, I’m surprised they weren’t upset. If I were 3 and 5, I would have been. What really broke my heart was hearing my three year old quietly crying, whispering “Mommy, my tummy hurts” to me from her carseat half way back to my brother’s house. So, I ended up having to fix another meal when we got there, while everyone else went to bed. Wouldn’t it have been easier to eat at a kid friendly restaurant rather than a Chicago niche type?

        Just like my future sister-in-law, I, too, had ideas of how I thought I would parent my future children. My ideas changed once I finally experienced parenthood for myself. The “eat what you’re given, or go to bed rule” may have worked for your parents. However, even at 100% consistency, it may not work for everyone, and may even backfire on some. Each parent has different circumstances, health concerns, or schedules that will shape their parenting styles. No one person is the expert, especially those who have no experience in raising children (my future sister-in-law).

        Anyway, I feel awful for the blogger who posted the tupperware idea. Whether people liked the idea or not, no good can come from so much negativity.

  111. Luann says

    Oh, Ashley!! I love your spunk and honesty. I wish I could follow your lead and say what I think like you do. You go girl!!

  112. jen says

    I was a perfect parent in theory – before I had a kid… lol. now I’m closer to the tornado end of the spectrum. and I thought the box was a great idea when I saw it on pinterest

  113. Stephanie says

    YOU BETTER BE AROUND FOREVER (yes, that’s a threat) SO I CAN READ YOUR BLOG AWESOMENESS FOREVER! :) Seriously, though: You rock. And a great night of mine involves sipping Sangria and reading a blog of yours. :) xoxo

  114. says

    Well said. :) No matter what people do others will always be passing judgement where they shouldn’t. Thanks for your often hilarious insight on life, joy, love, and… parenting 😉 I love checking in from my neck of the woods.

  115. says

    those tupperware kids are lucky! my parents used to throw my shit away if i left it out too long. one time my stepdad hid my laptop and wouldn’t tell me where it was. he just said to find it. took me three days. it was behind the dryer. and guess what? i’m so doing the same to my kids.

  116. Stacey says

    Excellent post! And didn’t any other person see the chores to get toys back idea on supernanny? Seriously. Give it a rest. If we put all the effort we use for criticizing parenting styles, perhaps we could accomplish great things for our kids.

  117. says

    I tell my kids, that anything that I find on the floor is subject to being sold by me on ebay. I will then by myself a new pair of shoes with the proceeds. (Or maybe put it in the bank to pay for their therapy later in life)
    :) Clair

  118. Christine Stewart says

    You freaking crack me up. I love this post so much, it was honest and so NON judgemental. Gosh I wish I could go back in time to the moments I wasn’t the world’s greatest mommy and change them. I have learned that when I do have moments that I’ve over-reacted or didn’t respond how I would have liked to; I’ve gone to my littles and talked to them about. Saying I’m sorry to them and explaining how I could have better handled that moment has made a huge effect with them in ways I never thought would. I’ve watched them stop and say it to their siblings. Anyways… Thank you for this post. You are a constant blessing. xo

  119. says

    I think Ill make this tupperware for my husband…my 3 yr old pics up more than he does….does that make me a bad wife!?? Lol! :)

    • Sandi says

      What a great idea! Maybe my hubby would learn to put his socks in the hamper instead of the floor when he didn’t have any clean ones to wear to work. :)

  120. tricia says

    I am SO happy I found you and your blog. Thanks for this post. I needed to hear your thoughts and your humor because, quite frankly, the internet is such a downer these days. Thanks for making me laugh. <3

  121. Deidra says

    I am really quite speechless regarding the tupperware-toy-taking-box controversy, since I don’t understand where the controversy would lie. Totally. Confused. Here.

    I am, however, loving your openness and humor regarding parenting. You made me smile!

  122. Jen says

    I have 4 kids ages 9 Months, 3, 4 and 5. Sometimes I’m Cupcake Mom, Sometimes I’m Tornado Mom. I totally agree with you, we all parent the way we see fit. We know our kids and what works for them.

  123. says

    Absolutely fabulous. Couldn’t agree more. The Mommy Wars drive me crazy – the “discussions” about circumcision before (and after) I had my son were ridiculous. Moms were constantly asking my position and what we were going to do… really. Too much. Non of your biz, my friends.

  124. Amy N. says

    First of all, I love your post. Everyone has a different parenting style and is entitled to it. I like how you talked about respecting your sister in law’s parenting styles even thought they are different that yours. I feel bad for the mom who first posted her idea. How can people be so hurtful? I currently teach Sunday School at my church and there are several parents there where I completely disagree with their parenting style. Do they know this? No way. I’m not there to judge. I don’t know the whole situation. I only know what I see. There’s more to the story. There always is. Take a minute to consider this before jumping to judgement, or at least before speaking your mind about your judgement.

    But I gotta wonder, how many times did toys actually get taken away? I feel like after once or twice of having to “work” for the right to the toy they were probably much better about cleaning up their toys. I don’t have kids yet, but I LOVED this idea and honestly think that after a few confiscated toys, they will become much better at cleaning them up. I’ve seen it a million times with consequences with kids that I teach.

  125. ald says

    I don’t get the controversy either.

    It sure beats parents throwing away what you leave it.

    I’m all for teaching kids responsibility and appreciation for what they’re given– whether it’s toys, food, fun days at the park, etc. My parents wouldn’t let us watch TV that night until we put our toys away. I would have loved “the box” instead so we could have watched our show, then put stuff away later or did chores later to get it back.

    This would be a good idea for roommates, too.

    Sometimes I wish I was born pre-internet. Well, pre-internet with only your blog existing. Some online junk on forums and sites really disgusts me. So does the entitlement attitude these days. So does the laziness that’s creeping up around here in my area with younger people, too.

  126. Connie says

    Thank goodness I am not the only imperfect parent out there! I saw the chore bin and thought “Wow! What a great idea!” Hmmm… guess I am a mean manipulative parent 😛 I strive to fall between the cupcake and the tornado…sometimes I span both ends of the spectrum in a single day! I say keep living your life and enjoy.. life is too short!

  127. says

    I want to give the mommy who made the box a big hug. Love her heart. I saw it on pinterest, but had no idea it was controversial. Heave forbid we teach our kids to clean up after themselves. If they don’t pick up their toys…mommy will…and they may not like mommy’s way. Natural consequences. This is a very nicely written post. Thanks for preaching it like it is, Ashley.

  128. says

    Loved this post. I always say the ones that give the best parenting advice are the ones who don’t have kids. It’s always easier to see others’ mistakes than our own. We should just agree to disagree and keep our mean comments/thoughts to ourselves.

  129. viv says

    As a first grade teacher I appreciate the whole nitpicking on a perfectly good teacher… once a parent told me…. “wow you are not a b* itch at all like my cousin said you were” during a pt conference… another parent said “I don’t believe anything *** says about you” I often feel nitpicked! Just knowing I am constantly being judged when I give so much of my heart and time to my students is hard so I appreciate your comment! I love this post! You make me laugh and I am glad I am not the only one who gets sucked into Internet drama! You are an epicly awesome mom!

  130. says

    “Sometimes I take Boo to church just so she’s entertained for an hour and a half.”

    i think i have a crush on your honesty. i just love it.

  131. Kristi says

    Thanks for sharing Ashley and I think you are brave for always putting yourself out there! We are our own worst critics and don’t need any additional criticism. Parenting is the toughest job yet one of the biggest blessings and I like to believe we are all doing the best we can. Sad to hear this mom was criticized for sharing what I think seems like a good idea…take it or leave it. You are awesome…as I’ve said before but don’t know how else to describe how amazing you are…as a mom, wife, woman, person. You rock and are in my prayers. Blessings to you and your family!

  132. Jennifer says

    Every single word of this was perfectly written in my opinion. But I am still so incredibly confused as to that Tupperware container causing so much controversy! I saw the picture last week and had no Idea it had snowballed into anything, nor did I have any reason to think it would become anything. Every child is different and every child responds to different things. That Tupperware idea may work for some kids (I have seen it myself) and not for others ( I have also seen this. But, what methods work for each individual child is for the parent/caregiver to decide as long as there is no form of abuse going on obviously. Just my two cents :)

    • Jennifer says

      Btw I don’t plan on spanking my daughter, because I was a preschool teacher and learned to find ways to work with children without spanking them because that obviously wasn’t an option. However, I was spanked growing up and turned out just fine and I do not judge people who choose to spank their child.

  133. Lynn D says

    You know, everyone has an opinion. I read your blog because I. Usually agree with yours. And I agree here too. I think bribing kids with their own toys is a great way to make a point. And I think we set impossible standards for other parents to live up to that we know we don’t come close to either. It just makes us feel a little better when someone else fails. We all need loads of grace every day. Parenting is hard work, and it’s almost never done. Let’s give the Tupperware box mom a break, and go a little easier on each other for a day or two. Let’s be kind to ourselves too, not so critical of our own choices. We all are really just doing the best we can. PS, my grandkids love church and I’m happy because I don’t have to follow them around or entertain them for 90 minutes once a week. Sigh.

  134. Livvy Z says

    I don’t have kids, but if I did, I would totally use the bin idea. On another note, I’m so behind on this whole BPA thing. I know it’s bad, but I have no idea what it is or why it’s bad. I’m going to google it and then curse you when I find out I have to buy all new BPA-free containers/cups/etc. 😉

  135. Julie says

    I could not agree more. Could you please write about over-bearing grandmothers, that you love to death, but if they utter one more judgmental comment regarding parenting fire may come out of my nose. Your words are my cheap therapy and I need some therapy in this department. :)

    • Alice H says

      @ Julie – that is when you say nicely to the grandparent “I am the mother, you are the grandmother. I appreciate your advice and I do understand that you have raised children. But these are MY children and I would like to raise them my way without you judging me as a mother. Please trust that I will do my best.”

  136. Nancy B says

    Amen! Why do parents, especially mom’s, feel it necessary to cut down another mom. It’s the hardest, most rewarding job in the world. We should be encouraging each other instead of tearing each other down!
    Love you post!!! You said it perfectly!!!

  137. says

    well I must fall into the “bad” mamma category because I had that plastic tupperware box plastered all over my facebook this week….lol and it was shared 12 times so I guess I’m not alone! I can’t believe someone actually said it was teaching that theft was ok…lol…that is just crazy!! It ‘s just a creative technique to help teach kids that you need to be responsible for your things…you remember the good ole days when people were taught to value their belongings and take care of their things and be an active contributor in their households and when parents had the right to decide how and when they would instill those lessons. geesh! :)

  138. Charlene says

    I think my kids have too many toys! So now when they leave them out, into the garbage they go. Any and all toys, except for the Rapunzel doll…but her shoes are long gone!

  139. Leticia says

    Love this post! You are right on, on how I feel about all the unwanted parenting advise. I saw the bin post on FB & thought I should give it a try.

  140. says

    Oh My Gracious Ashley – you are truly a gifted, articulate, animated wordsmith and I enjoy myself immensely when I read your posts. Honest, open, no pretense, just writing. Personally, I (and obviously the multitude assembled here) agree with you about the Tupperware bucket. Wish I’da been smart ’nuff to think of this one. I raised two boys and sometimes we spanked and some times we didn’t – they’re no worse for the wear. We tried to tailor the punishment to fit the crime.
    I truly hope that the Momma (or Mommas) who spoke out against this VERY creative way to teach your children responsibility, is prepared for picking up after her child or children for a VERY LONG TIME and I mean, like when they are 50! Parents who don’t teach their kids responsibility when they’re young are gonna be hatin’ life when their kids never leave the nest. Ya gotta wonder if these folks have EVER watched Discovery Channel or Nat Geo. You NEVER see an adult momma bird barfin’ up food to feed one of her adult “babies!” – Heck, she’s more inclined to kick ’em outta the nest too soon and force them to fly or die. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do with our kids? Raise ’em and kick ’em out so they can fly?
    Oh my. . . what’re we comin’ to when we argue over Tupperware?? Love you precious Lady!

  141. says

    Ok. I now think I love you. Fantastic post.

    I have commitment issues too…if I say yes now and the commitment is for tomorrow (if it’s later in the week it’s very hard to even give a half a$$ yes)…well that might just change. So I’ll say I’ll think about it and if I feel like it when the time comes then I do it. If not, then I don’t. And the more I’m asked the less I want to do it.

    My kids have the same strict bed time schedule as yours, and my older sister thinks that is crazy. She is even more shocked that they will sleep in to 9 or 10. Hey it’s the summer we paid our dues during the school year.

    They’re room is always a mess….it’s not dirty just messy. I spend enough time picking up after us around the house, so I’m certainly not gonna waist my life trying to maintain their living space and/or constantly be after them trying to have them up keep it(they watch tv, and play in their room). Don’t get me wrong. I do have them pick up after themselves, but to remind them to do so is a chore in itself.

    Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a procrastinator and I was more organized, but then I think if that is something I really wanted than I would do it. I’m not gonna feel guilty for not doing something I didn’t want to do.

    Once again fantastic post. :-)

  142. says

    Hahaha!!!! Loved your post! My sentiments EXACTLY. I will never again pretend to be freaked out when my kid eats something off the floor! I just thought people would think I was crazy if I didn’t care. :)
    We took the tupperware box thing a bit further. I picked up ALL the toys on the floor (which was A LOT) and put them in a trash bag in the garage. My kids never missed them. My husband took them to the thrift store. No lesson was learned by the kids, but we learned that our kids don’t need many toys (nor do they really want them apparently).

  143. says

    Wow if someone got their panties in a wad about the box then don’t come to my house. I still do what my parents did if I tell you to clean your room and you don’t do it then I will, with a trash bag. Everything that is on the floor goes in the trash. It works. I don’t spank but I do,swear and I am a yeller. My kids are good and happy that’s all that matters. My mother used to say things like” Eat it or wear it! And I turned out ok. I think

  144. Karyn G. says

    Love the box…hate picking up after my kids all. day. long. Love your graph and use the same rational when choosing BFFs. Rock on Ashley!

  145. crystal powe says

    You are my parenting equal! Jenna’s bedtime is sometime between 9 and 12. She rarely drinks soda, but used to drink it from her bottle when she was a baby. She has to dress modestly (no belly, no short shorts etc.) but does not wear a cover up at the pool. I get it! I know that I screw up sometimes, and for that reason I will never judge another parent unless they are actually harming their child.

  146. Ingrid says

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I saw a few posts with the box thing & didn’t think anything of it except that it was super cute & funny. But maybe that’s just my chilled out & relaxed nature. : )

  147. says

    Refreshing! Thank goodness for people like you who manage to stay well grounded and not get involved in judging parenting. Well said on every count!

  148. says

    Now THAT was an amazing blogpost!!!! This is exactly why I come here every day or a bit more than that 😉

  149. Jeja says

    OMG! We could be bff’s! (only I have severe bff commitment issues) You are a rockstar;)

  150. suzi says

    i’m just a little bit shocked about the spanking, but I live in a country were it is illegal to hit children. (and always learned that violence wasn’t a sollution)

  151. Anita says

    Well said. I loved this post. I have done many of the same things you have. I agree that women should be good to other women.

  152. says

    Love your post…as usual. I reposted that box on my fb. It got more likes that any other post I’ve even done. I love the idea. I’m not sure I’ll ever get organized enough to put it together or follow through with doing it, though. lol

  153. Michele says

    My sister shared the tupperware picture with me on FB and I loved the idea!! I plan to start using one for my 3 kids. Loved your post and couldn’t agree more on every point!

  154. Koryn says

    Wow! 230 comments on this topic? My kids are mostly grown…two are still in college. I tried the “Tupperware” box idea. Tried it with their shoes. Tried it with my husband. End result? It doesn’t work. They are still slobs. They don’t care and they don’t value neatness and tidiness as I do. They try, but they will never reach my expectation. So what’s a wife and mother to do? I’ve let it go. My kids and my husband are fun, funny, loving, compassionate, hard workers, good students, great friends to their friends, loyal as can be, and have strong moral character. I guess we did something right, even with all those spankings.

    • Mandy says

      Love this comment. My kids are slobs too. Just slobs. All three of them. I didn’t get one neat freak like me! Not one! Even with all the spankings 😉

  155. Cynthia says

    I read this and had seen the picture on pinterest prior and thought of how lucky the parents were that this would work for. My kids have no attachment to their stuff. Case in point, I told them that whatever wasn’t cleaned off the playroom floor by the time i got there would go in a bag to goodwill. When I arrived with the bag, there’s was lots left and the kids helped my put the stuff in the bag while saying someone else could enjoy it now. The stuff they packed in that bag was sentimental stuff to me and things I thought they’d never part with. Glad that they aren’t consumers yet but a little sad that I can’t use ‘stuff’ as motivation. Loved your article and the photo that provoked it all. Reminded me to curtail the judgment a little. Thanks!

  156. Laura G. says

    Amen sister! At least she used a tupperware container……my kids kids had to buy back their stuff and if I had it for too long it went to Goodwill! Sorry ’bout your luck kiddo! Life is too short to grip about other women!

  157. Jessie says

    I’ve pinned that tote for toys. Since I haven’t gotten one yet, I have a pile of stuff that is laying on the floor in my sewing room waiting for them to ask me for it and then I need to come up with something for them to do. I have twin soon to be 8 year olds and a 3 year old! I think it’s better then throwing away the toys and stuff I am tired of picking up 10 times a day!

  158. says

    I say this this every time I comment I think but you make me laugh so hard! I love your honesty, it’s so nice to read you being real. Love it, love it, love it! :)

  159. Mandy says

    OH I love this. I SO agree. And I am definitely the fly by the seat of my pants, tornado mom. I am a single mom of three and I must admit, sometimes when they were little I would send them to daycare without brushing their hair. I also let them drink Koolaid. Last night they slept on the living room floor because I let them stay up late to watch Netflix on the computer. But they know they are loved and they know I am proud of them because I tell them everyday. I am a good mom. I don’t know how many times I have had other women try to convince me otherwise. So unnecessary.

  160. says

    Wow that is nuts!! Good thing I didnt get caught….I made a Tupperware into toy jail….complete with bars drawn on the box!!!

  161. iris says

    Love it! And I’m with you… and I actually think the tupperware is a great idea. I’m sure many people don’t even know how old the child(ren) is.

    I’m a firm believe in making sure the child is taken care of, disciplined (not abused), and loved…..no one is perfect. We all make mistakes, but at the end of the day, if you & your child are okay and loved… that’s what matters most. No one knows what someone else deals with, so how can you judge and say what’s right or wrong for them? I got a hard enough time making sure I’m doing right for us to worry about what someone else is doing right or wrong.

  162. K G Palmer says

    I like the tote, may use it at my house! We all have different things that work and we hear and see things and try to adapt them to our need or circumstance, so work, some don’t – I like to stay open to options!

  163. Renae says

    I think that mom is a genius! And I think you are too! We all are aren’t we? We each have flashes of brilliance followed immediately but flashes of idiocy. But who cares? At the very least we are ALL trying our best and doing what we can to make life harmonious and raise our kids to be decent people. I can’t say enough about this post but that I think I need to share it with every mom I know! I also sent it to my husband. I don’t send my husband blog posts unless they are epic. This one was. Thanks!!

  164. says

    Am I the only non-parent who thinks that tote idea was the BEST idea on the planet? For reals. I’m pinning this so when I do have children, I won’t forget it.

    I thought it was a great idea. And I’m a therapist.

    As for women hating on each other….until those who can’t keep their mouths shut feel good enough about their own lives, we’ll have to keep hearing their stupid opinions. I wish there was some sort of space device on my computer that could filter out stupid, mean, lame, petty, and irrelevant comments. People can be so stupid. We whine and complain about how men treat us, and we treat each other no better sometimes.

    Pisses me off.

    Anyhoo, totally agree!! I may even implement something like this when babysit the nieces and nephews. In fact, I’m sending it to grandma! She can certainly enforce this or something like it in her home as well!


  165. Lorrie says

    I love your parenting blog. I am now 50 years old with 3 grown children. I made a huge amount of mistakes and misjudgements raising them. According to some parental arguments, they should have never survived or been horribly mentally damaged or disfigured! Well, they all survived and are thriving and raising their own children, of whom they are always wanting me to babysit. I think I did ok. People get too wrapped up in trying to make everything perfect and forget how to just relax and have fun with your kids. This time goes by so fast and then they are embarrassed to be seen with you (LOL). Too fast to worry about whether or not there is a tupperware box holding a toy hostage (I wish I had of thought of that one). I have yet to get the instruction manual that comes with each kid. When you raise kids, you kind of wing it anyway. Just do the best you can, leave the regrets behind you and laugh at yourself once in a while. Nobody has all the answers.
    Good parenting!

  166. Alice H says

    I cannot believe that was taken down. That box is freaking awesome. I have always put my kids stuff in black trashbags. And maybe I accidentally took it to the street because of said black trashbag. This box would have saved me time and money.

    I mean really though, there are bad parents killing their babies, leaving their babies on the side of the street, abusing their babies, etc, AND we are complaining about a toy ransom box because some kid didn’t obey. OMG! They get the toy back after they do a chore. Who cares!

    I parent the way I parent. It is my way. Just like you, I do stuff I am not proud of. But I also know that my kids are LOVED, sometimes fed, and sometimes in clean clothing. I also turn into a lunatic with whining and fit-throwing! Ugh! I think I am a little more like your sis-in-law Jenn when it comes to naps/bedtime (not the bows and coordinating outfits though, lol). I am type A, so having routines works for me. And I also like to know when I can expect my quiet time. LOL! Thanks for not judging me as a parent!!!

  167. Angie says

    Once again, some people -not you- have WAY too much free time and need to find a hobby! There are things a lot more important happening around the world. Well said Ashley!

  168. Beverly Atkins says

    I love your attitude! You’re the best pick-me-up I every had! Stay just like you are and life will always be good.

  169. Mary W. says

    Great post! So fits your Choose Joy philosophy of life–you are one special lady!

  170. says

    I am terrified of the McDonald’s playground areas, but I let my kids eat off the floor, too. At least that’s OUR dirt, not someone else’s.

    This was awesome. I love your candor. And I’m totally going to use the tupperware box idea…

  171. Amie says

    My mom totally took our stuff away (toys, clothes, etc) if we left it out after being asked (numerous times) to put it away. I think I turned out pretty okay and I wouldn’t hesistate to do it to my daughter too. I don’t see what the big deal is. A great teaching tool I say.

  172. says

    I think the bucket is a fantastic idea!! Why not teach your children to actually listen to you the first time?

    I try not to judge other mothers parenting styles, although I let the judgement slip every once in awhile when I see a tiny baby at the beach without a hat on. Something about that really irks me.

  173. says

    This is great! I really hate negative comments. Bloggers are brave for putting themselves and their families out there for the world to see and read about. None of us need (or want) strangers (or friends) harassing us about this or that. It may be cliche but I try to comment by the “If you don’t have anything nice to say… don’t comment at all” motto. Seriously. Its not like anyone gets anywhere by yelling at a blogger via their comments. It just ticks people off or hurts their feelings. I would rather not do either. I did a post on parenting styles after the Times breastfeeding thing blew up online.

  174. Kathy Hoy says

    Hey kuddos to any parent who can get their kid to pick up their toys!!! Thumbs up from me!! I can’t get my 12 year old son to pick up anything… Not even the food he drops on the floor… I even paid for cotillion classes .. :/
    Im a safety freak as well. Pool gate went up when our daughter was born as well. You can never be too safe around the pool!!! If you have a pool party check local lifeguards to hire to watch the pool!!! The peace of mind is sooo worth it!!! 😉

  175. Jannelle says

    Spankings – check — 5 second rule – check — “flexible” bedtimes – check — 5 loving, generous, respectful members of society – priceless! I have a feeling none of your readers need anyone else telling them how to parent. Last 200 or so comments prove that! (And full disclosure – yes I had a toy jail box).

  176. Christy McFalls says

    My kiddos are older now (13 and 16), but I have spanked and yelled and spoken in a whisper to get my kids to do or not do something. I have taken brand new toys to Goodwill because they were thrown all over the floor and the boys refused to pick them up. I breastfed one and not the other. Both boys are wonderful, caring human beings. They do their chores (eventually), have close friendships and attend church on their own regularly. They hold doors open for people and help people that need help. They do things because it is the right thing to do, not because we told them to. I don’t know how much was our parenting style ( if we have a style- personally, I don’t think we are very consistent) and how much is their nature. All parents are different. No one should be telling another how something should be done because none of us are perfect. It is not our place to judge.
    You mentioned Jenn and Carolyn. All 5 sets of parents in our family ( for those of you who don’t know – I am Mr. LBB’s sister) have very different ways of doing things, and ALL of our children seem to be heading in the right direction. We all do our best to grow happy, healthy, well-adjusted adults and how they get there isn’t the issue, it is just that they get there. God bless all you moms (and dads) who are winging it like the rest of us!!
    I read a passage the other day that I can only paraphrase here…The days may seem long, but the years fly by!!! Enjoy the little moments because one day your little one will be taking his Senior pictures (like my “little guy” did today) and all the little stuff (like toys on the floor or eating off the floor) won’t matter.
    Sorry if this is rambling, just wanted you all to know I wouldn’t judge, the box idea is great for whomever wants to use it and we are all doing the best we can with no instructions.
    Have a blessed day!!!!

  177. says

    Thank you! I totally agree, if u don’t like something don’t do or don’t make it! Isn’t a blog just to share ideas? I get so many comments like I don’t like this or I wouldn’t do that… Hello! Then don’t!

    Also I have a friend who is like my daughter is now this tall and your son is only this tall! Oh congrats u did such a great job forming your daughter to be so tall haha

  178. Launda says

    Love everyone’s comments! I was a very young mother who spent years trying to be the “perfect” parent because I knew i was being judged based on my age alone, if nothing else. My kids are now (21,19, and14) My Sis in law gave me the biggest compliment ever when she said she wanted to have a relationship with her kids like I have with mine. Just keep doing what you’re doing!! It all works out in the end ( and yes, my kids got spankings and toys taken away!)

  179. christie says

    *love* the box idea. love it! can’t imagine what the controversy was—don’t want to know. I judge my own mothering techniques enough–I don’t need anyone else telling me how I’m screwing up! To add my own disclaimer: don’t confuse judging someone’s heart with judging their intentions. We need to constantly judge the intentions of others to protect ourselves and our kids. However, I still fail. Right now I”m off to apologize to a neighbor kid whom I got angry with yesterday because I wrongly judged his heart. His intentions weren’t bad…my attitude was. Who needs a blog to feel guilty? Certainly not this mom!

  180. Let it be. says

    Love.this.post. I thought the box was a great idea. I guess I am a crappy mother. The only change I would make to the box, a little pocket for matches with a note letting them know next time I picked it up I was gonna burn it. Ha!

    You know the over posted picture Im SO sick of…the perfect little pantry. Do people really live like that. SERIOUSLY?!?!

  181. Tara H. says

    Anyone willing to talk about way they parent gets points in my book…. Shared this on my Facebook….Hope you don’t mind!

  182. Jo says

    I don’t have kids, but I am a teacher! I loved your comment on;”Parents nitpicking and judging perfectly good teachers.”. I don’t teach in mainstream school any more, but when I was, there was an ongoing trend of parents coming in and complaining because their child had been reprimanded/sanctioned for their bad behaviour.
    I actually heard one parent say; “Well he was mad and swore at her (the teacher) because it was the end of break, you can’t blame the kid for wanting stay outside and play!”
    Errrrm?! Yeah, I’m glad I don’t teach in mainstream any more!

  183. says

    I love your post. And your style !
    And when I was that box, I thought “great idea !”, I tried… but in my house it became a laundry bin basket where I put the tots I pick up on the floor, then if they want them, they just take them. I’m not the greatest organized person (I wish), and I try not to add more battles with my kids !

  184. Nicole says

    When I was younger my mom would “Brown Bag” the house in the evenings and any of mine & my sisters’ things that were left out would go into the brown paper grocery bag for us to either earn or purchase back with our allowance. It worked for us because she only had to do it a couple times! It’s similar to the tupperware concept but we had so many brown paper bags that they were easier to find!

    I’ve changed the concept a bit and made it into a game with my daughter using a laundry basket and timing her to see how long it takes for her to gather up all of her stuff and see how many points she can score by tossing them from a certain distance into the basket. I started when she was about 4 and now she’s almost 7. Obviously she doesn’t want me to pick everything up because she knows she’ll have to buy or earn it back so this game keeps me from having to clean up after her and allows her to actually keep her toys. Once I’ve hauled the overflowing laundry basket upstairs to her room, I time her again to see how quickly she can put everything away. Sometimes we’ll set a goal to be finished picking up and putting everything away in 15 minutes. If we meet our goal we’ll reward her hard work with a small treat from the treasure box or letting her stay up an extra 10 minutes at bedtime.

  185. kristin says


    (Most resonating part for me: “And guess what….sometimes I feel guilty for some of the choices I make when I’m parenting. And that’s my issue. I don’t need anyone else’s help in feeling guilty over it.”)

  186. says

    Controversy? What controversy? Totally missed it! Saw the box on FB. Loved it! What’s not to love? It’s a win/win in my book.

    I also love you Ashley! You are inspiring in so many ways. Your attitude rocks! I adore that you don’t let others judgment get to you. You are my hero in that regard.

    I bought a package of your “choose joy” bracelets a while back. Sent them to friends in little care packages and also gave some away on my blog in a random drawing. I wear mine all the time. It’s been a hard year. Every time I start to get way down in the dumps, my hubby grabs the purple band around my wrist and reminds me to “choose joy”. He knows all about you. I’d say he’s a backseat fan. ha ha ha!!!

  187. says

    Wow, I just spend the longest time reading this post/comments that I ever have! I wish we knew each other in real life, Ashley. You’d leave me alone, I’d leave you alone…we’d be so happy together! :o)

  188. Jennifer says

    Wow! I can’t believe the person who came up with & shared the awesome idea of the tupperware box got so much crap that they removed it just to get people to shut-up. That sucks! Makes me wonder what those same negative-nillies would say about me encouraging my friends who are parents to go through & toss out their kids toys without consulting the child. I regularly assist one of my best friends who is the mother of four kids in doing just this. Most recently we threw out at least 4 55 gallon black trash bags of garbage & broken toys from her house. After the girls’ (of which there are 3) room was done they had next to nothing. Boy was their room pretty! My friend called her girls into the room & informed them that what is left is all they have and she would tolerate no whining about it. She also warned that if they didn’t make more of an effort to keep their room clean she would break their fingers. Loved it!

  189. lesley says

    Word. 😉 I “turn the other cheek” & “judge not” on a daily basis. I totally get it.

  190. says

    Oh they don’t make a Tupperware container big enough to pick up the crap my kids leave behind. I love the idea though.

    I am sooooo not the judging kind of gal. Except when you smoke crack while pregnant or leave your dog in a a car with the windows cracked open on a mild 80 degree day. Then I’ll say something to you. And I’ll use profanity, which I use in front of my kids all day long.

    I love this post! Thanks.

  191. Candice Wise says

    Wonderful post…had to laugh outloud at the church as entertainment…dropping my boys off at vbs tomorrow so i can get a break! Go ahead and judge, lol.

  192. Bev says

    I always miss the good stuff! I just had a friend send that pin to me when she was over at my germy house having a playdate {wink} and heard me yell for the 100th time that I was going to throw everything left on the floor away {which I have done in the past – actually I donated it. Including a DS – mama was mad}. I love how honest you are and my kids laugh when I spank them too.
    PS I need a beer, can Boo set up a stand later today?

  193. Julie Edwards McCartney says

    Did you receive my messages..not so Direct!!..I, wrote..my thoughts, as a older Mother, of three( in 5 yrs). I, wrote, July, 11.2012, early AM!..Please let me know..I, note not posted!..My, Message!..Enjoy!!..your Children..time passes so quickly!..I, am, speaking..as a Mom, R.N.,( Peds),MX.MX.yrs!..Also, owned,taught Preschool..15yrs.I,spoke..” a Mother Bird” in time..making .”her” “nest,” ..adding to the nest..one day..return..her nest, empty..luckily,..the smallest Bird, has three Chicks..in need..of help!!..GMa Brd, weary..wings..that ached,..found..a second..happiness..to keep..these tiny Birds..warm..no need for a grand Nest!!..Just,” enjoy!!,,they grow..so quickly!!” I, noted ..so many, different..” how to raise a Child”..seldom do respond..( excuse typos”)Dear, to my Heart!

  194. Valerie says

    We had a discussion about this recently with the teenage girls at my church. Not the tupperware box, which I’ve seen before and think is a fabulous idea! But about judging, among many other things. You are judging, but you are not “judging” in a bad way and condemning someone for something. You are “assessing” a situation, and deciding what will be best for you personally. It is ok to look at someone or something and say, “The things that they are doing are not going to be good for me, so I choose not to participate.” The people who leave nasty comments about someone’s personal decisions, however, are “judging”. I commend you for standing up for yourself and your decisions, and for judging in a positive way. Thank you!

  195. pam says

    Parenting is a scary/ awesome responsibility. Most of the time I don’t know if I’m doing anything right, but I get up each morning and keep trying.

  196. Laura says

    I missed this particular Internet drama but I can say that I find that Tupperware sign hilarious. Like you I don’t understand why people put so much energy into judging strangers. Why would someone think that their way of doing things is what would work best for everyone else? I also totally agree with the sentiment of that parent, who basically is just saying: there is a consequence to making someone else clean up after you and here is what you can do to fix the problem.

    Also hilarious: your dramatic moral struggle about what to do with your BPA bottles. I love the way you write about these things. You put it very clearly and you are very funny.

  197. says

    You’re hilarious! I agree that everyone has a different parenting style and why should we judge/bash one another? I think we can all learn from one another. We have our ups and downs, advantages and disadvantages. And I never saw this tupperware debate!

  198. Diana says

    LOL. When my daughter was eight and nine I was so frustrated with getting her to clean her room, I started setting a time limit and then everything still on her floor would go into a trash bag and then put in the attic. She could have the bag back when her room was clean. Every Saturday we went through the same ordeal. She’s 29 now and I’m afraid I still have those bags in the attic. In spite of it all, she’s fairly well adjusted…just not any neater than she was at eight.

  199. Debra says

    Great post Ashley. I saw the tote and didn’t repin only because I’ve been doing something similar for years–if toys were left out I put them in a tote and put them in an unused room and told the kids the toys were in “prison”– I’m sure the pin-ers would have had a field day with that! If the kids wanted them back they had to bail them out by doing extra good deeds and picking up all their stuff for a number of days in a row. Gosh, am I encouraging incarceration? lol.

  200. Trisha says

    you are a PERFECTLY IMPERFECT parent!!!! You’re so right about this, and I admire your wisdom for it with only having one child. I didn’t see this side to parenting until just recently and was always judged because I looked so much younger and still do than what I actually am, so I always felt the need to have my kids lives be perfect for fear of judgement….I have learned to relax about Sadie now that she’s the last one…and know that so far I think I ve done a pretty darn good job with my other four, and that Sadie too will be a pretty awesome kid!!! (she already is….) ok, so I didn’t brag about how smart or gifted she was, just that she was awesome LOL….keep doing what you’re doing too my friend!!! S is so lucky to have a mommy like you..with all your perfect imperfections!!!! Love this post as usual!!!

  201. says

    I don’t have much to add as you said it quite eloquently. I’ve left (left, as if you can physically leave – facepalm) – stopped reading blogs and sites where this happens way too much. Especially the one upping. Because that never happens in blogland. LOL. I love reading yours. Truly.

  202. says

    Haha! I actually love that tupperware box idea! Except I would use it for my husband too! And there would be chores in the box like paint the kitchen and sand the sticky tac off the ceiling(long story). I guess when there are “perfect” people in the world they have the right to judge others.(Can you sense the sarcasm?) Keep up the good work, I enjoy everything you post! Let the haters keep on hating! 😀 :) 😉 (Did I use too many smilies there? No? Ok, good!)

  203. Heather says

    I just wanted to say thank you for all you have done and shared! I’ve been kind of watching from a distance what’s happening in your life. You are an absolutely beautiful person, inside and out! I would love to someday meet you and take a peek into your life, and work! You are incredibly inspirational!

    Thank you!

  204. says

    I adore you. That’s all.

    I love laughing through your posts… because that’s what I usually do.

    Until I have to pee… then I come back for more! lol

  205. april says

    personally when I saw that photo (quite awhile ago) I thought – this woman is a genius!! I am a strict parent, (by others standards) but also a complete contradiction at times, and my kids still have so much trouble seeing the value of their things – ie. how much it cost to buy it & how valuable that little plastic toy really is to them. I think this helps them learn how to decipher what they really need to keep and what should be let go, as well as maybe helping them decide when they are older whether or not to even purchase something in the first place. Do I really need this item? Would I mop the floors or clean my room to have this item?? ….just my two cents! We should definately all be allowed our own opinions without being persecuted for them – just appreciate that we are all different, and everyone has to make it through the day somehow.

  206. melle e says

    just reading this. awesome post.

    and honestly… kidlet is 12. you wouldn’t BELIEVE how MANY GIGANTIC rubbermaid bins–gigantic! not those itty bitty things on pinterest– of TOYS liver permanently in the basement.

    he doesn’t HAVE to earn the darn things back. my mom just sends him more… LOL

  207. Jenn @ You know... that blog? says

    I LOVE this post! It’s like we’re sharing a brain, except that, you know, that would be weird and people would judge us for it.

    Loved that rubbermaid bin idea, but like a few other comments made, my kids would be just fine losing things in order to avoid chores. Then there’s the whole “kids are 10 years apart” thing, and the oldest is 18 and would just laugh at me for trying it on her.

    Anyway, glad I found you – love your blog.