it’s not about the rain boots

 I just got back home after dropping Teddy off at school.

My morning didn’t start off as smooth as it could have but, as always, it could have been worse, but it started off a tad hectic.

I had to wake Reagan up 5 minutes before Teddy’s school started. Thankfully we are about 2 minutes away from his school. That has been so nice, while everyone gets used to this timezone. She was up in the night, so I feel even worse when I have to wake her. After I scooped her out of bed, we all basically ran out the door. I threw on tennis shoes and Teddy threw on rain boots as usual and I didn’t even put shoes on Reagan since I was carrying her to the car. Yep, it was that kind of morning. It seemed like a manic Monday but it was Tuesday, so it was a manic Tuesday.

As we pulled into school and got into the carline, I felt like I could finally relax and breathe because Teddy was at school. He was where he needed to be and we made it on time!

When it was his turn to get out, the teacher who got him out of the car, (not his) said “does he have his tennis shoes in his backpack?!”

My response was “Nope! He just wears his rain boots all the time! Rain or shine!” with a smile on my face. (I just assumed she hadn’t seen a kiddo who wears boots 24/7 like the little presidents do.)

She replied “Well, we have a strict tennis shoe only policy.”

My heart sank and I felt my eyes fill with tears. Luckily I had sunglasses on, so I don’t think she noticed.

I explained that we just started school a week ago and I wasn’t aware of the rule. I had no idea. I mean, I assumed they couldn’t wear flip flops or crocs but I didn’t think rain boots would have been an issue. He’s worn them at both preschools he attended, with no issue, so when he threw them on this morning, I didn’t think twice about it. She explained that they tell people about the policy on school tours, which I said we never took because I signed him up over the phone. After she realized that I honestly didn’t know about the policy, she was really nice about it and said it was okay for the day.

I drove home feeling like a bad mom for not knowing about the policy, even though there was no way for me to know. I just felt like I couldn’t do anything right. We all have those moments or in this case, those days where nothing you do, seems to be right.

I silently cried on the drive home.

As we stopped at a red light, I realized, it’s not about the rain boots.


The tears weren’t about the rain boots, although, that just kind of threw me over the edge.

It’s been a whirlwind of a week. We moved across the country and into an apartment. Most of our things are in storage. The little presidents have no idea what is going on. Reagan isn’t sleeping much. I have no help (I need a babysitter here) and I’m exhausted. While Mr. Fancy is traveling less, he’s still gone and that’s always hard, regardless of the amount of days. It’s hard to get into a groove without your things and knowing that you’ll only be in this groove for a short time. Teddy has done fine with starting a new school and the transition and loves it (praise the Lord!), but he is a bit behind and it’s stressing me out. I worry and don’t ever want him to struggle in school, especially at such a young age.

I spent the first part of last week beating myself up about the things he is behind on. I beat myself up over the fact that in Texas, Teddy needs to know how to write his name. This was something that he worked on at his old school but it wasn’t necessary. I had asked. We are working on it, but, it’s not easy. He doesn’t want to practice. He says a lot of “I can’t do it!” and tears are usually involved and right when they start, we stop. I don’t want writing to be something that he doesn’t enjoy. I figure he will learn it. I am trying my hardest to figure out how we can work on it without tears and frustration on his part and mine too.


My whole day yesterday turned into a mess. I ran to the grocery store for a quick trip and Reagan whined/cried the whole time. She insisted on pushing Boo and Ellie (her new stuffed friend) in her stroller and halfway through the store refused to push it because “they wanted to be held.” So, I carried it through the store and put it down when I was reaching for a frozen pizza and forgot about it. We realized it and retraced our steps and it was right where I left it. Then as I was loading the bags into the car, one bag broke and there was food all over the parking lot. The same exact thing happened when I unloaded the bags from my car, but this time it was all over the parking garage. Eeeekkk!!! I mean, if you don’t laugh, you cry. I was cry laughing…so it was a mix of both.


On top of everything, I’m a little under the weather, so it’s just like a bunch of stuff piling on all at once. I felt like I should’ve stayed in bed today and then I could wake up tomorrow and all would be better. Of course, moms don’t get sick days, so that couldn’t happen.

I prayed on the short drive home from the store.

I prayed for patience, grace and just help getting through the day. It started out rough and it was not getting better and all I wanted to do was have a redo. I wanted to send Teddy to school in the correct shoes and skip the grocery store with Reagan and have an easy, happy morning. I blamed myself for the rain boots, for the lack of name writing knowledge and for being upset with Reagan (Not only is she 2 but she is struggling here and exhausted!). As a parent, It’s easy to sit and blame yourself for all the bad stuff that happens. I have felt a TON of guilt of how Reagan has handled the move. I mean how can I not feel badly? No one wants to see their child struggle or suffer.


As a parent, you try your hardest and you do the best you can.

There will always be things that you don’t do perfectly. That’s the reality and it’s hard to swallow in some instances. There is no perfect parent. At least that I know of and if there is a perfect parent, it’s not me and I’m fine with that. Perfection is overrated anyway.

We all struggle. We all have days where we wonder if we are doing it “right” so to speak.

The reality is, we are all doing the best we can. It’s good to remember that when you feel like you’re doing it all wrong. I always think it would be nice on days like today, to be able to just sit down with a whole group of moms and dads and everyone could list what they thought they were doing wrong or didn’t handle perfectly. I’m positive there are a lot of us who would have stories in common and would be able to say “Hey, I get you. I’ve been there too!”

I was thankful for grace this morning when I accidentally sent my child to school with shoes that weren’t allowed. I suppose they could have sent me home to get the correct shoes, but they didn’t. I felt even worse that when I picked him up, he said they had told him that everyone else was wearing tennis shoes and he couldn’t wear his boots again. He was upset with me because in his mind, I should have known. He didn’t know any better but I still felt badly that anyone spoke to him about it because it was not his fault.


I keep trying to remember that I’m doing the best I can. The fact that Teddy didn’t know how to write his name a week ago and the fact that I sent him to school in rain boots and the fact that Reagan is having a tough time doesn’t make me a bad mom.

It makes me human.

I’m trying my best. I’m sure you are too.

We all are.

Rain boots and all.

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  1. Jen wrote:

    Hang in there Ashely! My daughter had far behind in Kindergarten. We were all concerned but after hard work, a lot of tears and frustration things finally clicked and she is right where is she suppose to be. We carried a white board everywhere we went so she could practice writing her letters. He will get there!

    Posted 1.22.14
  2. Lisa Cooper wrote:

    This too shall pass! You are doing the best you can and are overwhelmed by all the changes. Your kids will be fine! Just continue to hug them often! Check local churches for a moms morning out group. You will find lots of other moms experiencing the same feelings that you are. See if your new city has a newcomers club. It was a saving grace for me after I moved to a new town with my son after the death of my spouse. Good luck! You will get through this!! You are stronger than you think!

    Posted 1.22.14
  3. Nancy wrote:

    Ash you’re a fancy rock star momma!!!! It breaks my heart that this move has been so tough. I wish I could help. I’m so inspired by your faith…this is only a season! Praying for you always.

    Posted 1.22.14
  4. erica wrote:

    This is the best blog post you’ve ever written. Man, have I been there. And I seem to STAY there sometimes, which is even worse = when you can’t shake your funk. I do believe God makes us walk through these valleys so that we come out on top, lessons learned, priorities reconfigured. I’ll be praying for you in your new home – I’ve been there too, with two children, a traveling husband, and a job on top of it all.

    On another note – spread out shaving cream on a baking sheet and let teddy write his name with his finger in it. Nice and big. He should love it. Let him write it with sidewalk chalk. An easel. My daughter learned on an “aquadoodle” – if you can’t find one of those, try a “magnadoodle” – use anything but pencil and paper. then gradually and slowly introduce it with paper. Good luck! You’re doing good Mama!

    Posted 1.22.14
  5. Ash, We have all (as mothers) had days like this! Hang in there. My heart is grows heavy everytime I read a post about your move good or bad because I may have to move my three children. New York to Florida! They will be in another world. As a life long New Yorker I don’t know how I’m going to be able to do it. I just know that in the long run it is what’s best for us all. We will have a better life and definitely better weather!! Just remember you did what’s best for everyone. They will adjust and they will flourish in their new environment because you are a great mother, wife and friend (from what I’ve seen and read). Keep it up, we are all rooting for you.

    -MZH (Long Island, New York)

    Posted 1.22.14
  6. Cory wrote:

    Hang in there… you’re a fantastic momma.. this is a hard transition and things will get better!!!

    Posted 1.22.14
  7. I think you’re an amazing Mama Ashley. I don’t think anyone would have handled the issue any better in your circumstances, you’re living out of boxes & doing a great job! I think you’re amazing. Psalm 23 Lizzie xoxo

    Posted 1.22.14
  8. Hannah wrote:

    When I have a student who never wants to practice their writing we try to have
    Them write with chalk or create their letters in play-do. Sometimes we also put shaving creame on the table and let them write letters in it-they love it and as an added bonus it cleans your table! Just some ideas to make him love writing someday!! Hang in there!!

    Posted 1.22.14
  9. Lauren M. wrote:

    Everyone has those days! I just got my son the leap frog leapreader so he would actually enjoy and have fun learning to read and write the letters so maybe that could be an option. good luck!

    Posted 1.22.14
  10. Liz wrote:

    Such a good and honest post! Hang in there mama, it will get better…you are doing the best you can and you are doing a great job! Your kids are loved beyond measure by you and that’s what counts…bad days happen but tomorrow is always another day!

    Posted 1.22.14
  11. Delisa wrote:

    Ashley. I will be praying for you. You need to focus on what you are getting accomplished. When you stop and realize your phone works, know even where the grocery store is, have the utilities on, already have Teddy in a preschool getting him acclimated in his whole new world, you are way ahead of the curve. You are camping right now. That can be frustrating but it is temporary. Valentine’s Day is coming up. Have Teddy sign his name on maybe 5 valentines a day for his new class. He can practice his name that way. Don’t let these little challenges steal your joyful heart. You are strong and courageous sending love, hugs, and prayers your way.

    Posted 1.22.14
  12. jessica wrote:

    hang in there!!! you are a fantastic mommy!
    I sent you a kind of crazy email, but I hope it helps. 🙂

    Posted 1.22.14
  13. darci wrote:

    Sweet friend! You are one amazing mama and I assure you that if these are your shortcomings, you are doing better than 99% of the rest of the population! It breaks my heart that the transition has been a challenge… IT WILL GET BETTER!!!

    You pick a date and we’re getting together.

    I pray that today is a far better day for you and the LP’s! XO!

    Posted 1.22.14
    • Don’t let the enemy still your joy! You are doing an awesome job! God will carry you through. Just rely on Him! Hang in there!

      Posted 1.22.14
  14. Brittany wrote:

    I have so been there. Those days are the worst and the best all at once. The worst while they’re happening and you feel so overwhelmed, but the best when you can reflect and learn a lesson from them. hope the rest of your day got better, thanks for sharing! xoxo

    Posted 1.22.14
  15. Allison wrote:


    I read your post and had to respond. If you are at Second Baptist I can help you out. I have a precious friend there with 4 girls and one in the pre k program who lives close to the school and can help with babysitters etc! If you are not there ignore the comment and know you are being prayed for!! If you are, you can contact me at and I can connect you with my friend!!

    Posted 1.22.14
  16. Ashlee wrote:

    I don’t know how you managed to get Teddy in school so fast! You deserve a lot of grace, you’ll all get there! If I had just moved a bunch of time zones over I would have spent at least a week in my PJs trying to catch up!

    Also trying doing fun things with Teddy for him to write his name, have him write in shaving cream, paint his name, write it in rainbow colors, with frosting, glue and POM POMS!, etc. Instead of making him have to sit down with “homework” find fun ways to practice! Sitting down and writing with a pencil and paper will come in time. And honestly I don’t think it was appropriate for the teachers to say anything about the boots to T, he’s a little kid and the new one at that…You’re doing an AWESOME job!

    *my normal disclaimer is I don’t have kids but I’ve spent lots of time with other people’s* 🙂

    Posted 1.22.14
  17. Holly wrote:

    First thing I’m just so glad to hear other Moms have as difficult of a time in the grocery store as I do. I was in the dollar store the other day and just as I left the cash toddler in arms my bag broke & everyone just stared. I was beat red & had to ask for help & held everyone up. Humiliating!! You are doing a Great job…cut yourself some slack. None of you need all this pressure so try to relax. Adjustments will happen it all just takes time. Praying for you always.

    Posted 1.22.14
  18. Sonji wrote:

    Best post ever, hands down! Thank you for your transparency. I have and sometimes still do feel exactly the same way! It just means you care, or these things wouldn’t bother you so much. We do the best we can and that’s all that can be expected. Your kids know you’re a great mom.

    Posted 1.22.14
  19. Jackie wrote:

    ashley – I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now. My family also just went through relocation (with our 8 year old) and it was tough!! I know you’ve heard it a lot but — hang in there! Things will get easier. When our daughter started 2nd grade here in Chicago she was behind in reading – even though she wasn’t back at her old school. We felt terrible, like we had done something wrong, and felt terrible for her that she had to go to special reading classes to catch up. Ugh bad all around. The only advice I can give is just practice, practice, practice and try to stay positive. He’ll get the hang of it in no time, I’m sure. 🙂

    Posted 1.22.14
  20. ME wrote:

    Sweet Ashley, This is just a typical day of Motherhood in my book-at least once a week!
    Add in all the new changes, a traveling hubby, a two year old who is sensitive to your moods, and you truly are doing an awesome job!! Being the “mom” right now and putting on a happy face is sooo hard! Don’t doubt yourself – look at the marvelous little presidents and how far you have brought them. Outstanding, excellent, loving, nurturing Mother is who you are! xo

    Posted 1.22.14
  21. Anni wrote:

    As the daughter of a phenomenal preschool teacher, I HATE that you’ve had this experience so far. My kids aren’t at the writing phase yet but i hear my mom talk about her students all the time. she gets sooo frustrated when parents try to push their kids in academics. She is a huge advocate for play and creativity and has left a preschool because they were too workbook focused. She teaches PreK at a church preschool and has kids that are working on writing their names right now, some get it and some don’t. There is also a huge difference between boys and girls. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It will click for him and he’ll be fine! I also cannot believe they said something to him about the boots. I think that is totally inappropriate.
    I’m saying a prayer for you that things calm down and go your way 🙂

    Posted 1.22.14
  22. Melissa wrote:

    Ashley, as I read your post I thought this was something I could have written myself. I too moved out of state away from family with two kiddos the same ages as yours with a husband who traveled for his job. At the time I thought I was the only one who was a failure because I would consistently have days like these. Oh the stories that I look back on— I thought everyone else had it all figured out and why couldn’t I handle this. I shed many a tears at that time but looking back now I wish I could have told myself not to stress out so much. You see in the end it all worked out fine for the kids, for all of us actually. They weren’t “ruined “by the decision that my husband and I made to move to another state. (I can’t tell you how many days and nights I worried myself sick about it at the time).
    I am praying that you will find a sense of peace in this transition. I’m sure that you will sometimes have these days along the way but always know that you are not alone. You are a terrific mom and the little presidents are blessed to have you as their mother!!! ( I bet when they are older they will look back on this time in their lives and tell you themselves how thankful they are for all that you did for them ). xO

    Posted 1.22.14
  23. I don’t know you personally, but thanks to your blog, I feel like you have become a friend of mine that just lives in a different state. There is no doubt in my mind that you are an INCREDIBLE Mommy!!! I understand how difficult moving is, although I’ve never experienced it as a mommy and I’m sure it’s a million times more difficult. I’m glad you’re giving yourself grace! Hang in there and keep your head high. Soon y’all will be all settled, life will have found a new routine and you’ll feel that weight lift from your shoulders. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability!

    Posted 1.22.14
  24. Nora wrote:

    Hi Ashley,

    I am so sorry to hear that yesterday was so tough…I hope that today is an improvement! I have a 5 year old son and he loves using dry erase markers (I call them Magic Pens). You could try printing out teddy’s name on a sheet of paper, putting it in a picture frame and having him trace it on the glass of the frame with a dry erase marker. If he doesn’t get it perfect, he can just wipe it off and try again. Hopefully if it is fun there will be fewer tears! I also can’t believe the teachers said something about his boots to him at school. That is something that should be addressed directly with the parents, in my opinion. Hang in there!


    Posted 1.22.14
  25. Jessica Watson Repman wrote:

    Your right Ashley, you are human and noones perfect. But the fact you try so hard for your kids makes you an amazing mom! I have a 1 year old and i strive to be perfect for her, go to work everyday and be the best wife I can be. I worry about the thigns Addison should be working on now to make her better and keep her up to speed on everything. Even being a teacher and knowing how to teach it’s different with your kids. but I am a firm believer that God has a plan and the obstacles that he gives us he knows we can handle it. Have faith and i know you’ll get through all of this. By the way i dont’ see the problem in Teddy wearing rainboots.

    Posted 1.22.14
  26. Cami wrote:

    You are an amazing mama and you are not alone! Days like this are so tough, especially when not feeling well. Hoping that things start to turn for the better very soon. Hugs!

    Posted 1.22.14
    • Cami wrote:

      Sorry I don’t know why it linked to my shop!

      Posted 1.22.14
  27. GN wrote:

    Check the Rice University newspaper for babysitters! As a rice alum, I can assure you that the students there are bright, hardworking, responsible, and will take amazing care of the LPs.

    Posted 1.22.14
  28. Andrea H. wrote:

    Bless your heart!! We’ve all been there. I just wanted to offer you a virtual hug!

    Posted 1.22.14
  29. Caitlin wrote:

    I wish i was in tx to babysit (If you’re ever looking for a nanny let me know)! your children are the cutest and it just breaks my heart to see y’all struggling right now…just remember, if god brings you to it he’ll bring you through it!

    Posted 1.22.14
  30. Kelli H wrote:

    Im just over here crying with ya girl. It breaks my heart that those precious kidos are having a hard time adjusting to everything but as you know this too shall pass and it will be all pink and gold glitter polka dots will be thinking of yal

    Posted 1.22.14
  31. nicole wrote:

    First if all take a deep breath, you have a lot on your plate! Try letting Teddy write his name in shaving cream in the tub or at the kitchen table…my older 2 boys loved this..(.my younger 2 are just starting)

    Posted 1.23.14
  32. Amy W wrote:

    I feel like this every day!!! Thanks for reminding us we are human!

    Posted 1.23.14
  33. Hickory wrote:

    My mom send my sister to school one day without underware on….she was wearing a dress. All as fine until she climbed the monkey bars and hung upside down… mother was mortified. hang in there!!!!

    Posted 1.27.14
  34. Hang in there! Things might be tough now but you will all be a stronger family because of this move. and someday, I promise, you will laugh about pre-school and rain boots!!!

    Posted 1.28.14
  35. Brooke wrote:

    Awe, this happens to us all!!! I just moved from my home state and it was such a struggle for me although I was so excited and it was the best thing for us!! Change is hard!! I also, wanted to let you know ….im a pediatric OT and help children with handwriting for a living. Start off by getting the Handwriting without Tears APP for your ipad or phone!! It is great!!

    Posted 1.30.14

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