Keeping up with the Mommas


100th Day of School.  Valentine’s Day.  Read Across America.  St. Patrick’s Day.  

The saying used to read “Keeping up with the Joneses.”  Now I think it should state “Keeping up with the Mommas.” 

Sarah Champlin

One thing I’ve learned from watching my close friends that have older children than I do is the amount of time and devotion they place into their children’s school activities. I truly enjoy seeing how creative and talented my parent friends are with the activities that happen in their child’s elementary classrooms.

Tara Pegg
Nicole Traficante

As the 100th day of school approaches, so do the hot glue guns and art supplies.  Moms are creating shirts for their kiddos that incorporate 100 items.  These items range from googly eyes to rhinestones.  The fad of sending little paper valentines to all the students in the class is a thing of the past. Over the past few years, I have witnessed some elaborate Valentine boxes.  Some had feathers, other glitter, and I’ve even seen some with wheels.  As soon as the hearts are down and the red and pink decorations are put away, Dr. Seuss takes over.  The entire week leading up to Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd is a different themed day.  Crazy Hair Day, Mismatched Day and Favorite Sports Team Day are just a few of the contenders.  Then comes St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m sure some of you loathe the little leprechaun that comes into your child’s school and takes over their classroom.  Kids come home and want to then know why the leprechaun doesn’t visit them at home making another thing you have to keep up with.    

Brian Smith

As much as I enjoy seeing all of my friends’ children partaking in the celebrations, it makes me stop to think about the kids that go to school that do not participate.  What are the reasons behind the lack of participation?  Is it due to the fact that they come from a single parent family, and that parent works three jobs to make ends meet?  Do these children come from families that have such high demands at their work that there are just not enough hours in the day to hot glue rhinestones?  What about the amount of money it takes to produce each item for each holiday?  Maybe the child simply isn’t interested in participating.  Maybe they forgot.

Emily Eicher

Whatever the reasons may be, I think as parents pick up their hot glue guns and bust out the glitter, real, genuine conversations should be happening between parent and child.  Regardless of the reasons why a child comes to school with a grocery bag for Valentines and plain, white sock instead of mismatched ones is irrelevant.  Conversations need to be happening for young children to realize that not everyone is as fortunate as they are. 

Teach your child to include the kid that didn’t wear a sports jersey.  Encourage your child to hand a kid an extra pair of crazy socks that you packed in your own child’s book-bag.  Urge your child to not laugh or mock the child that doesn’t come to school decked from head to toe in green.  Inspire your child to be the kid that stands up for the child that is being teased.  I guarantee that the child that was being picked on will never forget the Wonder Woman that stood up for them.   And hats off to you moms out there that are able to make your own child’s school year extra special.  

Emily Eicher
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Ashli is a Fayette County native but made the leap to Allegheny County in 2013. She married a man named Jarred that she met randomly at a Toby Keith concert at KeyBank Pavilion. Seven years later, they have shared four blissful years of marriage and have welcomed three children into their homes; their oldest- a black rescue lab named Fiona, a sweet toddler boy named Collins, and a precious baby girl named Carmie. Ashli and her clan live in the South Hills, but more importantly five short minutes to Target where she enjoys quiet weekend strolls through the aisles. Extra bonus points are added when she stumbles upon something she doesn’t need, but has to purchase because it has the red clearance sticker on it. Ashli is currently working on obtaining her Master’s degree in STEM Education. Ashli is passionate about working with children, and is a fifth-grade teacher presently on maternity leave. Last January, Kristine Sorensen from KDKA interviewed Ashli because she was nominated as a top Peer Mentor for the students in her district. While away from the classroom this year to take care of her own sweet babies, she receives weekly FaceTime calls from former students that need a pep talk. Ashli’s goal in life is to change the lives of students that have ventured onto that wrong path in life, and do everything she can to get them back on the right one.


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