Principles & Principals: Learning Strength by Parenting

Eau Clare mother of three (soon to be four!) finds online presence is an outlet for creativity, source of personal identity

V1 Staff


Ashley Peggs


Husband, Dan Peggs; children Arianna (6), Emery (4), Iylah (2½), and Baby Girl Peggs due any day; Max (a shih-tzu-poodle and the only other boy in the house).


Southside of Eau Claire


Ashley Peggs began teaching second grade at Robbins Elementary after graduating from UW-Eau Claire, and loved her work. But when her first daughter was born premature, she took the rest of the year off to stay home with the child. The expectation of her second child brought with it a difficult choice: She decided to leave her public school job to work in the home raising her girls. When her third daughter was born, Ashley started a blog called Parenting the Principal as a way to establish her own identity and channel her creative energy.

She uses it to share education crafts, activities, and toys, redirecting her love of teaching to others through the Web. “I also made it my goal to share with my audience parenting tips and tricks, adding in a sprinkle of humor, while at the same time doing my best to stay as authentic and real as possible,” she said. Ashley is expecting her fourth child any day now. “Motherhood is so much more than just being a mom and I couldn’t have navigated this complex journey without a family-oriented community and the fabulous people that make it home,” she said. Find Ashley’s blog at or look for “Parenting the Principal” on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

We love the Chippewa Valley because I grew up here and have family here, so I’m deeply invested in this community. I also love that it is so family-oriented. There is always something to do as a family. Eau Claire is deeply vested in creating an environment that strengthens family connections.

I make sure to never miss a chance for treasure hunting. Thrift sales and exploring secondhand stores are my jam. It’s in my blood. My friends always joke about where I found something and how much it cost. I can’t pass up a great deal! My husband, on the other hand, has to live with an extra budget envelope in the summer.

My favorite place to take the kids is ... We love our time at playgroup at the Family Resource Center, the Children’s Museum is always a great go-to, and we could spend hours at the library. We try to make it to every park in the summer, and frequent Toddler Jump and Swim at Action City/Chaos occasionally. Beaver Creek and the Chippewa Valley Museum are also hidden local gems to take the children to. And the fabulous educators at Lily Pad Lab make for a great resource for parents with little children.

My family has taught me a deeper love than I’ve ever thought possible, a strength I didn’t know I possessed, patience, to have a thick skin, and the ability to laugh through the tough stuff life throws our way.

When the kids are with a sitter, we love to explore the new things happening in EC. So much is changing and growing in the community and we love to take as much of it in as we can. In the summer, we love floating or kayaking down the river, walking through the farmers market, or grabbing a bite to eat downtown. In the winter, we catch a movie or spend the evening with good friends playing games.

My husband always laughs at me because a week doesn’t go by that something isn’t moved or rearranged in the house because I’ve found a “better way of organizing it” or decided this furniture arrangement was obviously much better.

My husband would say my super power is always knowing where everything is in the house. Your keys? In your dress pants pocket. Your wallet? Left in the cup holder of your car. The little ponies that the girls were playing with and are currently distraught because they can’t find? Lined up on the counter next to the potty.

If I could pass on one bit of advice it would be trust your gut and be your child’s biggest advocate during their childhood, and then teach them to advocate for themselves as they grow up. Also, buy multiple of your child’s favorite stuffed animal or blanket or whatever thing they are attached to before it gets lost and you are frantically searching eBay for a replica that cost an outrageous amount of money. Not like I’m speaking from experience or anything …

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