Ashley Rice knows a thing or seven about being a mom. The Newark mother has seven children in a blended family—three who are grown and four, including a newborn baby boy, at home. Rice recognizes that moms often crave connection, support and information from other moms. This is especially important during a pandemic, as well for those who have relocated to the area, says Rice, a former TV anchor who moved here from Milwaukee with her family in 2017. This year, she launched Delaware Moms (delaware.momcollective.com), a web-based parenting resource that’s part of a national collective. Delaware moms meet online to connect and share experiences in a safe space where “no mom shaming is allowed.”
I have a newborn, a 4-year-old, an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old. It’s easy to lose your sense of self being a mom. I thought, what else am I besides a mom? I wanted to do something that gives me a sense of self.
My kids go to school, but it’s not the same as what it was. There is nothing social for them now—no skating, no hanging out with friends. I’m trying to create some of the magic at home. Right now, I’m helping my 4-year-old with a science experiment. This is stuff we’re all going through, at least locally.
Before the pandemic, I could drop my kids off at school and then meet up with mom friends. We can’t do that as easily now, and I realized there was no parenting resource statewide. Delaware Moms is part of a national network called City Mom Collective. The website is populated by local volunteer bloggers covering a range of topics, from marriage and pregnancy to parenting perspectives and challenges. There’s also a community calendar and commentary from local moms. I don’t tell contributors what to write; I just ask them to write when they have something to say.
There’s no negativity—no mom shaming. That creates controversy, and I’m all about positivity. It’s been fun, and it’s like a ray of sunshine. Ideally, I want every mom in Delaware to read this. I want moms to feel happiness and joy.
After COVID-19, and when the weather is good, I’d like to start hosting social events.