AT Moms Crushing It

AT Moms have a lot to deal with. Being mom at home and “mom” at work, breastfeeding in a football locker room at halftime…I mean come on.

Cari Wood, Valerie Moody, and Kelly Salter join share some of their stories to encourage and lift you up as an AT Mom.

Val, what is your family makeup?

University of Montana Director of our program

AT Journey Colorado, Nebraska, Colorado, Florida back to Nebraska

Met husband in high school but actually met when she was back in Nebraska


22 year old and 19 year old

Married 23 years


Born and raised in Michigan

Husband was a coach at her first job

23 years this summer

21 and 20 year old sons

Tell some stories of raising kids as an AT mom?

Kelly – we now sleep with a phone on for our kids…but it can not be me as I get messages from former kids at all hours.

I was able to provide AT care to my kids in little league.

As the only AT at my school, I have to care for my kids.  It takes practice and objectivity.

Cari – former athlete called her after a varsity football game and they had been having fun.

I love they feel safe to call me

A friend fell off the golf cart and broke her 5th metatarsal but Cari made her play through it.

It is hard to evaluate your own kid.

My son was a wrestler but my contract did not cover the road trips.  So I had to sit in the stands and sit and watch, but I can never really turn that off.

Val – when my kids are playing I have the other AT doing the evaluation.  It gives me a layer of separation.

“Will there ever be a game where I am just mom, not the AT?”

What are some of the best moments?

Cari – raising the kids in the high school and having them be included with the teams.  Allowing the high school kids to guide and instruct them.

Realizing I had to lay down the law with the boys trying to date my daughter.

Kelly – getting to see role models and how the teams can be like family.

Now my boys are returning the mentor favors.

Keeping my kids involved in what I do and allowing them to be pediatric patients and part of my regular routine

How do you handle the dating scene?

It was great for me but tough for the kids.  I always knew everything.

It is a double-edged sword.  There was much more benefit than difficulty.

Being relationship-driven has always been important to me so it caused some issues as I wanted to be friends with others.

Am I an imposter?

Val – It is easy for us to fall into that trap with social media.

I try to surround myself with good role models that I can reach out to.

I intentionally connected with another faculty member who is in a similar situation.

Cari – I missed a lot of competitions because I had to work, my husband did a lot of the nighttime routines.

Kelly – It is hard to be vulnerable, but it is so important to have a real conversation with someone you trust instead of just venting on social media.

Once we acknowledge the feeling we give them less power.

Being understanding of the schedule and requirements is really important to help and support the feeling of adequacy.

Help with child care understanding daycare requirements.

Val – bring coffee or chocolate

What are some of the struggles of being an AT Mom?

Breastfeeding can be tough

Have a handheld pump as a backup

Talk to your admin and say I need a space to do this.

Having a pretty rigid schedule helps as well even though it is really tough.

Planning ahead and making sure they had backups for the backups…diaper blowouts can derail your lesson.

I allowed my students to help and that was crucial.

People want to help you, let them.

I feel many women have to choose to be an AT or a mom, speak to that thought.

Kelly – I knew I wanted to be an AT before I knew I wanted to be a mom.  I was told several times that if I wanted to be a mom I would need my teaching certificate so I had something to fall back on.


You can make it work if you are both flexible and understanding.

Cari – dropped down to 20 hours per week to raise her kids

Val – not being afraid to ask

In AT Dads Larry Cooper shared Pizza Fridays as a way to be involved with the family.  What routines or traditions have you used to stay involved with family life?

  • Ball boys and cheer escorts.
  • Kids went on some field trips with the team
  • Family dinners with coaches kids
  • Meals after games with coaches family

Who has been a mentor for you as an AT MOM?

Cari – I did not know anyone who was an AT mom, but I had friends who were in similar situations.

My parents were involved in the community and were busy but made it work.

Val – Shannon Courtney was the Head AT and program director while raising her young children.

Mickey Cuppett demonstrated how she was raising her family while being successful as an AT

My Mom as well did a great job.

Kelly – a coworker, Cindy, who was an AT and new mom.

Friends in similar situations in similar situations.

Contact Us:

Cari –

Val –

Kelly – @Cookie_Tuesday

Jeremy – @MrJeremyJackson

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