By Meredith Flory

 

International MOMS Club® is a non-profit, volunteer organization that aims to offer support and camaraderie to mothers looking for activities during the weekday.  Jenny Charles is the Augusta chapter President but she found MOMS Club® of Augusta when she was pregnant with her twin daughters. Visiting the monthly meet and greet for prospective members, she discovered a welcoming group free of the judgment that she was nervous about encountering as a new parent.  She remembers, “As I got to know other members, I learned things about toddlers and preschoolers from moms of children older than mine, and the moms of other babies and my girls have essentially began to grow up together. My girls are 3 years old now and I literally cannot imagine my life as an at-home, full-time mom without the support, friendships and activities that MOMS Club of Augusta has provided.”

MOMS stands for “Moms Offering Moms Support” and Jenny explains that this sums up the goal of helping mothers with the “journey and day-to-day tasks of parenting.” She passionately shared, “As any mom of young children can quickly tell you, being a mother is the most rewarding yet challenging, amazing yet daunting, invigorating yet downright exhausting experience imaginable. Your energy and attention are constantly pulled in so many directions, the tasks some days seem to never end and the expectations that society and others put on us, along with the pressures that we often put on ourselves, can create a large amount of pressure to perform as well as the feeling of isolation.” She went on to explain how for many women MOMS Club chapters have become a way out of that isolation and into rewarding friendships and opportunities: “Connecting moms with each other, with other at-home moms who understand the tasks and pressures and challenges of this stage of life, not only enriches the mom who participates but also enriches the children and the entire family unit.”

MOMS Clubs® offer play groups, field trips, service projects, online support and social events.  Run by its members in volunteer positions, each chapter works to meet the needs of its members and location.  Jenny explains, “MOMS Club® of Augusta has done an awesome job at providing opportunities and activities to moms and their children to both socialize children and to expose them to different environments, but this year our Executive Board has specifically sought ways to build connections and friendships between moms and to foster the system of support that we all need…this has included more moms-only opportunities.”

MOMS Club ® of Augusta serves Augusta, Martinez, Hephzibah, Georgia, North Augusta and Beech Island. In order to make play groups and other activities easily accessible, each chapter serves specific zip codes and parents in the CSRA can contact this chapter or sister chapters in Aiken, Grovetown and Evans through their social media pages or websites. Some clubs may also offer associate memberships with limited activities to at-home dads or au pairs.

One unique aspect of MOMS Club ® is a commitment to diversity and serving mothers in the homes in a variety of situations such as stay-at-home moms, work from home moms or those working part-time or non-traditional shifts.  As Jenny stated,  “The club does not have a religious or political affiliation of any kind and moms of any background are welcomed in with open arms. We are all using every bit of time, talent, energy and everything else that we have to mother our children in the best way possible. That may look different among families, but at its core, that is our commonality and our bond, and this group serves to support the at-home mom in order to do just that.”

This article appears in the March 2019 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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