MOMS Club of Gainesville
When: Noon, March 6
Where: Family Life Center, First Baptist Church, 751 Green St., Gainesville
How much: $20 annual membership
Sure, they don’t punch a time clock but don’t say being a stay-at-home mom isn’t hard work.
After the cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, folding clothes and kissing boo-boos, moms have more than a full-time job.
While stay-at-home moms love their job, some admit that it can be exhausting and, at times, a bit lonely.
Fortunately, local moms have the opportunity to meet other moms through Moms Offering Moms Support Club of Gainesville.
MOMS Club is open to all stay-at-home moms. The club holds monthly meetings and regular play dates to provide opportunities for both mother and child to socialize with their peers.
While the club once had more than 70 members, it has experienced a decline in membership in recent years.
Virginie Partee, club treasurer, said the economy is the most likely reason for the decline.
"I think because of the recession, a lot of moms had to get jobs and they had to move away because of their husbands’ work," Partee said.
She said the members are eager to invigorate their club and want to encourage other moms to get involved.
Annual membership for the club is $20. The membership fees go to support community projects.
The club meets on the first Wednesday of each month at noon in the Family Life Center of The First Baptist Church, 751 Green St. in Gainesville. Guest speakers often visit the group and discuss parenting issues like health or safety.
When Jocelyne Keijzer’s son was 9 months old, she took her son to story time at the library. It was there she met another stay-at-home mom who invited her to a play date with the MOMS Club.
Keijzer has been a member of the club for two years now. She said it’s nice to be able to bounce parenting ideas off of other parents and to hear what tips and tricks worked for them.
It’s also nice just to have another mother with whom to share her experiences.
"They can relate," Keijzer said. "It’s not just about cleaning the house and playing with your infant son. I mean, I love it and it’s great but it’s so much more fun when you have a mom who is doing the exact same thing."
Not long after joining the club, Keijzer found out she was pregnant again. Several of the other club members were also pregnant at the same time, which gave Keijzer a unique support system she might not have otherwise found.
"No one knows how it is to be pregnant until you’re there," Keijzer said. "It’s just a whole different type of friends. Even if you’ve got nothing in common, you still have one thing in common. You both have children, and you’re both stay-at-home moms."
Having the support group helped Keijzer after the birth of her youngest child.
As the club does for all its pregnant members, club members commit to bring over meals and help however they can every day for two weeks after birth.
Sarah Adams, president of MOMS, said the club is great for moms and kids even on normal days.
With a quick phone call to another member, moms can set up play dates or field trips. Adams said she and her daughter enjoy the camaraderie they’ve found since joining the club. They frequently meet other mothers at the playground for an afternoon escape.
"Instead of just going there alone with your young daughter, it’s nice to make plans and meet up with the other moms," Adams said. "You definitely always have something in common with them."