Being a mom is hard work. There is no greater responsibility than to care for another human being. Moms not only change diapers, wipe noses and kiss boo-boos, they are also the most influential person in a young child’s life.
The pressure to be a “good” mom is overwhelming at times. The best way to cope for many is to find advice, support and a shoulder to cry on. This is the role that the Moms Offering Moms Support Club has taken on. The international nonprofit organization has chapters around the world — and two in Turlock.
Young mom Lynette Poquette moved to Turlock two years ago from Arizona. She didn’t know anybody in the area. After finding and joining the MOMS Club of Turlock West Chapter, she said she has dozens of friends who are like family now.
Poquette said she has found not only friends, but the support she needed as a mom. The hardest part about being a mom, according to Poquette, is that feeling of being overwhelmed or that you’re doing it wrong and you’re the worst mom ever.
“Here you find out you’re normal,” she said.
Not only has the MOMS Club helped Poquette grow as a mother, she said it also helped her daughter learn how to behave in a group.
“She didn’t go to preschool. Here she is learning to share and be polite. This replaced a lot of cousins and the larger family in Arizona for her,” said Poquette, who is now co-president of the Turlock West Chapter.
The MOMS Club has park days, playgroups, arts and crafts times and field trips to area zoos, aquariums and farms. The club also has a moms’ night out, where the grownups get to have a little fun and blow off some steam.
“You’re a mom all day long, 24/7 — you don’t really get a break,” said Tina Flores, MOMS Club West co-president.
That is why Flores joined the club two years ago, to find a network of moms she could call for advice and support anytime.
Jennifer Sparkman has only been a member of the MOMS Club for three months, but she already finds it indispensible in her life.
“I joined so my daughter would have friends to play with, but now I have a million friends and I get out of the house,” she said.
The hardest part about being a mom today, according to Sparkman, is weeding through all the advice.
“All the information you get from what foods to feed your kids to how much TV they can watch, it’s hard to know what advice to take and what to ignore. Seeing how real moms just deal with their kids makes all the difference,” she said.
The camaraderie in motherhood that Poquette, Flores and Sparkman spoke about is what Jennifer Skonovd sees happening in clubs around the region. She is the area coordinator for the International MOMS Club for several Central Valley chapters.
“(The club) gives stay at home moms an outlet to vent about the struggles with motherhood. They work together, bond together to come up with new ideas,” Skonovd said.
Skonovd said the moms’ night out event is very important, along with finding that confidence; “remembering to take care of yourself, choosing to listen to your heart on what everyone says is the right way to parent your children.”
The MOMS Club of Turlock West Chapter is having a meet and greet event for those thinking about joining the club at 10:30 a.m. May 29 at Crane Park. Lunch will be provided. For more information about the club, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.