Moms Club gives support, community to local moms in Aiken
Being a mom can be stressful in everything from finding a babysitter, finding the right doctors or therapists, figuring out a parenting style, and just everyday issues caused by raising a child.
A group of women in Aiken, though, have a support system that helps each other in the trying times and celebrates each other in the good times.
Moms Club of Aiken – a chapter of an international organization – is a nonprofit that brings moms together and gives back to the community as a whole.
“Anything that we could possibly need, we are always here for one another,” said member Rachel Dozier. “Because I didn’t grow up here, I don’t know people, my family’s not here ... I needed support and that’s what Moms Club is about.”
Moms in the club support each other through a babysitting co-op, through things like meal trains for new moms or those going through hard times and through a secret Facebook group connecting the moms 24/7.
“I joined Moms Club because I moved here when I got engaged,” member Sydney Walters said. “I moved here from Athens, Georgia and I had really bad postpartum depression and anxiety from losing our first child, so when I became a stay-at-home mom, I felt very isolated and felt like I was in this whole new chapter of my life that no one prepares you for, and I needed mom friends.”
Member Shannon McMullen, a newer member who recently moved to Aiken from California, said Moms Club works as a sort of sounding board for its members, offering the moms a chance to bounce ideas off one another.
“I think one of the best things too about Moms Club is bringing a whole bunch of different moms together that normally probably wouldn’t ever meet or get together and just have that sense of community,” McMullen said.
Walters said the club is a welcome community with no judgement, drama or cattiness.
“You read all these articles online – don’t yell at your kids, don’t spank your kids, don’t do time out, don’t do time in, you do need to spank your kids – and so you get all this information and it’s so easy to be overwhelmed,” Walters said.
“And you realize all of these articles and everything doesn’t matter when you have a community of moms that can sit down and say ‘OK, this worked for me,’ or ‘This didn’t work for us, try this.’”
Along with the support from other moms and the cool field trips the club provides, it gives moms in the community the opportunity to help others. The international Moms Club organizations requires that chapters do work for a charity each year, and the Aiken Moms Club has worked with Helping Hands, Nurture Home and Mental Health America.
McMullen said the club is like a sisterhood for moms and is a new, different kind of family for the members.
Though there’s no doubt being a parent can be hard, Dozier, Walters and McMullen each agreed the love from your child is the best part of being a mom.
“My favorite part about being a mom is just knowing that I have this little human being that loves me unconditionally, just as much as I love him,” McMullen said.
“That no matter what, through everything we go through, no matter what I go through, there is one shining light at all times. There’s always something to be happy about, regardless.”