Mom’s Club provides good times for moms and tots

  • Jana Hill<br>Mill Creek Enterprise editor
  • Friday, February 22, 2008 11:35am

Moms who want to meet one another, while letting their little ones socialize as well, have a place to gather in Mill Creek.

Moms Club of Mill Creek meets the first Tuesday of every month starting at 10 a.m. Child care is available starting at 9:45 a.m.

The meetings give moms a chance to meet while also giving their kids a chance to socialize. During a recent meeting, two toddlers sitting on their moms’ laps next to one another reached out and touched hands while adults talked business. One squealed with delight as he touched the other’s hand.

Usually, two moms will staff the “infant room” while other parents conduct the meeting “so it can be a little bit more peaceful in here,” said Stacey Rardin, vice president of the Mill Creek club.

But the din of children playing, fussing and socializing didn’t seem to faze the group of moms that met at a regular meeting of the club recently.

Meetings are conducted at Cedar Cross Methodist Church, 1210 132nd SE in Mill Creek.

As members discussed the upcoming holiday party, plans to donate toys and other goods to the Snohomish County Battered Women’s Shelter, toddlers played with puppets and one another, and a couple of moms nursed their younger children.

During the craft-making period, one little boy called out “mom” in a group where a little less than a dozen could have answered. But his own mom picked his voice out, even with her back turned, through craft-making chaos and answered, “I’m right here.”

Guest speakers are invited to meetings to present on topics such as nutrition, crafting, preschool readiness and how to choose a school, and preparing for children’s college expenses.

Katie Reeve of Inspirations Mobile Craft, a craft making business, was a guest speaker at the December meeting. She showed members some easy and low-budget projects to do with their children.

Reeve showed how to make silver bells from egg carton segments, pipe cleaners, tin foil and round bells that can be purchased at craft or fabric stores. She also gave members a variety of other crafting ideas for rainy days at home with the kids, such as covering an orange juice can with contact paper for a decorative office pencil holder.

The meeting Reeve visited showed the focus Moms Club of Mill Creek places on children. On that day, toddlers and preschoolers played together on a slide, bumper cars and a seesaw, or chose from a box of toys.

New members usually learn about the club through the Internet – Moms Club International has a link to the Mill Creek club’s site www.momsclub.org – or through announcements in the community calendars published in local newspapers.

Rardin, a Mays Pond resident, said she originally joined Moms Club because “I had just moved from Lake Stevens, and I moved into a neighborhood where there were no children.”

She tried similar clubs but found them to be too structured or too focused on the moms instead of the children. Moms Club of Mill Creek is focused on kids, which is what drew Rardin and some of the group’s other 40 members. Members are encouraged to bring their kids to meetings.

The other draw for Rardin was the outside activities.

“Some (clubs) don’t offer a lot outside the regular meetings,” Rardin said.

Moms Club of Mill Creek offers a monthly Moms night out, and holiday gatherings. During meetings, child care is staffed by club members. But for their night out, moms get their own babysitting. “Usually it’s the dads,” Rardin said.

Kristin Kimmerling was a member of a Moms club in Olympia. She tracked down the local branch through the International organization after moving to Mill Creek three years ago.

“I joined just because I didn’t know anyone in the area who had any kids,” Kimmerling said.

Her preschool-age son likes going to meetings with his mom and playing with the other kids there. When asked why he likes them, he said “It’s because I’m a big boy.”

Krista Carman of Lynnwood attended her first meeting recently. She and her husband just moved from Arizona.

“I was in a support group there for moms,” she said.

Carman works from home and mothers 7-month-old Isaiah. She said once she moved to Lynnwood, she set out to find another group. “I wanted to meet other moms right away. This is my first baby and I think (the groups are) a lifesaver.”

The culture of Moms Club of Mill Creek is an extension of its parent organization. As an arm of the international Moms Club organization, the Mill Creek group has rules it must follow, Rardin said. For instance, there can only be one Moms night out per month “because we want to gear the clubs more toward children then parents.” They also must do a service project, and do something to benefit families and children. The Center for Battered Women was one the group had supported in the past, and because it was such a good fit for their club they decided to make it their exclusive charity.

For more information on the Moms Club of Mill Creek call Stacey Rardin at 425-483-5182 or Michele Fellows at 425-280-5253. To find a Moms Club for a friend or family member close to their home, visit the International Moms Club website: www.momsclub.org

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