At-home parents find help from new group

POULSBO — Being a stay-at-home mom is something Poulsbo resident Jessica Mauk sees as a blessing.

But of course in every blessing, there may be a few imperfections.

“It’s wonderful. I love it,” Mauk said of staying home to raise her 1-year-old son. “I feel like I get to personally raise my kids the way my husband and I want them to be raised. But a concern is social skills. Will he learn how to play with other kids?”

Just one of the many parental concerns Mauk is hoping can be solved by MOMS Club, an international support group of which Mauk is founding a Poulsbo chapter. The non-profit boasts more than 1,800 groups worldwide, including one in Cincinnati that Mauk was a member of until moving to Poulsbo about three months ago.

“I fell in love with Poulsbo,” Mauk commented of seeing her new home after her husband’s job was transferred to the Northwest. “I said, ‘This is where I want to raise my family.’”

But upon becoming a North Kitsap resident, Mauk learned that the closest MOMS Club chapter was in the Bremerton/Silverdale area.

“I was very disappointed there wasn’t one here but then I thought that I should start one up,” she said.

The first meeting of the Poulsbo MOMS Club will take place April 28 at a yet undetermined location. Mauk said she hopes local stay-at-home moms will come see what the group is all about.

“Basically, it’s a place where women who stay at home can come, they can bring their kids if they want, and find support from other stay-at-home moms instead of just staying home all day and talking babble to their kids,” Mauk said.

Each MOMS Club chapter has a monthly business meeting and a mom’s night out. At least twice a year, members also take part in a charity fund-raiser of their choice. Other activities are up to the membership. Mauk said some groups she’s talked to have walking clubs, gourmet lunch clubs, play groups, baby-sitting co-ops, park days and other outings.

Most events are held during the day, when at-home mothers usually need the most support, and children are welcome at all events, so no sitters are ever required.

And members include mothers of children of all ages.

“I’ve talked to MOMS Club members whose kids are in high school and they’re still involved,” Mauk commented.

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