JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
For many women, being a wife, mother, wage earner and caregiver can be hard, especially if their spouse is in the military.
Military Moms, a group of more than 150 active participants, holds weekly discussions, interactive family events, play-dates, and mommy's nights out to ease the burden that comes with being a military spouse.
The organization acts as a support group for moms, allowing time for adult interaction while children have fun playing. The group holds discussions on important topics ranging from stress management to potty-training. But, perhaps the best outcome of the meetings is the group gives each member the sense they belong somewhere, since many of the members are far from home.
"The idea behind the Military Mom's club was to provide a support group for all military moms in our community; to get them to go on outings with their children and create a chance for members to swap stories and give advice," said Bradi Varnes, president of the Military Moms group.
"It's really nice to be able to share stories with all the different moms in our group because there is going to be someone there that is going to be able to relate to them," she said. "I think it is very important to be able to feel like you can relate to someone, so that in the end you don't feel so alone."
"We want our moms to get accustomed to the military life-style and we try to make sure every member stays informed about events happening on and off base," she explained.
One member of the group, Joanne Redmayne, is not only a military spouse and mother, but exceptionally far from what she called her home.
"I am originally from New Market, England, and I have lived in the states for five years," she said. "This group has made me feel welcome. Right from the beginning it gave me the sense that I belonged. It has just been wonderful."
"I have been with the group for more than a year and it has been fantastic because there is always something going on," said Mrs. Redmayne. "Whether it is a play-date, story time or just getting out of the house, it keeps my three-year-old daughter and me active."
The group is geared toward all moms with a military affiliation, including Active and Reserve duty members, government and employees, retirees and their families in the tri-county Charleston area.
The group meets every Thursday at the Youth Center on Joint Base Charleston-Air Base where discussions are held on nutrition, health and fitness, upcoming events and sharing experiences on their children or deployments. For more information, visit the group's website at www.meetup.com/military-moms.