"Everyone needs support, and especially from people who are in the same boat as you are," said Olsen, the club's associate vice president. "I have made some of the best friends of my life through the club. I enjoy how much we count on each other and join forces when one of the members needs help."
The club known as MOMS (Mom's Offering Moms Support) was founded in 1983 as a nonprofit by Mary James of Semi Valley, who was tired of being alone at home and wanted to meet other at-home moms.
Now with over 100,000 members and 2,000 chapters in the United States alone, Discovery Bay's chapter was opened in 1998 by Maria Lee of Discovery Bay. The club has 25 members and is looking to boost membership on Aug. 25.
"We'll have a jumpy house, games, face painting, hot dogs, a snow cone machine, and raffle prizes," said Club President Michelle Garnett of Discovery Bay. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ravenswood Park, located at the center of the new Ravenswood Homes at the end of Newbury Lane.
Raising her 5-year-old and 2-year-old full-time was reason enough for Garnett to join the club. "If you're sick, they'll bring you meals, or if you just need a shoulder to cry on, they give you lots of support," she said.
In addition to tissues and chicken soup, the club offers ongoing events that include weekly playgroups, nights out at the movies, potlucks, bowling, fundraisers for local charities and game night.
"Sometimes we have guest speakers from companies and organizations such as First 5 California," added Garnett. "And at our once-a-month business board meetings, we discuss ideas on what to do next."
Brenda Christensen, who spends her days keeping her family's schedule intact and her home clean and happy, uses the club as an outlet not only for herself, but for her kids.
"I love the playgroups, getting out of the house with other moms, and sharing parenting ideas and tips," said Christensen. "It's also a great way for the kids to know some other kids before they start school."
Mother of two, one just 18 months old, club member Kelly Landoline is a full-time mom who moved her family from Elk Grove to Discovery Bay almost five years ago. "My daughter was very excited that all of her playgroup friends would be going to the same kindergarten," said Landoline. "It has been a great way to help my children to interact with others."
For Olsen, who works full-time to support her family, time spent with her kids is priceless. Her advice to working moms with children is to build a solid support system around them and take time for themselves.
"Know that you are a good parent and you'll be a better parent if you take time for yourself," she said. "Kids are very resilient, and knowing they are loved makes the most difference in the world."
For more information about membership, call Garnett at 240-8976 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.