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Moms need support too

Canby Moms Club helps women get by with help from friends.

DANIEL PEARSON - From left, Katie Sigler, Emily Hart and Sarah Amick became fast friends after meeting through the Canby Moms Club.It’s tough being a mom, and really no one can argue against that point.

It doesn’t matter if a mom stays at home, works part time or full time, is married or single — it’s a tough job with little thanks or outside acknowledgement, but especially difficult for many moms who feel as if no one can quite empathize with their personal predicament.

That’s where the Canby Moms Club comes in. The nonprofit, affiliated with Moms Club International, provides a center of support for moms from all walks of life, but most importantly it gives moms an outlet to talk to other adults, or just to spend time relaxing with friends away from the responsibilities of home and without children present.

Emily Hart, president of the Canby Mom’s Club, said that she decided about a year ago when she and her young family moved from the Seattle area back to Oregon that she didn’t want to move to a new town without knowing anyone, and thus having little support outside of her home.

“I wanted to make some friends quickly because I didn’t want to just sit at home with my little boy, who was two years old at the time, every single day,” Hart said. “I found the club online, went to a meeting and now a year later I’m the president.”

The Canby Moms Club has one official meeting each month where members discuss activities — playdates, mom’s night out or other similar fun events — as well as how to give back to the community. (The club’s website says the nonprofit has sponsored fundraisers for many local and regional charities, including The Canby Center, the Canby Pregnancy Care Center, The Dougy Center and the Canby Educational Foundation.) But members get together at other planned times throughout each week, as well.

“We go out to eat, we go to

movies, we’ve gone golfing — anything that gets us out,” Hart said. “We’ve hung out at someone’s house, had wine and watched a movie; whatever we can do to try to have fun while making friends.”

Katie Sigler, mother of a five-year-old boy and four-year-old girl, said she joined the Canby Moms Club four years ago when she was a new mom and most of her friends did not have children.

“It was a way for me to meet like-minded moms,” Sigler said. “The first club meeting I went to, I ran into four people I knew from high school [Sigler grew up in Canby]. More importantly, though, to me, is the club teaches you to be accepting of different parenting styles, to respect where people are in their lives and not to judge other’s circumstances because you really don’t know what they are going through. I’ve made some really good relationships and it’s really kind of opened my eyes.”

Sarah Amick said she joined the Canby Moms Club when her now three-year-old daughter was five months old. She learned about the club through a flyer she saw at the Canby Pregnancy Care Center and thought it would be a great opportunity to have an outlet with adult interaction.

“It’s just nice to have someone to talk to because a lot of times, being a stay-at-home mom you find yourself at home, a lot, with the kids,” Amick said. “The planned playdates are great because it gives yourself more opportunities to get out of the house and spend some time talking to other moms who are going through the same kind of stuff you are.”

Amick said she was hesitant to join the club at first because her experience with different support groups hasn’t always been positive.

“It seems like women in general get really ‘clicky’ sometimes but I felt completely welcome the first time I can to a moms club meeting,” she said. “Everyone is willing to get to know you and I found all of my negative ideas (about support groups) went away after the first meeting.”

Hart said while many members tend to more often discuss the day-to-day stressors of being a mother, she wants to begin having more serious discussions about post-partum depression and anxiety, which she went through after the birth of her son.

“That’s kind of a topic that a lot of people don’t like to talk about,” Hart said. “You feel very shameful about it. It’s something I struggled with severely after my son was born and now I’m going to have another child soon. I’m about six months pregnant right now. We’re going to try to figure out a way to have a support system within the moms club, or maybe separately, and I think it will be a good thing to do. I know other people in the club who struggle with depression problems.”

Learn more about the Canby Moms Club online:

Facebook — www.facebook.com/Canby-Moms-Club-819372521456282/?fref=ts

Website — www.canby.com/momsclubofcanby/home.html