After Keely Johnson quit her job to become a stay-at-home mom, she and her two young children faced a difficult transition from the established routines of daycare and full-time employment to the uncharted territory of at-home parenting.
While looking for a way to connect with other local moms leading similar lifestyles, Johnson, an Eagan resident, stumbled across the MOMS Club of Eagan—West. The club, which exclusively recruits stay-at-home mothers or moms who are employed part-time, seemed like the perfect opportunity for Johnson and her two children, who joined in July.
“I got the stimulation and conversation I needed from adults, any my kids got it from their kids, and I got a lot of [parenting] ideas," said Johnson.
The Eagan West MOMS Club is one of two such groups in the city. The group—and its Eagan East counterpart—are both part of the International Moms Offering Moms Support Club, a nonprofit with 2,100 chapters in the United States. Both Eagan groups have roughly 30 members. The clubs offer a variety of weekly activities for moms and their children, provides a discussion forum for parenting-related topics and performs service projects and fundraising in the community.
"It’s literally just simple, it’s moms supporting moms, that’s the tagline, and it really just exists to support and help mothers," said Eagan West MOMS Club Membership Vice President Lisa Robinson.
Robinson joined after leaving a 50-hour-a-week job to take care of her 3-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. Used to the bustle of an office, Robinson said she became "stir-crazy" sitting at home.
"MOMS Club for me has filled a void after leaving my career," Robinson said. "I have lots of friends, but they all work, so when I made the decision to stay home, I had one friend who was doing the same. It was just very very lonely the first month."
The East and West clubs host 10-12 activities each month, ranging from group play dates, to tours of the Eagan Fire Safety Center or storytime sessions at Wescott Library, Robinson and Eagan West MOMS Club Membership Vice President Wendy Peterson said. The groups also host the occasional educational speakers.
Many of the activities are designed to get both mothers and their children out of the house and into social settings, where kids can partake in play groups while the mothers network and share parenting expertise. Membership in either group is $25 annually.
"It’s just a really great way to get advice and tips for parenting for situations that can drive you crazy," Robinson said.
The groups also take an active volunteering and fundraising role in the community.
Eagan West MOMS Club members frequently volunteer at the Lewis House, a local domestic violence for women. The Eagan East MOMS club does a lot of work for Dakota Woodlands, a local homeless shelter for women and their families, Peterson said. The groups also donate money to local elementary schools and deliver meals to local mothers.