May 2010

MOMS offering Moms support

Author: Mary Frances Lowrey

Motherhood can be very confusing, frustrating and tiring. It can become lonely when a mom lives in a neighborhood where she doesn’t know anyone. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The MOMS Club of Bluffton and Hilton Head is currently 70 members strong and very active. This group of outgoing, charming stay-at- home mothers meets monthly for fellowship, encouragement, friendship and educational enlightenment. Every month, they get together to learn from a guest speaker or work on a project or an event together, and that is in addition to various playgroups and activities they participate in with their children. All of the activities are available to members.

Explaining how she discovered the MOMS Club, Ellie Sutherland, current president of the local chapter said, “I had just had my first baby and moved from Charleston to Bluffton for my husband’s job. Literally, I had a baby, left the hospital and moved here! I knew no one and I was a new mom.”

Quickly, Sutherland found herself searching the Internet for other new moms in the area and she found out about this organization. “The MOMS Club was welcoming, and it provided opportunities to get out the house, meet other mothers and have our children play together,” she said.

“What is great about the group is the fact that there is something that fits everyone’s schedule,” she said, explaining that playgroups are scheduled several times a week at parks or in someone’s home and are organized according to children’s ages. (It would not be a good match if you had a four year old and your playgroup consisted of six month olds.) “The needs of the mom and the child are considered, which is very helpful,” she said.

Moms enjoy opportunities to get together and watch their children play and learn. Monthly events from Easter egg hunts to fire station visits and beach outings are scheduled.

The first MOMS Club was formed in1983 in California. There are now over 2,100 chapters in the U.S. alone and over 110,000 members. There are also seven international chapters.

The MOMS Club of Bluffton and Hilton Head is a nonprofit organization, open to all stay-at-home moms for an annual fee of $25. The fee covers administrative costs and supplies for the year; however, the MOMS Club is required to support a charity each year. According to Sutherland, leftover money is donated to a local mom in need.

If you are a stay-at-home mom or a mom working part time, there are other moms in your area who are fun, energetic and open to meeting new people. Why not reach out? Contact MOMS Club of Bluffton and Hilton Head and get started making new friends for your children and yourself!

For membership forms, playgroup schedules, a calendar of events and more information, visit or e-mail


Great things to do with your kids this month

Pack a picnic along with rods, reels and a tub of worms or lures and head to one of the many local lagoons. Throw down an old blanket and enjoy this beautiful weather and each other. Casting a rod with your children is by far one of the most fun ways to catch up with each other.

Friendly reminder: Bring the bug spray and your camera!

Teach your kids about eating healthy and supporting the community in a family fun way. Shop for vegetables and fruit, and encourage your kids to pick out something to cook that you have never eaten before. Be adventurous! Enjoy this family atmosphere and stroll the market while listening to live entertainment and snacking on some delicious foods. Open Thursdays, 2-6 p.m. (rain or shine), 40 Calhoun Street in Historic Old Town Bluffton.

Friendly reminder: No pets, no smoking, and no drinking.

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge (open daily dawn to dusk) is the perfect place to meet a group of friends with kids and go for a great bike ride. There are no streets to cross or stop signs—just lots of sandy roads to peddle down and many sights to see along the way. (Play “I spy” with your kids.) Pinckney, the largest of the refuge islands, is 3.8 miles long and 1.75 miles across at its greatest width. No cars are permitted past the parking lot. Unload the bikes, strap on your helmets and put on your backpack filled with water bottles and lunch.

Friendly reminder: No littering this gorgeous local treasure! And be sure to bring your camera and bug spray!

Do you have camping equipment? When was the last time you used it? One Friday evening, surprise your kids with a backyard campout! Ask a friend to join you in the neighborhood tent campground. Why Friday? Because it is instant entertainment for the entire weekend! They will play in it all day Saturday and have a blast. No camping equipment? No problem! Make a mess of your family room and make tents out of blankets from your linen closet.

Menu: hotdogs, s’mores, and smiles!

Make a day to enjoy the things a tourist enjoys! Go to the Harbour Town Lighthouse. Ask your kids to count how many steps there are to the top. I know the answer. Do you? Ride your bikes or drive down to South Beach. Eat outside and buy a T-shirt. Take a nature tour on one of the many boats. Play miniature golf. Get an ice cream cone. Take a short fishing charter. Go out to eat and actually order Alaskan Crab Legs and ask if they are local (then they will really believe you are a tourist)! Take your kids on a tour of your beautiful community and show them how lucky we are to call this area home.

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