Fuhrman, a former registered nurse who maintains her license and plans to go back into nursing one day, says the groups' activities are as varied as the women who make them up—from apple picking or farm trips in the fall, to zoo trips, playgroups, or just meeting for bagels and coffee after dropping off older kids at school.
"We have chapters that scrapbook, ones that have a book or a sewing club. Some chapters have things like yoga demonstrations or speakers. If you have a bunch of mothers with newborns in the chapter, their interests are going to be very different than someone who has older kids in school and is looking for more of a spiritual mid-life sort of thing or something like financial planning. It really just depends on what the membership wants."
The MOMS Club Benefits the Community and Individuals
Since each local chapter is affiliated with the International MOMS Club and receives a tax exemption number, they must agree to operate in a non-profit fashion and are required to provide at least one community service project that benefits children each year.
"The chapters can put on a fair, or they can have a bake sale or whatever they want to do to raise money and donate it to a charity," says Fuhrman. "Some of them get really creative. In Hunterdon County, New Jersey, all of the local chapters get together at Halloween to put on a huge festival each year."
Aside from providing a constant sense of community and moral support, she says that being a part of the MOMS club has helped her and her family through more than one crisis, even having meals sent to her home for six weeks while she was recovering from a hospital stay during a difficult pregnancy.
"My husband was traveling, and I had a three year-old and a five year-old at the time. I had been in the hospital a couple of times, dehydrated. I was feeling like dirt, but I could eat if somebody brought it to me—if I didn't have to fix it and smell it, then I could eat it.
"One of my friends from the MOMS Club called me up and said, 'We aren't discussing this. We've already got it all arranged. We're bringing you and your family meals for the next six weeks.' So, that's how my kids and I survived."
Joining or Starting your Own Chapter of MOMS Club
To find out more about joining a local chapter of the International MOMS Club or starting up your own chapter, go to: www.momsclub.org. Membership dues, which cover all of the club's expenses, generally run no more than $30 a year.