Employee Mothers’ Circle creates connections, offers advice

Reporter and Reporter

Balancing a job and taking care of a child does not go without its challenges.

The Employee Mother’s Circle at the University helps to ensure these challenges are not faced alone.

The support group offers women the opportunity to share concerns and receive guidance from other mothers who are in the same situation, said Amanda Vrooman, project coordinator for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.

Vrooman helped organize the support group as a way for the University’s working women to learn how to make the most of their situation.

Mindy Flegle was one of the first women to get involved in the group.

Her work at the University as a student service counselor does not end at the end of her shift; she has a young child waiting for her when she gets home.

However, she finds time during her lunch break to attend the support group.

“I consider it to be my real life chat room,” Flegle said. “It is real people with real situations that are similar to yours. It’s nice to hear the challenges that other mothers are going through.”

Helping fellow mothers with their challenges is a central aspect of the support group, Flegle said.

“Once you get introduced to everyone and get to talking, you realize ‘my child went through the same thing’ and other mothers are able to share their experiences,” she said.

Support groups like this should be a staple at every university, said senior Brittany Daniels, who finds her workload hard enough on its own.

“I don’t have a kid, but I already have a hard time managing my time between school and work, so I can imagine these mothers’ struggles,” Daniels said. “It is important to have a place that they can talk and realize that they can deal with the challenges of starting a family while working at the same time.”

Any advice that could make a woman’s days easier is welcome at the meetings, Vrooman said.

“Women like Mindy offered advice on crockpot meals since a lot of women are short on time to prepare meals,” she said. “Anything to take away from the feeling of being overwhelmed is helpful.”

The more women show up, the more potential the group has to help, Flegle said.

“I would encourage women with children to come and understand what other women have gone through,” Flegle said.

The group meets the second Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. in 201 Union.