MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Some Leathernecks say that being a Marine is the toughest job in the world, and that may be the reason some Marines became Marines.
Regardless of how hard it is to go to work at zero-dark-thirty, an important part of the "Marine readiness" equation rarely gets sufficient credit -- the Marine wife.
Some people argue that the Marine wife has the toughest job in the Corps, or so one bumper sticker reads. Many have to take care of their Marine spouse and children. With children screaming, laundry waiting to be folded, and dishes in need of washing, the daily routine of a stay-at-home mom or expectant mother can become monotonous.
The Chapel Annex hosts a Playmorning Program from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday and a Stork Club Program for new or expectant mothers every Monday from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. These programs are designed to help mothers make friends with and network with other new and/or expectant mothers -- potential sources of information and support.
According to Alison Fujimoto, these programs are free and open to all DoD spouses and their children who are younger than school-age. Fujimoto is the Children, Youth and Teen Program's Supplemental Program and Services/Resource and Referral representative.
"This gives moms and the little ones a chance to make new friends and socialize in a child-friendly setting," said Fujimoto, a United Kingdom native.
Although the program is designed for mothers, Fujimoto wants to assure that stay-at-home fathers are invited to attend these programs as well, she said.
The programs do not provide childcare. Instead, the parents visit with each other while watching over the children, said Fujimoto. The parents have a chance to discuss such topics as which brand of fabric softener is the best value to dealing with sibling rivalry.
The Chapel Annex has many child-friendly activities for children to enjoy, which can be can be educational. Children can spark their creative spirits by dabbling with arts and crafts, liven their imaginations with the plethora of books available or play with the many learning games and toys.
"It is good to spend time with other moms, give advice, compare notes, and it's great for kids to get together," said Desarae Schultz, who takes part in Playmorning with her 2-year-old son Cody and 3-month old son John. "So many women [Marine wives] are plucked from their homes and brought here. They are alone with kids and need others to spend time with.
"Only other moms want to hear you whine about staying up all night with the baby," said Schultz.
According to Schultz, the programs help mothers deal with the military lifestyle.
Rachel Robinson, another stay-at-home mother agreed with Schultz and pointed out that getting out of the house helps keep her and her 18-month-old son Joshua from becoming bored.
Robinson feels that Joshua's opportunities to play with other children at an early age helps him learn how to share and get along with others.
Mothers with young children can attend Playmorning in the Chapel Annex on Tuesdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. New or expectant mothers are invited to attend the Stork Club at the Chapel Annex Mondays from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.
For more information about these programs contact Fujimoto at 639-5199.