Kim Grimes, with children Cameron, 2, and Ashley, 5, knows how much benefit adults can receive from an organization that is aware of the needs and challenges of stay-at-home moms., VALLEY DISPATCH/BOB WHITAKER
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BY JENNIFER AMY MYERS, Valley Dispatch Staff

DRACUT — Kim Grimes joined the Pelham MOMS Club in January of 2004 because, “I felt like I was losing my mind.” The mother of two who worked as an administrative assistant at Converse in North Reading for 15 years before making the career switch to stay-at-home mom, was slightly overwhelmed by her new role.

Her days were suddenly taken up by changing diapers, singing silly songs and watching Sesame Street. Grimes, like many women in her position, was grateful for the opportunity to be home with her kids, but felt that she had lost a piece of herself in the process.

“I was used to bringing home a paycheck and interacting with adults,” Grimes recalled. “The first couple of months were fine until the winter hit and I didn’t know what to do.”

Then she found the Pelham MOMS (Mothers Offering Mothers Support) Club, a branch of the International MOMS Club, a nonprofit, nondenominational organization started in Simi Valley, California in 1983. There are currently more than 2000 chapters in the United States, and more than 105,000 members.

The group participates in various activities, including going to performances such as Sesame Street Live, touring Bertucci’s where the kids can make their own pizzas, and holding weekly coffees at Dunkin’ Donuts to give the moms and their kids a chance to socialize and get to know each other.

“It offers great support,” Grimes said. “It’s nice to know that there are people out there that feel the same way you do, and you can bring your kids to all of these great activities.”

There’s also a monthly mom’s night out, just for adults, giving the moms a much-needed break and a chance to go out with their new friends and feel like adults again.

“You really need to interact with adults,” Grimes said, as Ashley, 5, and Cameron, 2, ran around her feet. “Getting out of the house even a couple of days a week makes a huge difference.”

In just two years, the Pelham group has grown to more than 60 members, and is not in a position to accept new members at this time.

So Grimes is branching off from the Pelham group and creating the Dracut MOMS Club, designed to serve Dracut and its surrounding towns, including Tyngsboro, Chelmsford, Methuen and Lowell.

Grimes would like to launch the group with 10-20 moms and participate in similar activities as the Pelham group.

“The Bertucci’s tour was really fun,” she said. “As more people get involved, ideas for new activities will be generated.”

The Dracut club, currently without a home to hold its monthly meeting, is temporarily using space at the Crossroads Baptist Church in Pelham until they can find a space in Dracut.

“We would really love to get into the new Dracut library, but we were told that we can’t apply until it is open and then we have to await approval from the board of library trustees,” Grimes said.

The next meeting of the Dracut MOMS Club is scheduled for Jan. 4. Yearly dues for the Dracut club is $30. For more information, e-mail dracutmomsclub@yahoo.com, or call Kim Grimes at (978) 957-8527.

Have a story idea? E-mail Jennifer Amy Myers at jmyers@thevalleydispatch.com.