In Stacy Schwed's social work practice, she counseled many moms who had lost their sense of self or taken themselves off the priority list after the children were born.
She says she wanted to open a supportive place where mothers could gather for friendship, education and fitness; she envisioned a facility the size of a warehouse club. But to make her dream a reality, Schwed had to start smaller - and this week she and business partner Linda Colagrande threw open the doors to Club Mom in a Huntington strip mall, a meeting place for moms in all stages of their lives. "This is a place for a mom to be a woman and take care of herself," Schwed says.
Through Friday at 3 p.m., all fitness classes are free, and at 7:30 Thursday night, an open house will offer mingling, refreshments and some insight into the club.
What it offers
Club Mom offers fitness classes such as Zumba, yoga and Mommy and Me. It also offers cooking classes, home decorating workshops, parenting classes and "mompreneur" business sessions. On the agenda as well are "meet-up" groups for grandmothers who baby-sit their grandchildren, single moms, working mothers, empty nesters, new moms and more.
Physically, Club Mom is essentially an upscale living room "lounge" area, a fitness room about the size of a garage, a baby-sitting room that can handle up to about 20 children and smaller offices for massage sessions and one-to-one counseling.
"The best part about it is the baby-sitting," says Michelle Argentina of Farmingdale, who came to a 9 a.m. Zumba class on Monday and returned for an abs workout session, leaving son, Dante, 3, in the supervised room stocked with toys.
How to join
Two levels of membership are available: For $39 a month, standard members can use the Wi-Fi-enabled lounge area, attend certain workshops and the monthly mom's night out. A $79 monthly fitness membership adds fitness classes. Standard and nonmembers can take a fitness class for $15 each. Some workshops, such as cooking classes, will cost an additional fee for everyone, with costs varying depending on the sessions. Hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
"I'm very excited," says Lisa McManus of Dix Hills, who has three children, ages 16, 10 and 5. Her youngest started kindergarten this year just as McManus gave up working outside the home doing real estate closings. "This is my first year not working, and I don't know what to do with myself. I want to meet other moms who might be stay-at-home or entrepreneurs."
Friends Mary Wuestman of Huntington Station and Angela Widmer of Huntington - with two children and six children, respectively - stopped in to check out the club. "There's only so many playdates you can make," Wuestman says. "Moms can come and chat together, with no one pulling at you."
Grand Opening Mom's Night Out at Club Mom
WHEN | WHERE: 7:30 to 9:30 Thursday night at 601 W. Jericho Tpke., Huntington
INFO: Free; clubmomli.com, 631-659-3939