After a study session in Herman B Wells Library, Lynette Anigbo joined a group with her son, who was born while she was an undergraduate sophomore.
She was sitting in the library when Siobhan Carter-David introduced her to other student mothers, and they became friends. Carter-David introduced Anigbo to the group IU Student Moms.
Anigbo, a graduate assistant at IU and member of IU Student Moms, said the group is an informal network, not a formal organization. The group does not get together for regular meetings, but occasionally meets to eat and talk together.
“It’s really just a group of moms that help each other,” Anigbo said. “For me, this made it completely possible to do school and be a mom and still feel like I had a social life. I thought this group was the best thing that ever happened to me as a mom. I started to talk to other undergrads. It helped me to have that foundation.”
She said that, in her experience, informal groups can be more effective. Connections to other student moms are usually made via word of mouth.
Anigbo said Assistant Dean of Students Katrina Reynolds has been instrumental in directing women to the IU Student Moms group, and Associate Dean Carol McCord has also offered support when the group needs an advocate.
“They are our administrative allies,” she said.
Reynolds said Student Moms is based on a similar group on campus, IU Working Moms. This group was originally established in association with the Office for Women’s Affairs before it was disbanded. IU Working Moms has a website with information about upcoming events and a list of resources.
“When you’re dealing with your kids, you want to have your close circle of moms that you go to and talk to about those things that are important to you,” Anigbo said.
“Making sure everyone is connected to someone, that’s the most important thing.”
Anigbo said the 10 to 11 women who currently make up IU Student Moms are a collection of undergraduate and graduate students, married and unmarried women. Although she takes opportunities to reach out to student mothers, Anigbo said not everyone is interested in joining the group.
“Undergrads are really busy and may feel like they don’t have time to hang out with a group of moms,” Anigbo said. “I think it comes down to each individual woman and their experience as a mom.”
Anigbo is in the process of creating what she calls a “Parent’s Packet,” which she hopes will be published online by the beginning of March and eventually published in print as well. The packet will include contact information and descriptions of resources available to student parents, such as daycares.
For more information about joining Student Moms, contact Anigbo at 219-301-4014 or email@example.com.
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