When Oklahoma native Melissa Hanley moved to Batesville from Greenwood, she recalls, “I longed for relationships with other moms. I think that motherhood is challenging in itself. To move to a new place and not have that connection” with other women can be lonely.
She talked with new friends at Batesville Baptist Church about starting a ministry called Mom2Mom, patterned after one she attended at Emmanuel Church of Greenwood, and they said, “‘Let’s try it here.’”
Two years ago, the nondenominational Mom2Mom was founded in Batesville by Hanley and Hannah Reid, who has moved away. Also on the first leadership team were Shannon McBeath, Brandi Myers, Joan Schornick and daughter Jami Powell. Initially, about 15 women attended.
The group’s goal “is to reach out to moms in our community, encouraging them in their season of life, meeting practical needs, building on mothering skills and fostering healthy relationships in a God-centered environment,” according to the Web site.
Mom2Mom members meet twice a month on Fridays from 9-11 a.m. during the school year at Community Church of Batesville, 103 E. George St. With many women in attendance, sometimes smaller discussion groups led by mentor moms allow members to get to know each other on a more personal basis.
According to Hanley, “I’ve honestly used my social network” to find guest speakers. “I have a ministry background. I’m a preacher’s daughter. My husband was in the ministry before joining the family business,” Pulskamp’s Flooring Plus. “We try to find speakers who will represent what our mission statement is .... I want to teach these women God’s given us this very important role as mother. Anything we can do to nurture that and learn from each other’s mistakes” will be a topic, including mothering skills, marriage and discipline.