Back to Support

Lakewood YMCA offers military spouses’ day out

The Y holds programs designed to care for the holistic person

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

You know how it goes - every time you schedule "me" time, something seems to pops up - family drama, girlfriend meltdown, work crisis, the kids, or stuff you never remember later - and you postpone it. Of course, that's assuming you even have the luxury of considering "me" time. But in the long run, taking time for you can mean being better able to handle life's challenges.

On Mar. 6, the YMCA (Y) in Lakewood introduced its new Military Spouses Day program to help spouses do just that - find time for themselves. And, the best part is its free for members and non-members and daycare is available.

"It will recharge the whole you," said Janele Nelson, mission director of YMCA, Pierce and Kitsap County. "It's an alternative place to connect and belong, to build relationships and find support, to have fun and make new friends. The objective is to take care of the mind, body and spirit."

Sessions will be held the first and third Tuesday of the month from 9 a.m. to noon. In the first session, spouses took part in a Zumba class, then discussed the emotional cycle of deployments, and finally talked about the role faith had in dealing with worrying and fears. The objective is to care for the holistic person through a combination of activities.

"We wanted to do more for the military," said Nelson. "To find the needs and gaps with what already exists and fill that need."

Part of that effort includes other programs such as the military daycare supplemental program for families living off base. The Y has contracted with the Department of the Army, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Command, to offer a nationally accredited program called Army School Age Programs in Your Neighborhood (ASPYN).

"This is a supplement program to help serve the growing need for school-age child care programs on base," said Diana Comfort, executive director, YMCA Child Care. "Military living in the communities the Y serves have access to the same cost for child care in our programs as on post." ASPYN administers more than 50 programs throughout 10 school districts, and financial assistance is also available.

The Y also offers other program alternatives that can be beneficial. In fact, Military Spouses Day is part of a larger network of programs (called Life University) aimed at helping individuals find balance in all aspects of life.

Oxygen for Your Relationships is one. This course is designed to help couples "strengthen their relationships, work on the tough issues, and find renewed hope." Couples learn the art of communication, how to resolve conflict, understand each other's needs, and rekindle romance and relational intimacy.

Loving Couples, Loving Children and Active Parenting seminars help parents learn emotion coaching, how to help kids with peer pressure and general parenting techniques. Blending Families is a course on how to be a stepparent that provides strategies for blending families and understanding the dynamics of remarriage. Other programs include Financial Peace University (reducing debt, gaining control of spending and changing habits); educating and supporting primary caregivers, and a series of classes in the Journey to Freedom program (on grief and loss, loneliness and depression, body image and eating disorders, low self-esteem, living with fear, forgiveness workshops, and managing difficult life transitions). YMCA membership isn't required to participate, and financial assistance is available to help with seminar fees.     

The next Military Spouses Day out will be held March 20. To register (and for other Life University programs) call (253) 460-8916 or visit For the ASPYN program and childcare services call (253) 534-7840 or visit

Photo: L to R (top) – Jen Lay (military spouse), Nicki Papenthien (military spouse), Chrystal Potter (military spouse), Janele Nelson, and Gail Cicelski. Bottom L to R, Kelli McMorris (Military Spouse and YMCA Graduate Intern/assistant for Military Spouses Day program), and Billy Smith (participant and Y member) after early morning Zumba at the YMCA’s first ever Military Spouses Day on Mar. 6 in Lakewood.

comments powered by Disqus