When I left my full-time job to stay home with my first baby, I was so excited and had all sorts of ideas about the things we were going to do and the conversations we were going to have. I just hadn’t realized that newborns don’t do much and, as cute as they are, make terrible conversationalists. It never dawned on me how isolating being home with a newborn could be. Even in the toddler phase, there was only so much Barney and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star I could take.
Then one wonderful, amazing day – I discovered MOPS. No, not the big fuzzy thing with a big long handle you use for the kitchen floor. MOPS, as defined by their website, “stands for Mothers of Preschoolers, and by preschoolers we mean kiddos from birth through kindergarten. We know it’s a little confusing so let’s just stick with MOPS.”
MOPS, as defined by me, is SO much more. It’s an amazing sisterhood of moms coming together to laugh, cry, learn, eat (OH THE FOOD), chat, share, and bond. I started MOPS when I had a three year old, two year old and was “out to there” with number three. MOPS groups can differ in the details of how they do things, but it’s their similarities that unite them.
What you can expect:
Childcare. Wonderful, loving, caring childcare is provided so you can attend the meeting and “unplug”. The babies are snuggled and the older kiddos can have story time, music time, sometimes a craft and definitely snacks! My kids all loved going to MOPS and I loved knowing they were having fun in a safe and caring environment.
There are dues to belong to MOPS, International and some of the groups have their own dues as well – to help with things like childcare and all the fun things happening during the meetings. The first meeting is always free so you can “try before you buy.” But I promise you’ll love it.
MOPS is a Christian faith based organization so most of the meetings are housed in churches. However, you do not need to be a member of the church where MOPS is to be a member of MOPS and to go to the meetings. Finding a group is easy-peasy. All you have to do is go to this website and enter your zip code.
Meeting formats range from small discussion groups, engaging guest speakers, service projects, crafts, to games and parties. Go in with a “participate, don’t anticipate” attitude!
I used to be a really shy person, so I was pretty nervous walking in those doors six years ago, but I can honestly say my life has been changed forever in amazing ways. I have long lasting friendships with women I would not have met otherwise. I am a better mom because I was able to learn from others who had been where I was – who had the same parenting challenges I did. I was able to be a part of a team and have opportunities to serve others. I made connections I know will last a lifetime.
Although my kids are getting older and I’m phasing out of MOPS, I will always be grateful for everything it meant to me.
By Guest Contributor: Dana
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