Why You (Mom) Need MOPS

WHY YOU NEED MOPS/MOM'S NEXT

Does This Sound Familiar?

I dropped him off. He shook his head. He wouldn’t even walk into the childcare room.

“I just want to go with you, Mom. I don’t want to play with friends. Take me with you.”

Auck. This kid knows how to get my heart every time.

“April, just go. Every time you leave he fully recovers in 5 minutes. He’ll be great, just go,” Charlotte said.

So we got him into the room, and I made a quick escape, feeling guilty and sad for leaving my darling toddler crying, as I could hear him all the way to the elevator…..But then I got into the elevator. The sound disappeared, and I started to feel, ahhhhhh, a little freedom, a little rest, oh happy day. It’s time for MOPS.

What is MOPs?

Have you ever heard of M.O.P.S.? I am loving this organization. It stands for Moms of Preschoolers, but I have exciting news. It is no longer just for moms of preschoolers! At the same meetings, they now also house Mom’s Next, for moms of school-age children.

I’ve been a parent for 10 years, and I had always heard of MOPS, but I had never once tried it out. I’m not even sure why, except that I simply didn’t know what MOPS even was.  I had too many questions. Now I see what I’ve been missing, and I want you all to get in on this too. Here are the questions I used to have about the organization, complete with the answers I’ve learned this year.

Do they have childcare?

YES!!!

I’d heard they have crafts. Do I have to do the whole craft thing? I’m not a craft person.

WHY YOU NEED MOPS/MOM'S NEXT

The materials and instructions were provided. All I had to do was put it together, and I left the meeting feeling as accomplished as all get out.

Well, yes, they do have a craft time every other week, and I don’t mean “mommy-and-me” crafts. I mean the moms do a grown-up craft. The children stay in their own classrooms. Phew! And they make it easy for you. Even non-crafters like me can handle it.

I go to so many school and church events. What’s the point of joining this?

Friendships and encouragement from people who can relate to what you’re going through!

The whole reason that I finally tried out MOPS this year is that I had just moved across the country and prior to moving here, I did not know a single soul in this city. We move every few years. In the early years, moving was exciting, but by the 8th city in 14 years, it feels a little disheartening. I don’t want to drag myself through another first year of having no friends. It’s lonely.

At MOPS, half the people there are first year attendees, looking for friends. They even assign you to a table so that you are sitting with the same people each week. The better to make solid friendships, with my dear.

My local group doesn’t stop at bi-monthly meetings. They also host monthly mom’s nights, field trips, and play-dates. There’s even a Facebook group.

MOPS was a God-send to help me get more connected quickly. Even work-at-home moms can attend meetings because the whole thing only lasts an hour and 45 minutes, so call it your lunch break. There is food there, after all.

So what actually happens at these MOPS meetings?

It’s slightly different every week. There are sometimes speakers, inspirational videos, games, crafts, and discussions within your table. Oh! And there is always food. Our group eats breakfast there because we meet at 9:30. All of this will vary a little by campus, but there’s a basic format that is followed at each location.

What good has come from it?

Simply making friends was the objective, and my hopes were fully met. People need people. I’m slightly introverted, but too much isolation and I begin to become sad and unproductive. When you work at home, whether that means building websites or nursing babies, it has the potential to be lonely, which can crush your spirit. If you are a mom, with a child age 0-18, let your MOPS friends become your new work friends.

Want to know more about this exciting international club for moms? Visit their website. Just click here. Don’t have one in your area? Establish one! You’ll be a hero to so many people.

Why You (Mom) Need MOPS

thumbnail: luriisokolov / depositphotos.com

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April Alan is a happy mom of four boys, and she also writes at http://storiesofourboys.com. When she isn't blogging, she's usually doing exotic things like cooking, picking up kids, and coloring Mickey Mouse with her toddler.

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