Recently I started going to my local Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group. It is run from the church we are now worshipping so it is a great way for me to connect with people who I see on Sunday as well. Although the program is church based about half of the participants aren’t church goers. It is not an evangelical program but it doesn’t pretend not to be God focused. MOPS is a fortnightly program for mothers with children from 0-5years.
“MOPS IS A PLACE THAT GETS MUMS… their unique needs, challenges and joys—in this vital season of early mothering. Every mum is welcomed, accepted and challenged to reach her potential and recognise her influence with her family and her world. A MOPS group is a dynamic, inviting environment where women can come just as they are to build friendships, be encouraged and gain practical parenting strategies, while children are lovingly cared for in a MOPPETS program.
The purpose of MOPS is to encourage, equip and develop every mother of preschoolers to realise her potential as a woman, mother and leader in the name of Jesus Christ.” www.mops.org.au
I arrive at MOPS and take Eva to the MOPPETS program. At the moment she is in the 0-18month room because when we started she was cruising. I guess soon she will move to the toddler room. There are carers from the church who look after the MOPPETS for the next two hours. Once I leave Eva there is a cup of tea and yummy morning tea and conversations with other Mums where we can finish a sentence and not be worrying about whether our child is smearing morning tea all over the floor!
There is a guest speaker on a topic of common interest to Mums then we have an open discussion in small groups. I sit with the same discussion group every week which is good. I find the discussions interesting and a good place to share. There is also a craft activity to participate in which is fun. I really enjoy the craft especially because someone else plans and prepares it. It’s a great opportunity for general chatting.
After 2 hours I collect Eva from the MOPPETS and we head home with me feeling refreshed and hoping that she also enjoyed some playtime with other children. I find with just Mums around, no children, I am not spending any time thinking about how small Eva is or any other comparisons that I naturally make when I with other mothers and children normally. That in itself is refreshing. I really enjoy the MOPS program and hope that others might consider looking for their local group to join.