Imagine a room full of people who understand you and share your struggles.
Imagine being invited.
Imagine being accepted.
Now, imagine your children in another room having fun with other kids.
Close your eyes…do you smell that?
That’s breakfast and coffee in the room adjacent.
Where is this magical place?
I’ll tell you.
This place…is MOPS.
No, this is no cleaning supply. This is a group of Moms that get together everything other Tuesday throughout the year. And it is International – check out the Location Map at the bottom of the page, or on their website.
Moms of Preschoolers.
I was skeptical. And terrified. But I was also desperate. Desperate for friends. Desperate for some alone time that wasn’t during naptime.
MOPS was the answer for me.
So what is MOPS?
It may vary from place to place, but here is what my MOPS looks like: (from 8:45-11:00)
- Check-in: you bring you and your preschoolers (age 0-kinder age) Drop them off at their classes where they get to play and make crafts and such. Sign in and get assigned to a table of Moms
- First visit is free so you can check it out commitment free. If you decide this is for you, you pay an upfront fee (different at every location) for the year. I paid $31 for mine.
- At every table, there is a Discussion Group Leader, and a MOPS Mom (an older Mom who has been there and done that)
- Get coffee and food……(nice right?? Breakfast is my favorite!)
- Speaker comes (different every week) and talks about a topic relevant to Moms
- I’ve seen a chiropractor come in and talk about ways to take care of yourself, a gardener, a missionary Mom, a speaker on Adoption, etc.
- Discussion Time
- Fellowship/Craft time
- Every week there is a craft prepared for the moms to make. Anywhere from pictures, to candles, to seasoning packets. There are some very gifted mamas out there.
- Pick up the Kids
It is a group designed by Moms and for Moms, so as you can imagine, it’s pretty awesome.
Here are some typical concerns that I hear from women about MOPS.
- I’m not comfortable leaving my kid with someone else.
- I totally understand. A lot of women have good reasons for this. Obviously, if everyone was allowed to bring their kids to the table, then it wouldn’t be a place of escape, but if this is the only way for you to receive peace and fellowship – bring your child of course. Especially babies. Women LOVE hearing those babies. Don’t worry about it.
- I don’t think I can make it all the time
- Not everyone can. It’s not a full commitment. It’s meant for you. Come when you can. When you need it.
- I have some dietary restrictions and cant eat what everyone else can.
- Every week, tables get rotated to bring something to eat for everyone. I have brought a can of applesauce before. And there are many other people who have dietary restrictions, so they just bring something that they can eat. And it usually blesses someone else who shares your dietary restriction.
- It’s probably not in my town.
- It’s worldwide. Odds are, there is probably one near you. I think its definitely worth a Google search. Or if you are feeling super motivated, bring this to your local church and bring up the idea of getting it started. There are moms in every town, big and small, and we all share the same struggles. I think a lot of others would benefit from a group like this in your town.
- I’m a pretty unique individual, I’m not sure I would fit in.
- I can honestly say that I have seen so many different kinds of Moms at Mops. We might all look different on the outside, but we are all the same on the inside. There may be someone who feels the exact same way you do who shows up that day.
- I didn’t like my group, or my group Mom. It was so awkward.
- Do you know what the best way to solve this is?….Become a Discussion Group Leader. If you think there is a problem, change it. The main point of MOPS is to bless Moms. So pay it forward. We’d love to have you. And people are usually begging for volunteers. All you have to do is read off questions about the Topic that day, and when there’s a lull, fill it in. Easy peasy. Just friends sitting there together. You don’t have to be peppy to be a DGL.
I struggle with a daily routine. I get bored. I love to mix things up and get out of the house. MOPS is the highlight of my every-other-week. If you struggle in the same way, don’t suffer alone. Look up a MOPS near you. Take an uncomfortable leap in the right direction of support. And check out my previous blogpost 14 Ways to Fill Your Day as a Stay-At-Home Mom. There are some great tips on ways to fill your day in a productive and fun way.
If you have any questions, I would love to answer them.
If you want to find a MOPS near you or start one, check out MOPS.org.
If you would like to share your experiences of MOPS, please share them in the comments below. I would love to hear about them, and so would other Moms who may be unsure about it.
5 thoughts on “MOPS – A Group for Moms….with Preschoolers”
I’ve never been to MOPS before, as my family had joined Village Missions and we were living in rural places by the time my oldest hit that age – and I had looked up MOPS groups but there were none nearby. Judy now since we have moved, I looked again and our nearest is still an hour away. A representative called our church not too long ago about starting one st our church. I’ve requested more info, but I’ll be honest – I’m not sure our little church would be able to afford it, let alone the moms in our rural community. 🙁
That would be super interesting to look into a way to make that cost effective for the community. I wonder if they have a scholarship or Grant for smaller churches. Might be worth looking into. Maybe I’ll reach out to them and ask. I’m assuming the church wouldn’t be able to absorb the cost? Thanks for bringing up that issue
I just got a call from a MOPS rep today, along with an info packet in my email. She did mention the availability of scholarships to help with costs, and will be calling me back next week after I have time to look it over. I’m still confused about the member part. Do you HAVE to pay for an annual membership in order to come to the meetings? And – unrelated but I’m curious: How many moms are part of the group you go to? Is it a big group or a small group?
I talked to some other Moms that go to small churches, and they said the church was willing to absorb some of the costs. So membership means two different things. When you become a “member” on the website, it is the equivalent of “subscribing”, and they will send you a newsletter, magazine, and blogs. All great material. When you actually attend your first free MOPS meeting, and decide you want to keep attending, then you pay an upfront cost to attend for the rest of the year. I have attended MOPS at two different locations. One was very small – ranging from 10-15 people, making it 4 people per table. The one I attend now has 25-30 women with 6-8 women per table.
Also, some of the women decided not to do MOPS, and instead they made their own Moms group without any of the red tape. The church paid for the crafts and such, and different women from the congregation talked.