The first meeting of the year for my local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group was yesterday, and I was reminded again of how much this group means to me.
Three years ago, I gave birth to our first son. My parents and in-laws lived out of state—a good 13-hour drive away—so I desperately needed to make some friends and build a support group locally. That’s when one of my friends invited me to MOPS.
The first thing I thought was, “Cool…free childcare!”. But, it’s been much more than enjoying a cup of coffee and brunch in peace, along with uninterrupted adult conversation. (Although, that’s huge plus.) This group has become my own support group.
We meet twice a week at a local church and have a lesson or speaker, brunch, share prayer requests, and sometimes have a craft or other fun activity, all while our kids are taken care of by volunteers who always plan something fun and creative especially for them. On weeks that we don’t meet, we’ll have a Mom’s Night Out (dinner out, usually, while the hubbies watch the kids) and a Mommy and Me outing—like at a local park or the McDonalds play area.
A lot of us don’t have family in the area (pretty typical, I’ve found, of the Washington DC area), so we call each other with babysitting needs, provide meals for moms with a new baby, and reach out to those who are having a rough time.
MOPS is an international organization for moms with children up to age 5. You can find out more about them at http://www.mops.org/ and even search for a group in your area.