MOPS could be your answer...
“connect moms all over the world to a community of women, in their own neighborhoods, who meet together to laugh, cry and embrace the journey of motherhood.”
Annie and I sat around her kitchen table a while ago. I wanted to know more about MOPS and only wished I had heard about it when I was a young mom. Here’s Annie’s story. I think it’s one many young moms can relate to…
When I had my first baby, I stopped working full time. I had no relatives or friends in the area. I attended a commuter church. And I knew no other families with young children.
I felt so isolated!
After about a month into motherhood, my mother-in-law told me about MOPS. She encouraged me to go and even did a little research. I checked out the website and found there was a group not too far from me at Montclair Community Church in Montclair, NJ.
When I walked into the meeting, I was half-dead from lack of sleep. I was having trouble nursing. I needed friends! I felt like I had a sign on my forehead, “HELP!”
The MOPs Coordinator took an interest in me and my nursing problems. She was helpful and supportive. She also introduced me to a MOPS Mentor Mom, who was an older wiser mom who had already walked the path that was so new to me. I was so thankful. The team and the other moms were so welcoming. I felt comfortable right away.
As a result of that first MOPS meeting, I began to feel more confident as a first-time mom.
I was going to be okay. I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten through that first year of motherhood without MOPS. I looked so forward to the monthly meeting. It was a safe place where I recharged, made friends, relaxed a little, had a delicious meal…and even enjoyed a little creative outlet.
By the end of the year, I was asked to join the MOPS Steering Team to help plan and coordinate the MOPS activities. I was in charge of the creative activities; every MOPS meeting includes a simple, fun craft for moms. For me, the Steering Team was such a blessing!
I was a part of something greater; part of a team of amazing women.
I served on the Steering Team for two years. When I had another baby, I took a year break from leading, but continued attending the monthly meetings. Then I joined the team again as Coordinator. This is my third year in that position.
I have now come through the trenches…the difficulty of adjusting to the early days of motherhood. I know firsthand, everyone needs encouragement. That’s why I do this.
I want moms to know they are not alone; we are here for them.
We understand and we want to come alongside them. They can come as they are. Some moms take this as an opportunity to get a little dressed up, other moms come in their sweats. No judgment here! All are welcome.
So if you’re a mom of young ones in the Montclair area and you’re looking to connect with other moms, enjoy a delicious brunch, a speaker, small discussion groups, and a craft activity...come on over to Montclair Community Church on Thursday, September 26, from 9:30 am – 12 Noon. Fun, engaging childcare is provided too! This month’s speaker just happens to be Kimberly Amici, Managing Editor of Circles of Faith. She’ll share how to “Organize Our Mess.” For more information about this meeting, email Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about MOPS and to see if there’s a group in your area, go to www.MOPS.org.
Annie Ly Johnson is a wife and mom to two young boys. She loves coordinating and sharing the ministry of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) through the Montclair Community Church.
Elise Daly Parker has been married for 28 years and is mom to four mostly grown girls. She is a writer, editor, writing coach, and blogger. She believes we all have stories that matter--big life bios and small meaningful moments. Elise believes our stories are a reflection of God’s glory and are meant to be shared. They have the power to inform, reform, and transform. She loves God, family, friends...and really likes travel!