MOPS: Because every mom needs a mothering community

Today’s post is from Alexandra Kuykendall of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  As a mother of three girls and baby number four on the way, Alexandra enjoys her occasional breaks from mothering to spend time at the MOPS International office. There she helps create resources that encourage and equip moms around the world. She is a regular contributor to Connections Magazine, MOMSense Magazine and MOPS video curriculum. Her latest writings will be found in Daily Guideposts: The First Year of Motherhood just released in April of 2011. But don’t be fooled, most of Alex’s days are spent washing dishes, driving to and from different schools and trying to find a better solution to the laundry dilemma.

I walked into the room exhausted, thankful to have someone else watch my children for a few hours while I just sat. A flurry of activity, the room reflected a typical MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting at my church: women talking, eating, laughing, welcoming each other with hugs, some holding a newborn baby in one arm. The room had an energy of anticipation as moms looked forward to a few hours of uninterrupted adult conversation. All of us needed a break, moms of young kids, who spend our days taking care of the needs of those around us. This was our time twice a month, carved out of our diaper-changing, laundry-folding, baby-rocking lives to be together and focus on what would make us better moms.

Often the visiting speaker would inspire me to try something new with my kids, a fellow mom would give me a helpful tip on a current parenting struggle or a MOPS Mentor would offer some needed been-there-done-that perspective. All things that helped me toward that better mom goal. But on this particular day, what I needed, was not the practical advice or even the warm breakfast prepared by someone else (though I especially appreciated that). What I needed were the knowing looks, the heartfelt greetings and the friends that would let me crumple into their shoulders and let my tears soak their shirts. I needed someone to take care of me.

I was coming off of my second round of days in a hospital waiting room—driving forty-five minutes each way to visit my mother-in-law recovering from surgery and a new and scary cancer diagnosis. This was my “second round” because only weeks earlier, my father-in-law had been at the same hospital with his own cancer diagnosis. My MOPS friends all knew what the last few months had looked like for my family because they had been the ones watching my kids and doing my laundry while I had been in hospital waiting rooms during surgeries and meetings with doctors. They understood my exhaustion and stress, and they offered me a sanctuary of acceptance and support right there in that church multi-purpose room. These were so much more than a group of chatty women, they were God’s arms of love and provision when I needed it most.

At MOPS International we say Better Moms Make a Better World. The support and care moms give each other at MOPS groups around the world is evidence that God moves through mothers to bring a little bit of heaven to earth. I know. I’ve experienced it.

Are you interested in finding a MOPS group near you?  Click HERE.

Would you like to find out how to start a MOPS group? Click HERE.

Looking to start a moms group of any kind? Check out my book Creating The Moms Group You’ve Been Looking For.

What about you?  Have you been or are you part of a MOPS group or any other kind of moms group? How has a made a difference in your life?


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7 thoughts on “MOPS: Because every mom needs a mothering community

  1. I miss MOPS so much! For exactly the reasons she described! We moved to a tiny town–not just small town, tiny–and I really miss that connection with other moms in the same stage as I am. There is just something about it that makes life better.

    • Shelly, I second Jill… have you thought about starting your own group? There may be lots of women in your new town longing for the same thing but may not have heard of MOPS. The staff at MOPS International would be happy to help. I’m a volunteer field leader and I know there are lots of field leaders out there that would like to help you as well. 🙂

  2. MOPS was exactly what I needed parenting three children under 7. The hospitality knocked my socks off and the great guest speakers, discussion, and “mom-time” has been invaluable.

  3. I love MOPS and always recommend it to any mom I meet! I have been a part of a MOPS group for 6 years now, and cannot imagine where I would be if I didn’t know about it! I have learned so much about being a better mom, wife, friend, leader, and woman. I have grown so much closer to Christ because of this group! If your community doesn’t have a MOPS group, please truly think about starting one! MOPS changes lives!

  4. Nice Miss Jill,
    I will tell this about my mom, i know that she will like it.
    I just check again in your site to know how to make a group near us.
    This might help other mom to have a lot of patience to their children.

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