Two Tuesdays a month you will find me at MOPS--Mothers of Preschoolers.
Today I woke Hope up from her nap to go. Guarding nap time is my main rule, but for MOPS, I will bend it. There is childcare, you see, and chocolate on each table; door prizes and coffee--and flavored creamer--at every meeting. Most of all, there are a lot of like-minded women who reassure each other we are going to be okay.
I know I have ten kids and have been at this for a long time. "You could do this in your sleep," moms often tell me. (Don't we all do this in our sleep?) The bottom line is, I need other moms. And I find them at MOPS.
At every meeting the table groups take turns bringing breakfast. (Today it was our turn and I brought my go-to Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cake.) Then we have a short inspiring thought brought to us by one of the Mentoring Moms--an older, experienced mom who offers her insights. I know, I qualify for this. But when I am at MOPS, I am one of the young preschool moms. Ahem.
After the Mentoring Mom inspires us, we listen to a speaker. Last month someone spoke on finding the right clothes for your body shape. After ten children, I did not want to talk about this, but the speaker was funny and truly helpful. Another time the talk was on sponsoring a child through Compassion International. (Thanks to my merciful Mary, we have been sponsoring for many years.) Honestly, it wouldn't matter if the talk was on how to change a flat tire, I'm there.
MOPS is all about helping mothers embrace their role. This year's theme, for instance, is "Plunge: Love Like Your Like Depended on It". They support, they affirm, they equip. They remember your birthday.
I didn't attend a moms group until I had four kids. It took me that long to realize I was in over my head, that I didn't know how to do this. That was 17 years ago, and, though it wasn't a traditional MOPS, I still use the guidelines I learned from being part of that wonderful group of women. MOPS is just one group out there; Hearts at Home is another good one. In fact, Mrs. Duggar, the mother of them all, is speaking at their conference this year.
If you don't have a moms group, find one. If you can't find one, start one. Whether or not you work outside the home; if you send your kids to public, private or home school them; if you have one or ten kids; if you find yourself single or married to another Captain Fun, we moms need each other. We need all the resources, all the support, all the help we can get.
Motherhood is tricky--what we moms do every day is critical to the well being of our children, of our nation, even. But the dailiness often blinds us to the significance of our role until the kids are grown and the time cannot be recovered. That's why a mom's group is invaluable. It's a regular reminder that we, as moms, are invaluable, too.
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
--William Ross Wallace
PS MOPS has evening meetings for moms who work outside the home as well as Teen MOPS and even Military MOPS! Find or start a local group at MOPS.org