If you are not, let me tell you, it is a-maz-ing. There are more than 3,900 MOPS groups meeting across the United States and in 35 countries around the world. Luckily, we have a (large) group in McAllen! Yay!
MOPS= Mothers of PreSchoolers. It’s is a community of pregnant mothers and mothers with children from infancy to kindergarten who meet together twice a month to embrace the journey of motherhood as well as to encourage eachother through the challenges. I will explain more in detail. Just keep reading. Also, they love to laugh, have fun, and have a mom’s night out once in a while!
MOPS meetings are every 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month. It is from 9:30 A.M. to about 11:30 A.M. and they meet in BT McAllen, located on 2001 Trenton Rd. There is a fee of $40 per semester to cover childcare and other expenses made to keep MOPS going, but the first visit is free. The semesters are from August-December and January-May, just like the school semesters.
Ok, lets get down to the nitty gritty. I have been going to MOPS since last August, and the meetings go something like this. The meetings start off with a delicious breakfast. I’m talking about breakfast casseroles, yummy pastries, fruit, yogurt…you name it (even tamales sometimes)! So we grab a cup of coffee and some breakfast and pick a seat and chit chat with the other mommies at our table. Did I mention childcare is available? You can start dropping off your children at about 9:15 a.m. You are more than welcome though to keep your baby with you if you (have separation anxiety like me) want, hehe. For about a half hour we have fellowship, catch up with our mops friends and make new ones. We like to share our children’s accomplishments publicly – from our babies sleeping through the night to our toddler becoming potty trained. Sometimes guest speakers come and bring encouraging speeches or advice about marriage, family, and spiritual life. Then there are announcements. Pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, and special event announcements. Around 10 A.M. we separate into our “small groups”. These are groups we got designated to in the beginning of the semester. Since we have gotten to know the mommies in our small groups better, we can be more honest and talk about things that are really bugging us or share awesome stories with one another about our children or our lives and things like that. Real talk is liberating! A lot of times, we realize that we are not alone in our struggles. There are always funny stories too that get everybody cracking up. We use this time also to set up our childrens’ play dates and our mno’s (moms night out). We set up a play date once a week, usually in the morning, and we go to parks, the IMAS museum, the library for story-time & crafts, or someone’s house when they volunteer. Even if you have a baby who is not in the “playing” stage yet, it is still nice to go and get together with the group just to hang out. The “moms night outs” usually consist of getting together in the evening at a fellow MOPS mom’s house and doing a potluck or meeting up at a restaurant. Bowling was being considered for our next mno. Anyway, after our small group meeting is over, everybody reunites in the main building again to make a fun craft.
Once a semester we have a MOP Swap. No, it’s not like the tv show ‘Wife Swap’ haha. Basically, all the mommies clean our their kids’ closets and bring in gently used clothes, toys, books, etc that they want to get rid of, and swap their stuff with other moms for items they could use. There are a lot more things MOPS does and events they hold, but you’ll have to visit to find out! The leaders of MOPS and the mentor moms are sooo nice. They really make you feel welcomed and loved and are always willing to help you in whatever you need.
If you aren’t a MOPS mom, I encourage you to join! Being a mom of a pre-schooler can be hard at times. I only have one baby and she is 9 months and she alone keeps me super busy! I’ve met people who have 5 kids all under 5 years old, and they say it can be draining. When you come to a MOPS meeting, you can take a little break from everything and hang out for a bit with fellow mommies who “get you”. Here is a phone number to call if you have any other questions (956) 686-5296.
Are you a MOPS mom? If you are not, what are some ways that you connect with other moms in your same stage of life and where do you go to have your children interact with other children?