This Non-Profit Spotlight was written by Sandra Elise Rodriguez. Sandra loves God, her family, and chocolate. She is married to her best friend, Eli. Together they have two amazing boys, a toddler and a newborn baby. Sandra serves on the leadership team at BT MOPS. Her heart is to share the Love of Jesus with other women.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. If your name is Mom, then sometimes you want to go where everybody shares your name.
There’s a place where moms of little ones come to encourage, support, and uplift one another. A place where you can rock your yoga pants and that t-shirt with the mystery stains on it (and not be judged for it). A place where you can sit and drink HOT coffee – without having to microwave it five or six times. A place where other moms in the trenches of poopy diapers, teething pains, and toddler tantrums go to find some relief with other moms fighting the same battles.
That place is MOPS.
MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. But don’t be fooled by the name; MOPS caters to pregnant moms, moms of kindergarteners, and everything in between. Moms of kids in school are also welcome. There are currently over 4,000 MOPS groups all over the world. Luckily for you, there is one right here in McAllen, Texas: BT MOPS.
BT MOPS meets the first and third Thursday of every month from 9:30 AM -12 PM at BT McAllen (also known as Baptist Temple Church). During those 2 1/2 hours, you can come relax, unwind, and refill your proverbial cup. You can also refill your coffee cup with plenty of hot coffee!
Did I mention that there’s child care? *Insert happy dance here.* You can drop off your children with the wonderful MOPPETS workers at 9:15 AM. While you’re having grown up time, they’re making crafts, playing games, and learning Bible stories. They have so much fun, they hardly notice that their moms are gone. Dropping off your kids is encouraged, but not mandatory. If you prefer, you can keep your children with you during the MOPS meetings.
So what exactly goes on during a typical BT MOPS meeting? Here’s the inside scoop:
When you walk into a MOPS meeting, you’re immediately greeted with friendly smiles. If you’re on time(ish), you get a raffle ticket for a chance to win an awesome prize, like a Starbucks or Target gift card. So, the winner basically gets a free mini-vacation!
Then, you sit down at a table and have an actual uninterrupted conversation with other adults! After that, you eat a yummy breakfast that you don’t have to share with your kids! Breakfast usually includes some sort of dessert item for this reason, along with some healthy choices and regular breakfast staples, like tamales.
The meetings always have some general announcements, followed by “moments of sharing” where you can celebrate your children’s accomplishments with other moms who understand the magnitude of milestones like potty-training or your baby finally sleeping through the night. You actually get applauded, and maybe even hugged.
Laugh, cry, craft, relax, share, pray and play!
At BT MOPS there is usually a mixture of laughter and tears (of joy, of course). Sometimes there will be a fun craft, while others there will be an encouraging speaker. Sometimes you’ll watch a hilarious video about mom life, and others you’ll hear a beautiful story that has everyone bawling like babies! (MOPS also has tissues). And then sometimes, they’ll mix it up at MOPS and do something completely different, but awesome. Some of these events include: Spa day, Choctoberfest, and Tea & Testimony.
At the end of each meeting, there’s usually small group time. This is a time for prayer requests, praise reports, and connecting with other moms on a deeper level. Are you going through something that you’d like to talk about with someone? We have Mentor Moms for that! These are grandmas who have been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt! They specialize in praying for moms and holding babies.
BT MOPS also holds play dates once a month, so your kiddos can socialize with each other while you socialize with other moms. And there are also Moms Night Out, when you can actually be (insert your name here), put on some jewelry, and bust out your heels.
MOPS semesters are from January – May and September – December. The MOPS semesters mirror the school year. There is a small fee per semester to cover childcare, crafts, and other items to make the meetings possible. However, scholarships and payment plans are available.
So, if you’re a Mom, and you’re looking for a place where you can be yourself – and not just Mom – then BT MOPS is the place for you! There’s a seat waiting for you with your name on it.
Follow BT MOPS on Facebook or call them at (956) 686-5296 to learn more.