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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Training Up Tuesday: Have You Heard of MOPS?

Hi, lovely sisters on the Roof!


Cooler temps, falling leaves, the smell of newly sharpened pencils and erasers. Autumn marks back to school time for many of you moms. School isn’t the only thing back in session, though. For those familiar with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) September is a time for getting back together with likeminded moms. I embark on my first adventure as a MOPS participant this September at my church, and I’m very excited!


You may be asking what I’ve been asking, “What is MOPS?” Well, it depends on who you ask. The MOPS Coordinator my group, Claire Belles gave me a clear definition that MOPS.org provides: “MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. MOPS International exists to meet the needs of every mom. Moms with different lifestyles who all share a similar desire to be the very best moms they can be! MOPS recognizes that the years from infancy through kindergarten are foundational in a mother-child relationship and are filled with unique needs.”


Or perhaps, you may be able to relate to Nikki Mans’ (Creative Activities Leader for her area MOPS for 4 years) description:

“Simply put, it's a place where you can escape for 2 hours (Yes, I use the word ‘escape’ as in: break free from captivity or confinement), have free babysitting, hang out with other moms, eat a lovely breakfast (You actually get to sit without interruption & eat your whole. plate. of. food.), hear an inspiring message, make something creative (my fave!), discuss your latest mommy highs-n-lows, learn some things about yourself...& more!”


So, why are we talking about MOPS on Train Up Tuesday? Because, to be an effective trainer, we as moms need effective training, coaching & cheering; all of which one can find at MOPS meetings.


I asked Nikki, “How has (MOPS) enabled you, inspired you, taught you to ‘train up your

child’?”

“One of my favorite things about MOPS is being able to ask questions of the other moms about whatever it is I'm going through: whether it be potty training (Aargh!!), sleeping through the night, finding my sanity, ideas for alone time with hubby, etc.

Mostly MOPS has taught me a lot about myself. I always had so much guilt as a new mom because I felt I wasn't being a good mom. This would make me angry at myself and sometimes I'd get angry at my children and I'd yell and everything would just boil inside, which caused MORE guilt and a vicious little cycle that repeated. I learned to let go of those expectations and find joy in my uniqueness as a mom. I am a much more relaxed mom now than I used to be. Being a mom is super-duper-deluxe hard work & MOPS helped me to feel like I wasn't alone. MOPS made me realize how ‘normal’ I am & how ‘normal’ the things I am going through are. I have a support system.”


Nikki found MOPS when she needed it most. She was an “overwhelmed & stressed out mom of 2 kiddos both under 2 years old.” She needed “ME time,” even if that time was with other women like her who could provide adult conversations and a time of rejuvenation. While enjoying her time with other ladies, she could rest in knowing that her little ones were being well cared for in the MOPPETTS program.

Doesn’t this sound just like something you or a girlfriend could use in her life at this moment? If you haven’t registered to be part of a MOPS group it isn’t too late! Many women join throughout the course of the MOPS’ year. Visit the www.mops.org website for more information on the program or to find your local chapter. The nominal yearly fee that most groups charge cover the membership to MOPS International (includes a book, a monthly magazine and weekly email encouragement) as well as costs for supplies for MOPS meetings.


You can also find some great MOPS inspired crafts and thoughts by visiting Nikki Mans’ whimsy love page http://whimsy-girl.blogspot.com/search?q=MOPS.


Are you already a member of MOPS? How has it helped you most?


How would a group like MOPS help you “train up a child”?


Thanks to Claire Belles & Nikki Mans for providing me with information on MOPS!


Love,

Ashlie

5 comments:

Sherri said...

Hey Ashlie! Great post. I loved MOPS all the years I was in it and then coordinating it for a couple of years. I truly cannot say enough about how God uses MOPS groups to build up, care for, and grow women. Claire is my sister in law - you all are in great hands with your MOPS group!
Sherri Yager

The Farmer's Wife said...

I've wanted to go to a MOPS group for three years, but the nearest one is 75 miles away, and there aren't enough people in the sticks, here, to form a group.

Last year, a couple of friends and I got together when our oldest went to preschool one morning a week, and laughingly called it CUPS (Coffee Under Pretense of School). We took it on the road, one time, and then we were Travel MUGS (Mothers Under General Stress).

Whatever the acronym, it's so very healthy to have that support and perspective! I'm glad you highlighted it, here in your post. I'm going to check out Claire's blog...it looks fabulous!

HPS said...

Great job, Ash! This is some valuable info and you really did your homework. I'm glad you're going to do TUTs and can't wait to see what the Lord has in store through you!!!!

Ashlie Miller said...

Thanks, ladies! Farmer's Wife, I love that you gals did your own thing. I hope more ladies that read this who don't have MOPS available see that they can do this type of thing on their own, too. You're gonna love Nikki's blog, too. HPS, thanks for the encouragement!

nikki/WhiMSy love said...

Great article Ashlie! Thanks for the linky love!
GOOOO MOPS! YAY!