MOPS Offers Community to Moms with Young Kids

28 March 2018

MOPS Offers Community to Moms with Young Kids

By Charis Prunty, Brookings Area MOPS co-coordinator 

What changes when a new baby or adopted child joins your family? It can seem like everything does. 

Suddenly you have a new and utterly important job, mom or dad, and a whole new set of skills to learn. Your baby dares you to figure it out while stealing your sleep and coopting your free time. As mothers, we quickly sense the need for other young moms to commiserate with and for older "mentor moms" to tell us why it's going to be OK in the end.  

That's where MOPS (Mothers of Pre-schoolers) comes in. Here's a little history from MOPS International: 

"The first MOPS meeting took place in February 1973 in Wheat Ridge, Colo. For two hours, while their children received care, these mothers talked, laughed, ate, passed a basket for childcare expenses, had a craft demonstration, and ended with a short devotional... Through friendship, creative outlets, and instruction, the women began to understand that 'mothering matters.' Today, the same needs for significance are met in much the same way in MOPS groups across the United States and around the world."  

Brookings Area MOPS began more than 20 years ago. The group is sponsored by Bethel Baptist Church and it includes women from multiple types of church or none at all, several cultures and various towns in the Brookings area. Every mom in the group has a child age conception to kindergarten; that is the only requirement to attend. Some have one child, others have six. Some stay home full-time, some work from home, others work outside the home (our Night MOPS group is especially geared for moms who work during the days). Some have grown up here, others moved from other regions or other countries. Some moms are pretty young, others are in their second "round" of parenting and have older kids in high school or beyond.  

We meet at Bethel every first and third Wednesday of the month, September to May, from 9-11 a.m. (Day MOPS) and 6:30-8 p.m. (Night MOPS). Women can visit two meetings for free before they decide whether to join; they can start attending at any point during the year.  

Meetings focus on a topic that matters to our members, from teaching your baby to sleep, to building a healthy marriage, to caring for your own mental health. A mentor mom shares some wisdom she has gleaned on that topic. We share concerns in small groups and sometimes pray with each other. Sometimes we mingle or do a craft. We participate in several service projects and host some play dates throughout the year.

Did we mention that kids are cared for during meetings in our free MOPS Kids program? They play, do activities, and older kids have a lesson and a snack. (Moms share a full brunch at Day MOPS too!)

To learn more, visit Brookings Area Day MOPS or Brookings {Night} MOPS on Facebook, email BrookingsAreaMOPS@gmail.com or call 605-692-2858.