One of the goals here at the Weekly is a better connected community. When Tara Shannon first talked to me about MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), I knew it was something that more people in our community needed to know about. It’s a great example of people working to better know and support their neighbors.
Here’s my chat with Tara on how the local MOPS group started and why it’s so important to our community.
Let’s start back at the beginning. How did our local MOPS group get its start?
I looked for a MOPS group here in Fayetteville when we relocated here in early 2017, and there was not a local one. I was a member of MOPS in Franklin, TN and it was such an awesome, encouraging group that I wanted to find friends like that here.
Since the MOPS chapter in Fayetteville dissolved for reasons I do not know years ago, I was faced with the decision of driving to Madison or Huntsville (closest chapters) or starting one here. I prayed over it and the answer was clear. The best plan was to cultivate mom friends here through MOPS and sow into the amazing community of Fayetteville.
Thankfully, I found a wonderful mentor mom in Rebecca Terhune. She met with me regularly to encourage me to start small, but to go ahead and start the group because close relationships would form in the planning season as well. She was right. Our leadership team is amazing.
What’s important about being part of a fellow group of moms?
Being a mother or a preschooler is an amazing but very challenging season of motherhood. If you factor in sleep deprivation alone, you can understand why lots of mothers (and fathers) face postpartum depression and marriage struggles. Take into account the diaper changes, blowouts, temper tantrums, nap time fights, potty training, endless laundry, food and epic messes by the minute everywhere and you start getting the picture of why MOPS mamas usually spend all day in yoga pants and a messy bun…it’s essential to our survival.
Of course there a many beautiful moments between the messes of first smiles, first crawlers, walkers, lots of silly antics and getting to experience the wonder of the world through a child’s innocent perspective is simply unmatched. MOPS is here to celebrate the many awesome
moments of motherhood and support one another through the not so awesome parts. It’s beyond encouraging just to know you are not in the trenches alone!
My hope and prayer is that moms create authentic, lasting friendships with other moms through our group.
We are all created for relationship and in the time where there is so much separation of extended families, we simply need each other to thrive.
What’s the response been like so far from the moms that join?
We have seen an overwhelming positive response from moms who took a leap of faith to join this new MOPS of LC group. We are currently on a waitlist for the spring semester!
For people new to MOPS, how does a meeting typically go?
We occasionally have open meetings where new moms can come check out a typical meeting. We open with a devotional and everyone’s favorite part…potluck brunch food and hot coffee. Every mother needs to eat without a baby on her lap occasionally and it’s great to be able to do so with other moms in the same stage of life that just “get it”.
Next we have a speaker and a time for Q&A. After that, we have a craft that is simple and allows moms to bond while their hands are busy creating. I am not very crafty, but I am so amazed by the talent everyone has that always shines through during this time. We have a lot of talented moms that are highly creative and many run businesses from home or work full or part-time. They are super inspiring to me!
We wrap each meeting with prayer requests at our individual tables(there are four tables with a peer leader and a mentor mom at each) and announcements.
We meet twice a month, have a moms night out once a month, and also have a table play date each month.
If a mom wants to join, what’s that process like?
If a new mom wants to join, she can reach out to me 615-785-4460 or 931-732-7667 or any other mom in the group for more info. New members do not have to be Christian to join. We have several fundraisers to offset semester dues and we also have scholarships available!