My Love Affair with MOPS

My Love Affair with MOPS | Houston Moms Blog

I didn’t really know anyone when I moved to Houston. In those first few months in a new city, the most exciting events on my calendar were OB appointments. It didn’t matter—I was consumed with getting us situated anyway. But as the summer wound down and we more or less settled in, my thoughts finally turned to other things.

My toddler and I had been spending a lot of time at home already and now as my pregnant belly swelled, we really didn’t socialize much. I desperately wanted a place for my little one to go play and make friends. We had missed registration deadlines and had been wait-listed at all the local preschools for the coming semester. And I was still so new and frankly, lonely. I wanted to meet people too. Another mom at church suggested I look into MOPS {Mothers of Preschoolers} ,which was about to start up again in the Fall. Unpromising as the acronym sounded, I was more than happy to have someplace to go. And therein began the love affair.

I have now been in MOPS for a surprising seven years. Although I still have a preschooler, my oldest two are in elementary school. I’ve been there and done that with all the preschool topics, but there are so many aspects about my particular MOPS group that keeps me coming back for more.

L’Amour ::

I feel the love there. Some of my closest friends started out as MOPS buddies from my very first years. In our particular MOPS chapter, women typically stay at the same table group for the duration of our time at MOPS, giving us many seasons to get to know each other. During those early years when I got ready for the rare Moms Night Out with my new friends, the children would cling to me, confused at where I was going without them and why. My toddler called me a “Princess”, shocked at his mother’s transformation. It felt good—it’s amazing what a dress and some lipstick can do. 

Even now, there’s a pep in my step on my nights out with MOPS moms. We huddle happily over a dinner we didn’t have to cook or clean up after, and chat all evening until the servers are sweeping underneath our feet. Sometimes our time together at our meetings get heavy when we talk about tough marriages, broken relationships, and the struggles of motherhood. I have loved being in the trenches of motherhood with women who understand.

Each table has a Mentor Mom and mine provides much needed perspective and wisdom. She’s also held two of my three during meetings when they were just babies and not old enough for the childcare program yet. My Mentor Mom has steadfastly prayed through many situations with me as well, and no one at my table has ever minded jotting down a prayer request in her prayer notebook. {MOPS is a Christian-based organization but we have members from many different backgrounds.}

You Know What I Want ::

I was thrilled to learn when I first joined that during my several hours at MOPS meetings, our kids would get the chance to make crafts, sing songs, listen to stories, eat a snack, and play in the gym or on the playground equipment as part of MOPPETS, the children’s program. There was a time in my life when I had three kids age five and under so MOPS Mondays were my FAVORITE days by far. There was no better feeling than tossing my kids into those childcare classrooms and leaping gleefully up the steps to our meeting.

Your Scent is Irresistible :: I don’t have kids in the MOPPETS program anymore since they’re all at school on Mondays. But I still skip up those stairs when I arrive because something irresistible beckons :: breakfast. Our breakfast spread, courtesy of the assigned table that week, is reason enough for any mom to join the group. Quiches, casseroles, tacos with bacon and eggs, hot coffee and tea—I smell you! And there’s time to eat it and drink it while it’s all still warm. Plus someone to hold your new baby so you can eat like a human being and not a scavenging animal. Like most new moms and moms of young kids, I often skipped meals or picked at whatever the kids left on their plates. But not on MOPS Mondays! 

You Know What I Need ::

Not only was it my first social scene as a new mom, but I’ve also learned a lot at MOPS. Every meeting a speaker covers a topic ranging from marriage, discipline, traditions, wellness, fashion, technology, schooling and more. Some meetings we spend working on a service project like making fleece blankets for the women’s shelter, or packing shoeboxes with gifts for children overseas.

You Need Me Too ::

Moms wearing babies, pushing strollers, and holding small hands make up the heartbeat of MOPS. I’ve served in many MOPS leadership capacities over the years, loving the fact that being a mother was not a liability but a requirement in these roles. MOPS gave me a place to use the skills and talents that I felt were dormant when just changing diapers and putting away toys. In other words, I didn’t want my brain to turn to mush. It feels good to contribute to something bigger that helps moms and their families grow well and thrive. 

I didn’t feel so strongly right away of course. Over time, my love grew. Like in any relationship, success requires commitment and vulnerability. Not all MOPS groups are the same, so finding a community that fits is important. It could even be a playgroup, a few friends in the neighborhood, or moms you meet online. Agree to stay committed to each other for a season and you’ll find the journey is easier, and a lot more fun, with friends to lean on.

My Love Affair with MOPS | Houston Moms Blog


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