I joined MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers, last year as a participant. At the urging of my friend and the fearless leader of the group, Tracy Mota, I decided to devote two mornings a month to myself. So on the first and third Thursday of every month, I go to River Oak Grace Church in Oakdale for fun, fellowship and really great food.
I was so excited to be around other mommies and not only have an infant to talk to all day. There were anywhere between 25 to 45 mommies each meeting. I was so overwhelmed at the participation. How could I have missed out on this for so long? What was I waiting for before? I immediately felt welcome even though I was seated at a table of mommies that I did not know. These ladies were warm and welcoming and so supportive.
On the first meeting of the month we participate in a craft. Our steering team is made up of sub-committees that plan all the different activities and crafts. Our second meeting of the month is usually comprised of a speaker of some sort, whether it be inspirational or informational, the topics are always close to home and always very helpful.
We start each meeting with regular monthly announcements, a prayer and then it’s time to eat. There are different tables of ladies and each is assigned a table leader. Every month the tables rotate in bringing food for the meetings. Let me tell you, we have some amazing food! There’s always an excellent variety and an amazing abundance. We then are able to visit with one another at our tables, and at others if you’re a traveler like me, and just catch up or seek advice. Sometimes there is a discussion question at the table to help get us talking about something other than our daily lives. The topic always relates to someone or something and everyone seems to have something to say. The fellowship is amazing!
Then it’s either time to make our craft or listen to our speaker. All materials are provided by the steering team. (There is a $4 per meeting charge for participation.) This helps them purchase the materials needed for our meetings. We always have a great time crafting and always learn something from our speakers.
And where are the kids during all of this? We have these wonderful women volunteers that we have dubbed “The Moppets” who so selflessly volunteer to watch, nurture and interact with our children while we are having a little “mommy time.” These wonderful ladies are worth their weight in gold. We truly appreciate all of them.
MOPS also has what we call “Moms night out.” We try to get all the mommies together one night a month. This allows us to go to Starbucks for coffee and fellowship or for a Bunco night. Or even just dinner and conversation at one of the ladies’ homes. When we are off on break for the summer we meet at the park or another local venue to let the kids have a chance to interact.
We’ve also expanded into a MOMSNext group for the ladies who have school age children. This way everyone who has a child even after pre-school age is still encouraged and able to attend.
This group is nothing short of amazing. The diversity and fellowship are something to look forward to twice a month. So come see us every first and third Thursday at River Oak Grace from 9:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Hope to see you there!
Erin Pearson is a local resident and mother of both a preschool child and a high school-age child. She is an active member of the local MOPS organization, which draws members from the Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon areas. For more information about the local group, contact Tracy Mota at (209) 324-3649.