Imagine being constantly sleep-deprived, living in a home filled with chaos and noise and spending hours a day negotiating with an irrational and highly emotional dictator. Chances are, if you’re reading this magazine, you’ve lived that reality— it’s called life with small children. And it’s tough.
In January 2016, a new group began based on the recognition that motherhood is hard and that moms need each other. “MOPS is a unique group that welcomes all moms to become better moms together,” says Jennifer Stamper, co-leader of the Findlay group.
MOPS (short for Mothers of Preschoolers), is led by Stamper and Emily McBeath, who says, “The beauty of it is that we don’t all have to agree with one another. But everyone is in and we all need each other.”
Findlay MOPS grew out of the old Mothers and More group. When that group’s national organization shut down, Stamper teamed up with McBeath and approached First Presbyterian Church to be a sponsor church for a local MOPS group. The congregation eagerly agreed and serves the group, offering meeting space and childcare during monthly meeting. While some MOPS moms are members of the church, many are not.
More than just meetings
“MOPS is special because it gives our moms an outlet for all their needs… a simple recharge from a group play date, a mom’s night out event, small group discussions, a meal prepared for a new mom, the list goes on,” Stamper explains. Other MOPS events include field trips to local attractions and events, couples nights and an annual Christmas party featuring a cookie exchange and ugly sweater contest. MOPS moms also run an annual, city-wide diaper drive each spring. This year, the group hopes to exceed last year’s donations of nearly 14,000 diapers for financially disadvantaged families who otherwise could not afford them.
All these activities help moms connect at a time in life when it can be difficult to find time for friends around feedings, nap schedules and shuttling kids around town. Making friends can be difficult for moms who just moved to Findlay. “One week after unloading our moving truck, I attended my first MOPS event. I immediately felt at home and started making friends,” says Jennifer Bennett. Having been a MOPS member in her previous town, Bennett quickly joined Findlay MOPS and has become an active member of the group.
Better moms make a better world
With nearly 60 members, it’s clear the group fills a need. MOPS helps moms connect and offer each other crucial support— whether delivering a hot meal a mom with a newborn, a “drive-in movie” event for moms and tots, or small group discussions exploring life, faith and motherhood. As McBeath emphasizes, “At MOPS, every mom is welcomed, accepted, and inspired to reach her potential and recognize her influence within her family and her world.”
Membership is open to all moms. Those interested in joining can find more information on Facebook at Findlay MOPS or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information about MOPS International is available at mops.org.