My house is a mess.
I won’t know anyone there.
What if it’s awkward?
I’m not ‘put together’ enough for this.
I don’t need a “kumbaya” and “See you later.” I need real people I can do life with.
These are all of the excuses I used for missing MOPS functions even though I was a member for a whole year before attending one. Many of my experiences with communities of women have ended in backstabbing, judgment, shame, and condemnation. Even my relationship with my Mother was toxic and manipulative. So, naturally, I was hesitant to dive right into this thing called MOPS. Mothers of Pre-Schoolers. Did I even qualify? My daughter is only two! I barely have this adulting thing figured out, let alone being a Mom. The answer is YES! I learned I did qualify. Here are 5 other things I learned after my very first MOPS meeting:
- The first meeting WAS awkward for me, but I pushed through it, stepped out of my comfort zone, and walked away excited for what’s next.
- You get out what you put in. Attending one meeting didn’t change my life but pushing through the anxiety of vulnerability and trusting God in the process did.
- I don’t have to be “put together” to be accepted. These are my people. The people who love their child/children so deeply it hurts. The people who shared in the pain and literal mess of bringing children into this world. The people who feed their toddler cheese and crackers for dinner on occasion and feel guilty about it. The people who are messy, just like me.
- There’s a difference between women who love and fear Jesus and desire to lift others up and those who don’t. Many of my traumatic experiences with women have been in secular groups with questionable morals. MOPS is different. Very different. These women love Jesus and have compassionate hearts. MOPS provides resources and equips leaders to make you feel welcome, included, and encouraged – no matter how much spit-up you have on your shirt or how many days it’s been since you’ve washed your hair.
- It’s a lot of fun. Being part of a MOPS group provides me with more opportunities than just monthly meetings. I’ve gone to game nights, painting nights, and even impromptu lunches with a couple of ladies that I discovered live right down the street from me. That’s where life happens. It happens in unscripted real-life moments. That’s what MOPS is about.
Starting something new can be intimidating, especially when it involves a group of moms that may seem like they have it all together. (Trust me. None of us do!) I encourage you to ignore the excuses. Step outside your comfort zone. Check out your local MOPS group and see for yourself what God can do when you simply say, “Yes.”
Tia Gerdsen lives in Evergreen, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and German Shephard. She’s a full-time AVP, activist, and a member of the worship team at her church. She’s passionate about social justice, raising effective awareness about human trafficking, and empowering women.
For more information about finding and joining a MOPS group, visit www.mops.org/groupsearch/. Whether you prefer to meet with other moms in a coffee shop, church, park, living room or video chat, we have something for you.