Moving is HARD. Some may say that moving across the country is even harder. Finding a new “tribe” every 2 to 4 years is exhausting. Some think it isn’t worth it. Some may think they are not “enough” when it comes to offering themselves up to a friend. Some think they can weather this stage of life by themselves, but I am here to tell you that life is so much easier with the support and love that other moms can offer you.
MOPS has been there for me during this most recent transition to overseas life, and for them I am so, so thankful.
I remember it well. My husband was deployed, my kids had been sick for what felt like the entire time he was gone, and I was just exhausted.
I was done.
I saw a posting for a local baker who had extra cookie sandwiches and was doing a flash sale. After running nearly 25 miles that week while training for my first marathon, I thought to myself that I deserved some cookies. I then noticed she lived right down the street from me, right by the park that the kids and I visited almost daily to pass the time. Perfect, I thought!
The baker opened the door with a huge smile and a kind face. I recognized her from MOPS and immediately knew that she was what my life was missing at the moment. She may not know it, but when I got back in my van, I cried happy tears. Happy tears that were telling me things would be OK. Since then, she has been my person to write when I am facing a troubling situation. She sides with me when needed and sends me the perfect verse to help me through that moment. And when she doesn’t agree with me, she lets me know in the most gracious way.
And most importantly, we mother together. We face the storm that can be motherhood, together.
The daily life of a mom can be isolating and lonely. Sure, there are days when we can’t stop smiling and thank the Lord for making us these sweet kiddos’ mom. But, there also are dark days and days where we just need to tell someone else how we are feeling.
Because we are military families, moving is not new to us. Finding a new tribe is not foreign. But, making momma friends can still be challenging. Is it worth the added effort to get to know this person? We already have too many plates at the table to juggle, should we juggle one more? But support is worth it. At this stage in life, the friends we make and the friends we keep will be some of the most important relationships we will ever have.
For me, my support was found in my local MOPS, or Mothers of Preschoolers, group. MOPS is known for bringing moms together in a time when we need each other; a time that can be so lonely and yet so gratifying. Gatherings are different depending on the leadership of your group, but they all centralize around one yearly theme and this year is, “Finding Your Fire.” Groups typically meet once a month or once a week, childcare is usually provided, and it is a chance to mingle and meet new moms who need a tribe just as much as you do.
For me, MOPS is two hours of my week when I get to drop my kids off, eat and chat without having little voices asking, “more, momma, more!” I have met so many mom friends through both the meetings and the play dates. My bestie, Leslie, who also is the baker from the above paragraph, encouraged me to be a part of the Leadership (or Steering Team for all you MOPS ladies). It has been the BEST decision I have made. Sure, it is a lot of work and a big time commitment, but I now have a tight knit group of women who know me just a bit better than what the typical once a week meeting allows you to get to know someone.
Mom groups can be intimidating, I get it. In this life of constant judgement, it is hard to walk in to a room full of moms with confidence and grace. But, just remember, you are not alone in feeling this. We have all been the “new” mom, and we have all sat down at the table, not too sure what to expect. You are not alone, we promise you.
Use this link to find your local MOPS group.