Monday, January 14, 2019

Mothers of Preschoolers

My husband and I bought our house almost two years ago now. We moved into an amazing community which is almost halfway between both sets of our parents. This community has an amazing school district and plenty of stores, restaurants, and activities for children. We live about two blocks from a huge park where the town's swimming pool is located. These reasons are why we chose the house we now own. The only downside to our town, however, is I don't know many people.

When I was pregnant, my husband and I decided I would stay home with our baby and any future children until they are all in school. I posted on Facebook with our decision and asked for advice on how to meet other SAHMs in my area. My sister-in-law recommended trying out MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). A cousin seconded going to MOPS and said she had been to our local group previously and it was awesome.

After that discussion, I started looking into MOPS. I joined the Facebook group for my local meeting. According to Facebook, this was about 9 months ago. My son was born in mid-July. When my husband went back to work a month later, I tried to talk myself into going to a meeting. It was the perfect time as it was a new year for MOPS which runs from September to May.

I am an introvert and deal with social anxiety. I couldn't bring myself to go. Every month, I would psych myself up about going and then back out. After doing some reflection, I determined this was because I was afraid of the unknown. I had never been to the church where the meetings are held. I didn't know where to park or where to go once in the church. I didn't know anyone there.

After figuring this out,  I decided to message someone in the group. There is a lady named Heather who seems to do most of the administrative duties for the Facebook group. I sent her a message last month and told her my dilemma. She jumped to help! She said if I was interested in coming to the January meeting, we would work something out. Someone could come to my house and get me or I could follow someone to the church. I agreed with this and was so excited to finally be able to attend a meeting.

Last Monday, Heather messaged me and asked if I was still interested in attending a meeting. I said I was definitely interested. I also told her I didn't think I needed a ride or to follow someone as long as I had an idea of where to go at the church. She sent me a bird's-eye view of the church and showed me where to park and what doors to enter. She said there would be someone at the front doors to meet me and direct me where to go. I thanked her.

The meeting was on Thursday and I'm proud to say I attended. I was a little anxious, but definitely excited about going. Thursday, I got up a little early in order to get ready. I got the baby ready and we headed to the meeting. I was greeted at the door by a mentor mom. These are moms with years of experience (read grandmother aged). The mentor mom lead me into the church where I was greeted by Heather and another mom. Heather took me to the meeting room which was actually at the back of the sanctuary. She lead me to her table and showed me where to sit along with where the "cry room" was.

I immediately took the baby in there because he needed a diaper change. This is a funny story, but the baby went from having a bowel movement (or multiples) every day to not going at all. It was an instant switch and worried his dad and me. We contacted his pediatrician who said to do a glycerin suppository if he hadn't gone in about ten days. We did this and he went. Another 5 days passed and he was acting miserable so we did another... and he went. We decided not to do another and see what happened. By the day of the meeting, it had been about a week since he had gone. When I changed his diaper before we left the house, he had a bowel movement on his own! I was excited, and got him changed. By the time we got to the church, it was obvious he'd had another one. It was a monstrosity of a bowel movement and I had to change his diaper on a little changing table in the crying room of the church. Luckily it didn't get on his clothes, but it was messy and disgusting. Haha! I was flustered due to being at a new location and dealing with a mess of that size, but I got him cleaned up and went to the meeting.

Another mentor mom named Nancy sat next to me and talked to me throughout the whole meeting. She even held the baby for a while. I wish I had known they serve breakfast at the meetings because I ate before I went. They had bagels with cream cheese, donuts, fruit, what looked like a casserole of some sort, coffee, and juice. Those are just the things that I know they had. I didn't have anything. I was given a welcome folder with registration information and forms to fill out. I was told the meeting I went to was free as it was a trial, but if I decided to return, I would need to pay the registration fees.

We discussed friendships: what your best friend is like, what your best friend in high school was like, what you need in a friend, how can you be a better friend to those close to you, how you can be a better long distance friend, how to make new friends, etc. I found the meeting to be very informative and awesome. I was glad to hear a lot of the women in the group are in the same shoes as me when it comes to meeting new mom friends.

Overall, I loved the meeting. I felt very welcome. Oh, we did a words of affirmation exercise where an index card with your name on it was taped to your back. People came around and wrote on your card. The cards were filled with positive things. It was the first time these women had met me, but my card was full of so much positivity and love!

I talked to my husband at lunch about the group, and I decided to join. I am so happy and excited to see what this group does for me when it comes to making mom friends... and how I can be of service to the group and its other members. I'd recommend checking out the MOPS group nearest you if you are a stay-at-home mom looking to have some adult interaction from time to time!

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