Friday, April 12, 2013

The Schwartz's vs MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)

My friend Jamie from the Y has been telling me about MOPS for almost a year now.  She's the co-chair of our local chapter that just started this school year.  And I always smile and nod politely and think to myself, "yep, that's not happening".  I live and die by my routine.  And slipping in some support group type thing was not worth me skipping my 2 hours at the gym.  Sorry.  Plus, I still have that high school fear of walking into a room by myself.  Do you know that I skipped lunch every day of my senior year because I didn't have any friends in my 4th period class and none of my friends had the same lunch period, and I was petrified of walking into the lunch room alone.  So I went and sat in either the library or the chorus room where my oldest friend, Elise was.  One of the main reasons I joined a sorority (go Phi Mu) was because it solved that problem for me in college.  I'd always know someone whether the were in my same sorority or not.  Because of mixers and whatever it made it so that I never had to fear walking into a room alone.  When I was a teacher, I NEVER let my kids pick their own groups because that's another thing that terrified me.  So just in case any of my kids had that same anxiety I just always assigned groups so there wouldn't be that awkward moment of "what if no one wants me to be in their group..."

Fast forward to being a grown up and I still don't want to go places like what Jamie was describing alone.  It had too much of a clique sound.  And what if the other moms all already know each other and go to the same church, and what if no one talks to me.  Bla bla.  I'm crazy.  So anyway, we got a new neighbor who is very outgoing and nice.  And I was chatting with her and in an attempt to sound cool I was telling her about the various things to do around here and I mentioned the MOPS group.  She apparently is an avid MOPS goer and was in her local chapter back home and has been going to MOPS since she was pregnant with her 6 year old.  So with my big dumb mouth I said, "Oh! We should totally go together.  I've wanted to go but hate going places new alone."  So every time I saw her over the course of the next week she kept reminding me and making sure I was still going.  As of yesterday I was still working on a plan of escape.  This morning I got up and said, "I'm going to suck it up and go so I don't look like a flake."

And you know what, it wasn't horrible.  A little odd at first, you actually get assigned to a table so I had that moment of panic of what if no one likes me at my table and they are all already friends (cause MOPS only has 2 more meetings after this one for the year).  But new neighbor and I were assigned to the same table, and there were 2 other ladies who were joining for the first time today so that was nice.  Not knowing what happens at these meetings I learned they alternate between speakers and a craft project.  Tables take turns bring snacks to the meeting for everyone.  You stay with your same table for a whole year and really get to know them.  And the kids go to their own age appropriate moppets class where they have a snack, play, or sometimes make a craft.

Today was a craft day!  I love to make crafts!  I love it even more when there is a leader telling me what to do.  We use to have Super Saturdays and that was the only Relief Society activity I would go to.  An all day craft projects blitz!  Yes please!  So at MOPS today we got to make a small burlap door hanger.  At first I only heard them say we could make a cross or a butterfly.  So I texted my SIL to see if she wanted a cross, but I didn't hear back from her because my phone is country so I was pleasantly surprised to see they also had flowers to make.  (However, since there were so many left overs I asked if I could take a cross to make at home for Melissa.)  It get a little focused on my craft projects so I flitted in and out of various conversations.  All the ladies at our table were very nice.  One is a fitness instructor, another is an avid runner, and my neighbor also likes to run so I was able to chat about that.  I like having a fall back conversation topic, fitness works for me.  And I saw another mom from Sarah's dance class so that was nice.  I was pleasantly surprised with MOPS.  I guess I'll take it back and as much stress as it causes me to leave my comfortable routine of going to the Y 5 times a week, I guess, every other Friday, a little MOPS will be good for me.
Ta da!  
I'm going to attach it to my spring wreath after it dries completely.  Until then I hung it up on the shepard's hook to dry in the sun without blowing away.  I left the edges burlap on purpose.  Do you like it or should I go back and fill in the purple?  They were super easy to make it.  I might go get some burlap and make a big one.  Maybe something for the 4th of July.  Or something like a beehive.  My mom likes beehives.  And it actually seems like something I'd be able to pain.  I can't get to fancy, I'm not very artsy.  The polk-a-dots were about as good as I can do.  

After we got home I decided to wash the car.  Sarah helped for a little bit but then decided her car was dirty so she and Cody washed it instead.

I love those kids!

P.P.S- I just remember something I wanted to add about MOPS and my kids.

Cody is my timid little guy.  He loves the nursery at the Y because he loves the ladies in there but right now he is having a hard time transitioning into the nursery at church.  So dropping him off in his Moppet class was going to be tough.  He was actually clinging to me, I let my hands go and he stayed attached my chest!  So I smiled and peeled him off and handed him to the lady who graciously accepted him.  I heard him crying still during the devotional.  But after that I didn't hear anymore.  When I went to pick him up he was happily playing with toys and was all smiles when he yelled, "Momma!"  So that was good.  I think when the other kids his age got there it probably got better he didn't feel so abandoned.

Sarah is my outgoing one.  She is everything I wish I could be sometimes.  (One of my biggest fears is letting my crazy rub off on her.)  We walk into the room and she immediately walks up to one of the other girls about her size and says, "Hi!  My name is Sarah and I like your dress!  It's got a duck on it!" And ran off like she has known them forever and like we go to this place all the time.  She loved the chance to go somewhere new and make new friends.  It's one of my favorite things about her.


  1. Congrats for stepping out of your comfort zone!! I, too, tend to avoid those types of situations, but moving so often has forced me to do it. MOPS was a huge blessing when I had Lee and quit working. Those ladies were phenomenally helpful, and I'm still friends with several of them today. I tried to join a group here, but Ryan's boss was the table leader (upped the social anxiety quotient by a million) and it was too far to drive. It's a super mission.

    Love the hanger. Awesome.

  2. P.S. I am in awe of your discipline going to the gym five days a week. In awe.

  3. Awwww! I was the founder and coordinator of our MOPS group up in PA for quite a few years! I even went to MOPS convention one year. It really is a great group. I didn't know they even had a chapter down here. I hope you go back again.

  4. Way to go, and good for you!