For my sweet friends that could not be there, here is my Mops good bye... I had to keep it cry proof, but I was shaking through it:)
Five and a half years ago, I walked through the doors of Hope with my 6 month little boy in my arms into a place where I knew no one. Today I walk into the same building with my husband, nearly 6 year old boy and 3 year olds girl. The kids break off to spin in the chairs and skip carelessly through the halls while we greet so many friends. They learn about God and love, they feel safe, we feel at peace, this is a home to us. Remember though that 5 and ½ years ago I walked into Mops not knowing even what it was or what it would mean in my life. God knew though, had a plan for how Mops could work in our family.
As you all sit here, you are in your own journey of motherhood and faith. I know that many of you are in the place where I was 5 years ago. Maybe you feel insecure about yourself as a mother or are trying to decide where you fit in this new role as a mother. I pray that Mops can be a help to you in your journey and that through the sight of moms graduating today you can realize that though the days are long these precious years will be gone in no time.
So here are my Mops/mothering tips, secrets, suggestions, and blatant opinions as my last time getting to hog the microphone from me to you:
1. Don’t judge… tough one right we all get caught up on this trap from time to time. Some moms nurse, others bottle feed. Some have family beds while others put their kids the first night right in their crib gasp (me). We do what we need to do to survive and sometimes even thrive. It is okay if a parenting style is not for you, just remember nothing is right for all of us which makes.
2. Go places, do things oh and stay home too. Take the risk to go somewhere where you know no one, that is what got me here. Also have those special at home days where you enjoy the simple pleasures with your children. A full day of TV on a rainy day won’t rot your child’s brain, Cole is living proofJ
3. Kids driving you crazy… My best survival tips take walks, go outside, put them in the tub, give them sponges and let them clean, have a dance party, and if all else fails find a door with a lock and go behind it put ear plugs in your ears and pretend you are somewhere else for at least 30 seconds.
4. Join in- everyone can do something for someone with in the Mops community. Set goals, make at least one meal a year for someone this year. No one is expecting Paula Deen or Julia Childs, you can buy a rotisserie chicken or make your own pizza. Staff a bake sale, be a DGL, cut the bagels, wash the serving spoons, make the coffee. Serving in Mops makes you part of it and none of it ever goes unnoticed. Not by us and certainly not by God. Sometimes all you have left to give is to just be here and that is too is enough.
5. Feel safe at Mops, the number one thing that drew me to stay at Mops was that there was no back stabbing or criticizing. If there was no answer to the problem, people didn’t give advice they prayed for me and they meant it.
6. Your support system lives in this room. How did I survive those little bitty years with my children without family, my friends in Mops. No grandmother to snuggle your baby, not a problem we got you, husband away all the time we got that too, had a bad day and need a shoulder to cry on got you… grief, joy, pain, love we have you for everything… Just know that you can reach out. Little secret no one is turned away because they can’t pay, no one is turned away when they need meals, no one is turned away when they need prayers, coverage for doctors appointments. You all make it happen for each other no matter what.