Mothers of Preschoolers International now meets locally at Christ Church Episcopal on Lake Drive in Whitefish Bay.
MOPS members are women with children from infant to five years old who are looking to find friendship, resources and support.
“Our real mission is to offer a place for fellowship and spiritual growth while their children are being cared for,” said local branch leader Nora Klee.
The first MOPS meeting took place in February of 1973 in Colorado. The Whitefish Bay branch’s fifth meeting will take place in January of 2013.
“Whitefish Bay is such a densely populated area with children and a lot of the moms …whatever their situation, they need this group just so that they can have this outlet and a space for spiritual growth and sharing and I think it just betters the whole community when they have that outlet. It gives them a chance to commiserate and talk about the triumphs, the challenges and I think it makes the North Shore really special,” said Klee.
At the MOPS meetings, mothers are presented with a chance to socialize with other moms, hear guest speakers, do holiday related events, participate in MOPS night out, participate in a book group, and participate in creative activities.
“I think the best thing about it is everyone is going through what you do, you might have a day where you feel like you’re not being a great mom, and that is what this group is here for to keep people from feeling like that and to let you know that everyone goes through that. And just seeing that is really heartwarming,” said MOPS member Sarah Butterfield.
MOPS meets on the third Thursday of each month from 9:30-11:30 am.
“It’s something that doesn’t interfere with family time. Which I think is a huge plus. This is a time of day, that it’s not dinner time in the evening, it doesn’t seem to interfere with kid’s activities and it really is something that everyone can support,” said Klee.
During the meetings MOPS children are cared for in a program called MOPPETS, which is child care in a preschool like setting.
MOPS meetings are usually held in a church setting with a church sponsoring the group.
“I think people are looking for a higher purpose in their mothering. Something to give them hope and to help them persevere; it’s a really tough job to be home with your little children all day and I think that having a place to come share and have the freedom to express themselves spiritually is key,” said Klee.
“I think MOPS is a place for people to come into a church in a way that is non-threatening, and a way that’s welcoming. MOPS offers a way for people see the church as a welcoming place for them and their kids,” said Associate Priest Seth Raymond
The first meeting is free to attend and an annual membership fee of $45 dollars will be collected at the second meeting.
For more information visit: http://www.mops.org/ or email Nora Klee at firstname.lastname@example.org.