What do “MOPS” and "MOMSnext" stand for?

MOPS stands for Mothers Of Preschoolers and MOMSnext stands for mothers of kids 1st grade – age eighteen. The purpose of MOPS and MOMSnext is to encourage women in their role as moms from conception to adulthood. The purpose statement of MOPS & MOMSnext is “Better Moms Make a Better World.” You can read more about MOPS International on their website, www.mops.org. It’s not just a coffee date but not a Bible study or a church service, either.

Who can come to MOPS and MOMSnext?

Our local MOPS and MOMSnext group is open to women of any age from when they’re pregnant with their first child until their youngest turns 18! While MOPS and MOMSnext is a faith-based organization, our group is open to women from any religious background.

Can I bring my kids?

Yes, your children are welcome at MOPS! Our kind, background-checked MOPS Kids volunteers will make sure your children are well cared for. Those past the baby stage will enjoy a snack and simple activities such as singing, doing crafts, playing in the gym, and hearing a Bible story. At New Beginnings, this child care is offered by volunteer workers that love on our kids! This year we are offering child care for older home schooled children. Our MOPS Kids program for Tuesday evening runs a little differently than our Thursday morning group, but we still offer childcare and activities for children of all ages.

What happens at the meeting?

You’ll be greeted at the door by our helpers, who will welcome you and print off name tags and a pager number.

While your kids are enjoying friend time, you will too! You’ll walk into the meeting space and check in at the registration table, where you’ll see nicely decorated tables to sit at and enjoy a cup of hot coffee without interruption and chat with other moms.

We always have a great buffet with yummy snacks, along with some kind of game or skit and prizes and opportunities to celebrate new moms and birthday girls.

We get to hear a speaker present on a topic that relates to our stage of life and/or an inspirational challenge from the Bible, always relevant to us as women and moms. Meghan and Renée, our MOPS mentors, are excited about what God has laid on their hearts — as well as bringing in some new guest speakers! Sometimes we also listen to a song that goes with the theme or watch a brief video from MOPS International.

Most weeks, we divide into Discussion Groups, where we can get to know other moms on a more personal level and discuss what we are learning and how we’re growing. All are invited to share, but no one is pressured. To close the discussion group time, the Discussion Group Leader will often ask if anyone has a need she’d like to have prayed for and then ask for a volunteer to pray. Quarterly, we also get to do a fun craft—without any little helping hands!

At the end of our time, we’re dismissed to go pick up our kids and hear about the fun they’ve had, see their crafts, and leave refreshed and ready to embrace our crazy lives with renewed joy!

What happens if my child needs me?

You will have a pager number on your name tag that matches your child’s. If there is any issue, your number will be displayed at the front of the Family Life Center, where you’ll be enjoying time with other moms. Our amazing MOPKIDS Coordinators will also come get you and bring you back to your child.

Can I keep my baby with me?

Absolutely! If your child is under a year old, you’re welcome to keep him or her with you. MOPS and MOMSnext is a nursing-friendly environment, and many moms wear their babies or let them play on the floor. Many of our moms whose kids are past the baby stage are often eager to help you have some hands-free time, if you would like!

How much does MOPS cost?

There is a $32 annual fee for MOPS International, as well as a $5 per-meeting fee. You can pay each meeting that you attend, or if you prefer, you can pay by the semester or the entire year! Currently, we’re able to receive payment forms of check, cash, or PayPal. If this is your first MOPS meeting, please just come enjoy your first meeting for free!

We also have a limited number of scholarships available for those who simply can’t afford to pay.

When do you meet?

We usually meet the first and third Tuesdays of each month or the first and third Thursdays of each month, from September through May. Occasionally, we switch it up, due to the Crawford Central school district’s schedule. (We do not have MOPS/MOMSnext when school is not in session.) We also cancel according to any school cancellations or delays and inform members via our Facebook page and group, as well as through e-mail or phone calls, for those who prefer those contact methods.

Do you ever do things other than your regular meetings?

We schedule play dates on non-MOPS weeks within our discussion groups and have Mom’s Night Out activities in the evenings, about once a month. We also have one or two “MOPS & POPS” events where you can bring your husband, partner, or a friend along.

In the summer, weather permitting, we are meeting on the 1st and 3rd Thursday mornings of each month at a local park or beach. Check our calendar for scheduled events.

Do I have to join at the beginning of the year and go to every meeting, if I do join?

Nope, and definitely not! You can start coming at any point in the year, and you can skip a meeting, anytime. Life happens. We get it. However, if you do pay for the whole semester or the entire year, those fees are nonrefundable, as is your MOPS International fee. We do think you’ll love it so much that you won’t want to miss out on our first meeting, or last meeting, or any meetings in between.

What happens if I’m late?

Um, you might miss the best coffee creamer, or even get stuck with only decaf–but otherwise, nothing. Like we said, we get it; we’re all moms.

What should I wear?

Whatever you want—within reason, of course. Some of our moms like to dress up a little—as in put on some makeup and a necklace since they’re actually getting Out. Of. The. House. But most of us wear jeans and hoodies, or sweaters, or T-shirts, when it’s warmer. Maybe capris or shorts, it just depends on what’s clean–or at least, you know, not disgusting. Seriously? No one cares what you wear; just come. Really. Unless you feel like wearing heels and a formal. Please, just don’t. But when in doubt, wear a smile—that’s everyone’s best accessory!