Amanda Long is the coordinator for the local chapter of Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS. She recently sat down with Gazette staffer Emily Weber to discuss the group’s faith-based mission and the sense of camaraderie it provides.
Question: What is the MOPS of Indiana?
Answer: It’s a place where mothers can gather and create friendship and a sense of community. We get together twice a month in town as a group. Sometimes we bring speakers in and sometimes we just kind of hang out and talk. While we’re meeting, our children are cared for by someone else. Our theme is “better moms make a better world.”
Question: What topics do guest speakers cover?
Answer: Last year we had an organizing person come in to talk about organizing paper messes. We’ve also covered couponing, finance, health issues like fitness and breast cancer, and sometimes we just have a free time for whoever would want to come in.
Question: Where and when do you meet?
Answer: Summit Church in Indiana, 2707 West Pike. The next meeting dates for 2013 are Sept. 25, Oct. 9 and 23, Nov. 13 and Dec. 4. We meet from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m.
Question: Who are the typical members of MOPS?
Answer: The group is for mothers of preschoolers, so they can come from birth until the kids go to school. It’s a faith-based mission, so we get together and members can grow their faith with relationships with other moms. You just realize that you’re not alone as a mother.
It’s hard when you’re alone as a mother. Some of our members don’t really know anyone besides who they know through MOPS, so it’s very uplifting.
We have mothers with their own businesses, stay-at-home moms, some that work because the dads stay home and some that work full time. It just depends on who can come when we meet.
Question: How many mothers are involved?
Answer: Last year we had between 25 and 30.
Question: When was it founded?
Answer: The MOPS of Indiana chapter was started in 2005. The national organization started in 1973 in Wheat Ridge, Colo., because eight women wanted to get together as mothers. For two hours, they sat there and talked and ate, and they passed a basket for the child care expenses, and they had devotionals and crafts. In 1981 they established a board of directors, and in 1988 it became MOPS International Inc.
Question: Are you planning any special events this year?
Answer: We are going to do a vendor show on Nov. 30, and we’re trying to make it a really big thing. It’s a big shopping weekend, so it’ll be a good time to have it. It’ll be at the church. We’re still accepting vendors and craft vendors, too.
Question: Would you like to add anything else for mothers who might be interested in joining?
Answer: If you become a member, it’s only $23.95 a year and you get the Mom Sense magazine and a few other cute little mom things. You get a DVD for your kids, coupons and uplifting emails. You don’t have to get a membership if you come to our meetings, but it goes towards MOPS International, so it’s up to you.
This year our theme is “A Beautiful Mess,” so it’s about embracing our mess. That means being a mother is messy. The beauty that comes out of difficult spots, the grime of mothering young children brings the beauty of motherhood. The bruises of life can bring God’s redemption. We have to acknowledge that what we’re doing is OK, what we’re doing is God’s will.
If you’re interested in joining or you have any questions, visit http://summittogether.com/mops.
AMANDA LONG, at a glance...
Job: Coordinator, MOPS of Indiana, since May
Residence: Green Township
Where I grew up: Taylorsville
Family: Husband, Steven; son, Emmett, 20 months
Hobbies: Sewing, knitting, organizing, blogging
Favorite food: Lobster pizza from Red Lobster
Favorite movie: “Grease”
Last book I read: “The Life Ready Woman,” by Shaunti Feldhahn
Favorite way to spend a day: With my son
Pet peeve: A rude person
Life goal: To spend every day enjoying and teaching my son about Jesus
People who most inspire me: Mothers who seem to have it together
Something most people don’t know about me: I love to hunt deer. I don’t think I could live if I didn’t hunt!