This weekend, I was privileged to go to the MOPS convention in Grapevine, Texas (close to Dallas and Ft. Worth) with three other women from our church's MOPS group. MOPS means Mothers of Preschoolers, for those of you unfamiliar with the organization. When I first became a stay-at-home mom in 2004, I searched for a group for mothers to meet with. I found a MOPS group that I was involved with for a year, but it wasn't until I moved to Pennsylvania that I connected with a MOPS group that I really connected with and enjoyed. When I first began MOPS, I attended for several reasons: sanity (you get a break....free babysitting for your children!), good food, interesting topics, and organized play dates and socials to get together with other moms. A little over a year ago, I decided to give more back to MOPS, since I had gotten so much from the group, so now I'm in a voluntary leadership position. Attending the MOPS convention with 4,000 other women really gave me a perspective on how broad MOPS international really is. Here are 10 facts about MOPS that I learned at the convention:
1. MOPS was founded in 1973 in Wheat Ridge, Colorado (it's only one year younger than me!)
2. There are 4,030 MOPS groups in the United States, 123 International groups in 30 countries and affiliates in New Zealand and Australia.
3. There are 102,700 MOPS International members.
4. There are 31,000 Steering Team Members (which I am one of) and 252 Field Leaders.
5. MOPS has expanded to serving mothers in prison and teen moms.
6. MOPS is not only for stay-at-home moms, as there are many MOPS chapters that have evening and weekend MOPS meetings for working moms.
7. MOPS partners with organizations such as Compassion and Samaritan's purse (Operation Christmas Child) helping impact families and children worldwide.
8. MOPS believes that better moms make a better world (isn't that true!)
9. MOPS publishes many resources and books on all aspects of parenting.
10. MOPS theme this year is adventures in mothering. So find a MOPS group at http://www.mops.org/ if you are a mother of a preschooler. If your family happens to beyond the preschool years, many MOPS groups are still looking for Moppet workers (to watch the preschool children during the meetings....often only twice a month) or for mentor moms to come along side young moms during this season. Check it out!