An interview about St. Louis City MOPS

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This month for my blog post I was able to meet up with my friend CJ to learn about St. Louis City MOPS.  I’m so excited to pass this interview on to our St. Louis Moms Blog readers!

Graham: Hey CJ, I’m excited to talk you about STL City MOPS today!! Tell me about it. What exactly is MOPS?
 
CJ: MOPS is a fun group of moms who all have young children ages 0-6 years old. MOPS International, our parent organization, has been around for 45 years and is in 60 countries. It is a gathering of moms who want friendship and support. We often say, “Motherhood can be a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be lonely.” I see MOPS as one way to cure the isolation that can come with having babies and toddlers. 
 I have been a mom for six years and I have four kids. We are living in our fourth home since bringing home our first child. Every time I have moved, I quickly searched for a MOPS group in my neighborhood. There I could find moms who gave the best references for babysitters, parks, pediatricians, and secondhand stores. It also gave me an instant circle of potential friends so I didn’t have to walk up to moms at library story time and strike up that first awkward conversation.  
 
Graham: I love that. What a great way to get connected quickly! Tell me more specifically about STL City MOPS?
 
CJ: Our group started a year ago this month. I had been driving 30+ minutes to attend another MOPS group in the County. That was too far. STL City MOPS meets close to Forest Park and Delmar Loop on Thursday mornings twice a month at Memorial Presbyterian Church. About 60 moms regularly attend. We have Mentor Moms who come to encourage us and listen when we need to vent. We have excellent childcare during our meetings so that mamas can have kidfree time to eat brunch and chat. Some weeks we have outside speakers lead our discussions. Topics include self-care, gentle parenting principles, children’s literature, the Enneagram, adoption, and parenting kids who are different. Other weeks we have a craft we do together to let loose and be creative. Optional play dates are scheduled once a month as well as mom’s nights out. We have had Bunco night, progressive dinners, cooking classes, My Favorite Things Party, and more. 

Graham: Sounds like fun! Tell me more about MOPS KIDS. What can moms expect?
 
CJ: We love kids here at STL City MOPS. Most of us choose to keep tiny babies on our laps during our meetings until they are 6-8 months old. Our MOPS KIDS CREW will be there every week to greet your child and welcome them into their classroom. My kids love their friends they made at MOPS KIDS. And it is nice that they get to strengthen their friendships at our play dates and other family outings. Our host church recruits, interviewis background checks, and hires our childcare workers. STL Sitter has also provided us with excellent childcare workers when we need more people.

Graham: That is so cool! You mentioned that you meet in a church, does a mom have to be a Presbyterian to join MOPS?
 
CJ: We welcome all moms of little children at MOPS. We have moms who work outside the home and moms who work at home fulltime. We have moms with different political positions, skin colors, faith beliefs, and parenting philosophies, but that is not what we focus on. We exist to support each other and to create an environment where strong and joy filled friendships can develop. 
 
Graham: Sounds like a winwin. I just know there are moms out there who are so glad to know about this. How can they contact you to sign up?
 
CJ: We have Fall Registration open for another two weeks. Moms can register at www.stlcitymops.comSpring Registration opens in late November. First-time expectant moms are always welcome. Please email me at stlcitymops@gmail.com for more information.