MOPS: Raising Boys

We have an extra week this month in between MOPS meeting since September had 5 Tuesdays. So this week I was excited for it to be a MOPS week. We continue to have new moms coming to our meetings. I love seeing our group grow!

This week a good friend of mine came and talked to us about raising boys. She is a mom of three boys (plus a little girl on the way!) She has a great testimony and so much wisdom and insight. She has been a great encouragement to me during the past couple years as I have gotten to know her better.

I never imagined the difference between raising boys and girls until I became a mom of a little girl and then eighteen months later we added a baby boy to the mix. Now we are a family with two sons. As soon as my son started to become mobile and interactive with others I realized I had a lot of learning and growing ahead of me.

Boys tend to be much more active and aggressive (not necessarily in a bad way). The climb, everything! They find satisfaction is pursuing things and accomplishing tasks.

Boys are messy! When we sit down for meals my daughter is so careful to keep herself and her space clean. She wipes her mouth after every bite. Then you look over to my son’s space. The table, the floor, his clothes, goodness even his hair is covered in food that didn’t make it to his mouth. He doesn’t mind. My sons love to play in the sandbox and mud. Driving trucks and tractors in the sandbox provides hours of fun.

Boys are loud! Both my boys like to go into the milk house in the barn because it is the perfect place to yell and hear the sound vibrate and echo. My house is noisy. And honestly sometimes it does get to me, but I have learned to embrace it. My children are learning and growing through their play and sometimes that requires a bit of noise.

Boys I love cause and effect! My boys find joy in the “if I do this what will happen?” experience. Sometimes it is fun and harmless. Other times it is difficult to deal with. Pulling Sissy’s hair just to hear her scream. Can anyone relate? These are perfect teaching opportunities.

Boys are very protective! My three-year old would do anything for his sister if he felt she was being wronged. He is always watching out for her even at this young age. Growing up I had a younger brother and it was always such a comfort know that even though we had our differences he always had my back. If we encourage this in our boys the will grow up to be men that are compelled to take care of those that they love. They will make good husbands and fathers.

Boys love their mothers! I know that my daughter loves me and we do share a bond that I am not able to share with my boys. But in the same way I see that my boys have a special bond with me that is like nothing else. I am the one they come to when they need comfort and help. I am the one they one they look to meet their needs.

When I look at my boys I not only see who they are now but I also look at who I hope they become. I want to instill in them now the things that I feel would make them good men. As their mom I am the first woman they will interact with. Some day my boys will probably be husbands and fathers. I want to equip them with the skills now to flourish in those roles.

As their mom I also want to encourage their father to be a role model for them. I want to encourage him to teach them and guide them in becoming a man of God. He is who they are going to look up to and imitate. I have this amazing opportunity to let them see how a man and woman relate with each other. By letting their father be the man and spiritual leader of our house they are seeing and learning from our examples. When I value myself it lets my boys see that women have value and men should treat them like they are valuable. My husband is a wonderful man and I love the example that he is for our sons. My role is to let him be that example and encourage him in it.

Some days being a mom can seem overwhelming, whether you have boys or girls. I know there are times when I just don’t feel equipped to do this job. Well guess what, on my own I am not able. I need the support of others. Our MOPS group has been a great source of help and encouragement. Also having close friends that are going through it themselves is in my opinion necessary. There are countless times that I have received encouragement and direction from a friend that has helped me get through a difficult situation or even just a difficult day. The great thing is that I also have the opportunity to be there for them when they need it. I love how community works.

As much as I feel having a great support system is necessary it does not compare to the wisdom, guidance, direction, and love that I get from my relationship with God. He unltimitely is the one that I lean on. He gave me the children that He did because He knows that I am the mom that they needed, and they are the children that I need. He will equip me with what I need to raise these children. He is the one that I look to daily, hourly for the wisdom to raise my children.

Raising my boys is the hardest, most tiring,  most fulfilling, most rewarding, and hands down the best job I have ever had.

2015-20-10--12-42-13

Now it is your turn. I want to hear from you! What do you have to add? What things have you learned while raising your boys?

Advertisements

MOPS Meeting #2

2015-26-9--21-15-09

 

Earlier this week we had our second MOPS meeting. It was a really great time! There were a couple of new moms that came this time. It is always exciting seeing new faces, and of course I love seeing familiar faces as well.

We had a woman come in from our local pregnancy care center to speak to us this time. She talked some about the care center and what they do at all three of their locations. The Endless Mountain Pregnancy Care Center is an awesome ministry to our community and has been a huge blessing to so many moms in this area, this mom included. As well as speaking about the care center she also talked to us about relationships and love. She encouraged us to invest in our relationships, with our families, friends, and God. She also talked about love being a choice that we have to consciously make moment by moment, some moments being harder than others.

As we broke up into our discussion groups we talked more about love and relationships. We also talked about taking time to refuel ourselves, and by doing that we are benefiting our relationships. When we take that time to refuel we are often a better mom and wife. I know that if I don’t get a little bit of time to myself regularly I will become overwhelmed with all my responsibilities. I like to take a few minutes, or some days longer, in the afternoon after the kids are down for their naps to spend some time relaxing. Sometimes it is just eating lunch in peace and quiet. I find that time really does help me reset myself. Also I try to make a point to spend time with my husband on a regular basis without children inturuptions. We need that time to connect with each other. With three children it can be hard to have a regular date night out, but on most Sunday afternoons we take an hour or two and spend time just the two of us while the kids are napping after church. Another way to refuel is to spend time with friends, which is why I look forward so much to MOPS twice a month. Having that time with other moms who I can relate to is such so refreshing.

Investing time in our relationships with our spouse and friends is so important, as well as investing time with our children. I admit that having three little ones does make it hard to get that quality time with each of them, but I do my best. They need that time with their mommy, having my undivided attention is important to them. Lately we have been letting them each take a turn staying up just ten minutes later than the others. They get to spend that time with me and/or Daddy doing something they enjoy. It really does make difference and deepens our relationships with our children.

Most importantly we need to be investing in our relationship with God. When I neglect that relationship I find that all of my other relationships suffer. Spending time with Him is the ultimate refuel. I also see that becoming a mother has changed my relationship with God. I view things a lot differently now. It really does take me to a deeper sense of trusting Him, because I see my need for Him more I think. I also have found a greater perspective of His love for me. I look at the way I love my children and how I would give up everything for them. I can be confident that God loves me the same way, only so much more. I see more of His Father’s love for me.

We did a craft again this time after the discussion groups. I made sure that I had everything with me this time, plus I remembered what I had forgotten last time. Yay!

We made name tags for ourselves to use at our meetings. They will be much nicer than just using the sticker name tags. I showed them how to make a fabric flower by rolling strips of fabric. They came out really nice and it was neat to see them all finished. (I completely forgot to get a picture of them all together, but I will get one for you next time and update it here.) We attached the flowers to laminated paper with our names and glued it to a magnet that will hold it onto our clothing. Our discussion groups are separated by different color flowers. So on each name tag there is color in some way or another to signify which group we are in.

0920151951

0926151750b

Our First MOPS Meeting

2015-09-9--14-39-01

Well it finally came. Yesterday was our very first MOPS meeting. We have spent  so much time preparing for and praying about this. It is exciting to see it finally be here.

The turnout surprised all of us. There were more moms and children than we expected, which is amazing. It was a thrill seeing mom after mom walk through that door. I enjoyed talking to their little ones. Watching their faces as they dropped their children off with the childcare volunteers was priceless. The blessing that we can be to these moms is so rewarding. I am looking forward to making connections and building relationships with each one this year.

My good friend and one of the moms on our steering committee shared her story with us. She has an amazing testimony. She encouraged us to look at our own story as a mom and be mindful of the ups and downs. She reminded us look to those around us when we need support and also be an encouragement to others when we see that they are in need. We then used our discussion group time to get to know those in our group a little more closely, and to share some of our story. I really enjoyed talking to the other moms and hearing their thoughts. As a discussion group leader I am looking forward to that part of each MOPS meeting. I am excited for friendships we are forming.

As the creative activities leader I did a craft for the moms to put together. A friend of mine and fellow craft enthusiast actually put the craft together for me this time. Unfortunately me being forgetful as I am had to leave half of the supplies on my kitchen counter. So needless to say we were not able to complete the entire project, and I will take the rest of the supplies next time for them. I guess this is all about being real and I displayed that well.  HaHa!

I would like to show you what we made and give simple directions for you to make it for yourself if you would like.

0907151816
A shopping list or place to make notes for yourself.
Supplies Needed: ~ small wooden board ( I stained mine, but you could leave it natural if you would like) ~ roll of paper (like would go in a calculator) ~ piece of twine (about 15 inches long)~ large binder clip ~ large rubber band
Supplies Needed:
~ small wooden board ( I stained mine, but you could leave it natural if you would like)
~ roll of paper (like would go in a calculator)
~ piece of twine (about 15 inches long)~ large binder clip
~ large rubber band
0907151812
Place the binder clip at the top of the board. Put the twine in between the board and clip.
0907151814a
Thread the twine through the paper roll. Tie at the side. Stretch the rubber band around the bottom of the board. This will be used to keep the paper in place when it is rolled out.

MOPS – What This Mom Needs

Mothers Of Preschoolers

What is MOPS? It is a place for moms with young children (ages birth to 5 years) to come together and connect with each other and form a community of women. A place of refreshing and spending time with other moms who are in the same place in life. Honestly, every mom needs some time with other moms, to have girl talk, to laugh with and cry with, and enjoy the journey of motherhood. It is a place to build relationship with other moms. Moms that understand the things you are going through daily. Moms that know what it is like to have multiple small children running around the house. Moms that know what it is like to have 24/7 responsibilities, that yes, we love whole heartedly. MOPS helps us build an amazing support system that can be so hard to find. We are able to build relationships that will last for years to come.

As a child I was able to experience MOPS at a local church. My mom went with friends and took my brother and I along. I don’t remember much of it, but I do know that it was something that I enjoyed. As a teenager I volunteered to help with childcare at MOPS at the same local church. I went with a young mom who was my neighbor. She went to benefit from the MOPS program and I was able to spend time doing something that I enjoyed, playing with the small children. The MOPS program at that church ended not long after that for many reasons. This year as a young mom myself I have the pleasure a being a part of bringing MOPS back to this area at that very same church. I am privileged to be able to work along side of some of my good friends and also to make some new friends that are in leadership. I am so excited to have this opportunity. We are officially chartered and taking registrations for this fall and I am very excited to see this all come together. I am leading the crafts and activities.  With the help of a friend of mine we are putting together all sorts of fun things to make and do this year. This is an adventure that I am really looking forward to. I myself need the time that MOPS provides twice a month to spend time with friends old and new. To build that support system that I believe every mom needs.  I am so thankful to have this opportunity with MOPS this year. It is going to be amazing!

791b4c6476b84ebdd98580a14a085cd3