One of the perks of working from home is the enormous flexibility I am able to have. It’s hard and so, so good to be able to parent my babe while working. I am so very grateful, and so very strapped for time. Because sometimes naptime isn’t enough, yo. And it’s hard to balance having fun with The Boy and making sure to meet deadlines, complete projects well, etc. So I’ve been very intentional over the last year about scheduling our outings and activities because honestly, in this season of life ‘impromptu’ just doesn’t work for us. Last summer, I knew The Boy was getting old enough to benefit from regular outside-the-house activity and time with adults besides me. So I started googling.

I’d love to share a few of my favorite things that I’ve found to be helpful, fun, total blessings in our life! These have been my mothering gamechangers, friends. Some of these are specific to our location (just south of the Twin Cities in Minnesota), some are available nationwide, and some are online. If applicable, I’m happy to disclose the cost of the program/site. This will {hopefully} be the first of a few ‘sanity savers’ posts! I’d love to share my favorite resources with you! So this post will focus on one of the ‘moms & babies’ groups we’ve joined.
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MOPS International
Honestly, joining a MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) group changed my life. To be in Christ-based fellowship with other moms of kids about the same age as mine, to enjoy a hot meal without little fingers all up in it, and to know The Boy is safe and happy while I am too is just incredible. I’ve made some great friends, and even joined the leadership team for this year =) MOPS is open to moms with kids birth-K, and is a faith-based organization, meeting at churches. Here’s a link to our local group’s Facebook page (local mama friends, how I would LOVE to have you come!!).

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First & last days of MOPS. What a difference 8 mos makes!

How did I find it?
I’d heard of MOPS before, but my church doesn’t have a group, so I did an internet search to find one nearest me. A church near our home has four MOPS groups (two mornings, one evening {perfect for working mamas}, and a teen MOPS group), and I registered for the one on Wednesday mornings. I went to my first meeting not knowing a single person, got brave, and loved it.

What do we do? What’s the cost?
– My group meets twice a month for two hours. We have a speaker, make a craft or do a service project. The table groups rotate bringing  brunch. We always start and end in prayer, which bookends the morning so well.
– There are monthly playdates for moms & kids, organized by someone on the leadership team.
– There are also three mom’s nights out per semester, which are great ways to get to know the mamas who aren’t at your regular table. And in our particular group, the church offers a monthly parents night out too, complete with childcare. AWESOME.
– I pay $40/semester to be a part of MOPS. This includes the meetings and a membership to MOPS International.

– Available for the two meetings and parents nights out.
– Each mom who uses the childcare is required to volunteer for three meeting shifts per semester. There are always paid church childcare workers in the rooms.
– Our childcare costs $10/semester/child, with a $20 cap/family. Seriously. It’s amazing.

There are dozens of other groups we could join – Kindermusik, sports lessons, etc. – but this one has really provided the fellowship and time with other adults (for him and me) that we were desperate for.

Are you a part of any groups that have helped you stay sane and have fun as a mom?

– anna
{girl with blog}

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