It Takes a Village

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and Beverly Mops has become my village. I didn’t even think I needed a village until this wonderful group showed me how much better mothering was together rather than alone. The world would be a better place if everyone had this group standing behind them.

After moving to the area in 2014 with an infant and no friends, I came to Mops seeking companionship and an escape from the loneliness of starting over. I had no idea that the relationships I would build in the next year would be so amazing, and that the support I’d receive in my journey as a mother would be so necessary. As it turns out, infants become toddlers, and toddlers are hard work! I now have a two year old son, a two month old daughter, and a whole group of women cheering me on to succeed at being the best woman and mother I can be.

When my toddler was still waking up multiple times a night, there was another mom who had been there and shared my pain, believed I was doing the best I could to help him sleep, and didn’t assume his lack of sleep was my failure as a parent. When my husband committed what I felt was a transgression, a mentor mom was quick to remind me of my own imperfections and the trivialities of my complaint in the face of forever. When I broke down sobbing and exhausted, terrified that I couldn’t parent a spirited toddler AND a new baby, half the group shared their ‘been there done that’ stories and reassured me that I could do it, and it would be great. When my daughter was born, so many people wanted to bring me meals that I didn’t have to cook or grocery shop for over three weeks! I have met friends who invite me out for girls’ night (because every mom needs a break) and mentor moms who ask how my devotions are going (because it’s easy to ignore God in the hustle and bustle of mothering). Mops even has food each week and boy do I love eating breakfast without sharing my fork!

Last week the mentor moms hosted a Q&A session. I am still holding on to what one wise woman shared: my child is an assignment from God. God gave me these precious little souls to learn all about, then guide to the best of my ability. Parenting isn’t all fun and games, but the hard moments are not without a purpose. Those hard moments are simply part of the assignment, a pop quiz if you will. Thanks to these words of wisdom, I did not kill my child during an epic four hour meltdown last week. In fact, I even managed to still like him during it!  I stayed calm and remembered that this tiny little man is looking at me to direct his little steps, and I’m on assignment to direct him to God.

The positive influence of Beverly Mops doesn’t end on my life. My son is a mama’s boy through and through, but the past two weeks he is finally excited to go play with his “friends” and willingly stays in the childcare room. He is learning to be independent in a safe environment and benefits from same-age social interactions. Additionally, Beverly Mops is comprised of families from several cultures, races, and religions. I absolutely love that my little boy can learn to love all people from the earliest stages of his life. Mops truly is a unifier and embodiment of the love of Christ.

I am so thankful for this group and I doubt the leaders even realize how they have become my village, but what a wonderful village it is to be a part of.

~ Joanna Z.

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