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Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Do Crafts Now.

I started MOPS with H this week.

For anyone who doesn't know, MOPS is an acronym for Mothers of Preschoolers and it is a Christian based mother group/program.

I was excited about it, yet very, very nervous.

I haven't exactly had the best luck with mom's groups. When H was just a newborn the local representative from our MOMS Club stopped at my home to get me interested in the club. I was interested alright, until she found out that I'm a stepmom and and gave me her thoughts on that. She then informed me of an application process and that they would let me know if I was accepted. That's right about when I decided that Moms Club and I weren't going to work out.

Last spring H and I did ECFE and we're signed up for a class this fall too, and I really enjoyed that and am looking forward to it.


But it was more of an individual parent/child thing. There wasn't a whole lot of opportunity to discuss things with people and get to know them.

Call me crazy but since I was pregnant with H, I have always wanted to have "mom" friends. People who have children around the same age and live in the same area so that H can have playdates and playgroups.

So I've been talking about wanting to be in this MOPS group since last Christmas and now I'm in it.

Leading up to Wednesday I had anxiety, and could have found a thousand different reasons not to go. But I knew if I didn't go now, I'd never go.

I know anyone who knows me is wondering why so much anxiety, why so nervous. I'm sure you're thinking that I am outgoing and friendly and love meeting new people.

It is hard for me to meet new people.

There I've said it.

So I called ahead of time to get the information about the group. The woman in charge said to come at 9:15 Wednesday morning.

I arrive and notice one thing right away. My clock says it is 9:10am and the parking lot is full.

We are late to our first session of MOPS???!!??

No, everyone else just likes to come early I guess.

So I sign in, drop clinging H off and go find a table.

Everyone else at the table knows each other so they continue chatting.

This is a side note, but in my experience, I find that Christian women are the worst at welcoming newcomers to a group. I mean this.

So if you fit that category and you're reading this, work on it will you?

Though I like to call myself simplicity, I know that in reality my life is far from simple as proven by the below.

After the leader talks a bit we are all at the table and the woman next to me asks my name.

"Samara." I tell her, then reading her name tag I said, "And you are Chris?"

"Yes, I like your name, where is it from?"

"Thanks. My name is Hebrew," I tell her.

"So, you're Jewish?" She says this with an exasperated gasp, while the rest of the table is staring at me flabbergasted because hello, we're at a Christian mother's group.

"Umm, no, I'm Christian." Moving. Right. Along.

After discussion time and snack time, we moved on to our craft.

At MOPS you do crafts. I learned that yesterday.

As we work on our craft, we chit chat amongst ourselves. The woman next to me asks how many kids I have.

"One. Three. No, One." I answer very flustered. "Er, Three."

Imagine what kind of look I get when I answer a question that should be simple, like that.

"I have one son, Henry, he's here with me and two stepchildren, Tyler and Madison."
Final answer.

"Ahh." And she gives me a nod like she totally gets it.

Doubt it.
So see what I mean, so not a simple question to answer. I could say I have one child, because I do. But then I am leaving out T and M, who are such a big part of my life and they are my stepchildren. But then if I say I have three kids, I get comments and questions on how young I am. Oh there will be more on that whole issue another day, don't you worry.

So despite my nerves upon arriving and the questions on my ethnicity and religion and despite the confusion on how many children I have, I did have a good time.

H, had a questionable time. He's with about 10 other 1 year olds for two hours, which should be fun, but he's going through that whole seperation-y thing.

But we'll go back and yesterday I took the first step I needed to take.

Out of my comfort zone into something that should be rewarding.
Taking the first step is half the battle.

And in case you're wondering, like I said, I do crafts now, here's what I made:

We will be sharing recipes and filling this all year long. Next month's soup, so email me some good ones if you have any because I have, umm, none.
Considering my recipe repertoire revolves around 5-6 basics being in this MOPS thing is going to work out pretty well for my husband.


Anonymous Kim said...

1) Super. Cute. Craft.
2) You are right about the Christian Ladies. Despite my husband being the youth director, it took me almost 2 years to make "friends" in our congregation.
3) I was getting a cart at Target one day when I gentleman informed me that I was much to young to have 2 kids. I told him I'd been married for 5 years and walked away. In retrospect it would have been a better idea to be less snotty and just have said thank you, but I know what you mean.

September 20, 2007 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Hey Samara, I am glad you got a chance to be involved with other mothers. Maybe the next time will be even better. As far as soup recipes there are some unique ideas here ...

September 20, 2007 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

If you were closer, my wife would love to meet you and get you started quilting or doing stained glass! Glad you are getting out and doing some crafts. I hear/know that some of them can be addicting! And that sometimes husbands can get sucked into their wive's crafts...Wives are so crafty - lol.

September 21, 2007 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger The Lindahl News said...

Crafts are fun; I like crafts, too!
Your recipe folder is totally cute and the format could be easily adjusted to make folders to handle these situations:

1. Questions that are tricky.
2. Memorabilia for young princesses.
3. Antics of a toddler.
4. What not to say to stepmothers!
5. Take-out restaurant menus!!
6. How to look older...for young mothers only!
7. Proper Mom's groups etiquette.
8. Pick up lines from mom to mom.
(Cut to the chase with the basics.)

(There's a reason I never got into "Covenant Women" in my formative newlywed/young mother years - and I see your points completely.)

September 21, 2007 at 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samara! I love this post! I have some good soup recipies I'll send you!


September 21, 2007 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Michael-Sarah-Greta-Calla said...

you are SO right about christian women's groups not being friendly! lately i've had random discussions about how the mormons do it right...why can't WE do it right! i'm planning to try out MOPS in corvallis (seeing that i don't know a sole) and i have to say i'm nervous too. it's hard "breaking in". i wish we were doing it together! :) good for you in going! and once you are "in" YOU can be the one to make a difference & be inviting!

September 21, 2007 at 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great post. I was a Discussion Group Leader for MOPS for 3 years. I am also a stepmother and I have two birth children. When asked, I always say that I have 3 children. It really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. Once people get to know me, they eventually figure out that the oldest is my stepson. I don't really think this is any of their business otherwise.

Keep doing what you are doing...including the crafts.

September 23, 2007 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Mary Anne said...

Ahh, Samara...great post! I know just how you feel...I was the discussion coordinator and "craft lady" for my MOPS group for years...and I would harp at the steering team..."YOU KNOW to that new girl, she looks lonely, scared whatever!"
We were suprised last spring with a new baby, but I am finding it hard to return to MOPS...for some of those very reasons(and it is my own church where everyone knows me...I am a worship leader)!

Hugs to you and I hope that you make great friends and find MOPS a fulfilling experience!
MAry Anne

September 24, 2007 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Tracey, in MI said...

Hey- I'm a MOPS mom/blogger/ MOPS leader.. I hear ya.

A suggestion--- if one group doesn't fit--- try another- MOPS groups are a bit like shoes- some pinch on certain feet- once in a while it takes a few pair tried to find a good fit;)

good luck- ts

October 2, 2007 at 10:09 AM  

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