Purpose Statement

MOPS Purpose Statement: MOPS International exists to encourage, equip and develop every mother of preschoolers to realize her potential as a woman, mother and leader in the name of Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Summary of March 20: Identity (Personality Types)

Topic: Identity continued: At MOPS today we looked at Personality and Personality Types.

Personality was defined as "all the attributes that characterise an individual, the qualities that make them unique and distinct from another".

First we completed a drawing exercise called "The Draw a House Test" where we all drew a picture of a house, garden, water etc and "analysed" it - this "test" was for a bit of a laugh/as an ice breaker.

This was followed by a brief PowerPoint summarising some other more valid Personality Style assessments that are available.

The main ones covered were the Myers-Briggs, The Four Humors/Temperaments, The Treasure Tree and the Five Love Languages

In brief:

The Myers-Briggs: looks at 4 preferences - Introversion/Extroversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling and Judging/Perceiving. When you complete a Myers-Briggs type assessment you end up with a 4 letter code representing what you score higher on and a descriptive term that goes along with this (see the table below eg ISTJ = Organiser, ISFJ = Nurturer, ESTJ = Guardian and so on). Then there is more information about each of these 16 types. See www.humanmetrics.com or www.personalitypage.com for more information.

































The Four Temperaments/Humors: were originally based on physical properties based around bodily fluids. They are Choleric (Yellow Bile), Sanguine (Blood), Phlegmatic (Phlegm) and Melancholic (Black Bile). To see more about the Four Temperaments see here and also Florence Littauers book Personality Plus: How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself (has self assessment checklists and lots of description of each of the qualities). Or for a quick online version see here. Has quick checklist and brief tables that outline each Temperaments Strengths and Weaknesses in the areas of Emotions, At Work, As a Parent, As a Friend.

The Treasure Tree: The Treasure Tree is basically a childrens version of the 4 Temperaments written as a story book. Throughout the story it explains the qualities and characteristics in terms of animals - the Lion (Choleric), Otter (Sanguine), Golden Retriever (Phlegmatic) and Beaver (Melancholic). There is a brief questionnaire at the back so you can assess your childs personality type. You can find out more about The Treasure Tree here or here.




likes to have control





likes to have fun





likes to keep peace





likes to have it right


The Five Love Languages: Looks at the way we "experience" love. Gary Chapman says that there are 5 Love Languages which are Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. In can help to know what your preference is as well as that of your partner and children. As well as the original book The Five Love Languages, there is also now versions for Children, Teens, Singles and even The Five Love Languages of Apology. Look up Amazon or Google "Love Languages books" for more info. See here for more information on Gary Chapman and the Five Love Languages.

Morning Tea: Your Favourite Things

Creative Activities: Gift Bag Kits - a paper craft. All mums chose a kit that contained the little gift bags and embellishments to glue on

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 20th

If you have the time and inclination, our morning tea theme this Friday is Feel Good Foods:
foods that alter your mood/personality & make you feel good.

Michele will also be taking us thorough some Personality Profiling during the morning - helping us to understand ourselves better.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Summary of 6 March IDENTITY - Jodie Hedley Ward Author of You Sexy Mother

TOPIC: Identity
GUEST SPEAKER: Jodie Hedley-Ward on "Finding Yourself in the Mothering Adventure"
CRAFT: decorated/wrapped soaps
MORNING TEA: Food starting with the first letter of your name (ie Natalie/Nuts, Mia/Muffins etc)

Some notes from this meeting:

Jodie Hedley-Ward is a local author of a book (and website by same name) titled You Sexy Mother.

And involved in the Motherhood Study - complete the online survey here

She moved to QLD (from NZ) with a toddler and lactose inoleratn 6mth old with no family and no income, husband just startin gin his job, baby waking up hourly at night.

Sound familiar?

She knows what its like for the Adventure of Motherhood to not be all smooth sailing.

She hit a bit of a lowpoint and decided to try and do just one thing each day to pick her up a little - not a major thing but small things such as picking a flower to put in a vase to make the house beautiful (if you feel you are in the home for a large part of the day as a stay at home mum with young children then may as well make it a little more pleasant). She also started asking other mums wht works for them, how they do it, speaking to mums in the park and wherever else she bumped into them wanting to tap into this "collective wisdom".

Some Key Themes:

Authentic Motherhood Experience: While you may get advice and information directly or indirectly from friends , mum, what you read etc may not suit you or be you so decide to do whats right in my heart and whats best for you and your family unit

All Support One Another: Mothering is tough enough as it is. Support other mums rather than bring them down, criticise, focus on your differences etc

New Phase of Motherhood: moving away from the 'martyr model' of previous generations. Allowed to take time for self. Maybe educated, well travelled, have had a high standard of living before motherhood therefore natural that you may want to experience more out of motherhood - its ok to want to have a fun/joyful life as a mum it doesnt have to be all hard work and drudgery and ALL about the kids/family - you need nurturing too

Listen to self - ask yourself "what feels good to me"? Be very present (in the moment) Try not to think about other things - be in the moment and enjo it. Be there with your children. To be able to do this you NEED to make time in your week that IS for you and for all the other things you would like to be doing.

Warning -many parenting books are not about HOW to raise your children but are more globally about motherhood. Routines/structures etc (when they dont suit you/your family/your needs) can lead to immense pressure and pressure can lead to guilt. Most children dont fit the suggested schedules or the schedules vary from book to book. No wonder we feel so overwhelmed and stressed and not measuring up as mums with this over abundance of often conflicting advice.

1/7 mums have PND and PND increases with stress and pressure as a mum and trying to meet unrealistic expectations

Concept of a Purple Cow: A "purple cow" is something out of the ordinary something that stands out from the crowd, Jodie talked about realising she was unique, special, no one like her. "When you can do the common things in life in an uncommon way you command the world" - George Washington Carver. Jodie says you can't really avoid doing the humdrum things in life (laundry, grocery shopping, chores etc) cant change that but what you CAN change is your APPROACH or your ATTITUDE or adjust your viewpoint or perspective. View your tasks as a CEO of the family, a meal is not just a meal but it is NOURISHING YOUR FAMILY, cleaning the house is not just cleaning the house but CREATING A SANCTUARY, A PLEASANT ENVIRONMENT. YOU are in control of your happiness no one else

5 Top Qualities Desired in a Mum: top one was a sense of humour, having a fun happy mum. Focusing on your joy and happiness if a powerful gift to give to a child. Kids dont need all the latest fads and gadgets and extracurric. activities money can buy they need a less stressed more happy mum.

Exercise and Time for Self: Stop viewing time for self as selfish. When look in your daughters eyes realise you are raising a future wife and mother (son = raising a future husband and father). Can not underestimate the importance of MODELLING. You are setting patterns down, ways of behaving as a wife and mother that your children are witnessing and taking on board. Important to be aware that you can stop vicious circles (ie if your mum was more of the martyr style of mum and you learned from this be mindful that you can teach/model to your daughter a healthier model). Vital that mum has time out and vital that chidlren see this and learn that is is the best way to be a mum and also what to look for in a husband etc/how to relate as husb and wife etc.

Having children/seeing your children/being responsible for children/adjusting to life with children may be a catalyst for motivating yourself to make the changes you want to get the life you want. Many women have made radical changes in career or interests etc after becoming a mum.

ALL ABOUT MINDSET: a choice/approach a way of thinking, choosing not to live a life of regret, wanting childring to see mun happy and enjoying life and FOLLOWING HER PASSIONS (best gift to give your children is a memory of a happy mum living a fulfilled life and enjoying role of mother/wife)

Motherhood can certainly be chllenging and a full on time but it doesnt last forever.

Be realistic - you dont have to go crazy and change everything particularly if you have just become a mum or have a newborn or lots of little ones and little time, this not may not be the right time for you hold off and wait for a better time also doesnt have to be huge change maybe just start with the little things that make you feel good.

Jodie then talked about the 10 Day Turnaround Plan (gave as a handout and in her book

Creating an authentic home: Your home as a reflection of you, not your best friends house not a replica of a magazine page. Does your home reflect your personality, your family, areas for conversation, a fun area for children, a quiet place for children etc. Is it a warm home where you are drawn to and want to linger, can still be a modest home. Do you proudly display your favourite things - books/artwork etc.

Dont have to have it all together - most mums if not all struggle with lots of things to do with parenting (ie the 5pm dinner bath chaos) Jodie included. Says like all of us she is not perfect by any means and her children have tantrums too

Research: Jodie is involved in some research on motherhood with Angela Huntsmen from the Uni of the Sunshine Coast. They are doing a survey looking at mums thoughts and feelings etc, how you cope with the role, what are your support networks etc. See here for more information or to complete the online survey. Need 1000s of mums here and OS to complete to get the best results so please complete it and tell all your friends about it too. Spread the word whereever you can to mums everywhere please. The hope is that the results when all surveys completed and collated will be influence policy makers and post-maternity care etc

Monday, March 02, 2009

Triple P Positive Parenting Program - Life Skills to Encourage In Children

For all those that are interested in some evidence-based* parenting/child behaviour strategies here is some further Triple P information.

Life Skills to Encourage in Children

Note: Skills listed would be gradually taught over time. View these as goals to work towards in a developmentally appropriate fashion i.e., mastery of these goals by teens/early adulthood.

How to Communicate and Get on With Others
* Expressing their views, ideas and needs appropriately
* Requesting assistance or help when they need it
* Cooperating with appropriate adult requests
* Playing cooperatively with other children
* Being aware of the feelings of others
* Being aware of how their own actions effect others

How to Manage Their Feelings
* Expressing feelings in a way that does not harm others
* Controlling hurtful actions and thinking before acting
* Developing positive feelings about themselves and others
* Accepting rules and limits

How to be Independent
* Doing things for themselves (age appropriate)
* Keeping busy without constant adult attention
* Being responsible for their own actions

How to Solve Problems
* Showing and interest and curiosity in everyday things
* Asking questions and developing ideas
* Considering alternative solutions
* Making decisions and solving problems for themselves

For more Triple P information see here.

You can also complete a Triple P Seminar or 4-8 week Group Program or access one:one sessions with a trained social worker/psychologist through Queensland Health's Child Health Services. The closest one to MOPS at MBC is located at 100 Sixth Ave Maroochydore. Phone:5479 2288 for more information.

Parentline is also a great resource for Parenting info and advice.

All of Triple P's 40+ tipsheets ranging from Infancy (Sleep and Settling etc) to Teens (Drugs and Alcohol etc) are available free of charge from either Child Health (Maroochydore Child Health 5479 2288) or Parentline . You can also contact Parentline on 1300 301 300.

* What does "evidence-based" mean: In short is means "proven to work". With over 25-30 years of research behind it, Triple P has been shown to decrease challenging child behaviour, increase desirable behaviours, decrease parenting stress, increase parenting confidence and improve parents own relationship/decrease parental conflict. Triple P has been thoroughly researched with acceptable research methods to a very high standard. It has also been replicated in other countries (i.e., same or similar studies done with equally positive results). Many other programs and books and strategies regarding parenting have not been tested or shown to be effective.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Date for your Diary - 6 March

6 March - MOPS meets again.

Our third meeting of the year
will continue our exploration of the topic of IDENTITY: Finding yourself in the daily adventure of mothering.

Settle children into MOPPETS from 9.15, starting at 9.30 finishing up at 11.30.

MORNING TEA: for those that would like to bring something to share the morning team theme is "Something that starts with the first letter of your first name".

We are lucky enough to have secured a great speaker for this meeting so don't miss it. Jodie Hedley-Ward author of book You Sexy Mother will be joining us to share what she has learnt about regaining your identity after being a stay at home mum.

There will also be Discussion Time with the other mums on your table and time for craft also.

It's going to be another great MOPS morning. Hope to see you there.

Theme Scripture

Psalm 139

1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand — when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Annual MOPS Participation Fee

The annual MOPS Participation Fee of $10 assists MOPS Australia in covering the cost of training for Regional Coordinators to help other MOPS groups to develop around Australia. It also allows more MOPS group leaders around Australia to access regional training.

This will go a long way to helping MOPS Australia bring MOPS to more Mums around Australia.

When you register for MOPS each year, you will be handed an Annual Participation Fee form, and we ask that if you are able to pay this $10 participation fee, please do so before the end of April 2011.

The payment options are...
1. Direct Debit to MOPS Australia bank account
2. Credit card
3. Cheque payable to MOPS Australia
4. Cash to MOPS@MBC front desk

Thank you, from the MOPS@MBC team.

How did MOPS begin?

It was a Tuesday morning, at about 9.30. They each had faced spilled cereal, tangled hair, and a few had even been forced to change their outfits due to a last-minute baby throw-up on a shoulder or lap. They had driven, or pushed strollers, to the church and had dropped their little ones off in the creche. They had made it!

And now they sat, knees almost touching, in the circle of children's chairs from the Sunday school room. Hands held hot cups of tea and biscuits in utter freedom because this treat did not have to be shared with a child's sticky fingers. Mouths moved in eager, uninterrupted conversation. Eyes sparkled with enthusiasm. Hearts stirred with understanding. Needs were met.

That morning in 1973, was the first morning of MOPS, or Mothers of Preschoolers. Little was it known that from this small beginning in a church in Colorado, USA, the seeds of the MOPS concept and format had been planted. The needs of the women were met even then, through the opportunity for friendship, creative outlet and spiritual emphasis. MOPS International now charters approximately 2,500 MOPS groups in churches in the United States and 13 other countries throughout the world.

How did MOPS begin in Australia?

How did MOPS begin in Australia?

Nineteen years later and thousands of kilometres away, the same mutual need for sharing was realised by a group of mums with children under school age in Melbourne. After reading about the MOPS concept in the US, leaders introduced the program to the Clayton Church of Christ Fellowship in early 1990 and MOPS was born in Australia. From this small beginning, the seeds for future growth were planted, resulting in the formation of an affiliated body to support the ever-increasing number of Australian groups and the mums they served.

Since its formation in June 2000, MOPS Australia, Inc has grown rapidly and there are currently over 100 groups throughout Australia. In the last year alone, 35 new groups have commenced, with groups starting up regularly throughout different Christian denominations. Groups now meet in every state and territory in Australia, with an estimated ministry to approximately 2500 mums and 3000 children.

How did MOPS begin at MBC?

A Brief History of MOPS at MBC by Karen Askey-Doran (COordinator of MOPS til 2008 and currently Regional Coordinator).

In 1999, the leader of MBC’s women’s ministry caught the vision of MOPS. At that time I was a new Mum with little inclination to help; I was interested but not convicted!

Roughly a year later another meeting was held to generate interest. At this time I had another little baby girl, a 16-month-old toddler and, although I was unaware of it, Post Natal Depression. And once again people were interested but not compelled to lead.

In 2005 Holly, caught the vision of MOPS and began to sow the seeds of interest throughout the young Mums in our church. Robyn Robertson came to our first meeting and inspired us into action…the seeds Holly planted took hold!

People came slowly at first to fill the positions, it seemed there were a lot of blanks for a long time! Holly was going to be our Coordinator and when she filled out the charter she realised that a Mother of Preschoolers should really fill that role…. So she called me! Very graciously, Holly took a side step into a Mentoring role (very appropriate really).

God was moving in our midst, we had been blessed with an inspired team of 15 Mops Leaders and 9 Moppets Leaders, each one having a testimony about how God had lead them to this ministry!

I suspect that God has big plans for our group. I still feel very inadequate sometimes but I do trust God and I want to serve him and to reach out to Mums who are hurting, to support them. I want to encourage, you know, to build up… to make a difference in people’s lives, especially my children’s!

I know I’m not alone… In Romans 8:28 it says “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” He planned for my girls, my twins, my battle with PND. He planned for MOPS - at this time - in our church! The door has literally been flung open!

What happens at a MOPS meeting?

When a mum enters a MOPS meeting, she is greeted by a friendly face and escorted to MOPPETS, where her children enjoy their special part of the MOPS program. In MOPPETS, children from infancy through to school age experience a caring environment while they learn, sing, play and make crafts.

Once her children are settled, the MOPS mum joins a program tailor-made to meet her needs. She can grab something to eat and not have to share it! She can finish a sentence and not have to speak in words of two syllables!

The program typically begins with a brief lesson taught by an older mum who's been through the challenging years of mothering and who can share from her experience and from the truths taught in the Bible. Then the women move into small discussion groups where there are no "wrong answers" and each mum is free to share her joys and struggles with other mums who truly understand her feelings. In these moments, long-lasting friendships are often made on the common ground of finally being understood.

From here, the women participate in a craft or other creative activity. For mums who are often frustrated by the impossibility of completing anything in their unpredictable days, this activity is deeply satisfying. It provides a sense of accomplishment and growth for many mums.

Because mums of preschoolers themselves lead MOPS, the program also offers women a chance to develop their leadership skills and other talents. It takes organisation, creativity, and management skills to run a MOPS program successfully.

By the time they finish the MOPS meeting and pick up their children, the mums feel refreshed and better able to mother. MOPS helps them recognise that mums have needs too! And when they take the time to meet those needs, they find they are more effective in meeting the needs of their families.

Meeting the needs of Mothers of Preschoolers

The MOPS program is dedicated to meeting the needs of mothers of preschoolers. These needs have been identified by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall in their book, What Every Mum Needs:

The need for Identity: Sometimes I'm not sure who I am

The need for Growth: Sometimes I long to develop who I am

The need for Relationship: Sometimes I long to be understood

The need for Help: Sometimes I need to share the load

The need for Perspective: Sometimes I lose my focus

The need for Hope: Sometimes I wonder if there's more to life

Here's How Some Mums Describe MOPS

"MOPS means that I am able to share the joys and frustrations and insecurities of being a mum. Our meetings provide the opportunity to hear someone else say, "I was up all night," or "They're driving me crazy!"

MOPS mum, Perth

"As a single mum, this is the first group I've felt accepted in for who I am."

MOPS mum, Canberra

'On my first day at MOPS, I knew my life had changed forever! The women made me feel so relaxed. I had a peace I hadn't felt for a long time. They were so caring, pleasant, helpful…the list goes on! I just want to say, "Thank you MOPS!" If it weren't for MOPS, I wouldn't be where I am today.'

MOPS mum, Melbourne

'When I first started MOPS, I was very, very lonely. MOPS gave me a chance to get out of the house which I was grateful for. The talks were very informative. I found out a lot through these talks. My problems seemed to become smaller. When I first started at MOPS, I thought I was a Christian. I wasn't. Through MOPS I can now say, 'I am a Christian.' MOPS to me is not only Mothers of Pre Schoolers, but My Own Private Salvation!'

MOPS mum, Canberra