August 20, 2007
Moms of preschoolers learn skills in Howard Lake
Local MOPS group is gearing up for a new year of meetings
By Jennifer Gallus
Moms of preschoolers, who sometimes feel the urge to pull their hair out, can seek refuge and consolation at the Howard Lake Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group.
Of course preschoolers bring joy to parents lives, as well, which is also a part of the group’s discussions.
The group meets at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake and is faith-based yet nondenominational.
The MOPS group welcomes all area mothers of preschool age children or expectant mothers in an effort to support one another.
“Our goal is to give mothers a safe place to go for advice, relationship building, and to be around other mothers who are experiencing the same types of things,” Howard Lake MOPS Coordinator Teresa Larson said.
A previous MOPS charter had been in Howard Lake, but moved to Cokato.
“I prayed about it, then decided it was something we had to have for new mothers here in Howard Lake again,” Larson said.
The group meets during the school year and is gearing up to start meeting on the evenings of the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
The first meeting of the month usually hosts a speaker or a discussion session, and the second meeting offers a craft project.
The first meeting will take place Tuesday, Sept. 11 in room E104 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
This year’s theme is learning to “dwell well.” There is no limit on the size of the group and it doesn’t matter if the mom works at home or in an office.
A $5 fee is requested per session, but can be waived for those in financial difficulty. Childcare is available and is free for those who are in need.
Mentors are present at the meetings and are key to discussions. They are area women who have “been there, done that,” according to Larson.
Janelle Synstelien of Winsted is one of the group’s mentors. Synstelien’s children are no longer preschool age, but she can offer the group what worked and didn’t work for her during that period of her children’s development.
The group is always looking for more moms in Howard Lake and the surrounding communities to be members and mentors.
MOPS in an international organization that recognizes that urban, suburban, and rural moms, stay-at-home and working moms, teen, single, and married moms all share a similar desire to be the very best moms they can be, according to the MOPS web site, www.mops.org.
MOPS groups strive to meet the needs of every mom with children from birth through kindergarten. More than 3,900 MOPS groups meet across the US and in 35 counties around the world.
For more information, contact Larson at (320) 485-2187 or (612) 360-9325.