If you’re reading this blog I imagine you have heard of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). However, have you heard of MUMSnext?
Like MOPS, MUMSnext brings mums together who are at a similar stage on their parenting journey. Mothers of young children attend MOPS while mothers of school aged children are very welcome at MUMSnext. MUMSnext is designed for mums who have moved on to the next stage of mothering, where school, adolescence and internet safety become some of the challenges.
Our MUMSnext group meets in the morning but we used to meet over lunch and sometimes a group will meet at night.
At MUMSnext you’ll find:
Coffee and food
When you arrive at MUMSnext you’ll usually be welcomed with a cuppa and some food. At our group we’ve had morning tea and now we often offer a late/second breakfast. Bacon and eggs anyone?
A Caring Mentor
Like MOPS, each MUMSnext group has a caring mentor who is a little further along the road so can share and support from her knowledge and experience.
I often think of a story our mentor shared about how helpful her husband is around the house. But it wasn’t always that way. When he first retired, she was quite frustrated that he wasn’t helping. She eventually realised that she needed to specifically ask for help. I sometimes think about that if I’m in the kitchen and my husband is just sitting watching TV. I remind myself that I haven’t asked him to help. If I do ask, he is willing to lend a hand.
At each MUMSnext meeting there will be a relevant focus, for example:
- Parenting topics such as Raising Great Kids, Cyber Safety or Kids and Money
- School related such as Communicating with your school, Learning Styles or Lunchbox Ideas
- Family topics such as Fun things to do with the family
- Self-care topics such as Mental Health, Balancing Motherhood and Work or Courage to Rest
- Home related such as Spring Clean Your Mess or Budgeting
As everyone arrives we enjoy chatting and checking in on what has been happening in each other’s lives. After the topic for the day there is an opportunity for discussion and to give your perspective or learn a new idea.
I have always found this part of MUMSnext to be invaluable, to have other mothers walking alongside me whether we were sharing our joys – like a child who was grateful – or the lows – such as when my son was having a hard time at school.
A MUMSnext group may also have:
We haven’t always had something creative but sometimes we include a creative element. We started the year by decorating our own mugs to use at MUMSnext.
Care for Young Children
MUMSnext groups that meet during the day may offer care for any younger children who come with their mums.
Like MOPS, MUMSnext groups are usually held fortnightly and are hosted by local churches. The meetings are for any mother of school aged children whether or not you attend church. If you have school children and want to meet other mothers in the same season of life and enjoy friendship, fun and learning – then MUMSnext is for you.