Every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month I attended MOPS. I am so blessed to be a stay-at-home mom and being a photographer also allows me to be a work-at-home mom.
But there can be a big sacrifice to staying at home with your kids. I'm not saying it's the hardest job out there but staying home with your kids can leave moms feeling secluded from the outside world and no longer able to keep up a social life. Now, when you become a mom, most of this is what you want. If you are like me (and you may not be) when my kids entered this world I was so consumed and in love with them that I didn't mind ditching my social life. I just wanted to be a mom and be with my kids. But at some point, we desire to keep other relationships and connect with others outside of our own kids and family. This is only natural. We need to connect with others. We need to share and support and give of ourselves to the outside world. The human life is one of relationship.
But where does a mother, at home with her kids, disconnected from her former social life, find a way to reconnect with the outside world?
This is where MOPS - Mothers of Pre-Schoolers has been such a blessing in my own life. This is a Chrisitian organization that is run and directed by stay-at-home moms all over the country to help support moms connecting with one another.
When I first moved to Corpus Christi the first thing I did was look for a MOPS group. I found several in the city, but I live in the Northwest area and finally happened upon one located at Destination Pointe Church in the Calallen/Robstown area.
When I got in contact with Jackie, the wonderful mama who is the coordinator for this MOPS group, she was so welcoming. All the other ladies I have met have been amazing to get to know as well.
A MOPS gathering usually runs like this: We meet in the mornings and there is coffee provided. We all bring a breakfast-type item (when we can). Each meeting the MOPS organization has a video and discussion questions on various topics. While we watch our video, there is childcare provided so that moms can get time to converse while the kids are playing and entertained.
Of course, what I do love most about our group at Destination Pointe is that we are not particular about kids staying in childcare, if they need to be with mommy they can and many times that is what happens. This MOPS group has worked to make it an environment that is relaxed and so supportive.
Portrait of Me
Recently, Jackie asked me if I would like to help out with a project that when along with our video for that day, which was about stepping out of the shadows. She wanted me to photograph our MOPS ladies, providing them with an individual portrait. I thought it was a wonderful idea.
Here are their beautiful faces. I processed the images in color and black and white because I love how a black and white image can give such a glowing quality to a portrait and highlight our skin.
Such beautiful women!
As a mom and photographer, I feel it is so important for every mom to get in front of the camera. I often encourage moms to get in the frame with their kids. I like to capture them playing, dancing, laughing with their little ones because, your children will cherish these moments and that is how they will remember you. You as mama.
But it is also important for moms to step in front of the camera alone. And it is hard sometimes to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Not only that, but as mothers, sometimes it's hard to step out of the shadow of motherhood and remember ourselves as an individual. Motherhood is about serving the needs of your loved ones. Putting everyone else first. And that is a beautiful thing. But as our day to day is consumed with others, we can often forget about who we are.
And when I say take a portrait, I'm not just talking about a selfie. Especially in this world of selfies and social media, it's something big to allow a photographer to direct you and take your portrait. You feel exposed, maybe even a little uncomfortable or vulnerable. But it's good to step out of your comfort zone every now and then. Getting your portrait taken is an experience you will look back on and be happy you did it!
I want to thank the ladies at Destination Pointe MOPS for being a part of my life! If you are a mommy out there who is needing some support, some interaction with other moms, or just want to get out of the house, come join us!
I want to thank our leader Jackie for organizing our group. It takes time and effort and we all appreciate it so much! What a wonderful heart you have! And also to Brook, our mentor mom, your insight and wisdom is such a blessing! These two ladies are amazing women of God leading other amazing women of God!