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Becoming a Part of the Mom Community

by Jackie Alvarez

be you, bravely

June 26, 2014

Becoming a Part of the Mom Community

You want to know what’s great about June, darling? Well, there are lots of things. But one of the great things about June is how Jubilant it is. That’s why we’re celebrating Jubilant June, by offering a giveaway every day for the next week. (Because nothing says jubilant like a giveaway, amiright?!) We have a wide variety of things to giveaway items – from books to pacifier holders to Smuckers Fruit-Fulls! Come back daily and celebrate June with us!


 

What does it mean to Belong?

We are those chosen to raise the next generation of the world. Moms from every corner of the world, moms with every imaginable back-story, moms making every mothering choices. Together, we are the ones raising the world.

Together. That’s the key word.

Because we know that when we mother together, we mother better.

Those little bundles of joy were placed in our arms with the unspoken charge to do whatever it takes to guide and lead and love them into the best version of life possible. They have lots of needs (especially at first). They could have any myriad of medical, mental, emotional, physical plights. Their personalities and interests could run the gamut. And yet, the expectation is the same – to help and love them into the best version of life possible.

That’s why we need each other. Sometimes we need to an ear to hear about how hard it is. Sometimes it’s the insight of someone who’s gone the path before us. Maybe it’s an extroverted friend to discuss our extrovert being raised by introverts. Or it’s the encouragement for a mom who grew up as an only child that siblings just fight sometimes, and that’s normal. It’s the mom who has been through IEPs before, and can give experienced advice when there’s a big decision to make. Or maybe we just need someone to look us in the eye and say, you’re a good mom.

Whatever the reason, that’s why we mother together here at MOPS.

Moms from every country, background or mothering choice are welcome here. Let me say that again: Moms, you are welcome here.

And not only that, you belong.

This is a community of women who understand when you feed your kids chicken nuggets for 7 meals in a row, and when you want to gush and gush and gush (and gush) over how cute your kids are, and when you have one of those stretches where you aren’t sure you like your offspring, and understand your love-hate relationship with the theme songs from the shows your kids like to watch.

You belong here.

That’s why MOPS membership exists. Because we want a way to say we’re in it together. We like to say that MOPS membership is a way to participate in a movement that is helping women around the world become leaders in their community, to feel more equipped as moms and to bring us all together to support one another.

We get that being a mom is beautiful and hard, and we get that sometimes you just need a safe place to breathe, a place to get some encouragement that what you do matters. We’ll provide that space, along with some resources and fun goodies that remind you that you are important, and that we are all in this together.

(PSSSSSST! I’ll get to the specifics of the goodies we’ll send you below!) This year, we’re talk about the courage to Be you, Bravely. We believe deeply that every person has something unique and powerful to offer the world. And we want to encourage each other in this pursuit. This video explains it best. (And PS, those shirts are available for purchase at mopshop.org.

MOPS membership comes in two varieties

The first is in a MOPS group

A MOPS group is a group of moms in your neighborhood who meet to remind each other that we’re all in it together. If you’d like to look for groups in your area, check out this Find a Group page.

But you don’t have to be in a MOPS group

Register for membership, and we’ll zip you a welcome packet full of mommy-goodies and get you connected to the rest of our worldwide mom community.

Let’s say you want to join a MOPS group, but want your goodies before the groups start up again in the fall.

We hear you. This is exciting stuff, and you want to get going now. Well, here’s a list of ways you can start getting involved.

But more importantly, you can register yourself for membership and your group can add you to their roster later. You’ll get a jump start on all the goodies we want to send you, plus, you won’t have to miss a single issue of our gorgeous mom magazine, Hello, Darling.

Now to the goodies!

Welcome kit

• A Be you, Bravely Guidebook (to go with the video stories of people living bravely that we’ll be viewing together!)

• A Courage Key (action oriented jewelry to wear and pass on, check out The Giving Keys for more information on the concept, a $40 value)

• 3 Notecards with Be you, Bravely logos

• A Be you, Bravely print

• Free music downloads from JJ Heller and Martha’s Trouble (inside a coupon book with lots of other fun stuff!) Or maybe this video explains it all better:

The rest of the year

• Annual subscription to Hello, Darling magazine (have you seen our magazine, yet? I think you deserve a peek at one of our Spring 2014 issue of Hello, Darling.)

• Access to Let’s Talk, Darling webinars

• Free download of MOPS Date Night app

• Exclusive discount offers

• Weekly inspiring emails You know how much we want you to know that we want you here? We’re going to give away a (couple of) free MOPS membership(s). Enter below to join our community.

If there was one thing another mom could tell you, right now, what would it be?

Share your thoughts

We are in this together, I have been their I understand, can I help you, can you help me... We are not alone in this journey... we have each other, by the Grace of God!

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It's so nice to know that we are in this together and that others have struggled with the same things.

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You're doing a great job!

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Your doing a great job is one of the best things to hear!

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That not having my mom does not mean that I don't know how to be a mom. God made me a mom for a reason so I need to have more faith in myself and the ablitys he has given me.

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Yes, the reminder that God gave us the kids we have! Great encouragement!

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Your children are thriving and they won't be scared for life every time you make a mistake.

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This is great to hear and a nice reminder! Our mistakes can feel so huge sometimes!

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Don't worry, it's just as rough at my house right now.

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It's nice to know that we are not alone in this journey!

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Breathe! You're doing your best and that's all that matter.

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Yes, this is a wonderful thing to hear!

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Too funny, I was about to post almost the same thing:)

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Give yourself a quiet time each day!

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Shannon, that is great advice and something I need to hear often!

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Keep it up, your doing great!

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This is always amazing to hear!

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You're doing a great job!

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You are doing a great job will never get old! I could hear that multiple times a day (about my parenting).

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don't compare yourself to other moms

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Yes, that is such a great encouragement!

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Your kids love you simply because you're "Mom." Love them back.

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That is a wonderful thing to hear! A reminder that our kids love us unconditionally right now.

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That I'm a better mom than I think I am!

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Yes, I love it when people say that to me!

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What was that line from the Mom's Night Out movie??? "God created you to be the best mom for your children and you are doing a good job" or something like that. ??? It made me cry, because sometimes it is nice to be reminded that God has a plan and purpose for your life and He gave you these children and God doesn't make mistakes!

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Jami, that is a great reminder! That made me cry also!

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I am waffling between, "here let me help you," and "you're gonna miss this."

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These are both great! A great encouragement and a good reminder.

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These are the days...embrace them mess and all.

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I love it! That is a great reminder!

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I was thinking about you today and wanted to get together again soon.

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That is a great thing to hear from a friend!

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I'm sorry your kid is acting like that right now. That's really rough.

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It's nice to have a fiend who can sympathize with you!

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Hang in there:)

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Those can be perfect words at just the right time!

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Does it get better?

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That is a great question to ask a mom who is further down the road!

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Saying no does not mean your kids will hate you in 10 years!

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Yes, that is a great one. Your kids will appreciate the boundaries you gave them...eventually!

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You're doing a great job.

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Always the best thing to hear! You are doing a great job!

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Let's do a childcare swap - I'll watch your kids for a few hours and then you can watch mine. Go shop, have a date night, watch the clouds...without kids.

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Perfect! I would love to hear that, and would love to be able to do a swap! Great idea, thanks for posting!

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Don't worry about the mess in your house

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Absolutely! You won't remember what your house looked like, but you will remember the memories you made with your kids.

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Keep your chin up, this was not meant to be easy. You are doing a great job.

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That's is great to hear! I like the reminder that this isn't supposed to be easy, however, you are doing a great job!

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Your girls will turn out just as they should.

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That's a great one! Sometimes we think we have more control over the way they will turn out then we actually do. Good reminder!

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It's okay to turn the radio up (just a little) and ignore your 3-year olds questions of "Why?" after answering them 12 consecutive times in a row!

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Thanks for this! My 7yr old is in a new question asking phase! Sometimes I just want to finish a thought before answering another question.

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Forgot to add, once in awhile!

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"Let me take your kids tonight so you and your husband can go out."

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Isn't that the best! I love it when my friends or family say that to us.

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Good job!

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Always wonderful to hear! You are doing a great job!

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"Can the kids come play so your house stays clean while you pack for vacation?"

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This is a great reminder for all of us to look for opportunities to make our friends lives a little easier. I love this!

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I would tell her that "This too shall pass" Everything is a phase and lasts only a short time then you move onto the next thing. Enjoy is while you can !!!

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It's always a great reminder! Every phase is short lived (even if it feels like forever).

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I'll be right over to hang out with you all day! That would be awesome.

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That is awesome! Those friends are amazing, the ones who will say, I'll be right over (and who bring coffee)!

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Enjoy it all. The good, bad and the ugly, because they won't be little for long.

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That is a great reminder! It's easy to feel like we will be in the phase forever! They are not little forever!

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I need to hear that you've been here- thank God for my mops girls who can surround you and love you like no one's business!

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I agree! It's nice to have moms all around who are in different stages and can say, I've been there, it will be okay!

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Don't sweat the small stuff -- pick your battles.

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That is a great reminder! It's easy to get caught up trying to fight every battle.

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No one is perfect.

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Nobody is perfect! You are doing a great job!

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To not compare yourself or your children ☺

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Great advice! You cannot compare yourself to others, it will just make you crazy! And your children are YOUR unique children!

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You are amazing

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You are an amazing mama! That is so wonderful to hear from others!

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It really is just a phase!

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Oh, so many phases! That is a great one that is good to remind others about. This too shall pass.

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Remind yourself that it's okay not to be perfect!

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You don't have to be perfect! You are doing a great job!

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That every day is a new day!

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I love this! If today wasn't so great, tomorrow is a new day! Kids are perfect examples of living this one out!

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Don't stress about getting everything on your list done! :D

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Perfect advice! When do we every get everything on our list done with little kids around? We don't HAVE to get everything done!

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Enjoy them while they're little! Mine are fixing to start kindergarten and I honestly can't believe it!

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Yes, that is a great reminder! Enjoy the kindergarten year, it's a fun one!

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You're doing the best you can!

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Isn't it refreshing to hear that your best - even if it isn't perfect, is enough?

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To not worry about the small stuff, especially by comparing yourself to others.

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I have a mom friend who bakes, sews, an always manages to volunteer at school despite working full time outside the home like I do. It is tough not to wonder if we measure up sometimes...

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There are rough days, but they're often followed by spectacular days. Like my grandmother said, "If I accept the sunshine and warmth, I also must accept the clouds and storms."

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Well said, Grandma!

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Everyday is learning experience. The hard times are temporary and to take advantage of the sweet little moments that change your whole day around at the end of the long day for the better.

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Great mom advice. Sometimes we are so focused on ____ (for me it's LAUNDRY or DINNER) that we miss the sweet moments our littles have to share.

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You are never ever alone!!!

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I would benefit from hearing this one EVERY DAY.

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Who cares what others think. Yes, it's great to get ideas and have fun but don't always listen to the negativity.

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Right on! When my kids are grown they aren't going to care what the neighbors thought of my parenting style or our standard of living. They'll only care that they were LOVED.

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There is no instruction book to be a mother, but you learn as you go along with every other mom.

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I remember reading aloud from "What to Expect the First Year" so we could figure out how to give our first baby her first bath.

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My kids won't survive on chicken nuggets and fish sticks forever. I hope.

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Your kids will eventually eat something else (we hope). You are doing a great job! Don't sweat the small stuff!

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The decisions I make for my child are my own and just because they don't always line up with the "experts" or some other moms, I'm doing fine and will be encouraged and uplifted.

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Yes, it's great when somebody can remind you that you know your child best! You are the best person to make decision on behalf of your child!

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Do Life with other Moms you don't have to be alone.

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Absolutely! That's what MOPS is all about!

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That one day, when my children are grown, if they stray from what I have taught them of the Lord, that they really will return.

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It is nice to hear stories of redemption from women who have older children. It is very encouraging!

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That they enjoy being with my kids.

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It always great to hear that somebody else enjoys being with your kids!

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That some of the things I'm doing with my kids today will be fond memories they look back on one day when they're telling their own kids about their childhood.

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I love it when I hear older kids talk about family memories, it is very encouraging!

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Enjoy each moment of every day!

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Yes, that is a great reminder and one I need most days.

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That the days are long but the years are short .

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Absolutely! My kids are now 8 and 10 and I can't believe how the time has flown, but how some days still seem so VERY long!

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That my four month old will eventually stop crying all of the time.

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The baby will eventually stop crying! It's such a hard phase to have a constantly crying baby! Hang in there, you are doing a great job!

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That they've handled some of the same issues and still have a good relationship w/their child!

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That is a relief when you can hear somebody else's story and know that it turned out okay for them!

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It's okay to play on the computer and let your kid watch tv sometimes instead of doing crafts or cleaning the house. The lego guns, human canon made of a laundry hamper, and marker swords aren't going anywhere...

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Carly, it is ok! I'm telling you that right now! :)

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What you do every day matters

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Nicole, it's amazing how easy it is to forget how important the little things are, but hang in there - they are important!

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Your doing awesome it only lasts for a while.

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Jessica, sometimes it seems like getting through early motherhood is simply about surviving. Hang in there. And stick with the Hello, Darling and MOPS communities - we'll remind you you're a good mother often.

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As a SAHM, I'd like more ideas for being active this summer with my LO.

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Kelly, keeping kids (and ourselves) occupied every day is it's own challenge. We have the activity calendar coming out in a few days and we'll have at least one post in July with play ideas. Keep watching Hello, Darling for more ideas, or see if there are MOPS groups in your area having park playdates!

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You are not in this alone!

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Brenda, when you've been at home for days on end with a new baby or a sick kiddo, or when you've just made a bunch of parenting decisions, it can feel like you're 100% alone. You're not! Both the Hello, Darling and MOPS communities are in it with you! Stick around and you'll definitely feel like you're not alone. :)

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I am here for you! We have all been there and you will get through it!

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Kristen, sometimes we just need to know that someone is in it with us! I hear you on that. Stick around the Hello, Darling and MOPS communities and you'll here these words often. :)

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How can I handled the emotional ups and downs of being a mom while dealing with my "children's" mother's antics.

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Christine, sometimes dealing with other grown-ups is the hardest part of mothering, especially when it feels like everything is happening at once. But I'm sure you can manage it; I have confidence in you!

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How I can keep going even though I haven't had a CLOSE FRIEND in close to 2 years!

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Jolene, my friend, hang in there! I know your heartache for close friends, it can feel so demoralizing sometimes. Keep putting yourself out there to meet people, and also do what you need to do to take care of yourself when that doesn't work out. And most importantly, stay involved in the Hello, Darling and MOPS communities! :)

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That I'm doing an awesome job with my kiddos & that they will appreciate me one day!!

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Jill, you deserve to hear that! And I'm pretty sure they appreciate more than it seems like. :)

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