With three little ones younger than 2.5 years old, Danielia Mateja came to her first Mothers of Preschoolers meeting out of sheer desperation.

“I was almost in a comatose fashion,” Danielia said. “I wasn’t looking for friends; I was just in survival mode. I used MOPs as a place to go, and a place to breathe. For awhile it was just to survive.”

Motherhood wasn’t what she expected, Danielia explained.

“I thought I was going to put our kids in daycare, but my husband wanted me to stay home,” she said. “So I said, ‘Sure, I’ll try it.’ In my naiveness, I thought I would play games and read with them … but motherhood ended up being a lot of function without a lot of connection — there was endless diapers and cleaning and feeding. When one would end, the next would begin.”

A depression of sorts set in for Danielia as the reality of caring for so many small children at once showed itself day in and day out.

Mops2014log“Yes, there were adorable and sweet moments,” she said, “but a lot more often it was just working at keeping them alive, clean and safe. And all of that was blowing my mind. I felt like a zombie walking around, and I didn’t savor the moments like I wish I would have because I was  always looking at the next thing coming.”

At MOPs, Danielia didn’t just find a break from the chaos of motherhood {children are cared for onsite in the MOPPETs program}, but she also found women on a similar path who poured into her life, offering friendship, wisdom and practical help in her motherhood journey.

“MOPs helped me refocus my expectations so I could enjoy that season of motherhood simply because then my expectations were more realistic,” she said. “And there were other women who felt this way. I thought ‘Wait! I’m not alone!’ I thought I was the only one with a chaotic life.”

Danielia found great guidance from the leaders of MOPs, too.

“The MOPs leaders and speakers helped me see that {motherhood} was a beautiful thing I was doing, that this was what God had planned for me,” she said. “After {motherhood} had felt so icky, it went from stressful to beautiful … MOPs has really helped raise me as a mother.”

Now further into her mothering journey with children ages 13, 12,11 and 3, Danielia volunteers as a MOPs contact mom who enjoys investing in women’s lives at this stage of motherhood. She encouraged moms — no matter where they are on their journey — to come experience it for themselves.

“Part of the beauty of MOPs is that can be whatever you need it to be in the beginning,” she shared. “Women come in with all different kinds of needs but they connect at the same place {of motherhood}. There’s not a lot of places where that happens.”

MOPs begins Thursday, Sept. 5 for group one and Thursday, Sept. 12 for group two.

For more information about MOPs, please contact Dani Halverson at delcomrocks@gmail.com or Katie Lind at ktlbc95@gmail.com.

Or learn more about Immanuel MOPs here!

2 thoughts on “Mothers of Preschoolers: “MOPs Raised Me as a Mom”

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, Danielia! I’m sure it will encourage many moms! You are one special lady!!

    Love you,. Renee

  2. I echo Danielia’s experience, though I only had 2 kids under 2.5 (piece of cake compared to her)! MOPS has been my lifeline to sanity and community- especially in the beginning of motherhood.

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