For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD — “The first day I attended, the moms shared their birth stories. They were all different and just beautiful. It was so good to connect with other moms and to process how ‘mothering matters’ with them for two brief hours,” said Marshfield Medical Center (MMC) Obstetrics nurse Rachel Rademan.
Rachel heard the birth stories from a special perspective, given her work in the MMC Birth Center. She nominated MOPs for Security Health Plan’s monthly Employee-Driven Corporate Giving investment of $1,000 in an organization improving community health. Marshfield MOPs has been selected.
As a mother of three, she also had her own stories to share at that first Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPs) meeting she attended at the Marshfield Northridge Church. Four years later, she is serving as the Publicity and Advertising arm of the MOPs steering committee.
“This group does its absolute best to love on moms,” Rademan said. “Most of us are pretty isolated outside of the MOPs group – we’re busy doing our mom things with our families. Having a support group in the community is essential.”
MOPs bring mothers together twice a month in a supportive, faith-based environment to connect them and hold discussions on topics related to motherhood. Rademan helps coordinate their visiting speakers, covering a variety of topics from how to teach their children about diversity to infant and car safety, CPR training, health and wellness topics, craft days, visits from an obstetrics/gynecologist, current events like human trafficking, and a spa day.
“We try to address the balance of mom-child stuff, female stuff, and wife stuff, that we all juggle,” Rademan said. The topics originate from MOPs International, Inc. guidelines, but are tailored to local MOPs chapters’ needs.
MOPs is intended for mothers of children aged infant to kindergarten, but the local chapter never forcibly “graduates” a mother who wants to stay involved.
“Many moms whose children are older, or even grandmothers, choose to give back to the group as a childcare volunteer. We provide safe, high-quality childcare for the 45 moms currently attending, which means we always have a need for volunteers,” Rademan said.
Twice a month on Thursday mornings, volunteers read stories, do crafts, and play with MOPs children while their mothers take part in the discussion.
“There is a fee for the local chapter, but we offer scholarships for moms who can’t afford it. Our mentor moms and table leaders are also always keeping in touch with moms and their needs,” Rademan said. “Every year, we make a donation to one mom in need of extra help. Past recipients have used the funds for medical expenses for chronically ill children and emergency housing issues. We want to know our moms, their kids, their families, and be in touch with what their needs are.”
Marshfield MOPS holds an annual spring rummage-vendor sale, called the “We Care Affair,” to raise funds for the annual donation.
“But profits are never as much as we’d like them to be. Security Health Plan’s investment will ensure we can still bless a mom who is struggling this year. It gives us all peace of mind,” said Rademan.
Visit northridgefamily.org/ministries/mops to get involved, learn how you can become a childcare volunteer, or make a donation. Marshfield MOPs is also seeking a childcare coordinator. Call 715-387-6111 to learn more.