My days lately are full of kids that are sick. Today was no exception.
This afternoon I was cleaning up puke, disinfecting every area that kids touched, every area that kids threw up on...just one of those days where you want to hole yourself up in your disinfected house (or in a shower just so you can feel clean again) and not go anywhere.
I did have an obligation tonight though. Although I was so tempted to text my friend and tell her that I wasn't going to be able to make it because I was still needing to clean things up, I didn't. I was ready for an escape from the bleach smell. I was ready to go see something that at one time encompassed everything that I did, thought and had time for. My passion at that point in my life was Teen MOPS.
I was a bit nervous because I knew that I wouldn't know some people. I thought I would feel out of place because of that and I honestly had no idea what I was going to be doing at this meeting. Usually there are details sent out to people that are helping out. No details here. I was the one that said when I would be able to make it. I asked questions about what I needed to do, many times, to several people. No answer.
The control side of me was for some reason ok with this lack of control and lack of information. Very strange for me. Teen MOPS is not something that I have control of though anymore. At one point in my life it was one of my babies. In fact, my babies grew up with Teen MOPS being a part of their lives day in and day out. Going to Teen MOPS meetings was the norm for my little ones. Helping with Teen MOPS, the kids in childcare, preparing crafts and materials for the meeting...my kids were right there the entire time.
Walking into the room where the girls were was like talking with an old friend. Honestly though, it was a bit awkward at first. No one still had answers for me when I asked what I needed to do. I was there to help. I needed a task. Nope. I got to eat food. I got to chat it up with the speaker and a few girls that I hadn't seen in 9 months or so.
The meeting started and I found a place in the back. (Still not knowing what I was to do...by the way) Jenni started talking and then the reason for me being at the meeting was revealed. The group had wanted to thank me for starting up Teen MOPS so many years ago. They made a card for me, gave me a t-shirt (in my now current size) and a beautiful picture with one of the quotes that I have on Facebook.
I truly appreciate all of the volunteers that are working with the teens now and the kids that are in the childcare. This program can continue because of them and their willingness to help others.
I so love those girls! Tonight I got to sit back and listen to them talk, encourage and educate each other. Yes...there were speakers too. The speakers did a great job! The girls though...the girls that I knew before were timid, shy, scared, confused, some in financial problems, drugs and alcohol controlled some of their decisions, some in abusive relationships, others just trying to learn what it was that came with the title "mom". Tonight I saw girls that grew up and showed a maturity level that I hadn't seen before in their words and lives. The girls are growing up. They are learning all about this mom thing and getting the help and friendships that they need through Teen MOPS.
Teen MOPS is all about showing teen moms that people love them and educating them on what it is like to be a mom. I know that a lot of people give teen moms a bad rap. Yes, not every teen mom makes the best decisions. Yes, not every teen mom out there is doing the best for her kids. But...before you give someone a stamp of being a bad mom just because they already have the label of "teen mom", you really need to learn their stories. You need to actually talk with them, see where they started and find out where they are at now. I know that every choice I have made in my life hasn't been the right one but I hope that people don't give me a label of being a bad person just because of some choice I made in my past.
If you think that teen moms aren't doing a good job then that might just be your calling to go help them. Find out if there is a group already in your area. If not...think about starting one for the teen moms in your area.
You can find out more about Teen MOPS at www.mops.org