By Nikki Metzger
High Desert Daily
(Victor Valley)–Being a teen mom can be overwhelming.
It can be scary, and it can be lonely. There is a new group in Hesperia where teen mothers can find support, understanding, camaraderie and learn something too.
Aimara Freeman, one of the organizing moms of the group explained, “Teen MOPS, or Mothers of Preschoolers, is a different version of the traditional MOPS but it is for women who are 21 years and younger and have children that are kindergarten age or below. They can also be pregnant. The group basically exists to help meet their social, emotional and spiritual needs.”
Meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month from 6:30-8pm, and it is an opportunity for the new moms to take a break, share and learn from mentor moms. “We offer them a safe, secure environment where they can just come and vent their frustrations, but also have a good time. We try to make it a place where they can come together with other teen moms and also moms like myself. I was a teen mom so I can completely relate to what they are dealing with,” Freeman said.
Along with a free meal and free, pre-screened childcare, the Teen MOPS offers teen moms an activity at the event ” either listening to a speaker talk about issues important to them, or working on a craft item. Freeman added, “We bring in speakers or make a craft, we alternate between them. One of my friends is from Morocco and she said she would come in and teach them how to make a quick and easy Moroccan dish. I have also talked to a pediatric nurse that wants to come in and show the moms how to take care of babies and also first aid. My hairstylist used to work for MAC and she is going to come in and teach them quick and easy hairstyling and make-up tips. So we want to do things that interest the moms.”
Freeman continued, “We also have the moms make a craft item. One craft was a picture frame ” we spent the event talking about who they were. A lot of moms lose their identity when becoming a parent. We talked about what made them unique and what made them special. Then we took a picture of them and decorated picture frames to put that picture in. So we try to mix it up and always make it fun. We also add an element of discussion time where the new moms can sit and talk personally with the other moms and mentor moms and say You know, I’m really struggling with this. What have you done that has worked?
Freeman helped put the group together because she knows what it is like to be a teen mom looking for support. She and the other mentor moms are all volunteers. “None of the moms involved get any sort of financial compensation, it’s all completely voluntary. We do this because we want to show the young moms that we really do care about them and we want to support them. We want to be there for them and do what we can,” she explained.
Meetings are held at F.B.C.H. at 9280 Maple Ave in Hesperia, just south of Main Street, 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month from 6:30-8pm. Freeman added, “We are a Christian based organization. It is not a bible study, per se. The teen moms don’t have to be Christian to attend and they don’t have to bring a bible. We are going to cover some spiritual elements and refer to Scripture and do prayer, but overall it is more of a social event. We do want to make sure we meet those spiritual needs as well.”
From now through May they are offering a gas gift card if young moms attending the event bring a friend, to help with transportation costs and to encourage carpooling.
RSVPs are requested just so the organizers know how many meals to prepare and have enough supplies for crafts. Call 760-244-4109 ext 103 to leave a message for RSVPs, or go to the group’s Facebook page: HYPERLINK “http://www.facebook.com/fbchteenmops” www.facebook.com/fbchteenmops
Teen MOPS is non-profit, receives no government funding and is strictly run on donations from people and the community. If you are a restaurant business owner who would like sponsor a meal for a Teen MOPS Event, please contact Aimara Freeman at HYPERLINK “mailto:teenmopsHD@groups.facebook.com” \t “_blank” teenmopsHD@groups.facebook.com or Brandy Smith at HYPERLINK “tel:%28760%29%20244-4109” \t “_blank” (760) 244-4109 ex 103. A receipt of your donation will be provided for tax-purposes.