Since the MOPS theme this year is "A Beautiful Mess: Embracing Your Story," we will be featuring the stories of the Castro Valley MOPS community. Here is the story of our MOPS coordinator, Christy Mast.
Tell us about yourself and your family.
My name is Christy Mast. I grew up mostly in Georgia and spent my 20s working as a nurse and volunteering in youth ministry. Seven years ago I married Steve, and after a 2 year "honeymoon" in New Zealand, we moved to San Leandro. We have 2 children - Meredith is 3 and Philip is 5 months. We also have a cute little Chihuahua mix named Koa. Our family vacations almost always involve mountains or Disney parks (last summer we even combined the two).
Tell us about your experience and involvement in MOPS.
I joined MOPS just a couple weeks before I was due with my first child, 4 years ago. The following year I was a Discussion Group Leader. The next year I was asked to be Coordinator, and this will be my third year in that role.
What is your favorite thing about MOPS?
MOPPETS! Almost everything I do now involves my kids, so it is nice to have something that is for me.
What is the wisest mom advice you have ever received?
Pick your battles. This saves a lot of strife at our house. When you see my daughter wearing a red dress with hot pink leggings, you will know that was a battle I decided not to fight!
What were your thoughts when you found out you were pregnant with your first child?
This was a long hoped for baby, so I was happy, but the overwhelming emotion was worry. At just 6 weeks along my doctor thought I would have a miscarriage - that was a nerve wracking several days. Of course everything turned out to be fine, but I still find myself worrying about new things at every stage of development. I used to be an ER nurse, so those memories feed my worries.
What did you learn about being a mom from your own mom?
My mom was a big encouragement when I was approaching my due date and thinking about childbirth. She would say, "your body was made to do this." While labor and delivery was certainly difficult, everything went well and I wasn't anxious about the process.
How has motherhood changed you?
I stay home a lot more and shower a lot less.
What is your biggest challenge as a mom? Have you overcome it? How did you overcome it?
Time management! Without an employer to keep me accountable for my time, I can often get sidetracked from doing the things I really need to be doing. I have some days when I am more productive than others, but it is definitely an ongoing struggle. I find that if I get lots of things checked off my "to do" list one day, then the next day you can probably find me on the couch! I need to focus on moderation - completing a reasonable amount of tasks each day and not wearing myself out.
What is the one most important principle you want to teach your child(ren)?
Grace. I want to ooze grace - walking that fine line between setting and enforcing boundaries and also letting them know they are deeply loved no matter what.