Get together helps moms sending students off

Local Hillsboro moms gather for coffee, tea, snacks and friendship on Thursday after sending their children to school. Sara Wichert, second from right, hosts this annual event. Laura Fowler Paulus / Free Press
Local Hillsboro moms gather for coffee, tea, snacks and friendship on Thursday after sending their children to school. Sara Wichert, second from right, hosts this annual event. Laura Fowler Paulus / Free Press
The first day of school can bring many mixed emotions for all involved. Moms, in particular, can feel excited, sad, happy and much more. And sometimes, they even have them all at the same moment.

In Hillsboro, moms of school aged children have a place to go and take all of their emotions with them. Sara Wichert opens up her home every year on the first day of school from 8-11 a.m. for Mom’s Coffee and Tea.

“The first day of school is filled with lots of emotions. So it gives the moms a place to be and feel that together,” said Wichert. “It also gives moms something to look forward to. The kids are all jazzed up about going, and we need something fun, too.”

While Wichert has been doing this event in her home for several years now, she wasn’t the one who came up with the idea. Kimberlee Jost started the event in 2009 when her oldest daughter Ella began kindergarten.

“I started it because I kept hearing moms say how sad they were when they dropped their kids off at kindergarten.” said Jost. “They didn’t have anywhere to be and didn’t have anything to do with themselves. At that time, there wasn’t a coffee shop in town. There just wasn’t anywhere for people to gather.

“There were some that were sad, and there were some that were happy. You could be either or both. When people came to the door, I always had Kleenex or high fives ready to go.”

After hosting it for a few years, Jost decided not to host anymore. But she had a replacement in mind.

Wichert said, “The year she decided not to do it, she text me and asked if I was interested in taking the baton. I thought I would love to do that. I love to host. I think women are delightful creatures and I think that they are fun to be with.”

Like past years, the event was open for three hours, but anyone could come for any length of time. Some came and went as they rushed off to jobs and obligations. And others stayed longer.

“As a working mom, I don’t get to do all of the social things. I look forward to coming to this every year to see other moms in the area. I’ve actually started scheduling my day later so that I can come to this all morning,” said Miranda Reed, a regular attender for over five years. “It’s nice, after a summer of being pulled in all different directions, to come in here and see all of these different faces gathered.”

Sara Rempel came for a little while to touch base with other moms before rushing off to start knocking down her to do list.

“Part of me wanted to rush home and get after it since it’s the first time the house has been empty in awhile. But I know it’s important to see old friends after having differing schedules during the summer.” said Rempel. “And meeting new friends in one beautiful place at the beginning of a new season fills me up. It encourages and inspires me. Very special group.”

Anyone is welcome to attend this annual event. Wichert opens her door to all.

“I love seeing the familiar faces as well as the new ones,” said Wichert. “Some moms who come are new to the area, and I figure after this, they at least know me and a few other moms. That way it’s a little easier when she goes to the events during the year.”

Wichert encourages women who will be moms of school aged children next August to plan to come. And bring your friends.

“I’ve tried to think of all sorts of ways to get the word out and let people know they are invited. But I haven’t figured that out yet. So hopefully ladies will keep spreading the word.”

Next year will be the 10th anniversary of Mom’s Coffee and Tea. Wichert plans on there being several more.

“I’ll keep doing this as long as nothing changes in my schedule. It’s a fun thing unless it stops serving its purpose,” said Wichert. “Until people don’t need a place on the first day of school, I’ll plan on providing it.”