As our previous year came to a close and as our new year began, I wanted to choose a fitting theme for the FWMoM end-of-year banquet. The right theme would speak to both the previous year as well as the coming year, and as such would need to symbolize both endings and beginnings. What better symbol than keys?!
Keys are symbols of opening and closing. In itself, a key is a tool that can be used to lock or unlock something of value (because if it didn’t have value, why bother locking it away?). In the right person’s hands, a key can be a valuable resource. When presented with a key, you are essentially receiving and accepting a new opportunity.
Our newly-installed executive board members for 2019-2020 were presented with “keys” to success in their positions this year. These volunteers work hard to further the *mission of the organization. Our mission gives us direction, and within that mission are core values. I presented these values as keys to the different positions as follows:
President: organization, delegation, and professionalism.
1st Vice President in charge of Membership: friendliness, responsiveness, and enthusiasm.
Programs: preparation, collaboration, and creativity.
Social: an outgoing personality, hospitality, and inclusiveness.
Secretary: attention to detail, accuracy, and timeliness.
Treasurer:efficiency, precision, and promptness.
Fundraising & Sponsorship: cooperation, persistence, and fellowship.
Parliamentarian: expertise, instructiveness, and adherence.
Special Events: reliability, confidence, and innovativeness.
In addition to the keys for board members, there are keys to success for all members of an organization. Especially for new members, I believe it is important to receive direction from more experienced members, specifically on how to get the most out of your experience. I was able to put together the following “FWMOM” keys to success to fulfill that purpose:
“F” is for... Fellowship: Make the most of your membership by attending meetings, socials, and playdates. Get involved and get to know your fellow MoMs.
“W” is for... Work together: Volunteer for a committee, take part in community service
projects, or deliver a meal to a new MoM. Join in the fun and the mission of FWMoM.
“M” is for... a “Me, too” attitude: So many times we can feel like we are alone in our struggles, but the truth is that many of us have shared experiences. Rather than judgement, you will find understanding in this tribe.
“O” is for... Own it: This organization’s success is dependent on its members. If you have an idea, share it. If you want to make a change, start it. FWMoM is what we make it, so let’s make it great!
“M” is for...Make time: You get what you give. If you put your time and effort into getting involved, you will get a lot out of it and form amazing relationships. Invest in yourself and invest in others.
I am so excited to see where this year takes us, and I have high hopes for the future of FWMoM. I am honored to be your president this year, and am grateful to serve alongside so many other amazing board members. We recognize that our accomplishments are not to the credit of any one individual, but rather to the group as a whole. Just as each board member has their own specific tasks to accomplish throughout the year, we all have our own Keys to success within the organization. When we choose to unlock that potential, there’s no limit to what we can achieve! Therefore, I hope each of you will join us in “opening the door” to another successful year.
*The Mission of FWMoM is to enhance the understanding of the unique experience of raising multiples through the exchange of information and engaging with the wider community through fellowship and service opportunities.
Author: Ashley Hughes is a twin mom to 4 year olds, James and Timothy. She is a wife, baker, artist, and the President of Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” - Helen Keller
What does serving others mean to you?
This valuable question is one that we as adults can address in our own lives without thinking twice. It might be an area that we haven’t honed in on in some time, or one that we frankly need to cut back, but nonetheless we know the answer.
Consider this… would your children know how to answer this question for themselves? What does serving others mean to them?
This summer, FWMoM tackled this head-on and created a one week program that focused on the many aspects of community service. FWMoM KIDS: Kindness In Dedicated Service camp was developed for children ages 3 years and older to teach the many aspects of service to our Fort Worth community.
Day 1: Bethesda Gardens Memory Care
Our campers were greeted at Bethesda Gardens Memory Care Center with open arms to spend time with a special group of older adults who don’t always have a chance to be surrounded by the sweet sounds of little children. Some of the residents have lost the ability to communicate, many the ability to walk, but none of them have lost the love and admiration for the innocence and freedom of being a child. For our time at Bethesda Gardens, the children sat at tables with the seniors, and together they decorated brown bags with colorful and encouraging messages for the recipients of Meals on Wheels throughout Tarrant County. We finished our day with a sack lunch in the 50’s Dining Room with... you guessed it… a real jukebox!
Day 2: Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County
Our campers were so proud to take their decorated brown bags to donate to Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County, and learn of the organization’s important service in delivering meals to our most vulnerable citizens of Fort Worth. Campers were taken on a facility tour where they viewed the industrial size kitchen where meals are made and packed. They also saw the vans that deliver meals to distribution centers, and even the storage unit where they keep food and treats for the dogs and cats of these homebound citizens. Did you know that Meals on Wheels serves over 3,500 meals per day? Our campers learned so much!
Day 3: Fort Worth Aviation Museum
What an honor it was for our campers to spend the day with true heroes -- the service members at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum. These men and women taught our children about our majestic American flag and the importance of the Pledge of Allegiance. The education did not end there. We were taken on a guided tour throughout the field of airplanes and helicopters, where they allowed the kids to touch and climb inside the aircrafts, sit at the flight simulators, all the while learning about the sacrifice of being a service member.
Day 4: Fort Worth Fire Department – Station 8
This day offered our campers a window into yet another aspect of serving the community. The dedicated men of the Fort Worth Fire Department Station 8 educated our children on fire safety and prevention, fire suits, and what was undoubtably the campers’ favorite part… the fire hoses! After the fire fighters gave each of the children their very own fire hat and badge, they even had a chance to spray the parking lot with water directly from that big red engine.
Day 5: Benbrook Stables
The final day of camp this summer was our End of Camp Celebration, which was hosted at the Benbrook Stables. The families got a private walking tour through the stables to see the horses, ponies, and donkeys. The campers learned that not only is it important to serve the citizens of the Fort Worth community, but to take care of and serve the animal citizens as well. The day ended with a trivia game to recap all of the facts that campers had learned throughout the week about community services. The campers also each received a sweet treat, and a certificate signifying all of the work and learning that they had participated in that week.
It was a fun-filled week and the campers learned so much. One thing is for sure: we moms feel more secure in how our “campers” would answer the original question…What does serving others mean to you?
The launch of Fort Worth KIDS camp was a huge success this summer, and there are already plans in the works for two sessions next summer. If you are the mother of twins, triplets, or more and want more information on Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples and this exceptional camp that it offered to its members, please go to fwmom.org for more information.
Author: Janae Huffman is a twin mom to 5 year olds, Audrey and Eleanor. She is a part time Occupational Therapist and the VP Special Events for Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples.
Having 34-week gestational twins had been fairly smooth sailing for us. The first two weeks had been spent in the NICU, but we were so thankful we had healthy little boys to take home and love. Life continued to move forward with the similar struggles we all face with multiples: schedules, bottle brigades, sleepless nights, trying to leave the house for any reason... but overall life was moving right along. We were keeping these active little guys healthy and happy, and I felt confident in their growth.
We had reached the boys’ 3-year-old well child checkup and all seemed normal, ya know... Preventing the exam room from being torn to shreds, keeping the medical supplies from being destroyed, eating through all the snacks in our bag to pass the time -- just a normal day with two toddlers! There I was in the pediatrician's office, smiling at the two wonders sitting on the exam table together with their dinosaurs, when a few simple words invoked unexpected fear. “I can clearly hear some speech delays,” our doctor said.
Fear. My confidence soon melted away as a thousand thoughts ran through my head at once. What? Wasn’t it normal for them to mispronounce words at barely 3? Why? Why hadn’t I picked up on “delays?” How? How had I missed something so important to the development of my babies? Was I still adequate as a mother and had I let them down somehow? Fear.
Worry. Anxiety. Dread. Confusion. The emotions piled on all at once as I kept the smile plastered on my face and listened intently for direction, insight, anything that would help me process and create a plan. For those who know me well, planning, being on top of things, and ahead of the game is where I like to live. This unexpected news pulled me back, back into a place of fear and the unknown, without a plan on how to move forward.
This experience is common to almost all moms. Not the speech issues, but fear. Fear is sneaky, it comes upon us when we least expect it. It comes in many forms... some which we can clearly identify like the fear of spiders, the dark, and others not as obvious like worries about the future of our kids' well-being.
What I want to unpack in our series of a Fearless Lifestyle is how we overcome fear, for good. Not just manage it, tolerate it, or control it, but truly obliterate it!
It is possible to live a life in which fear does not dominate you. Fear is a thief and a liar. Fear places a cloud over your eyes, so the future is hazy and difficult to navigate. Fear comes to steal your confidence, to take you off course, to lead you to make irrational decisions. Fear compromises your ability to think clearly, and causes missteps that can produce fateful consequences in your life, and the life of your family. There is an answer, a powerful one, and it is LOVE.
The opposite of fear is love. When we choose to place our trust in the God who loves us unconditionally, fear flees. You see my friends, God is Love, He doesn’t just have love to give, or display the attribute of love, HE IS LOVE. Psalms 23 reminds us of this truth. Verse 2 says, “He offers a resting place for me in His luxurious love...” which leads to verse 4: “Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of the deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you (LOVE) already have!” There is no fear in love, so when I feel fear creep up and fill my mind, I know it’s not coming from my God... who is Love.
When the sting of the doctor’s insight had settled, and nap time had commenced, I began searching for answers and created a plan of attack for speech therapy. I didn’t get very far because I was distracted by my own thoughts. Would my twins ever talk right? Would they develop a speech impediment? Would low self-esteem grow, and would they ever be able to get a good job? Did we have the money to pay for speech therapy…? My mind raced. I began to pray, which I admit I should have done at first, and once I did this scripture dropped into my heart: 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of the doors and expels every trace of terror!”
I had my answer, perhaps not for what my next action was for my boys, but my next move was towards Love... and the fear melted away.
As our year continues in Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples, we will take time at each meeting to unpack what this truly means and discover together how to overcome fear every single time. I promise, my friends, that you can live a fearless lifestyle, overflowing with a love so powerful that fear stands no chance. I am looking forward to walking out this journey with you!
Author: Tonya Flowers is the mother of 3 boys: Lucas who’s a 3rd grader, and 3 year old twin boys, Wyatt and Timothy. She is a nurse part time, a minister at her church, and serves FWMOM as our Chaplain.
Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples
P.O. Box 123874
Fort Worth, Texas 76121
Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.