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  • Thu, March 12, 2020 10:21 PM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    I’m ALWAYS looking for a deal.  Whether it’s a discount code, BOGOs, coupons...I love them all!  Ask my hubby, Mark, and he will tell you that I find coupons EVERYWHERE!  Once Mark was test driving cars and came home with a used Cadillac from the dealership. He told me how he wanted it, but they would have to come down to his price or he wouldn’t buy it.  He haggled with the salesmen for days and got them to come close to his number. Before he went back to buy it, I said, “Hey wait, what dealership was it”? He told me, and I said, “I found a $300 off coupon for a used car from that dealership on the coke case the other day.”  He shocked the used car folks when he showed up, after haggling them down, and NOW he had a $300 off coupon!

    Another time, I was eating Frosted Flakes for dinner after coming home from my 3rd shift job at midnight.  I noticed the box said to “look inside to see if you’re a winner.”  I WAS A WINNER!!! I was so excited I tore the box open and then whispered to Mark as I went to bed that I had won a new Nintendo64, which had just come out on the market. He whispered back he didn’t believe me. Next morning, he checked, and woke me up to tell me I was a winner!  We still have that Nintendo and my three kids played it like crazy.

    I never, ever pay full price, and y’all,  my three kids wear name brand clothes! Before kids,  I clipped coupons and had them all organized. But then three kids came, and my organized life was never the same; it became more “organized chaos”!  I did only things I had time for, because I HAD to so as to not file bankruptcy over three kids in diapers and formula. You may not have time either, but hopefully you can find something here to save you a little money.

    Did you know many companies offer parents of multiples lots of freebies, discounts, coupons, and gifts?  You just have to ask. Some places require you to have birth certificates to apply for the free items or discounts and some are available even when you’re still pregnant.  I applied for every offer I could find when my twin girls were born. I received so many free items. I received $5 off coupons from diaper companies, a free Diaper Genie, and so many more things.

    Some businesses offer discounts for multiples, just ask wherever you go if they offer a twin discount.  You’ll be amazed how many places do this. And restaurants have KIDS EAT FREE nights!! We lived on that schedule too.

    https://wallethacks.com/kids-eat-free-restaurants/

    So, let me break it down by ages what I do and did:

    Birth & Toddlers:

    FREEBEES:

    https://www.twin-pregnancy-and-beyond.com/discounts-for-twins.html 

    http://multiplesilluminated.com/list-of-freebies-discounts-and-promos-for-multiples/

    https://www.twiniversity.com/twiniversity-multiple-birth-discounts/

    https://about-twins.com/family/free-stuff-for-twins/

    https://dadsguidetotwins.com/free-stuff-for-twins/

    https://momontheside.com/ultimate-free-stuff-for-twins-guide

    https://www.southernsavers.com/freebies-for-parents-of-multiples/

    https://community.babycenter.com/post/a26318745/free_stuff_for_twins


    Elementary School Age & Up:

    Private schools, sports & activities programs all usually give multiples discounts.  JUST ASK! 

    My kids all went to Private Christian Academy from PreK to 3rd grade. I paid full price for the 1st child, discounted for 2nd and 3rd child. I got even smarter, decided to work there, and not only received the multiple child discount, but 50% off for working there as well!

    My kids all played the same sports, and there was a time where my twin girls played on the same team as my son. The place we lived didn’t have enough girls to fill an all-girls soccer team, so my girls played soccer with the boys until jr. high. And guess what!?  If you guessed multiples discount, you are correct! 1st player -full price, 2nd and 3rd players were discounted.

    I mentioned above that my kids wear designer clothes, but I have never paid designer costs. Clothes are worn out so fast, but you want your kids to look amazing!  How can you afford it?

    Here are ways I did it:

    • Multiple moms’ garage/consignment sales! I always scored big at these events.  North Dallas Mothers of Twins Semi Annual Sale: https://www.facebook.com/NorthDallasMothersOfTwinsSemiAnnualSale/
    • Rhea Lana Fort Worth - check for city listings: https://www.facebook.com/RheaLanasOfWestFortWorth/  
    • Just Between Friends: https://www.jbfsale.com/home.jsp
    • Sign up for store discount clubs and VIP programs.  Once I earned so many points at Famous Footwear and I also had coupons, so I paid only $9 for four pairs of shoes!  You would be surprised how many deals you can stack at different stores.
    • Find a MoM whose kids are older than your children, and ask if you could have or purchase her children’s hand-me-down clothes.
    • Consignment stores!  I sold about half of my used clothes bins to two children and teen consignment stores for $300!  Of course there are many more but these are two I used:

    https://www.facebook.com/KidtoKid/

    https://uptowncheapskate.com/

    Do you want your multiples to match or coordinate?  Do you want to match your kids too? Here are a few sites to shop for special occasion clothing:

    MATCHING OUTFITS:

    https://www.kellyskids.com/

    https://www.trendsintwos.com/

    http://www.justmultiples.com/twinclothing.html

    https://www.stuff4multiples.com/matching-sets-for-twins/

    https://www.bestdressedchild.com/twins-clothes-matching-clothes.html

    I shopped some of these sites and found neat items from t-shirts, to invitations, to outfits for the kids: 

    Twin Stuff & Gifts:

    http://www.twinstuff.com/forums/threads/does-anybody-know-if-target-offers-a-twins-discount.73240/

    https://www.personalizationmall.com/Personalized-Baby-Gifts-for-Twins-Triplets-d1125.dept?storeID=1&&did=2049&wordID=342967520094&pmkid=kwd-133480633-5430969&gclid=Cj0KCQjwrdjnBRDXARIsAEcE5YksJ2lhi3pnxDVXfBw9orrKMpFalLyCrgiDDAd6eCa0Ke6c5fnb4fgaAhfIEALw_wcB

    Happy discounting, couponing, and getting great DEALS!

    Twinscerely plus one,

    Melissa Miller

    Melissa Miller is a mom to children: Mark(21) & identical girls Martha & Melissa(19) and serves FWMOM as our Meals for MOM's Coordinator.

  • Wed, March 04, 2020 4:37 PM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    “If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibilities on their shoulders.” – Abigail Buren


    I don’t get into the habit of offering advice on the subject of raising multiples. For the most part, I feel like we are all just doing whatever we can to survive and just when we think we have a routine established, they throw another wrench into our plan.

    There is one area that helped me along the way that I feel confident enough to pass along. It is the subject of chores…and starting them early.

    I began realizing that my girls were capable of “helping” me around the age of two – and yes, I purposely put quotation marks around the word helping. At this age the days were long and many times felt very much like Groundhog’s Day. The girls would wake up and it was off to the races. I would get the girls dressed, make them breakfast, brush their teeth, make their beds, pick up their toys, lunch, toys, dinner, toys, brush teeth, toys, pjs, toys, and REPEAT day after day after day. It took so much energy to constantly repeat myself and often I found myself threatening them with punishment when they wouldn’t assist me. I needed a new technique. One that felt more positive and motivating for the girls and that was not mentally exhausting for me to follow through with and stay consistent.


    I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out but I decided to make a “chore chart.” I wrote out a list of my daily routine and began thinking of age appropriate tasks in which the girls could participate without making my life more difficult in the process. I chose tasks that they could complete daily and in which they would feel successful. Their chores began very simply with putting their dishes and sippy cups in the sink after meals, placing their clothes in the hamper in the morning and in the evening, picking up toys two times per day, and brushing their teeth (they started and we finished.) Once the chores were established it was time to put my chart together. There were many choices of charts for purchase, but in order to save a buck, I decided to make my own. My chart was a cookie sheet from Walmart with a piece of colorful tape to divide it into two columns. I labeled the sides “To Do” and “Done.” For each chore I printed off pictures that represented the task (ie. a picture of a shirt and shorts for putting clothes in the hamper, a picture of a plate and fork for putting dishes in the sink, etc.) I glued these onto something more rigid like a square cut out of a cereal box or a piece of cardboard to make it sturdy. On the back of the square I glued a strip of magnetic tape and the chart was complete.

    When I introduced the chart to the girls they could hardly wait to start “moving their magnets” which for me translated to completing chores, learning responsibility, doing their part for the family, and of course taking something off my plate. Instead of getting frustrated and talking negatively, I could say “I guess you do not get to move your magnet today.” Suddenly their reluctance to pick up toys was replaced with their desire to move the magnet. With the chart there was no reason to reward their good behavior with sweets or gifts. They got the reinforcement they wanted through their own accomplishments.


    The chore charts can be modified as your children grow and develop. Tasks can be added and removed and words can replace the pictures as the children begin learning to read.

    Mothers of multiples face specific challenges in balancing life with at least two children who are often reaching milestones and accomplishing developmental goals at the same time. This is a blessing, no doubt, but also brings along with it 2 times, 3 times, sometimes even 4 times the amount of work to keep it all together for some semblance of order. It’s always helpful to have an extra tool in your mom tool belt. Maybe this chore chart idea will make it in yours.


    Janae Huffman is a mom to twin girls Audrey and Eleanor (age 5) who started kindergarten this year. She is the VP of Events for FWMoM and is a practicing occupational therapist.

  • Wed, February 26, 2020 6:34 AM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    A year or so ago at library story time, I informed a mom that her shirt was on inside out and then I kept an eye on her child while she ran to the restroom to rectify her wardrobe malfunction. Upon her swift return, she expressed her thanks and uttered a phrase I’ve heard countless times since becoming a mom, “It takes a village, huh?”

    We’ve all heard this phrase, right? The saying used to hold very little meaning for me as a self- reliant stay-at-home-mom to one. I didn’t need a village. My oldest and I filled our days with mommy and me music class, library story time, zoo play dates, and lazy days at home. And then, the news that would change our lives forever: “Three sacs, three babies, three heartbeats.” Triplets. The question I began to hear the most was, “Do you have help?!” Because we live so close to much of our family, we do have plenty of help, luckily for us. With four children under 2 and a half, the idea of not depending on others went completely out the window. And by God’s good grace, my village began to form.


    I joined Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples when I was still pregnant with my triplets, who are now 3. For a while after they were born, I wasn’t able to attend meetings or events for months just because of the logistics of having a toddler and three newborns to leave behind. Once my babes were a bit easier for my husband to put down for bed by himself, I was able to re-enter the land of the living and start joining in on meetings and events. Meanwhile, the very active FWMoM Facebook page kept me in the loop and connected to my fellow moms of multiples.

    On the page, questions are asked, encouragement is given, solutions are brainstormed, and support is offered freely. What an amazing age to live in; I may have never met you but you can reach out to me and give some of the best advice! Since I’ve been part of the community now for three and a half years, I have been on both the receiving and the dispensing end of guidance and I’ve seen moms go from bravely reaching out for help in their post-partum anxiety to reaching out from the other side to offer reassurance that it does, in fact, get better.

    A very practical way that moms can be of assistance to other moms is sharing belongings between families, very evident in our extremely popular members-only buy/sell/trade page. Daily you can find matching twin clothing sets being posted for purchase at a fraction of the original cost, free formula and diapers being offered up, and toys being passed along from older kids to younger kids. There is one infant swing currently being passed around from mom to mom free of cost; it’s on its way to the fourth FWMoM family! These hand-me-downs are especially important when a family is trying to provide quality items for multiple kids of the same age.


    For me, the place where my village truly began to build and relationships continue to solidify is in-person connections. At meetings and social events, it’s so nice to be able to leave our family worries behind at home and walk into a space full of other moms who “get it,” where I can count on my heart being filled by true conversations with other adults (at times, a rarity!) and I can be a PERSON for a while; a WOMAN, not singularly a MOM. Additionally, at family events and play dates, I always know my fellow MoMs have my back. They keep an eye on my kids and I do the same for them. Having been a part of other mom groups, I can say with authority that moms of multiples do this better than any other moms! The thought of taking my four young kids to the children’s museum or a trampoline park by myself induces anxiety but if my FWMoM friends will be there, I have no stress because I know they will watch out for my kids and help me in any way I may need.

    Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples members have possibly only one commonality drawing us together. We come from different backgrounds, up-bringing, belief systems, political parties, etc. But the one thing that draws us together is the unique experience of raising children of multiple births. Once we’re drawn together, we begin building the relationships that create a “tribe.” Our battles can be fought together, and our victories can be celebrated together, as they should be! Even better, our kids are part of our tribe, too. When my kids ride with me to deliver meals to new moms and we talk about how others did the same for us when our babies were little, they see me serving other moms and they see what it’s like to belong to something bigger and greater than themselves. Our children need to learn how to be part of a community, to give back, serve others, and share love. As moms, we can look for opportunities to be the village to other moms. And in doing so, we teach our children this way of living, too.


    Emily Dennis is mom to 5 year old Caroline and 3 year old triplets, Jameson, Shepherd, and Audrey. She serves FWMoM as the social coordinator.

  • Wed, February 19, 2020 12:07 PM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    I would like to say I have it figured out, this fearless lifestyle stuff. You know, walking in confidence in who I am, never giving in to worry, but I don’t. I’ll be winning in one area of my life, just to look over and see the telltale signs of fear AGAIN. It is so frustrating at times, knowing the right moves to make, things to say, yet what comes out of me does not always reflect my desired outcome. Am I alone in this? I don’t believe so. I see it in the eyes of my mom friends, in the voice of my spouse, in the whine of my kids: symptoms of fear. Fear is common for all, yet there is hope; hope that we can rise above any storm with true peace, any challenge with a calm and focused plan, that we can walk through the fire and not smell of smoke. It’s not just possible, it’s attainable every movement of every day... and I want it! If you do too, then go with me on this road.

    Overcoming fear is a journey worth walking out.

    We have talked a lot about what fear looks like, how sneaky it is, how it devilishly tries to steal from us, and at times, succeeds. We have discussed some key tools to overcoming fear/worry/anxiety (whatever name you give it), which are all fantastic...when they’re actually implemented. That’s the kicker and what I want to focus on today. Action. The corresponding action to what we know will help us in our pursuit of a fearless lifestyle. We overcome fear with simple steps... it’s in daily walking those steps out where the difference is made. Consistency is the key to overcoming fear and fearful thoughts. How do we build momentum in our journey to overcome fear? One step, one moment at a time!

    Let’s take just 3 steps towards living fearlessly daily.

    1. Start your day off with the right words. You always believe what you say more than anyone else. The words you say carry the most weight. As you make decisions and walk through your day, the words coming out of your mouth have such enormous power! Thoughts become words, and words become the driving force of our actions. Want to change the way you react to fear? Do whatever it takes to get the right words; life affirming, peace filled, powerful words coming out of your mouth first thing in the morning! A few tricks I use to get my mind on track: writing notes on the bathroom mirror, setting my alarm to a song that reminds me to speak over fear, setting my phone screen to a picture or quote that sparks my heart towards peace. When I start my day off like this, with a mindset that I can overcome fear and worry right off the bat, no matter what happens that day I have a much better chance of stopping fear in its tracks. Here is my go-to verse right now:

    “Fill your thoughts with my words until they penetrate deep into your spirit. Then, as you unwrap my words (in speaking) they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being. So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are.” Proverbs 4:21-23 TPT

    2. Don’t take it! You have the power to beat fear. Just because a fearful thought comes into your mind does not mean you have to leave it there. There have been times for me when fear comes for no apparent reason. Like one time driving home, I had the thought, “what if I get home and my kids and nanny have been slaughtered, how am I going to handle that?” What in the world?!? Where did that thought come from?! Not from me! Out of nowhere this harassing thought comes and I have to choose what to do with it. This is my go-to: “For God has not given me a Spirit of fear, but of Power...” When an irrational fear thought hits me, I say this out loud (even if I look foolish) and immediately fear has to leave. Power lies in what you say in that moment to stop those terrible thoughts.

    There are other times when the fear is much more rational, like the evening one of my twins fell backwards off the bed and hit his head hard on the floor. He had symptoms immediately that were not reassuring. This nurse mamma had a moment... Real life reasonable situation for fear. The truth is even in those moments when fear is a logical response, YOU STILL DON’T HAVE TO TAKE IT! There is no amount of worry and fear that will help in those situations. I choose to believe and listen carefully to God about what I should do. I refused to take the fear, and so can you. To get to a confident place in those moments takes disciplining your thoughts and words, but don’t be overwhelmed by that. Examine one thought at a time and take one powerful step.


    3. Stop. Collaborate (with wisdom) and listen. No this is not just a 90s throwback, but a funny line from my childhood that reminds me of a powerful tool to overcome fear; Wisdom. Sometimes the best thing to do is to shelf that fear and get some wisdom on the situation. For me what that looks like is in those times of so-called reasonable fear, I put it aside until I can get some understanding. My go-to verse in full: “For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of Power and Love and a Sound Mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV. A sound mind is a mind that collaborates with wisdom.

    Back to my child’s backwards head dive off the bed... I was immediately so afraid, but I set that fear aside and reached for my resources. My first was prayer, the second was a call to our pediatrician. I held my son, had my husband remove distractions (the other clamoring children), and called the afterhours nurse. I know adult medicine, not kiddos. I had to get an expert to help me. I put that nurse on speaker phone and kept her there until I was satisfied. Thankfully he was ok, no need for a late-night trip to the ER or worse, we watched him closely all night. It is okay to reach out for wisdom when you don’t know what to do. This brings peace. Find trusted sources, listen with objective ears, and do not jump to conclusions.

    I would caution trusting everyone's “experiences” as tried and true wisdom. If they are operating in fear, then you will be misled. So that awesome song comes to mind when I don’t have the information needed to make a fearless decision... ICE ICE BABY... the “baby” being wisdom! Momma, listen to me! You have been given a sound mind, and when fear thoughts or scary situations arise, remember to stop and collaborate with your sound mind and Godly wisdom!

    The journey towards a fearless lifestyle may seem so far away right now. I get it. Thoughts bombard daily life for all of us. Each step, each choice, each worry defeated is one step closer. The hope we hold onto is that although we walk in a world full of fear (rational or otherwise) we have the power, love and sound mind to rise above it. Let me leave you with these famous words from Psalms 23:

    “Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of the deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear.” Psalms 23: 4 TPT


    Tonya Flowers is mom to three boys, Lucas 9 and 4 year old twins Wyatt and Timothy. She is a nurse and serves FWMOM as our Chaplain. 

  • Wed, February 12, 2020 10:12 PM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    Hi y'all- here we are at the beginning of 2020. My name is Wendy Lee, and I love the month of February! It is a special time to celebrate the people and things we love most in life. I married my love, my Colorado mountain man, almost twelve years ago and together we are raising four precious children. It is hard to believe that our twins, Aspen and Jax, are now almost five years old.


    After spending the last twenty plus years working in the field of philanthropy, I clearly love what I do professionally, too! I gain immense joy by connecting people with the capacity to give, whether it be through their time, talent, or treasure, with non-profit missions that speak to their heart. When Beth asked me to shadow her this year to learn more about Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples’ sponsorship opportunities and fundraising practices, I jumped at the chance. This is a blessed club with over twenty corporate sponsors who love and believe in the mission of Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples - sponsors who step up to support mothers and enhance understanding for the unique experience of raising multiples. Our treasured sponsors gain exposure and publicity while simultaneously lending a loving, helping hand in the greater Fort Worth community! 

    I am excited today to shine a spotlight on one of our Silver sponsors, iLoveKickboxing.com. With a personal goal to get healthier this year, I love their first time starter pack option that includes three kickboxing classes and FREE boxing gloves. iLoveKickboxing.com is a loving place of community among positive, supportive men and women who fight to make their bodies and their lives better. It is a place for accountability, goal setting, and home for new motivation to become a better you.

    Sefnee, mom of three littles shares, "iLoveKickboxing.com Camp Bowie is an incredible place. You are greeted by name every time you walk in the door. The trainers are fun, motivating, and push me to be my best possible self. I have noticed results by incorporating these classes in my weekly workout routine. I'm addicted, and an added bonus is that I have a new family who make me feel included and loved." As a bonus, franchise owner Katherine Smith is a member of our own FWMoM family.

    A special thank you to the team at iLoveKickboxing.com Camp Bowie, and a shout-out to every FWMoM club sponsor for partnering with us, supporting our growth, and for your commitment to our mission. We are so thankful for your gift and for your interest in our work. We are grateful that you proudly "show FWMoM love" as we move deeper into 2020. 

    "The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart." ~ Helen Keller

    With love,

    Wendy

    For more information about this great sponsor, and all our sponsors, check out all our great sponsors listed on our Main Page for all the details. 

  • Wed, February 05, 2020 5:12 PM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    Oh, mama. I see you and feel your obstacles/dreams/goals if you are trying to actualize your dream of “working from home”. Everyone seems to say they would love to work from home and I always hear from corporate friends (I used to work a corporate 9-5 myself) that it would be magical to be able to work from home. There are more pros than cons, in my opinion. I love that I have NO commute on most given days. I of course travel around the DFW Metroplex on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for client meetings, not to mention my weddings which mostly take place on Saturdays. I get out of my home office plenty and interact with my sweet brides constantly, so I have not run across the “getting lonely” and not having any “social time” that some say is a reality when working from home.

    I remember the first few times I worked from home… I pretended that I was not at home. I had a candle lit on my desk (which was never allowed at my corporate job for good reasons). I never allowed myself to have the TV on or work from the couch. I still to this day can barely have my Christian music playing on my Alexa when I am really trying to focus or work on timeline edits etc. I love having a home office. I love that I have French doors now in my newest office setup and that I have a huge window with all the natural sunlight beaming in! When I worked in corporate America I worked in a windowless office…I do not envy those who do that and consider myself so very fortunate that I can make a phone call in peace and not have background noise I constantly have to apologize for or hold my hand over my other ear to hear my client.

    Don’t get me wrong… it is hard sometimes to eat, sleep, work, clean, tend to barking dogs, packages being dropped at the front door all while your dogs think your house is being burglarized and causing a ruckus. (Why does UPS ring the doorbell every time?!) HA! But, I have tips that can help a lot!

    Here are my recommendations from my personal experience for setting yourself up for success if you are thinking about or currently working from home! You got this, mama!!

    1.) Have an office area you love, even if you don’t have a separate room (I literally started my office two homes ago in my living room with a desk from World Market and an old filing cabinet my husband never used. Never the couch! If you have a guest room, that is a great starting point! You don’t have guests a lot, so this is a great way to feel like you have your own office until you move up, which eventually you will! I found that I needed an office space that I enjoyed working in, one that made my creative juices flow. Spend a little time and thought on how you want to decorate it so it feels like an environment you want to kick butt in and check off that long to-do list.

    2.) Treat your job like a “real” job with defined hours: I have to close the doors to my office when I am done for the day… if not I will l00% find myself sitting at my desk on my MacBook.

    3.) Put on real clothes, not PJ’s (yes yoga pants count!)

    4.) Have designated days off: I do not work on Tuesdays and Sundays. Period. End of story. If my family time doesn’t get attention, care, and have boundaries, I will crumble as a business and not be able to be what I need to be for my beautiful brides. I have not always had these boundaries so this is how I can tell you first hand that it is vital for me to treat my business like a business at the end of the day. I also do not take meetings out of the office on Thursday. I cannot drive around all of creation every day or I find myself not getting as much done as I need to behind the screen or in my inbox.

    5. Do not allow yourself to clean while working and never sit on the couch or in bed to work (unless you're sick and then its free game.) It is called “working from home,” not cleaning your house while you think about getting work done. I have a routine to ensure I have a clean office. I have to vacuum each night and make sure I dust once a week. I make sure to clean my computer screen of fingerprints and make sure I don’t have day-old coffee sitting on my desk. I love my space and find myself not able to focus when I have papers everywhere.

    I hope these tips help, mama! I truly love working from home and know you can too if you want to begin the journey or transition if this is optional for you and the season of life you are in.


    Author: Jessica Scott has 3-year-old twins, Adalia Reese and Emerson Scott. She works full time from her home office when she is not out meeting with brides and sipping on her 3rd bullet coffee of the day! She launched J. Scott Events  two in a half years ago and has loved getting to design and plan weddings for every type of couple! She is truly passionate about what she does. 

  • Wed, January 29, 2020 5:40 PM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    I moved to Fort Worth in 2017. My girls were 1.5 and I was desperate to make connections with moms in the Fort Worth area so I joined a local moms group as well as FWMoM as soon as we got settled. I tried to make friends and connections at the other group but all of my efforts fell flat. During that lonely time, I saw a Facebook post in the Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples private Facebook group mentioning the Texas Mothers of Multiples Convention in Granbury.


    The TMOM Convention is where all of the different Mothers of Multiples groups in Texas get together to exchange ideas, enjoy a getaway, and learn different aspects of the unique experience of raising multiples. At this point I had been a member for about 8 months, but I hadn’t made much of an effort to get involved. I had been to a few events and made some acquaintances so when I recognized a couple of names of MoMs who were attending, I decided I would jump in the deep end and sign up. The convention was a 4-day event, Thursday-Sunday. It was only an hour away so I planned my escape strategically. I decided I would drive separately with the idea that I could run home if I ended up as an outcast.


    My drive to Granbury mostly involved me fighting my urge to just turn back around and go home. I was so terrified that I would not fit in. I felt so vulnerable and like a new kid starting her first day at a new school. When I arrived at the hotel, I immediately was greeted by members of Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples. I was assigned to room with our president, Alex. We instantly bonded over our love for makeup and sarcasm. The weekend was full of activities and classes about raising multiples along with other extra activities we could sign up for including a Ghost Tour of downtown Granbury. I met MoMs from all over Texas. It was so powerful to have so many women together of all different ages and stages of motherhood with the one commonality of raising multiples.


    The weekend was more than I could have ever imagined. I found my people. These women “got it”! Alex and I spent our evenings planning and discussing Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples and ideas we had for the future. My passion for the organization was IGNITED! As soon as I got home I signed up for the 2018-2019 Executive Board as the VP of Membership.


    The next convention was a 5-day cruise to Cozumel. The format was a little bit different. Our meetings included laying out by the pool with a cocktail in hand and we enjoyed our busy time doing nothing. We were able to connect with one another on a more relational level as well as members from other clubs. We still had business to attend to, but those meetings usually involved an all you can eat buffet!


    I will look forward to the TMOM convention every year! If you are interested in joining us for the 2020 TMOM Convention, register at: https://www.fwmom.org/event-3608451

    Jump in with both feet. Every member of Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples is invited to attend!

    Jenna Bingener is a twin mom to 4 year old girls, Annabelle and Maggie. She is a flight attendant and training instructor. She also serves on the board as the VP of Membership for FWMoM.

  • Wed, January 22, 2020 5:00 PM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    We have been on this journey together of finding out what a fearless lifestyle is, and how we as MOMs can live it. Life throws us curve balls, and we need to know how to respond with confidence and not in fear. This is not pie in the sky optimism, it’s real life, how to walk out the struggles and get to the other side completely. Here is a list (although not extensive) of 10 tips and tools to use to stay on this side of peace and knock those fear curve balls out of the park!

    1. Know the source of fear is not in you. Fear is your enemy. This is paramount in changing the way you see the world. Anxiety, worry, phobia, whatever label you give it, when it becomes part of your identity it's much more difficult to let go.
    2. Combat fear with the only weapon that works: Love. Let love override your fear. Love is the most powerful force in the earth, love casts out fear. They literally cannot exist together in the same place. When fear comes, be intentional and focus on what you love, who you love, and where you’re placing your love. 
    3. Fear is designed to cloud your judgement. Don’t let it steal your sound mind. You are smart! Fear makes you foolish and irrational. Trade that fear for knowledge and wisdom. In your mind stop that thought train of fear and look at the situation with reason and logic.
    4. Wisdom is not the same as fear. Make decisions based on wisdom and not fear. Parenting is hard, and when presented with undesirable options it's easy to slip into fear. Before you make any decision for your family, take time to evaluate what’s driving it. If fear is driving your decision, it’s not likely to take you where you want to go.
    5. Put the right words in your mouth. Fear feeds on fear words. Faith feeds on faith words. Whatever you feed, will grow. Feed anxiety with thinking about the fear and it will only grow bigger. Our words are powerful and shape our life and the lives of the little people around us. This must be an intentional choice we learn to make. Duct tape helps.
    6. Stop believing that you have to live afraid. Fear is not your prison sentence. Stop it momma, do not let anxiety become your identity. The opportunity to fear is always there, and it is designed to capture your mind and never let go. If you’re caught, there is freedom for you.
    7. Seek PEACE: the power to destroy the authority that brings fear. Another power tool, surround yourself with peace, look for it, earnestly find the silver lining, never stop your pursuit of peace. This can mean listening to the right voices, standing up in the face of fear, taking a deep breath and looking it straight in the eye and telling fear to go. 
    8. Peace is a place. When you feel afraid, take steps back towards that place of peace. Everyone can find ourselves already far down the worry road before we know it. Life is all about one step at a time back in the right direction.
    9. Find a trusted and fearless friend; encouraging words can settle you heart and mind. Girl... reach out. Another’s perspective can be just the truth we need to move beyond fear into confidence. You are surrounded by women and moms who face the same things as you, who lived to tell about it, and that can be empowering. 
    10. Pray. That is where your power is to live a fearless lifestyle. We have access to the source. When life is overwhelming, turn to the One who knows the end from the beginning. In Him is an overflow of peace and love and wisdom, an endless supply!

    Live fearlessly my friends!


    Tonya Flowers is mom to 3 sons: 4 year old twins, and a 9 year. She is a nurse, and serves FWMOM as our chaplain. 

  • Wed, January 15, 2020 3:23 PM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    The mere thought of it sounds awful, right? A floating hotel, surrounded by leagues of water, with pitfalls of danger around every corner… Well, don’t be quick to rule out a cruise vacation! It actually provides a consistent environment, well suited to schedules. And if you have young twins, this may be the break you were hoping for. Now seriously, this is not a break for you, because no vacation is a break for mama; not unless the nanny is coming!

    Here are some things you need to know about cruising with multiples:

    1. Reservations: decide beforehand if your kids are sleeping with you, you want to get a cabin with two rooms, or if you want to get two cabins that connect. Call to make reservations; I had a ton of questions the cruise representative could answer on the spot. You can reserve pack and plays on the ship for your littles to sleep in if they still sleep in cribs. Sheets and blankets are not provided. And note: they are very small.
    2. Arrival: The number of things required to maintain our littles overwhelmed us as we tried to pack “lightly.” Here are a couple of things to remember as you pack.

    a. The DOCK: Porters were available to put our baggage on the ship. You WILL want to use this. Get rid of all the luggage you can. Your hands are full. There’s nothing like chasing down toddlers in customs with luggage hanging off you like ornaments on a Christmas tree!

    b. BOARDING: This process can take a bit of time, so make sure you have a diaper bag full of food, toys, diapers, and a change of clothes. Once you board, you will not have immediate access to your room. Note: if you choose to go to the buffet, find a table first. It’s like claiming a chair at the pool. They go fast. Trust me: claim it ASAP. We didn’t, and it was a disaster.

    c. MUSTER: This is the emergency evacuation plan and attendance is required for all passengers. By this time, our littles were up early that day and missed their nap. Now, the entire ship has packed all the passengers on the outer decks pretty tightly. Containment is key here. Find a way to keep them comforted and CONTAINED. My littles were exhausted and both wanted me to hold them. Not being strong enough, I opted to use the TwinGo carrier.

    3. Ship Life... 

    Storage Hacks:

    Hack #1: Move the coffee table into the closet. It sounds crazy, but you’ve brought more luggage than you can comfortably access and putting the table into the closet serves two purposes:

    · Luggage rack: you have access to its contents without having to unpack or destroy the order of its contents.

    · It frees up play space in the room for your twinadoes.

    Hack #2: Take a hanging shoe organizer for inside the bathroom door. Great for easy access to items you need often. My twins could reach into the bottom compartments, so I cut it off and hung it in the closet with command hooks. This is where I put all our medicines and syringes.


    Hack #3: Move the beds to face the wall: If you opt for two bedrooms with an adjoining door, move the beds to face the wall in the kids’ room. We brought rope (and well, why wouldn’t you bring rope on a cruise…? ) and JINSHUNFA Wall Hooks to secure the beds. We brought them, but didn’t tie our beds.


    Eating: There are two places to eat for free: dining hall and buffet. You will quickly find what works for your family. If you eat at the dining hall, choose a “no reservation” dinner time so you can eat at any time. I preferred the dining hall where I didn’t have to fight a crowd for food and make several trips for everyone. Instead, we sat down and people brought us food. It was everything. Having a new dollar store treat for the kids while they wait for dinner at the table was helpful.

    Place-mats: we have used disposable place-mats and silicone place-mats. Both are a bit inconvenient; one has tabs to peel away and the other you must clean to reuse. The staff work hard to keep things sanitary, but there are 5,000+ passengers every 3-7 days passing through these ships.

    Kids Club: make sure you know what age the kid’s club starts on the ship. You will pay for childcare for babies, but kid’s club is free.

    Miscellaneous must know

    a. Dirty Diapers:

    · Balcony rooms: set the trash outside

    · Cabin rooms: take freezer baggies and seal them.

    b. Clothes: take clothes appropriate for all seasons. Nights at sea can be quite cool, even in summer. Having a light jacket can be especially useful. Baggie the kids’ clothes: put a day’s worth of clothes in a baggie so when you need a set for the day, all the contents are in one easy grab-bag. Make sure air can escape from the baggie for optimum packing.

    c. Snacks: single serving things are best, especially proteins.

    d. Insulated Thermos: We chose Foogo. Note: when the cap is not secure, it is not leak-proof. Very useful.

    e. Strollers: we took our umbrella double stroller, which was sufficient. Two single umbrella strollers would have been more maneuverable, but since our twins can walk, we didn’t use the stroller on the ship; we only used it off the boat. It was ESPECIALLY helpful boarding the ship: the kids walked or sat on the luggage we put in the stroller.

    f. Umbrellas: hand umbrellas provide instant shade no matter where you are or how you are transporting your twins. We took two so we could both hold a child.

    We had a navy blue one and a red one. However, something happens under the hot Cozumel sun that made us burn under that red umbrella. Take my word for it, two dark colored umbrellas.


    Just remember to keep in mind, as the old adage says, “A family vacation isn’t a vacation for mama; that’s called a girls’ trip.” And that, my friend, is truth!


    Catrina Marshall is a nurse who has worked all over the world. She is the mom to twins Cydney and Cooper, and serves FWMOM as our Treasurer. 

  • Wed, January 08, 2020 9:52 AM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    “I don't like it.”  Are those four words a familiar phrase at your dinner table? If you find your child’s nutrition a sore topic in your home, don't worry, mama. You are not alone. I know we worry and feel pressure about what our child eats or doesn't eat every day. Picky eating is yet another phase in their ever-changing toddler world and what I can promise you is: this, too, shall pass.

    Every mom is always so excited when their baby finally gets to start enjoying solid food and life becomes so much easier for a while. Then, boom! Your sweet baby has turned into a toddler. They start to try and exercise control in different aspects of their little world and yes, food is a big part of that.

    Picky eating is often the norm for toddlers starting as early as year one. Dozens of studies have found that a child’s eating patterns that were found to be “picky” were linked to and affected by everything from parental control at mealtime, a child’s personality traits, social influences, and even their mother’s eating habits. 

    Any mother who has ever had a toddler knows the control struggle you face every day, which is the main driving force behind picky eating. As toddlers learn control this extends to their food: how much and what they are willing to eat. The struggle may start with broccoli but 9 times out of 10 it’s not even about the broccoli or cauliflower; it's mostly about being able to control their food choices. A refusal to try a new food is their way of expressing fear over experiencing new textures or flavors for the first time. 


    Back to those four words: “I don’t like it.” Since toddlers are learning to verbally express themselves, words hold power. They may use this phrase to express anything from they’re not hungry, they want something else, or they’re just straight up cranky. “I don't like it” just turns into a blanketed response for children to use to get out of eating food.

    This, in turn, is where your frustration and power struggle begins. 

    Does this sound familiar, “Just a couple more bites and you can have a treat.” Even escalating to “You're not leaving this table until you have finished your food!” Power struggles and bribes teach your child the wrong values of food. You are teaching your child that the treat is more valuable and desired than the healthier item you are trying to get them to eat. You are not teaching them to value or prefer the healthier item. Do not turn mealtime in a power struggle; this will only make trying new foods a negative experience. Now, I know we all have “I'm the adult and you're the child” moments and they can be difficult. However, overreacting and trying to force your child to eat your specific dietary expectations to discourage picky eating tends to backfire. 

    You being anxious at mealtime doesn’t help. I know, easier said than done when you just want them to eat. Instead, lead by example and be positive when offering food and show your child how much you like a food when you are asking them to eat it.

    Also, share the meal responsibility with your child. As a parent you can control what food to serve and also when and where meals and snacks are eaten. Your child then controls how much they eat and even whether they eat. This sharing of responsibility and control will defuse the power struggle with food. Accept it, mama. 

    Take a deep breath. I know this is a lot but I do have some tips to help curb this unbearable stage:

    • Offer choices. Give your child food options that you want them to eat. If you don’t want your child to choose chicken nuggets and mac n cheese every day, then don't even make it an option. As you know, making choices is important for your toddler, especially with food. You want them to learn to make good decisions even when you aren't around. 
    • Do NOT make separate a meal for your child. You are not a restaurant! If you do this you are just feeding into their picky eating habits and creating a cycle where your child eats every meal on demand. Your child will not starve, I promise. (If you do feel guilty they didn't eat then give them the most boring alternatives such as plain yogurt, cottage cheese or plain Cheerios.)
    • Be realistic with your expectations when introducing new foods. It can take up to 10 times of being exposed to a new food before it goes in the “like” category for your child. Now this doesn't mean they have to eat it 10 times. Examples of exposure include looking at the food, listening to you describe it while eating it, letting them touch it or even just sampling it. Do NOT pressure your child into eating it or it will go straight to the “doesn’t like” category. 
    • Involve your child in preparing the meal. They can help pick new foods at the store, help prep/cook the food and even help set the table. It helps them feel in control and will help encourage them to eat what they have helped create. 
    • Do not include behavioral issues in picky eating. Them throwing a tantrum and having a meltdown has nothing to do with the food. Try and identify what has caused such behavior. If you lump it all together you are going to make trying new foods a negative experience rather than a good one. 
    • Do not ban treats and sweets all together. Teach your child your expectations of how to eat them sparingly. They don't understand these expectations automatically and like everything else, it is your job to teach your child. Set an expectation, such as only one treat per day. It is then up to the child when they get to eat their treat, whether it is with lunch or dinner. Some kids will choose the instant gratification of eating it now but some will surprise you and choose later. In the end, make sure to hold to your expectations and do not make dessert a reward. 
    • Offer the same foods to the whole family. Remember to lead by example. Let them see you eating healthy foods.
    • Minimize distractions at the dinner table. Remove the technology: television and all electronic gadgets and yes, this even includes you, mama. Put the cell phone down. Help your child focus on the food and family time. 
    • Make mealtimes a relaxed, enjoyable, and positive experience. Stop trying to control your child so much and show them how mealtime is a great shared family experience. Enjoy each other while eating meals together. 

    The above are all realistic and simple things you can do daily to help with your sanity during this stage. Guess what, mama? I even have some tips on how to introduce new foods to your picky eater. It is not impossible, I promise you. 

    When introducing a new food offer only one at a time and with something you know your child already likes. Offer small portions at first. Remember to set realistic expectations. Let them taste it and be patient. As I have said before, be a good role model. Try new foods yourself. Try and offer the new food first, when your child is the hungriest, at the beginning of the meal. Most importantly, remember new foods take time. Be patient and offer the food many times. It may take many tries for your child to like a new food. 

    It is so very important for your child to develop a healthy relationship with food at this young age. Respect your child’s appetite (or lack thereof) as they learn what full is to them. Bribing and forcing them to clean their plate can only reinforce the power struggle with food. They need to learn their own hunger and fullness cues. This cannot be stressed enough. 

    It is my wish that I have helped to ease some of your picky eater anxiety, mama. Just remember that your child’s eating habits will most likely not change overnight but even small steps and progress can lead to a lifetime of healthy eating and that all-important good relationship with food. 

    **As always, if you are ever concerned that picky eating is affecting your child’s development or growth, please contact your child’s pediatrician.**


    Jennifer Beckom is a twin mom to four year olds, Clara and Elizabeth. She is a wife, chef and child nutritionist. She has served as Secretary and Co Programs VP for FWMOM.

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.


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