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  • 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.

  • Wed, January 01, 2020 2:24 PM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    Part of the current culture of parenting is providing the BEST for our children. We feed them the best, whether breast-milk or organic international formula then organic vegetables and antibiotic-free, free range, grass fed meats and poultry. We live in the best neighborhoods, with the best schools or we send them to the best private schools. We find the best activities from the best gymnastics, best piano teacher, best sports leagues and then when that’s not good enough, the best traveling select teams. But is giving our kids the “best" of everything, really what is best for them?

    I grew up living under the poverty line so extras weren’t really in the budget. I think that plus my innate perfectionism and competitive nature is what led me to get caught up in that culture when raising my twins, now 15 years old. I spent hours, days, weeks, and months researching everything I put my kids into from preschool, Little Gym, Musikgarten, sports league,s and kindergarten. I was so afraid that if I didn’t give them the best of everything, that I was a failure as their mom and that they might miss out on an opportunity later in life. I’m here to tell you today that I was wrong, so very wrong.

    I am currently part of a research team looking to innovate youth ministry. Part of that process has been interviewing teens, tweens, and people who work with that population. The kids we interviewed fell in the demographics of our church, which is mostly middle to upper middle class living in good neighborhoods with great schools, both public and private – probably very much like the general demographics of this group as well. We asked them about their life, what’s important to them, and how they feel about their future in addition to questions on community, friendships, and spirituality.

    What we learned is the success-oriented and “only the best” mindset held by adults has created a feeling of fear and scarcity for our young people defined by hopelessness, and a skewed perspective that any step off of the pre-prescribed path will result in irredeemable failure. This perspective does not allow for freedom or creativity and is antithetical to our beliefs as Christians about where our identity and value lies.  So many of the teenagers told us that their parents insisted on only the BEST for them, and they internalized to mean they owed it to their parents to be the best at everything as well. They believe that being the best is all that matters to themselves, their parents, and their teachers. This has put so much pressure on them that they feel they have no freedom to experiment with new things, to learn from mistakes, or just do what they love. Between this and believing the bad news story the media has hyped of scarcity in college admissions and job placements after college, which are just not true, they can’t see the real good news story of all of the opportunities that await them even if they arnever the best at anything other than being their authentic selves. This leads to feelings of hopelessness and anxiety. This is by no means what their parents meant to impart by giving them the best. This is the worst outcome parents could have predicted.

    What can you do to save your children from this hopelessness and anxiety? Stop worrying so much about the BEST. There is no such thing. It’s a myth, and a marketing campaign, and way to steal the joy from families. Choose the things that give your family joy, build community, and don’t have you driving all over the metroplex. When you are looking for activities for your kids, choose ones that are conveniently located and that have them participating with kids in your own community. This will help them to make friends with whom they can build true connection and can conveniently have play-dates, and you and your spouse will also make new friends in your own community. Humans are designed to be in community with one another, and healthy, convenient community connections are integral to healthy development.

    Look at the preschools near your neighborhood. You don’t need to drive them across town to the preschool you’ve heard is the BEST. Choose a school that is convenient for times and location that has kind and gentle teachers and lots of little kids who look like they love being there. It should focus on learning through play and developmental readiness, not academic success. No kid needs to know how to read or write all their letters and numbers going into kindergarten – that’s what kindergarten and first grade are for. These are developmental skills that your kid can only learn when their brain and fine motor skills develop for them and there is a wide range of ages when this happens naturally. It’s the same as crawling and walking. You can’t teach those things until their body is ready. Forcing it won’t help them learn and can hinder that development. Even if you are planning on sending your kids to private school, you don’t need to have your kid in any special preschool – no matter what the other moms may tell you. Just listen to your Aunt Linda.

    Join the recreational league in your own community for baseball, soccer, basketball, etc. You do not need to drive to ULL or Westside because they are “The” little leagues to play in if you want your kid to have a shot of going to the Little League World Series. You don’t need to drive across town to enroll your kids in the Margo Dean School of Dance or Texas Ballet Theater. There are wonderful dance studios all over the area where your children can dance with kids that they will later know in school.

    Maybe eventually you will find you have a kid who is obsessed with a sport or an art and you will want to give them an opportunity for further growth in a higher level program, but don’t feel the pressure to do that until your precious one begs for it. Don’t even listen to the coaches and teachers who are convinced all their best students need to be in a professional company or select team. You will want them to play their sports and do their activities through their school if possible. Don’t be the parent who has their kid in select sports because their school team isn’t good enough. The social skills and sense of belonging that kids gain from playing on their school’s team are invaluable.

    Protect your kids’ mental health and well-being by staying out of the Rat Race. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good. Give yourself permission to enjoy your children and their childhood without always planning for their future. Live in the moment. What you are doing with and for your kids today needs to be what’s right for your family today, and not what you are afraid you need to do for their future. Give them the time and space to explore, make mistakes, and to rest. Focus your efforts on your kids’ well-being, social development, and family time. Let yourself off the hook for having to provide the best, because they already have the best – a family that loves them unconditionally.

    Linda Kennedy is a former teacher who is passionate about children and learning with a special love for kids in middle and high school, a community volunteer and wife of 25 years to Shane, mom to twins Shane and Savannah.

  • Fri, December 27, 2019 2:51 PM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    As we wrap up the Christmas Festivities, here's one for you MOM's!

    For all the nights you stayed up late
    to trim the Christmas tree,

    For all the costly presents
    That you purchased more than one…

    For all the times you tucked us in
    And read us a story or two,

    For all the ways you cheered us up
    When we were feeling blue…

    For all the cookies that you baked
    And stockings that you stuffed,

    For all the messes you cleaned up
    And pillows that you fluffed…

    For all the days you loved each of us
    Even when we made it hard,

    For all these things, and much, much more…
    Here’s a Christmas poem of thanks to you!


  • Wed, December 18, 2019 3:36 PM | Tonya Flowers (Administrator)

    Christmas, holidays, and family gatherings can be synonymous with two contrasting experiences: joy, excitement, fond memories... or chaos, stress, and tension! I have yet to meet a family who at some point during the holiday season does not experience the duality of these two worlds, sometimes within the same moment!  

    Peace can be hard to come by.  

    This is especially true for mothers with lots of little hearts and hands to mind. I can remember the trepidation of the first Christmas our twins were toddlers. How would we make it through Christmas dinner’s inflexible timing occurring in the middle of nap time... followed by an evening full of gift opening and sweets?! With the only grandchildren in our family, many of the adults were not accustomed to watching out for hands and a hot oven, or worrying about leaving scissors out, setting glasses on the coffee table, or the looming and very attractive grand staircase at my in-laws'.  I was looking forward to the family time and not being responsible for a meal, but dreading the actual activities surrounding Christmas Eve.  

    Dread is another word for fear and yep, I was there. 

    We made it through the visit, and I left feeling exhausted and a bit deflated. The wheels had only fallen off twice (once per child) which, considering all the things, that was a Christmas miracle in my mind! Something was missing and it wasn’t for lack of gifts, or food, or laughter. I was missing Peace. You see, the best part of Christmas has always been the “why” for me. The Prince of Peace is why. The generosity is why. The Hope is why. I had forgotten that in the busyness, in the negotiations over the timing of dinner, worrying over the details big and little, and I had let fear creep in.  

    All year we have been talking about living a fearless lifestyle and thinking back on Christmas with multiples brought up this memory. I missed true peace that year and I do not want a repeat! I don’t want any other momma to miss it either. Peace is a powerful force, and I’m going to give you three tips to help you stay on course this year as the festivities commence! 

    1. Know what true peace looks like.  

    Excuse me as I geek out a bit, but the Hebrew word for peace is Shalom. In the Hebrew language each letter is a word picture. When you build words from these letters, a picture is developed of a larger definition than what we have in the English language.  Shalom is such a cool word. It means to be safe, sound, healthy, perfect, complete, well-being and harmony, prosperity, rest, the absence of agitation or discord, state of calm without anxiety or stress. That sounds just lovely and like what we all desire! I could go on about its vast and strong definition, but I want to bring out one picture written in the word Shalom: “to destroy the authority attached to chaos.” Or it could be said, “the destruction of the world’s chaos by infusing the presence of God.”  For moms, including myself, this definition cuts to the core. True peace is this, the defeat of stress and chaos caused by the world around us. Based on this, chaos and stress of all the holiday happenings has no right to steal our peace. Knowing what peace truly looks like helps me maintain inner and complete harmony, regardless of the situation or people or outside forces around me. It can help you too! When things don’t go as planned, hold on to that inner peace that destroys the turmoil inside of you, for that is where the battle is won! 

    1. Peace is a place, stay there! 

    I think of peace as an address that I can put in my GPS and get there. It’s a location in my heart and head that I choose as my destination. Even if in the world around me traffic is heavy, the visibility is low, delays ahead are causing us to be late, the GPS will continue to “reroute” me towards my inner destination. The key is choosing to follow the direction and not get off course. At times it can be hard to trust that direction when my first instinct may be to snap back at a snarky comment. But then the GPS says: “turn right and shut your mouth”. Remaining on course in that place of peace is the way we beat the chaos and worry. As we follow those inner directions, know the destination is well worth it! Peace is a position of our heart, not our outward situation.  

    1. Intentionally promote peace. 

    Families can be difficult, kids act up, schedules get off, food gets burned, items get forgotten, that one uncle brings up politics at the wrong time. We all will likely be in situations that have a great opportunity to ruin our celebrations.  Choose ahead of time to not be the cause of it. The way I contribute to peace is to speak the truth in love, cover others’ missteps with compassion, and take the initiative to smooth over hurt feelings of others. That Christmas dinner mentioned above, I failed at it. I knew a 2pm meal was going to be terrible for my twins and meant no nap and disastrous attitudes to follow. Admittedly, I did not communicate that well in love, nor did I care much about the feelings of anyone other than my children and myself. I sucked the peace right out of the room with my selfish comments. I learned this one the hard way, and it caused ME to let go of my peace. Even though I wanted to blame others, I was the only one responsible for my inner peace. Moving forward into every future family event, I plan to lovingly advocate for my children’s needs while considering others. Be willing to be flexible and talk through solutions that work for the entire group. Make room for others, be generous with your responses, don’t take ridiculous comments so seriously that you leave that place of peace in your heart to get offended. I promise, intentionality will open the door for others to accommodate you and yours. And if not, don’t let go of your peace. 

    We have been given a gift of peace, of Shalom. Choose to let it in, to live in that place of inner peace, to seek out the opportunity to promote peace in all your holiday celebrations. There’s so much to love about this time of year, and it’s an incredible opportunity to learn how to live in a place of peace amid the hustle and bustle. One last parting thought as you take off to do all the things on your list. Remember those little hearts that watch you closely. They will learn to hold onto peace no matter what the world brings into their life as they watch you live a fearless and peaceful lifestyle in front of them.  

    Merry Christmas FWMOM, I pray that the Prince of Peace surrounds your heart and mind this holiday season! SHALOM! 

    John 14:27 “I leave the gift of peace with you- My peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but My perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts- instead, be courageous!” 

    Tonya Flowers is mother to 4 year old twins Wyatt and Timothy and older brother Lucas. She serves FWMOM as our Chaplain. 

  • Wed, December 11, 2019 10:52 PM | Koula Budler

    There are many holiday traditions in my family, including cookie decorating, hot cocoa, Christmas carols, and traveling to see family and friends, but there is one tradition that always stays right near the top of my list… The Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples Annual Santa Event!

    I remember the first year I attended the FWMoM Santa event. The girls were so tiny and the event was held in a small church on the west side of Fort Worth. The decorations were up, and there was food and crafts ready for the kids. It was such a sweet time for our family and I was able to meet some great MoMs who have remained my dearest friends until today.   

    This organization has grown over the years to well over twice the size, so the location for this particular event needed to change. It has now landed right in the center of Fort Worth at the Hulen Mall food court. Each year, Hulen Mall graciously opens its doors early and blocks off half of the food court to host a private event that will accommodate our over 350 attendees (and growing)!

    Our Santa event this year was nothing short of magic! We had craft tables with a variety of activities for the kids, a raffle table full of Christmas books, a discount on food from Chick-fil-A, a private Meet and Greet with Santa himself, and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better... we gathered together to sing some of our favorite Christmas carols as one big FWMoM family. Even a large group of our kids jumped on stage to lead the singing and dancing.

    My twins LOVE attending this Santa event and look forward to it every year. I have enjoyed all of the memories we have made with this wonderful group, and even when my girls reach the age that they no longer get as excited about attending, I know that we will be signing up to volunteer where we are needed. That is the sweetest part of this organization – there is always a way to stay involved.    

    FWMoM would like to give a special thanks to Legacy Pediatric & Adolescent Dentistry who sponsored this special event, making it all possible. We were so proud to have Dr. Brazeal bring his beautiful family to help us celebrate and join in the fun!

    Author: Janae Huffman is a twin mom to Audrey and Eleanor, age 5. She is the VP of Special Events for FWMoM and an Occupational Therapy in Granbury now that her kids have entered into school.

  • Wed, December 04, 2019 7:55 PM | Koula Budler

    Everywhere you look, there is a mom doing things “better” (or so we think), or has all of her stuff together on Instagram, or has a much cleaner house then you do, or cooks amazing looking meals every night according to Facebook, and you are lucky if you have dinner on the table before 8 pm. (Who's with me?!) In case you are wondering, I am the latter. I realized about 6 months ago that I need to 100% not care what others think of me (to a point), and I need to take that energy and sink it all into intentional time with my twins, hubby, and my business, J. Scott Events. It seems like there is so much buzz around “status” these days or comparing and dissecting people’s lives that I don’t remember seeing when I was a little girl. (It might just be all the technology, but anywayssssss… It makes things harder to be your biggest cheerleader and to not get down on yourself when the season of life you are in looks a little different from what others are blasting all over social media. (Don’t let it overwhelm you!) Ok, that might be a little dramatic but you get what I’m trying to say don’t you? We are moms of multiples! That alone makes you a SUPERWOMAN! Don’t forget it, sister!!

    Here are a few photos - for your enjoyment - of me in my earlier days of trying to get my business off the ground... and some of the craziness with the struggle of being a working mom. Give yourself some grace no matter what you're working on or what season of life you're in. If only social media wasn't the BEST of everyone's lives, you would see a bit more of this: 


    Instead of comparing yourself to other moms who seem to have it all together on social media (use the time you would be scanning the internet) try a few things I find helpful in my own life (for what it’s worth). This also ties into self love and my attempt at not burning out as a wedding planner, and honestly sometimes as a mamma. 

    1. If you are a coffee drinker, try drinking it in your first sitting so you don’t have to find it later on the counter. You know, because you forgot to drink it and got caught up helping one of your little people, or had to warm it up 5+ times in the microwave (that is typically me).
    2. Try putting your phone away at night and force that cutie hubby of yours to tell you about his day. You will be surprised to see where the conversation might lead. 
    3. I neglected my health for a long time because I got so tunnel-visioned on my business, as well as comparing myself to other moms. Don’t do this! I now try to hit the gym at least 4 times a week and so far I have never felt better.
    4. Put on some makeup and blow-dry that hair! (This always makes me feel like a super mamma and it’s sometimes just good for your soul to look hot walking around your house doing chores or sitting at your desk with no client meetings that day.) Believe me, I do not get all dolled up on a daily, but the days that I need a little extra mom power, I dress up for the occasion even if it means getting little less sleep (which I did not get much of the first year and a half of my twins' lives -- I am SURE you all can relate!! HA!) 
    5. Purchase your fav book on Amazon and go get in that bubble bath, sister! (Feel free to add all the Epsom salt you can get your hands on.) Take it from a book nerd!
    6. Keep your car clean. My car is my sanctuary. I like to keep it clean because in my mind... who wants to put on dirty socks? I find the same goes with my car. I want to get in it and not feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety or spot 1,000 colorful Fruit Loops in the back seat or the Mott's gummy bears my kids spit out (trust me, I have found many of those in the back seat of my highlander!). 
    7. Alexa…play spa music (Heaven on earth to my ears.) 
    8. Personally, I have the new book "Jesus Everyday" (devotional guide) and LOVE IT!! I try so hard to start my day by opening this book or whatever Bible study I am attempting to be 100% committed to at the time. It is hard to remember to do this, but I notice it makes so much of a difference to my day when I do.
    9. If you can budget it, take the kids to Chick-fil-A a or wherever and enjoy some fried yumminess while your kiddos play until they're ready for a nap! 

    You are an incredible mom! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!

    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, November 27, 2019 1:18 PM | Koula Budler

    As our group grows and changes, so have our meetings. We have tried to incorporate more fun guest speakers, games, and activities for each meeting. And also tried to give you more incentive to be there with giveaways, yummy food and drinks, and fun themes! In case you have had to miss the meetings so far, here is a brief update on each. 

    August Meeting: End of the Year Camping Trip (preparation, enthusiasm, preparedness)

    For our first meeting of our new year, we had a record turnout of 53 members and guests. We sat at tables based around our children’s ages, and began our year-long focus on our President, Ashley Hughes’, FWMoM Keys for Success by enjoying table discussions centered around preparation, enthusiasm, and preparedness. We heard a presentation from our sponsors at iCare ER on first-aid, safety, and immunizations, and enjoyed some yummy campfire food, including walking tacos and s’mores at our tables! Several lucky people received a funny mom shirt or FWMoM car decal as giveaways. It was fun night filled with laughter, great conversation, and meeting new friends! Personally, it was so moving to see such a wonderful turnout and be in a FULL room with so many great women -- all laughing, talking, and enjoying each other’s company! It was such a great sight and sound!

    September Meeting: A Night at the Movies, Trivia Style (confidence, collaboration, inclusiveness)

    For our September meeting, we moved into our new space, the Trinity ballroom, where we are able to accommodate our growing group much more comfortably! We also had a wonderful turnout this meeting, with 51 members and 4 guests in attendance. We enjoyed pizza and salad provided by our sponsor, Susan Wentworth at Enfamil, and then heard a presentation from her on picky eaters, brain development, and DHA. Our Keys for Success at this meeting were confidence, collaboration, and inclusiveness, which we focused on by channeling our inner celebrities with movie-themed trivia, and sitting at tables based around the areas where we live. The winning trivia teams enjoyed gift cards received in donation from the Cityview Target and QT. For me, this was such a fun night to see everyone’s competitive side come and out, and find out who knows their movie facts! It got LOUD in that Trinity ballroom, and was so much fun!

    October Meeting: A Meeting of the Super MoM League (responsiveness, efficiency, courage)

    For our October meeting, we were blessed with a wonderful donation from Corey Bearden at League Real Estate  that provided us with a baked potato and salad bar, and we were provided with cookies from our sponsor Dr. Brazeal at Legacy Pediatric Dentistry. We had 34 members and 1 guest in attendance, and sat at tables based on which female superhero we identified with. Before the meeting began, we took time to honor those who had lost a child for Wave of Light (pregnancy and infant loss). We heard a presentation from Dr. Brazeal on dental health for our kiddos, followed by a self-defense class demo provided by Robert and Jennifer Klenka from Fort Worth Combatives. A few lucky guests received a pair of BentGo boxes, a FWMoM water bottle, and a book from Fort Worth Combatives as prizes. This was a packed and very busy night, where we actually ran over on time. But personally, this night was one of my favorite meetings to date because of everything I took away from the self-defense class and seeing everyone there enjoy both presentations! The self-defense class was very interactive and it was great to see everyone laugh and get into it!

    November Meeting: Moms’RUs Kids, We Don’t Wanna Grow Up (organization, delegation, attention to detail)

    At our November meeting last week, we enjoyed some taco soup with all the toppings and some delicious Lego brownies. We had 37 members and 4 guests present, and sat at tables based on our locations again. We heard so much great “grown up” info from one of our sponsors, Clint Dennis of Killen & Dennis, on wills, powers of attorney, and all that is involved. Afterwards, we rebelled a little against growing up and had fun with a Playdough Challenge where we created ourselves as MoMs, and enjoyed some fun conversation. The winners of the Playdough Challenge received Target gift cards and a FWMoM water bottle, and other giveaways included a pair of earrings, a bracelet, and QT free drink cards. This meeting was pretty low key, but it was such an informative meeting with so much laughter and fun! 

    Taking over a role in Programs on the FWMoM Executive Board this year has been such a fun undertaking for me! Before joining FWMoM, I did not take time for myself as a person, away from my family or outside of being a mom. This group has allowed me a fun space to do that, and given me the chance to take on a role where I can utilize my skills and interests. In my role as a Co-VP of Programs, I am able to do something that I truly enjoy... plan parties! It has been so rewarding to plan and prep meetings with topics or themes that I think everyone will enjoy, work with budget and donors to get as much out of our nights as I can, and then to see everyone enjoy their time and leave full and happy is just the best part! 

    And seeing our meeting attendance grow has been such an exciting thing! It is an amazing feeling to be in the meeting space as it is quiet, before anyone arrives, and then hear the noise level rise with laughter and conversation as everyone enters. These meetings are such a warm place to be with people who are truly excited to see you, care about you and enjoy your company. Looking around the room and seeing so many different women who come together and enjoy each other in such a way, is truly a special thing! 

    We have such a big year coming up and so many amazing meetings planned, so be sure to mark your calendars and make it a point to attend, invite guests, and encourage other members to come out as well! Take time for yourself each month to get out of the house and unwind. You will not be sorry you did!

    Upcoming Meetings:

    • December 17th: Dr. Wadley from 127 Pediatrics will speak, topic TBD 

    • Craft Night – bracelets with Patty Marshall from Texas Phoenix Art Glass 

    • January 21st: FWMoM’s 1st Ever Health Fair featuring local gyms, fitness groups and trainers, nutrition/meal prep coaches, overall health/wellness experts, and healthy living options. There will be free health checks for all, and lots of great giveaways! Open to members AND GUESTS!!

    • February 18th: Celeste Holbrook, PhD. and sex educator will speak on female sexuality and how it’s affected by marriage, motherhood, and life!!

    Author: Heather Wilks is a girl mom to 3 year old Rowan, and 22 month old twins Zeplyn and Parrish. She’s married to her best friend and travel buddy. She is a stay at home mom to her girls, loves cooking and working out; and this is her first year serving as Co-VP of Programs on the FWMoM Board. 

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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