In 2013 my husband and I found out we were expecting multiples. Early on in the pregnancy we joined Multiples NZ. Multiples NZ is a nationwide parent-led support network supporting families in their journey from expecting to raising multiples. Multiples NZ is a completely volunteer-run organisation that seeks to address the diverse needs of families with multiples through networking, education, support and advocacy. We work in partnership with local Multiples Clubs, community groups, health care providers and educators to support our members. During pregnancy (and beyond) I was blessed to have a lovely buddy mum who answered all of my questions, a quarterly magazine all about multiples, and a huge village of multiple mums within an online support group. At every stage of my children’s’ development, there was a parent who was facing the same problems or milestones, or had been there!
if you or someone you know is expecting multiples, send them to www.multiples.org.nz to see where their nearest club is. This is the best thing you can do as it is all of their support, friendship, and knowledge in one spot. Then, treasure the new parents, just as you would a parent of one new baby … make them meals; help with their laundry, cleaning or dishes; take the babies for a walk while mum has a decent shower; and most importantly keep asking if they are doing okay. Reinforce to mum that there is strength in asking for help. They may not admit it themselves, but do your best as a family member or friend to assess the situation, is this new mama coping? How can her village wrap it’s support so tightly around her she will never be let down?
This year, we marked a special milestone in our family. At the beginning of December, our twinkles Xavier & Lilian, turned five. I didn’t realise what an achievement that would feel like, having made it through those first hard and fast five years. This milestone also marked my five years as a volunteer for Multiples NZ. In the early days, we were members of the Nelson/Marlborough satellite club of Multiples Canterbury. It was there I started volunteering and was the local contact for families in the top of the south, as well as writing for the club magazine. Fast forward five years, and I went from writing for and proofreading their magazine, to now heading into my second year as Editor, and a member of the National Executive of Multiples NZ. Along the way I have also used my day job skills as a photographer and graphic designer in my role. It is genuinely a lot of volunteer work, but somehow everything always falls into place. We have the help of our awesome exec and support team, and with everyone contributing we are able to provide an amazing service to our families. Now I have my national role on the exec, the editor role, as well as being the local contact for Northland families after moving to 90 Mile Beach in 2015. It really is weaving people together. We have families who genuinely want to help parents of new and older multiples. Through sharing stories, advice and support we are helping to make raising our families easier.
He waka eke noa – we are all in this together.