Sharing the load of multiple babies

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Kate Anderson, with 11-month-old twins Scarlett (left) and Frankie, is looking to meet other Mid Canterbury multiple birth parents.

By Toni Williams

Parents of twins, triplets or more are being sought to attend a Mid Canterbury Multiples Meet-Up, organised by Ashburton mum of 11-month-old twins, Kate Anderson.

The event, on March 1, will be held at the Ashburton Domain between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

The first-time mum, along with partner Tom Wilson, moved to New Zealand from the United Kingdom five years ago, and is involved with the multiples online community.

However as most of its members are based in Christchurch, Ms Anderson wanted to meet parents within the Mid Canterbury district.

“I want it to have an Ashburton focus, have something local,” she said. “It would be amazing to see a regular multiples support group/play group/meet up in Mid Canterbury, for Ashburton, Methven and the surrounding areas.”

She has the great support of friends including those met through Plunket ante-natal classes but would like to meet other parents of multiples facing some of the issues with parenting multiple babies at a time.

They included leaving one to cry while dealing with the other, the feeling of isolation being at home alone with twins and the need to be organised just to get out of the house.

“It’s an effort,” she said.

Ms Anderson, 31, is a fraternal twin, which means she and twin sister, Kimberley, are not identical.

She came to New Zealand on a work visa many years ago, returned to the UK but decided to move back here, bringing with her Mr Wilson.

He is a self-employed mobile heavy diesel mechanic and Ms Anderson is a regional flight attendant, who has just gone back to work full-time.

The couple is able to co-ordinate their working days and achieve good life balance.

“We get more time together now than when he was working for someone else.”

And their twins, Frankie and Scarlett, get to spend time socialising at day care just two days a week.

The twins, who were born in Christchurch, are also fraternal.

Frankie, who has inherited the red hair colouring of her “gran gran” (Kate’s mother) is the older of the two by one minute. Scarlett, so far, has hair which is fairer in colour. They will celebrate their first birthday on March 5.

The Ashburton multiples event will involve a BYO picnic in the Ashburton Domain, in the gardens to the right of the bowling green (across from the main playground area). It is for parents or caregivers of multiples of any ages and will co-incide with Multiple Births Awareness Week.