Mom of multiples plans mini-seminarPublished 9:54am Wednesday, March 10, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
When Jennie Brackett brought twin girls into the world three years ago, she was working full-time and working on her master’s degree.
They were born premature and had some medical complications that added to the stress. Brackett, who lives in Buchanan, found herself wishing there was a local support group for women with twins or multiples.
“There is a group in the south part of South Bend and in St. Joe, but that’s a long drive,” she said. “We need something for this pocket of the county.”
Since the arrival of Lilly and Sarah, Brackett has wanted to start a support group but hasn’t had the time.
Now she has an excuse. To earn her master’s degree in educational leadership from Indiana University South Bend, she has to complete a community service project. Out of that assignment has birthed the local support group she has dreamed of starting.
Brackett is kicking off the new Multiples Support of Southwestern Michigan and Northern Indiana with a mini-seminar on parenting twins on March 27 at 10 a.m. at Buchanan Christian Church.
The event is free, and refreshments and childcare will be provided.
Experts have been scheduled to talk about a variety of issues, including developmental differences among multiples, separating multiples when they go to school, nutrition for toddlers through teenagers, and intellectual and dominance differences among multiples. A counselor from a local high school will also be on hand to discuss issues for teenage multiples.
Brackett believes there are a growing number of families with multiples in the area.
“I have a small network of friends right now,” Brackett said. “I know five families who have twins in the Buchanan area, all under the age of five. With more and more families going through fertility treatments, there are more multiples.”
Brackett said having a support group will be extremely helpful for mothers and fathers dealing with doing everything in multiples.
“There are twice the bottles, twice the diapers,” she said. “But there are other issues. There’s a huge debate among parents about whether it’s good to separate (in school) or not. Just to be able to have a sounding board for that would be a huge benefit.”
Other issues Brackett has faced as a mother of twins is trying not to compare them and nurturing them to become strong individuals while still being close.
She has launched a Web site and a blog to keep families up to date and for a place to discuss different issues of raising twins or multiples. They can be accessed at philbrackett.com/mssmni/index.htm or mssmni.blogspot.com.
Possible future events for the group include an Easter egg hunt in April, a picnic in the summer and play dates at various times.
For more information on the support group or the mini-seminar, e-mail Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.