It’s double — and often triple — the fun at Eastside Mothers of Multiples (EMOMS) events.
The nonprofit organization is made up of 640 families from the Eastside area who have twins, triplets and a few sets of quadruplets. The primary membership area stretches as far north as Bothell, east to North Bend, south to Renton, and west to Seattle. The majority of the members live on the Eastside and most of the official club functions — including meetings and social events — take place on the Eastside.
At a recent event, new member and volunteer Julie Kennedy pushed her 14-month-old twin boys in a stroller while keeping an eye on her 3-year-old who stood close by.
“I joined because I didn’t know what I was getting into having twins and I wanted to find moms who lived close by and who could give me support,” Kennedy said and added that she heard about EMOMs through the grapevine. “It wasn’t until after I joined that I found out there was another mom with multiples living right around the corner from me.”
EMOMs was founded in 1969 by a group of mothers with multiples looking for a support system. Over the years, EMOMs has dedicated itself to fostering support between families who face the unique joys and challenges of raising multiples.
Member volunteers facilitate the EMOMs newsletter, Web site (www.emoms.org), semi-annual sale, activities and monthly meetings. The Web site is used for updated meeting information and lively discussion forums where members can add postings about parenting challenges, suggestions and solution solving ideas.
The organization’s president, Nikki Adams, pointed out the somewhat misleading name.
“We may be called the Eastside Mothers of Multiples, but there are plenty of fathers who participate in the meetings and the fun events we have,” Adams explained. “With multiples, fathers end up being a lot more involved because it really becomes a team effort.”
Adams herself is a mother of 5-year-old fraternal twin girls, Halle and Kayla. She first joined prior to the EMOMs annual Toys & Togs Sale to stock up on double the baby clothes, toys and necessities. Along the way, Adams formed lasting relationships and an endless amount of support and resources.
“We have excellent expecting and first-year family meetings that appeal to many of our new members. What’s so great about those meetings is you start to build relationships with other moms and you continue to build connections as the kids grow up together,” Adams said.
The organization was originally called Eastside Double Delights Mothers of Twins Club but had to be changed to EMOMs because of the many moms with triplets and quadruplets who joined in recent years.
Irene Pike, a founding member and past president, explained the importance of a having a group like EMOMs around.
“Having two babies at a time is more difficult than people think. They have to navigate feeding and sleeping issues with two babies at the same time. It’s not the same as having kids close together,” Pike said. “This group really helps the families face those added problems.”
EMOMs is part of the Northwest Association of Mothers of Twins Clubs. The organization ties together local clubs from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and British Columbia. Twice a year, members of local clubs meet to establish connections and foster stronger ties between the special community of mothers with multiples.