August 2016: As parents of three toddlers, Aroha and Travis had little family support in their area and were feeling increasingly exhausted and drained. Aroha, in particular was becoming unwell due to a significant lack of sleep and the increased pressure of having to breastfeed so many pēpē.
Getting around with so many children was difficult too, the couple didn’t have any way to transport their children to doctor’s appointments or run simple errands.
As young parents who wanted to be independent of the benefit, they were struggling.
Thankfully the family was put in touch with their local Whānau Ora paeārahi (support person) and soon began working on a plan to make things work.
Aroha was supplied with a breast pump, which meant she could express and Travis could feed the babies, giving Aroha a much needed rest and importantly allowing Travis to bond with his babies.
The family was also lent two baby carriers and strollers giving the family a much deeper sense of freedom and togetherness. They could now go to appointments, do their shopping and even go to the park, together as a family.
“The simple act of being able to use a pump was huge”, explains Aroha. “It meant that I could have more then a few hours of sleep because now Travis could help feed the babies.”
It also meant that Travis could develop an even stronger bond with his youngest tamariki by being able to feed them himself. The stress and pressure began to ease and Aroha quickly got her strength back allowing her in turn to support Travis and their tamariki.
Being able to express also meant that friends could support the couple by babysitting, giving them much needed time together. There were also significant cost savings because the couple didn’t have to resort to using formula.
The ability to move together as a group because the family had a way to transport their three children, opened up a new world to them, they could now go for walks together, run errands and easily attend appointments.
"It's easy to see how things at home can get so bad for people, you have no sleep, living day to day, with young babies who need to be cared for. Sometimes it's just the little things that help make our day better, that keep you from shouting and getting stressed out. Like being able to go to the park with our babies, getting a decent night's sleep or just seeing Travis having snuggles and feeding our babies."
Clearly the sense of relief the couple felt has been profound, these small changes helped give them the strength they needed to continue to care for their tamariki and importantly look to the future.
Since making a plan and getting the tautoko they needed, Travis has been able to get on a trade training course and is hoping to work in the construction industry.
Why Te Arawa Whānau Ora Works
Te Arawa Whānau Ora has been successful because it ensures whānau are able to determine their own goals and are given positive support to achieve them. Te Arawa Whānau Ora will work with groups, whānau and individuals to support them to become successful.
Te Arawa Whānau Ora works because it puts whānau in the driver’s seat, they define their own goals and make their own decisions. Te Arawa Whānau Ora has helped over 1500 individual whānau members over the last year. If you would like to know more please contact us.