SOCIAL GOOD: Why Choice Matters and It Isn’t a Joke

SOCIAL GOOD: Why Choice Matters and It Isn’t a Joke

Mayan women in Guatemala attending International Women’s Day. Photo credit: Author.

Can you imagine living in a place where you had absolutely no choice or control over your body? Can you imagine waiting days to see a doctor or never seeing a doctor once during a pregnancy or even during childbirth?

For most women in the developed world, not having access to doctors or family planning seems ludicrous. Yet this situation is the reality for millions of women around the world who do not have access to family planning, prenatal care or OBGYNs.

In fact, 215 million women around the world do not have access to contraception.  To put things into perspective, this figure represents more than all the women of the United States and Canada combined.

Not having access to contraception leads to many cyclic problems that keep women in poverty and does not allow them to reach their full potential. For instance, in Uganda the average woman bears 8 children in her lifetime.  This makes it almost impossible for women to finish school, support themselves, feed their children and climb the ladder out of a tragic cycle of deep poverty. (more…)

Nicole Melancon (USA)

Third Eye Mom is a stay-at-home mom living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her two children Max (6) and Sophia (4). Her children keep her continually busy and she is constantly amazed by the imagination, energy and joy of life that they possess! A world wanderer at heart, she has also been fortunate to have visited over 30 countries by either traveling, working, studying or volunteering and she continues to keep on the traveling path. A graduate of French and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she met her husband Paul, she has always been a Midwest gal living in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Chicago. This adventurous mom loves to be outside doing anything athletic (hiking, running, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or simply enjoying nature), to travel and volunteer abroad, to write, and to spend time with her beloved family and friends. Her latest venture involves her dream to raise enough money on her own to build and open a brand-new school in rural Nepal, and to teach her children to live compassionately, open-minded lives that understand different cultures and the importance of giving back to those in need. Third Eye Mom believes strongly in the value of making a difference in the world, no matter how small it may be. If there is a will, there is a way, and that anything is possible (as long as you set your heart and mind to it!). Visit her on her blog, Thirdeyemom, where she writes about her travels and experiences in other lands!

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SINGAPORE: Dealing with Challenges

My heart has been trudging through tough terrains lately because of some events that  happened unexpectedly.

Tough as it may be, it’s going through this challenging time as a mom that has been harder to handle.

In the beginning, there were times when I just wanted to go away and be alone. Twice, I lost my temper at my son. But just as soon as I did that, guilt washed over me. I immediately apologised and held him tight in my arms, assuring him it wasn’t his fault.

This whole experience got me thinking about how I should deal with tough times as a mom. More importantly, how can I help my son to cope with challenges in life?

While I feel a need to be strong for my son’s sake, I don’t want to pretend that things are fine. After all, setbacks are a reality of life and even the little one experiences a bit of that once in a while – like when mommy and daddy refused to buy him a toy even though he was bawling his eyes out and his voice was turning hoarse from crying.

However, at two-and-a-half years-old, he is too young to understand what  happened. Yet, I believe he can sense that I’m feeling down, and it probably affected him, as he did throw more tantrums than normal when I was riding out the emotional roller coaster.

But it’s never too early to start thinking. So I imagine the day when my son is old enough, and what I would say. (more…)


Ruth lives in Singapore, a tiny island 137 kilometres north of the equator. After graduating from university, she worked as a medical social worker for a few years before making a switch to HR and worked in various industries such as retail, banking and manufacturing. In spite of the invaluable skills and experiences she had gained during those years, she never felt truly happy or satisfied. It was only when she embarked on a journey to rediscover her strengths and passion that this part of her life was transformed. Today, Ruth is living her dreams as a writer. Ironically, she loves what she does so much that at one point, she even thought that becoming a mom would hinder her career. Thanks to her husband’s gentle persuasions, she now realises what joy she would have missed out had she not changed her mind. She is now a happy WAHM. Ruth launched MomME Circle, a resource site to support and inspire moms to create a life and business they love. She has a personal blog Mommy Café where she writes about her son's growing up and shares her interests such as food and photography.

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Saturday Sidebar: “How did you feel when you held your baby for the first time?”

This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Purnima.  She asked our writers and readers:

“How did you feel when you held your baby for the first time? Share with us your birth story.”

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

Mama Mzungu from Kenya with her baby

Mama Mzungu from Kenya with her baby

MamaMzunga of Kenya writes: “My first emotion when I saw my second son for the first time was “it’s about time!!” We had our second child in Nairobi in a modern hospital. It was fully equipped for an emergency and the doctors were a bit more used to working with foreigners, which clinched our decision to have him in the capital city instead of where we were living in Western Kenya. But the experience was very much like how birthing must have been in the US 40 years ago. My husband was not allowed in the room with me and in fact I saw very few men in the labor ward at all. Laboring women were literally leaning on one another for support in a kind of sisterhood that I almost envied. I ended up with a c-section, and by the time I was fully lucid, I was back in the room with my husband waiting anxiously for someone to bring the baby. We waited. And waited. And waited. FOUR excruciating hours later we got to hold him. He cooed sweetly, breast fed like a champ and seemed oblivious to all our pre-existing panic, which washed away as soon as we saw his beautiful little face. You can read more about this only funny in retrospect experience here.”

Alison Lee of Malaysia writes:
“I blogged the birth story of my second son here.”


World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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World Moms Blog Update September 2012

World Moms Blog Update September 2012

Not fully recovered yet, as in there’s still a lot of follow-up to do, from the BlogHer conference which was over a month ago.  Actually, not only have I not posted about it here, but my bag is still not fully unpacked. I know.  So embarrassing.  What is even more embarrassing is that World Moms Blog editor, Nicole Melancon, is flying in and staying at my house this weekend for us to commute into NYC for the Social Good Summit together, and she was my roommate at BlogHer last month.  She knows the bag! I have less than 2 days to get it unpacked before she gets here.

Running World Moms Blog and being everything I can be first to my 5 year old and 1 year old daughters all day is tough work.  But, I’m really happy to do it.  Really happy for so many reasons.  Here’s my latest list of reasons:

1)   The momentum was lifted even higher when 8 of our contributors met for dinner in New York City last month on the eve of the BlogHer conference.  We munched on Greek food and talked about everything from what it was like to live where we live, our kids, travel, the blog, the posts we read, but most importantly, taking the opportunity for some of us to get to know each other on an even more personal level.  Best night ever! (more…)

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post,, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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ISRAEL: International Day of Peace

ISRAEL: International Day of Peace

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

In honor of today, Susie Newday, our writer from Israel, dreams of a different kind of world…

I Dream of a World

If we don’t dream, then our dreams can’t possibly come true.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that came true. Susan Boyle dreamed a dream and that came true too. And I dream of a world, a fabulous loving tolerant world that I hope I’ll be privileged enough to live and see.

I dream of a world where the dream of true peace is a reality, not just a distant dream.

Our world is anything but black and white. There is no one wrong and one right. There are only degrees of separation. We live in a world that is actually a world of vibrant rainbow colors. Yet one that, sadly, is muddied and clouded by intolerance, feuds, hate and fear.

I dream of a different world. (more…)

Susie Newday (Israel)

Susie Newday is a happily-married American-born Israeli mother of five. She is an oncology nurse, blogger and avid amateur photographer. Most importantly, Susie is a happily married mother of five amazing kids from age 8-24 and soon to be a mother in law. (Which also makes her a chef, maid, tutor, chauffeur, launderer...) Susie's blog, New Day, New Lesson, is her attempt to help others and herself view the lessons life hands all of us in a positive light. She will also be the first to admit that blogging is great free therapy as well. Susie's hope for the world? Increasing kindness, tolerance and love. You can also follow her Facebook page New Day, New Lesson where she posts her unique photos with quotes as well as gift ideas.

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