It’s #InternationalDayOfHappiness!

It’s #InternationalDayOfHappiness!

Happy International Day of Happiness!Today is International Day of Happiness!  We at World Moms Blog know the importance of connecting with other people.  In our technology driven societies, it becomes very easy to send a text message, an email, or to click “Like” on someone’s Facebook status…but does that actually make us feel like we made a personal connection with that person? Truly connecting is not as easy!

For International Day of Happiness this year, the theme is focusing on your connections with others.  To help you think about conversation starters, or ways to connect with others on a more personal level, we asked our fabulous contributors this question: “What brings you happiness?”  Read on to see some of their responses.   (more…)

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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FIFA World Cup 2014 – Who Do You Support?

FIFA World Cup 2014 – Who Do You Support?

This week, the World Moms were found discussing the FIFA World Cup 2014 football. Here is what they answered to the question –

Is your country playing the World Cup? If not, what team are you rooting for and why?

The kids in the favela in Recife talking about football

The kids in the favela in Recife talking about football

Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA says: When it comes to the Olympics, I am Team USA all the way!!! But the World Cup is a little different for me. I root for USA and England because my husband grew up watching England play and our family in the UK is involved with the FA there. It’s both a country and a family thing for me and my kids!

Sophia of Florida, USA says:  This is very nationalist of me or … continental of me, but I go for any African country. I think this year the World Cup should have told Brazil police they need to stop killing children from the favela & as they have continued, the World Cup either needs to bring it up in mass conversation whilst there, or not hold the event there at all.

Check these news articles here and here.

Simona of South Africa says: Even though I live in South Africa, my husband and I are Italian and Italy is the only team I REALLY support! If Italy isn’t playing I root for Spain (my mom-in-law was half Spanish) then South Africa (although their soccer playing is worse than the Italians playing rugby)!!

Hannah Ashton from United Kingdom says: I’m a dual UK/US citizen. I’m not massively into football but I like the World Cup games. I root for England first and USA second. If either of those teams win I would be very happy but very surprised!

Maman Aya of New York, USA says: We are USA fans all the way in this house, unless they don’t make it, then we root for the underdogs.

Karyn Van Der Zwet of New Zealand says: Not sure if we are or not. (You can probably tell how much I’m into it. )

TaraB of Washington, USA says: of I cheer for USA but will watch any match. My father is a huge soccer fan, and we always watched the World Cup. We made signs, decorated, and created special food even though it was just us in the basement. And when the USA hosted the Cup back in the 80’s or 90’s, my dad took each of us kids to a game. I saw Norway play Ireland in a 0-0 draw. It was still one of the most amazing experiences. The people from all over the world … the costumes … such fun!

K10K of Belgium says: Belgium is in, so we (mostly the kids) will be following and cheering! It’s like the entire country has gone mad!

Purnima of India says: I already wrote about it elaborately here. India is completely a cricket-crazy nation. In our household, (mostly my son) is supporting Brazil for reason known to himself. I am of course partial to Brazil myself, but I am happy to see the most talented team win.

Did you all catch our World Moms’ posts the past week about the World Cup? EcoZiva from Brazil wrote about it here and Purnima from India wrote about it here. Two different countries talking about it in two different ways.

What about you… Which country do you support for in this year’s World Cup?

This post has been compiled and edited by World Mom, Purnima of India. Photo credit to her.

– World Moms Blog

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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New York, USA:  Having Babies: Is This the End?

New York, USA: Having Babies: Is This the End?

strollers
I cried tonight.  Real tears rolled down my face and my heart ached.  My husband came and wrapped his arms around me and asked “Is it the suddenness of it?”  You see, my dear friend is about to have a baby boy.  Her first.  I am so excited for her and so happy for her, she has wanted this for so long.
When she told me that she was pregnant, I immediately told her that I would give her my Bugaboo stroller – you know, the one that starts as a bassinet and converts to a big kid stroller as the child grows, has shocks on the tires (which you certainly need in the rough NYC streets) and accessories up the wazoo.  I had my stroller for 7 1/2 years, and used it with both of my children.  It was my son’s first “bed”, since I didn’t see the utility in buying a separate bassinet that he would only use for a few months.  I had all of the accessories for it, from the cute little umbrella to the board that my son rode on once my daughter was born and it had been reconverted to a bassinet.
Last month my husband cleaned all of the hardware, vacuumed any loose crumb and reassembled the bassinet to prepare for this new baby boy to enjoy his turn to ride in his luxurious ride.  He lovingly washed away our lives and children from it.  I bought a new color canopy for it (I had red.  My friend wanted blue).
I am happy that the stroller will bring such happiness to another family, especially a family that is so close with mine.  I am happy that it will not collect dust, in a corner, now that my 3 1/2-year-old has almost outgrown it.  I am happy that we are definitely getting our money’s worth, by passing it on to another child to use and grow into.
So why did I cry?  Why am I still choked up as I write this?  It’s because all of a sudden I realized that the removal of the stroller makes it so final.
Even though I said when my daughter was born, that I was done having children, somewhere in the back of my heart, I guess I still held out hope that we may decide to have another.  My children have now started to ask for another baby, and I explained that we would not be having any more, but I am realizing that I haven’t fully accepted it.
I know that I currently feel overwhelmed with my work and family obligations.  I can barely take care of myself and my family and home the way it is – how could I add another baby to the mix?  I have finally gotten back to exercising and taking care of me – do I have the strength go through another pregnancy again especially as I am so close to turning 40 (shhh – don’t tell…. I will forever be 29 in my heart :))?   I don’t think so.  At least not right now.
I made the decision not to have anymore children, but taking our first stroller out of my home-made it so final, and I guess with this act I realized that maybe… just maybe… there is another soul out there who is destined to join our little family of four.  Or, maybe not.  But at least for now, if the time comes, that little soul will have a different stroller.
Have you ever doubted your choice in continuing/stopping to grow your family?  What was your defining/questioning  moment?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Maman Aya of New York City in the USA. 
Photo credit to Carol at If By Yes.

Maman Aya (USA)

Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home. Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!

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SOCIAL GOOD: No mother should have to go through this

SOCIAL GOOD: No mother should have to go through this

MIT_Mad square parkRSLast year, on a whim, I decided to join the NYC chapter of Moms in Training.  I came across it at a time when I was looking for somewhere to volunteer. This was a no-brainer…. get some exercise, meet new moms, help cancer patients and be a good role model for my children.  Perfect!
This was before Moms in Training went national with 30 cities across the US and Canada.  This was before there was a Moms in Training Leadership Committee, which is made up 100% of moms who thought so much about the program that they decided to volunteer whatever spare time they had to this great organization.  This was before I met Lucy, Alex’s mom who writes about her journey on Alex Fights Leukemia.
Alex was 15 months when she was diagnosed with leukemia and has been such a brave little girl.  She hasn’t known life in any other way than in and out of hospitals.  Alex has become our local heroine, and my first race was dedicated to her recovery.  She still has a way to go, but last time I saw Lucy she gave me the great news that Alex has the green light to start attending mommy and me classes, and interacting with other children.
Imagine not being able to take your child to the supermarket, or a playground for fear of germs.  Imagine sitting by your baby’s bedside in the hospital for days and weeks at a time, over and over again.  Imagine holding your baby in your arms while she receives anesthesia, and walking your sleeping infant into the operating room for yet another surgery. No mother should ever have to go through this.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) was one of the first organizations to invest in Dr. Carl June’s research when everyone else deemed his research to be too risky and unconventional. Treating leukemia patients with a strand of HIV virus? The results are astonishing. LLS has invested $30 million in Dr. June’s research since 1990 and continues to invest in cut-throat ground breaking research like his (I highly recommend you watch this video to find out what he’s done – it’s amazing!).
The survival rate for childhood leukemia in 1949, was zero, while today it is 90 percent.  To date, Moms in Training have raised over $500,000, 95% of which goes straight to the cause, either towards helping patients or medical research.  Most of LLS’s medical findings are tested and eventually rolled out to fight other types of cancers as well.  I have been so overly impressed by the organization, I can’t even put it into words.
Now I am about to embark onto my third season with Moms in Training.  I have met new neighbors, made friends, and lost some of my baby weight (I still have a bit to go – but it’s getting better every day :)!)  I ran 2 races already, which I never would have thought possible a year ago.  I have joined the leadership committee and am trying to recruit new moms to join our growing little family, because no mother should watch her child suffer.

Would you like to learn more about LLS?  Are you interested in finding out if there is a Moms In Training team in your area, or maybe even starting your own team?  Do you live in NYC and would you like to join our team? Go to  or you can ask me directly in the comments!  Would you like to support me in my next race (coming up in June)?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Maman Aya.

Photo credit to the author.

Maman Aya (USA)

Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home. Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!

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NEW YORK, USA: Learning About Learning Disabilities

NEW YORK, USA: Learning About Learning Disabilities

boy playingMy son is eight months old and clearly utters his first word, and quickly starts to add more words into his daily speech and quickly starts to put them together to form ‘sentences’…in multiple languages! At 9 months old I start to potty train him, and he understands what I am trying to teach him.

‘This child is brilliant’, all the adults in his life agree.

My son is about a year and a half. He goes to play at a nearby kids gym which has an area to climb and slide, a Lego area, an area to jump, balls, puzzles, magnets and blocks, etc. So many fun things for a toddler to do. Most kids are so excited. They run in and start playing with all of the toys. But not my son. He walks in and stands off to the side to observe the other children and watch what they do. To understand what is expected, I suppose. Once he understands what the other kids are all doing and how he is expected to behave and play with them, he joins the fun – and he has a blast – never wanting to leave.

When he is 18 months – 3 years old he takes ‘mommy and me’ classes on subjects he enjoys, like construction, art, French, music and cooking. He is tentative and does not participate straight away. It takes some time for him to warm up and I (or my mother, who is his daytime caretaker while I am at work) have to do most of the activity for him until about 10 minutes before the end of the 40 minute classes, week after week.

He is almost 3 and has started ‘school’, a few times a week, 3 hours at a time. The teachers comment that he would rather talk with them (and his vocabulary is amazing for a 3 year old – he started talking at 8 months after all), than play with his friends. He watches his friends and directs them (tells them if they are breaking a rule, or shows them how to do something), but does not easily go and play with them. He is more like one of the teachers than one of the 2 or 3 year-olds.  I also notice that he doesn’t recognize, or confuses his letters (like mixing M and W), like other 3 year-olds.

This trend continues, although he does get better at socializing. He does get better at playing with other children, but only because he mimics their actions (good or bad). He doesn’t realize when an action is” not good”, because someone else did it before him, so it must be okay.

At 4 years old he starts having tics. His pediatrician tells me it’s normal for boys, there is nothing wrong with him. I take him to an eye doctor (one of his tics involves rolling his eyes), and he does need glasses, but the opthalmologist tells me that the tics are normal. I take him to a neurologist, who tells me nothing is wrong with him. Over the years I continue to express my concerns to the pediatrician. We realize that the tics are caused when he is stressed or excited.

“Nothing wrong,” says the doctor. This is not very reassuring.

I speak to his teachers over the years who assure me he is incredibly bright. He is mature. His vocabulary and speech are well ahead of his age, yes he is still mixing up letters, but the teachers assure me that it is within a normal range. He is indeed a very special child, teacher after teacher says.

But all of the reassurances in the world do not stop me from thinking that my son is different.

I watch to see if the other kids shun him…. they don’t seem to, but he is not choosing the friends that I would like him to have. That is to say, the nicer, gentler boys. I am afraid that he may be choosing the rowdier friends because he is over compensating. He is trying to fit in.

Fast forward to this past September. He started first grade as a normal 6 year-old. He was given a reading assessment (as were all of his classmates) and no red flags. About two months into the school year his teacher noticed that he was not doing as well as she would like, so she had him assessed even further. This time there were warnings. He is having problems reading (which I had asked his teachers about previously). He starts to spend one-on-one time with the reading specialist in his school and he has been making some progress, but there is some concern. I mention to the reading specialist that personally, I believe he may be dyslexic. She agrees that he does in fact have a “reading disability” (apparently dyslexia falls under that category these days), but that she is not qualified to be able to properly diagnose him.

That conversation was a few weeks ago.  I feel relieved and worried. We have to keep working the system visiting specialist after specialist until I get an actual diagnosis. I don’t want to frighten him by taking him to see these specialists, but I do want to get an understanding of what I should do. And once I get a diagnosis, what should I do with it? How can this affect the rest of his learning, his education, and ultimately his life? What if the other kids make fun of him or shun him? How is this the same child who scored in the 90th + percentile on his kindergarten entrance exam on vocabulary, conversation and comprehension? (Yes they actually administer this test in NYC.) What if we decide to move, and have to change his school…will he have the help he needs to succeed? I have so many unanswered questions, and feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start…

Does you child have a learning disability? How did you find out? How have you helped your child learn to cope?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Maman Aya and was inspired by fellow WMB contributor Sophie Walker’s post, The Book I Never Thought I would Write.

Photo credit to Lesley Show.  This photo has a creative commons attribute license.

Maman Aya (USA)

Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home. Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!

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NEW YORK, USA: So much for a relaxing Saturday!

NEW YORK, USA: So much for a relaxing Saturday!

AppleHarvestIn the Jewish religion, Saturdays are the Sabbath.  Saturday is the “7th day”, the day of rest, to relax and spend quality time with family and friends.  Not working or stressing – you can do that the other 6 days of the week.  🙂

I am not very religious, but I do believe that it is important to have quality time together, time to enjoy being together as a family.  I enjoy taking the kids to the children’s services at the synagogue and spending time within the community there.  But on Saturday a few weeks ago I managed to overbook us, and I really wanted to do all of it!  (more…)

Maman Aya (USA)

Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home. Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!

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