World Mom: Elizabeth Atalay of The USA

World Mom: Elizabeth Atalay of The USA

To give our readers a glimpse into the world of our global writers we have introduced the Meet a World Mom series. As the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly gets underway in New York City, today World Moms Network interviews our former Managing Editor and current United Nations Liaison Elizabeth Atalay.

WMN: What country do you live in?

Elizabeth: The United States of America, ( not as united as we should be these days! )

What country are you from? 

I was born and raised in the USA and have only ever lived in this country.

What language(s) do you speak?

English and some Spanish.

How many children do you have and what are their ages?

I have four “children,” two boys and two girls ages 22, 20,18, and 16. Here’s a family photo from 2012.

How did you connect with World Moms Network?

When I became a blogger in 2012, I looked for a global community of mothers and found it at World Moms Network.

How long have you been a part of World Moms Network?

I reached out to World Moms Network Founder, Jen Burden, as soon as I found it and asked to get involved. At the time, the North American roster of writers was full but serendipity brought us together at BlogHer later that year, and she brought me on board.

How has your life changed since you joined World Moms Network?

When I joined WMN almost a decade ago, my youngest was six years old. Our town did not have full-day kindergarten, so this was my first year with all four kids in school full time, and I was excited to get back to work. World Moms Network has led to some of my most fulfilling work experiences since then. Jen Burden and I have attended Fashion Week, the Social Good Summit, and UNGA in New York City. I’ve worked with the United Nations Foundation, traveled on reporting trips to Ethiopia, South Africa, and Haiti, and advocated on Capitol Hill. I credit World Moms Network as a launchpad to reach my career dream goals while forming deep friendships with some of the most incredible women from around the world.

How do you spend your days?

A decade since I started with World Moms Network, my husband and I have just become empty nesters. For the past several years, I have been working as Social Media Manager for small business clients. I’ve eased back, working part-time from home, allowing me to be fully present for my kids while they were still young. As a stay-at-home mom re-entering the workforce a decade ago, I wondered if and how I would ever be able to make up for the years taken off.

Through digital media and World Moms Network, I found that I could get back to my career goals. With a Master’s Degree in documentary film and Anthropology I aspired to share stories that would promote cross-cultural understanding. After several reporting trips, I realized that it was not too late to achieve those goals, I was able to pull back again.  When my oldest went off to school a few years ago, it reminded me that I didn’t have a lot of time left to be there for my kids while they were still home; they’d all be off at college soon. I lost both of my parents when I was young, so one of my main life priorities is to be present for my kids as long as they have me in this world. Now that they are all off at school, I am excited to refocus my energy on what’s next.

Elizabeth Atalay (r) with her family in Turkey, 2021

What are the top 5 places on your travel wish list? 

  1. The Maldives
  2. Bhutan
  3. Mongolia
  4. India
  5. Vietnam

Is there a book, movie or show you recommend?

I love to read and watch movies! I think the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson should be required reading for all Americans. Favorite movies include The Life of Pi and Romancing the Stone.

What is your best motherhood advice? 

With four kids, I feel that my kids were each born hardwired in some ways and they are all different. My parenting comes from a place of support and love for who they each are as individuals.

What is your favorite place you have traveled to? 

I spent six months in my early twenties traveling overland through the African continent from Morocco to Botswana. We shopped at local markets, made the fire that we cooked over each night and camped in tents or under the stars the whole way. It was an incredible adventure.

What is your favorite family travel destination? 

We try to travel abroad for two weeks each summer with our kids. It’s hard to choose a favorite but our Tanzanian Safari and Zanzibar trip was spectacular, We visited several different tribes and I loved giving my kids the opportunity to visit cultures and lives so different from their own. We have also been to Turkey a few times where my husband has family, there are so many beautiful, fascinating and historic locations to visit each time we go.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

What is one random thing that most people would be surprised to know about you? 

I was a member of the sky diving club in college. (Don’t tell my kids!) 

What brings you joy?

My family. Our dog. Close friendships. Reading. Movies. Food and drink. Travel. Swimming. Skiing. Creative endeavors.

What UN Sustainable Development Goal are you most passionate about? 

#13: Climate Action

We are at the tipping point of an Environmental crisis.  The climate crisis impacts all other aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals: displacement, extreme poverty, food insecurity, clean water, equality, education, and global health. 

#MeetaWorldMom #WorldMoms

World Mom, Elizabeth Atalay, is on @BabyCenter today!

World Mom, Elizabeth Atalay, is on @BabyCenter today!

Elizabeth Atalay Head Shot

As part of World Moms Network’s collaboration with BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood®, our World Moms are writing posts on maternal health around the world. In our most recent post, Elizabeth Atalay, writes,

“I recently had the opportunity to interview author Roger Thurow about his newly released book entitled, The First 1000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children – and the World. He told me that it was the child of one of the farmers in his previous book, The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change in 2013, that led him to write about the importance of proper nutrition. Three out of four of the farmers he had written about were women, providing food for their communities, yet too often their children were suffering from malnutrition. ‘I realized the deepest misery of these farmers and these moms is to be unable to silence the cries of their children from hunger,” said Thurow. Seeing these children over the years, he wondered about the long-term impact malnutrition would have on their futures.'”…

Read the full post, “The magic of mother’s milk“, over at BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood®!

World Mom, Elizabeth Atalay, is on @BabyCenter again today!

World Mom, Elizabeth Atalay, is on @BabyCenter again today!

Elizabeth Atalay Head Shot

As part of World Moms Blog’s collaboration with BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™, our World Moms are writing posts on maternal health around the world. In today’s post, Elizabeth Atalay in the USA writes about the changes to her body during and after birthing and how the experience of birthing has united her to mothers who suffer from obstetric fistula in the developing world.

“Giving birth has a way of connecting women through an awakening of intimate understanding, also known as TMI (too much information)! We share stories with each other about topics previously unspeakable. Hemorrhoids! Incontinence! Milk leaking from breasts! Water breaking in public places! Yikes. The awe of pregnancy and the miracle of our bodies giving birth to new humans are intertwined with the humility it forces upon us like no other experience.”

Read the full post, “I never knew this could happen while giving birth“,  over at BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™!

World Mom, Elizabeth Atalay, is on @BabyCenter today!

World Mom, Elizabeth Atalay, is on @BabyCenter Today!

Elizabeth Atalay Head Shot

As part of World Moms Blog’s collaboration with BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™, our World Moms are writing posts on maternal health around the world. In today’s post, Elizabeth Atalay in the USA writes about “Kangaroo Care”, a process of keeping newborn babies close to the mother. Kangaroo Care has been proven to prevent newborn deaths and aid in the development of preterm babies.

“Power cuts are a frequent occurrence in Ethiopia, as they are in many developing countries, and the lack of reliable power impacts health and development in many ways. To a premature baby clinging to life in an incubator, it could be deadly. In the past nearly ¼ of the babies would not survive in the NICU at the Black Lion Hospital due to complications from preterm birth, lack of resources and manpower. The American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines suggest a minimum of one Registered Nurse for every one to two patients in intensive neonatal care; at Black Lion there was one nurse for 10 or more newborns.”

Read the full post over at BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™!

Interview With Elizabeth Atalay

Interview With Elizabeth Atalay

Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?

I live in Rhode Island, U.S.A, and though I have lived in New York & Maryland, and traveled the  world in between, I ended up settling down only an hour from where I grew up in Massachusetts.

What language(s) do you speak?  

English, and Spanish at about the level of a five year old.

When did you first become a mother?

I had my first baby when I was 32, which is young compared to my own mother who had her first child at 43.

Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work outside the home? 

I am a stay at home mother, which I had always wanted to be. Having grown up a latch key kid with a working mother, I had always idealized my neighbor who stayed home with her kids, baked cookies and sewed clothes for them. (not that I can sew) (more…)