What We Did During WORLD MOMS Blogcation 2017

What We Did During WORLD MOMS Blogcation 2017

You might have noticed we were a bit quiet on our website this summer as we took our annual “Blogcation.” Well, here is what some of us, World Moms, were up to during July and August of 2017!

 Tara Bergman, USA

“My family and I took a backpacking trip to an alpine lake in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, USA. It was a lot of work to get everyone on the trail with packs, but we made it to our destination and had the whole lake to ourselves overnight. The birds were chirping until 10pm and started up again around 4am, so I guess we had some company after all.”
Tina Rodriguez, Philippines
“No holidays here in the Philippines now. I’ve been trying to juggle many things like family and home life (including homeschooling the kids), work, advocacies, etc. By God’s grace, I’m surviving! ?My family and I were even able to squeeze in some bonding time with my parents, which made for many precious moments!”
Ketakandriana Fafitoson, Madagascar

World Mom, Ketekandriana Fafitoson, of Madagascar poses in front of the temple-pyramid of El Castillo in Chichen Itza while on a business trip in Mexico. The temple once served as an astronomical observatory!

“My kids have just finished school but I don’t know if we will have time to go on the seaside this year (we live in the highlands). The fact is that I am 6 months pregnant now, and still have to travel a lot for my job and my activism…But I will try to manage some time to take them to their favorite place, maybe in early September…If everything goes well”
Tes Silverman, World Voice, USA
“Summer’s was busy for me & my family! My daughter, Shaina, graduated from high school in June, and then my whole family headed down south to Virginia Beach in early July to celebrate my great-aunt’s 100th birthday! What an amazing reunion of aunts, uncles & cousins I haven’t seen in years, and especially for Shaina, who met a lot of them for the first time. My most favorite moment was going up to my great-aunt Pacing (the woman of the day in pink), and after being told who I was, seeing her eyes fly wide open after recognizing me and giving me a big smile. I then moved over so I could introduce her to Shaina, and her response was, “oh so pretty!” It was so moving for me that she recognized me after so many years, and that I had the opportunity to have Shaina & Micah see her again.
That weekend spent with my relatives made me realize how precious life is & how awesome it is to have an extended family. If l live to be 100, I hope to see as much family around me as my great-aunt had. As a result of this weekend, we are now planning to get together again next year, to make sure that the 2nd generation (mine) & 3rd generation of cousins (Shaina’s) keep in touch.
To-wen Tseng, USA
“Currently pregnant with my 2nd child, I had to take some time off earlier this year because of pregnancy complications. Now into 27 weeks, I’m feeling better and trying to catch up at work. I have a new book due exactly on the baby’s due date! Wasn’t aware of the pregnancy when I sign the contract with the publisher. A busy summer for me!”
Founder Jennifer Burden, USA
“We headed to the U.K. and Italy for a month to vacation and catch up with family and friends. Here’s a photo of the girls looking out over the ruins of the Forum in Rome.”
Bessma Bader, Saudi Arabia
“Summer has been both, slow and busy. Busy because I gave birth to my 5th child in June 18th, and slow because since then I have been stuck under or beside my 5th feeding or caring for him. All while trying to make sure the other kids get to various summer camps and activities to keep them busy considering it’s averaging 48-50 C degrees outside in the daytime, so outdoor activities are not an option! Feeling happy, tired and blessed. 

Cindy Levin, World Voice, USA

“I took my family up to the San Juan islands, a remote chain of islands in the pacific northwest of the U.S. We kayaked, canoed, hiked, and watched the orcas watching us. We also got to scramble around the “bottom of the ocean” looking for sea stars. In a rare tidal event, the moon was aligned so that we could walk where the water would normally be 10 feet over our heads!”

 Piya Mukherjee, India


“It was a lovely summer and a bit of a milestone. My 18-year old returned home for his summer break from the hostel, and it’s been a sweet-sad feeling, cherishing every moment of family time, yet aware of the calendar telling us he will fly back to Delhi soon to his engineering studies. Best of all was the 8-day trip to Gokarna and Goa (India) – an off-the-grid, back-in-time kind of holiday, with entire days spent at the beach!”

Yolanda McCloud Gordon, USA 
“I had a great summer. First in June, I went to NYC to participate in a story telling workshop with The Moth! Totally awesome. Then I joined Cynthia Changyit Levin in DC to fight for healthcare and led a Storytelling workshop at the RESULTS Conference! Back at home I prepped for the student that I took under my wings this summer.”
Elizabeth Atalay, Managing Editor, USA

“This was an epic summer for us, having both turned 50 this past year, looking forward to our 20th wedding anniversary this fall, and sending our oldest of four kids off to college in the fall inspired us to go big with our summer plans. It was a dream come true for me to travel to Tanzania as a family with Proud African Safaris, a small Tanzanian owned company that provided a trip of a lifetime. We spent 6 nights in the Serengeti viewing spectacular wildlife, and visited a Masaai village as well as several tribes in the lake Eyasi region. Then spent a few days at the beach in Zanzibar. Soon after our family trip, I did a week long women’s trip to Israel that was incredible. Then as a family we traveled into the path of totality in South Carolina to view the Total Solar Eclipse!”

We are excited to be back, to share the global stories that we have collected and dive into a new season together!

What did you do did this past summer? We’d love to hear! 
This is an original post compiled for World Moms Network by Elizabeth Atalay.

Elizabeth Atalay

Elizabeth Atalay is a Digital Media Producer, Managing Editor at World Moms Network, and a Social Media Manager. She was a 2015 United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow, and traveled to Ethiopia as an International Reporting Project New Media Fellow to report on newborn health in 2014. On her personal blog, Documama.org, she uses digital media as a new medium for her background as a documentarian. After having worked on Feature Films and Television series for FOX, NBC, MGM, Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Castle Rock Pictures, she studied documentary filmmaking and anthropology earning a Masters degree in Media Studies from The New School in New York. Since becoming a Digital Media Producer she has worked on social media campaigns for non-profits such as Save The Children, WaterAid, ONE.org, UNICEF, United Nations Foundation, Edesia, World Pulse, American Heart Association, and The Gates Foundation. Her writing has also been featured on ONE.org, Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter.com, EnoughProject.org, GaviAlliance.org, and Worldmomsnetwork.com. Elizabeth has traveled to 70 countries around the world, most recently to Haiti with Artisan Business Network to visit artisans in partnership with Macy’s Heart of Haiti line, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans. Elizabeth lives in New England with her husband and four children.

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PHILIPPINES: The Value of Grandparents

PHILIPPINES: The Value of Grandparents

I don’t know if many people will agree to this but we Filipinos are known for having close-knit family ties, wherever we might be located in the world.

We cherish our relationships with the members of our family, and love spending time together — eating, chatting, laughing, even singing together (even if we sound off-key)! One of the relationships that I personally treasure is the one I have with my own parents — and, in effect, the relationship my kids have with them.

You see, growing up, I wasn’t able to spend much time with my own grandparents. My parents, like many Filipinos I know — were what we call “OFWs” or overseas Filipino workers. They worked for the Brunei government for many years, thankfully, my siblings and I were allowed to join them.

Because of our situation though, we would only see our relatives, including our grandparents, during the times when we would go home to the Philippines. So I didn’t really get to have many bonding moments with them, unlike my cousins (and my older siblings, who went home to the Philippines for further studies).

Fast forward to the present time. My grandparents on both sides have already passed away (and oh, how I miss them). I am also a mother now, with kids of my own, who absolutely love being with their grandparents!

In fact, they are thrilled every time they are allowed to sleepover at my parents’ place, and I am happy about it too. They get to build lasting bonds with their lolo (grandfather) and lola (grandmother), plus play with their cousins, because my brother and his family live with my parents.

It’s a win-win situation actually, my kids and my parents get to strengthen their relationships with one another, and this mama gets some “time off” (though now, with the newest addition to our family, it’s not really “time off,” if you get what I mean!).

I know not many families are as blessed as mine is — to have grandparents around who are always there to help out with the grandkids, and this post isn’t meant to make anyone feel bad. It’s primarily to emphasize the value of the grandparents in our lives… and I guess, indirectly, the value of the elderly in general. The generations before us — those who are wiser and know better.

On a personal level, this one actually goes out to my kids’ grandparents, especially my parents. You see, our family has been having our share of trials lately, especially after our youngest was born, and my mom and dad have been our strongest allies, supporters and prayer warriors. Honestly, I don’t know how we could have “survived” the past few months without them!

So yes, if you’re reading this, and your parents (your kids’ grandparents) are still with you, I encourage you to find ways, even simple ones, to tell them how much you value them. Even if it’s difficult to do so. Even if you don’t feel like it. Don’t wait till the last minute — till someone is on their deathbed — to speak of love, forgiveness and gratitude. Realize the value of grandparents, and help your kids do so, too. It could possibly be one of the greatest lessons you’ll teach them.

How is the relationship of your children with their grandparents?

Picture Credit: Author

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez (Philippines)

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez is a wife and homeschool mom by vocation, a licensed physical therapist by education and currently the managing editor of Mustard, a Catholic children's magazine published by Shepherd's Voice Publications in the Philippines, by profession. She has been writing passionately since her primary school years in Brunei, and contributes regularly to several Philippine and foreign-based online and print publications. She also does sideline editing and scriptwriting jobs, when she has the time. Find out more about Tina through her personal blogs: Truly Rich Mom and Teacher Mama Tina.

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Meet Our #Worldmoms From Asia and Australasia

Meet Our #Worldmoms From Asia and Australasia

Every Wednesday we enjoy an article written by one of our mom bloggers in Asia/Australasia Region. Today we decided to run a series featuring the mom bloggers from that region and learn a little bit about their blogs and why they loved World Moms Blog.

Some of us are native Asian and some of us are from other places in the world and living in Asia right now.

Tina Santiago from Philippines

Tina Santiago from Philippines

Tina Rodriguez lives in The Philippines and blogs at Truly Rich and Blessed.

She is a lifestyle/inspirational/family blogger. She describes her blog as – “Truly Rich and Blessed is your little space on the Web where you will find inspiration and encouragement for discovering — and growing — the “riches” we already have: our faith, self, relationships, resources, discoveries and experiences.”

Tina is a Catholic wife and home educating mom by vocation, and a writer and editor by profession — imperfect and broken but blessed to be loved by a perfect God!

5 Words that can help you have a Better Week Ahead is one of the first publications after re-branding her blog.

This is what Tina has to say about World Moms Blog;

“It is such a blessing to be part of a global community of moms, dedicated to serving other moms in our own simple way, even if it’s just virtually!”

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Maureen Hitipeuw from Indonesia

Maureen Hitipeuw from Indonesia

Maureen Hitipeuw lives in Jakarta, Indonesia and blogs at Scoops of Joy. “Finding joy, one scoop at a time”

She is a lifestyle blogger and writes about what she’s passionate about; inspiring single moms, self-love, finding and living a joyful life and travel.

Maureen is a woman who desires to reach her full potential, to live with abundance and joy, and is passionate about inspiring others and sharing this journey with those she loves. Her favorite post from her own blog is Why Self Love Matters.

Maureen thinks of World Moms Blog as –

“It is uber cool! Not only because I get to know these amazing inspiring ladies from all over the world and become friends – soul sisters even – but I feel like the bond is just incredible. My life is indeed richer because of WMB. Knowing that you are not alone when it comes to motherhood, knowing how women can change the world and supporting causes that are near and dear to our hearts. Precious!”

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Martine Cosio de Luna from Phillipines

Martine Cosio de Luna from Phillipines

Martine Cosio de Luna lives in the Phillipines and blogs at Make it Blissful, an intentional lifestyle blog with a focus on blogging inspiration. Make it Blissful explores the reality that life isn’t perfect or ideal, but that we can make things work, “make it blissful” and find meaning in our homes, work, hobbies, and blogs.

Martine describes herself as an sociable introvert, chatty and friendly online and a little shy around strangers.

Her favorite post from her blog is For those who still believe in blogging — a look into how blogging has evolved into something more meaningful for me.

When asked why she loves World Moms Blog, she said,

“I love the reality that we are a global community of different moms with different views on life, but are all supportive and encouraging of one another, even if we are technically perfect strangers!!!

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Melanie Oda lives in Japan and is a lover of chocolate and books. She blogs at Hamakkomommy about parenting, travel and salty humor; “American mom attempts to navigate life in Japan; hilarity ensues.”

Blogging is one of the things that really helped Melanie work through the grief of losing her dad.

This is what she has to say about World Moms Blog;

“I love seeing how women, no matter where we live or how we live, have so very much in common. Both the good stuff and the struggles. It’s uncanny.”

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Next week, on the blog meet our Asian bloggers, Ruth from Singapore, Patricia from Philippines, Susan from Singapore, Piya from India.

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A special thanks to #WorldMom Orana from Indonesia for the production of this series.

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Is there any #WorldMom you would specifically like to know more about on the blog? Tell us in the comments and we would feature her soon! Meanwhile, say Hello to today’s featured #WorldMoms from Asia!

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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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PHILIPPINES: An Open Letter to the Mom Who Feels Like a Failure #WorldMoms

PHILIPPINES: An Open Letter to the Mom Who Feels Like a Failure #WorldMoms

Keep Calm and Mother On


It’s been a while since I’ve written a post here on World Moms Blog, and I’m honored to be back with another open letter. This was inspired by a very recent event in my own life — when I felt that I had failed as a mother, particularly as a homeschooling mom to my eldest child. I hope this “letter” brings you encouragement somehow, dear fellow mama!

Dear Mom Who Feels Like A Failure,

First of all, let me give you a virtual hug. I know what it’s like to feel that you’ve failed your child/ren. Believe me, I’ve been there too many times to count. *Hug*

Just this week, I’ve wrestled with thoughts of how I’ve been failing my own offspring… of how I haven’t been a good mom to them… of how I haven’t been teaching them “well” and “enough” (I believe every mom is their child’s “teacher,” whether or not you homeschool.)… of how I’ve been too busy working at home, maybe even to the point of “neglecting” my children — the very reason why I chose to be a work-at-home mom (WAHM)… and so on and so forth.

I bet you’ve been dealing with similar doubts and “downer thoughts” too, lately, haven’t you?

Well, can I just invite you to join me in saying, “Stop!”? Let’s just stop. Stop thinking such thoughts. Stop doubting ourselves. Stop “downing” ourselves.
Because Lord knows we’re all just doing the best we can.

We are our children’s mothers for a reason. We love them, care for them, fight for them, teach them, pour our lives into them for a purpose.

No one else can mother your child like you do, and believe it or not, you can do it. You can raise a loving, obedient, respectful child — a child who will one day “change the world” — although it may not seem so right now. (And please don’t forget that being a “world-changer” can mean so many things, on so many different levels… which are all good, of course.)

So if you find yourself feeling like a failure today, allow me to encourage you, as another fellow homeschooling WAHM encouraged me recently: Remember the greater purpose behind what you’re doing. 

In the midst of the seemingly endless diaper changes, sibling squabbles, “mommy wars,” cooking and cleaning duties, and everything else mommy-related, please, I beg you, know that you are enough. Know that everything you do will bear fruit one day.

Most of all, know that you are loved. Know that you are not alone on this rollercoaster ride that is motherhood. You’ve got me and the other World Moms on your side, cheering you on, sending you lots of virtual hugs and high-5’s, positive thoughts and prayers, even.

So, mother on, my friend. Let’s just keep calm and mother on!

Have you been feeling like a “mommy failure” lately? I hope this post lifts your spirits somehow! Or maybe you have some words of encouragement for our fellow moms out there who’ve been doubting themselves as moms — do share them in the comments!

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by contributor, Tina Santiago- Rodriguez of the Philippines.

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez (Philippines)

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez is a wife and homeschool mom by vocation, a licensed physical therapist by education and currently the managing editor of Mustard, a Catholic children's magazine published by Shepherd's Voice Publications in the Philippines, by profession. She has been writing passionately since her primary school years in Brunei, and contributes regularly to several Philippine and foreign-based online and print publications. She also does sideline editing and scriptwriting jobs, when she has the time. Find out more about Tina through her personal blogs: Truly Rich Mom and Teacher Mama Tina.

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