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

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

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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Happy 50th Anniversary to Disney’s It’s A Small World!

Happy 50th Anniversary to Disney’s It’s A Small World!

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There’s a Bigger World Out There

When I was a toddler back in the 1970s, my favorite toy was a wind up pocket radio box that played “It’s a Small World”.  As the music played, it turned the little children from all around the world dressed in different clothing past my eyes.  I remember, as I grew, constantly asking my parents, “Where is this girl from?” and “Where is this boy from?”, while pointing to the toy.  My mother even saved the radio for my own kids to play with.

Fast forward 30-something years later, and here I am, learning everyday on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good from the women around the world who write for World Moms Blog.  I am lucky to be raising my children virtually with Tinne in Belgium, Susan Koh in Singapore, Tara B. in the USA, Nancy in Tanzania, Deborah Quinn in the UAE…and the list goes on!

And that little Disney radio box was one of my first indications that there was a greater world outside of my own suburban NJ neighborhood.

The #DisneySMMoms Conference

This past weekend I had my bags packed to head to the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, this year in Disneyland in California.  What luck that it was going to be during the 50th Anniversary of Disney’s It’s a Small World! I excitedly checked into my flight…only having to call the airline and uncheck myself from my flight hours later because my kids, and at the very last-minute, my husband, fell sick. Taking care of the family is what, us, parents do, right? So, how to turn lemons into lemonade?  We asked the World Moms  Blog Contributors to send a photo in to be part of a special slide show where our site could commemorate Disney’s It’s a Small World 50th Anniversary.  On such short notice, take a look at what we came up with…I can’t stop watching it!!

VIDEO: Happy 50th Anniversary It’s a Small World from World Moms Blog Contributors!

Disney and UNICEF

And, if you’re a regular here, you know how much we love UNICEF when we chose them as our beneficiary for our Live Below the Line campaign. I’ve also traveled to Uganda to observe UNICEF’s programs on the ground firsthand with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign.  It makes me happy to know that Disney has pledged to donate $150,000 to UNICEF to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of It’s a Small World.  You can join in, too. Build your own doll or record yourself at, and for every doll, one dollar will be donated to UNICEF by Disney. This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA.  

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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PHILIPPINES: How Childbirth Can Change Your Life

PHILIPPINES: How Childbirth Can Change Your Life

WMB MKB graphic 500

The initial signs of labor — you already know them by now, if you’re a non-first-time mom like me. You know what to do and what to expect so you stay calm and maybe even continue going about the usual events of your day.

Then labor progresses and you feel that it might be a good idea to get to the hospital or clinic or birthing center or wherever it is you’ve decided to give birth. For those who choose home birth, you don’t even have to leave your home.

You let the process of labor continue naturally and try to remember to take deep breaths. You focus on the beauty of childbirth, the miracle that is taking place right this very minute inside your body.

You think of the life that you’re bringing into the world — a whole new being, separate from you yet very much a part of you. This baby — your baby — will be a part of your heart and mind for a very long time, until you are called to leave this world for good.

It may be a cliché but it is oh so true: being pregnant, giving birth, becoming a mother… all of it changes you. When you are finally able to push your baby out (or he or she is taken out of you if you deliver via caesarean section), you marvel at how this tiny, wailing little person can bring about different emotions in you all at the same time.

The strongest response of all?


An overflowing gush of love for your baby. Most likely every mother has felt it, whether she’s given birth for the first time or the fifth time. This is my child, my precious child, and oh how I love her! I would do anything for her!

And that’s the beauty of childbirth, my friends. It allows us to see beyond ourselves. It reminds us of the importance of living for others, especially the child who has been “given” to us for a special purpose.

As a mother of three, I can testify to how the birth of each of my children, and the events afterwards, profoundly changed me. Each birth, each child, each situation is unique and I know I am blessed and have learned a lot from all my experiences combined.

My children were born in different countries — two were born in the national hospital of Timor Leste (East Timor) and one was born here in the Philippines. They each have memorable birth stories. I rejoice because despite the challenges my husband and I faced after each of our kids were born, all three of them are healthy and happy now.

Sadly, this isn’t the case for many mothers all over the world. Thousands of moms have lost their children to infection and disease. In their case, childbirth did change them but not in the way they imagined it to.

But what if you and I could help make childbirth a more positive and safe experience for mothers? What if we could help women see the beauty of it all, so that they could really say “Childbirth has changed me for the better”?

Well, you know what? We can certainly do so through organizations like, which aims to help provide clean birth kits, and train nurses and volunteers about maternal health. We can also just “be there” for a fellow mom who needs extra support pre, during and post childbirth (especially post childbirth!). We can do simple things like ask how she’s doing, or offer to watch the baby so she can take that shower she’s been longing to have, or maybe even just say, “Hey, I’m praying for you. You and your baby are in my thoughts.”

We can do all of these because, at the end of the day, I believe that of all the changes childbirth can bring about in your life, this one could be the most profound:

Once you become a mother — whether or not your child lives or dies — you’ll forever be connected to other mothers.

And that, to me, is a beautiful thing indeed.

To support safer births for the mothers of Laos in Asia, you can donate to, share this post, and/or join in the Twitter conversation on maternal health tomorrow, February 6th with World Moms Blog, Multicultural Kid Blogs and Girls Globe from 1-2pm EST.

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This is an original post by Tina Santiago-Rodriquez of the Philippines of “Truly Rich Mom”. 

Photo credit to

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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