UK: The Online World Is Scary But I Won’t Let It Stop Me

UK: The Online World Is Scary But I Won’t Let It Stop Me

michelleJust before Christmas during a planned break from blogging, I happened to be checking my blog for something a client had asked for. As I logged in, I noticed a comment that required moderation on my little used review blog. It’s practically retired now, but it has a few hundred posts on it, mostly from 2010-2013. I wasn’t too excited to see the comment there, but nevertheless I went over to check it out. As I read, my heart started to race, I felt physically sick and the colour drained from my face.

It was every blogger’s worst nightmare, a troll and not even just an abusive troll, but one that was talking sexually about my young daughters. The comment was disgusting – needless to say, I won’t be repeating it here. The post was from 2011 when my twin girls were 4 years old and they were wearing swimwear. They were fully covered and there was nothing provocative about their poses but that was not enough to distract this person. I deleted the comment and the blog post and tried to forget it.

Roll forward a couple of weeks, and again I noticed there were comments to moderate. This time there were three of them, all on different posts featuring my girls. The girls were fully dressed in these posts and in two you could only see a tiny fraction of them, but it was enough to have sparked the imagination of this person. This time I showed my husband and we were dismayed to see that in the last comment the person had used the real name of one of our daughters (something I do not use on the blog).

This was of course a red flag to us and I called the police to report the abuse. Stupidly, I had been allowing anonymous comments on my Blogger blog and there was no way of tracking where the comments had come from. I quickly rectified this and installed software to track my visitors, and also tightened up the commenting system. Of course there have not been any more comments, as this person will not want to find themselves identified.

It’s hard to put this incident aside, though. The fact that this person knew our daughter’s name concerns us greatly and we have had to inform our community and local people so all of our children (and theirs) are watched more closely. We have many new rules and safeguards in place and we’ve talked to the girls again about stranger danger and being wary of trusting people that we do not know.

It’s so sad that we don’t live in a world where the girls can be completely free to explore the amazing environment they live within but it is imperative to find that balance between being safe and having some freedom and independence.

A knowledgeable friend assures me that it is unlikely to be a pedophile who wrote the comments as they tend to be very clever and secretive about their intentions and desires. It is more likely to be someone who knows me and has a gripe with me. I could send myself crazy trying to figure out who it is, so to be frank I have given up doing so and will place my trust in God to keep all my family safe.

For a week or so after discovering the comments, I just wanted to delete my blogs and run away and hide. But I realised that all the pictures I have ever placed on the web could have been downloaded, moved elsewhere or still be there cached. It was too late, my family and I were out there and I’d always known that someone, somewhere could have seen my children and had inappropriate thoughts, but until they came into my world it didn’t seem real or an issue.

I’ve decided that I will keep blogging, that I must keep blogging. I have a prominent voice and many messages that I feel tasked to spread. It would be wrong if someone sick could use their evil influence to undo all the good my blogs have done. All the women who have contacted me over the years saying they appreciate my honesty and my posts about miscarriage, overeating, imperfect parenting, bullying and so many other tough subjects would be left without the resource I have provided.

The outcome of this terrible incident has actually been that I’ve started a new blog, Progress Not Perfection where I will continue to be totally honest. It probably won’t become anywhere near as popular as my regular blog, and I don’t expect it to rank at number one like Mummy for the Heart does but that is OK as success can attract the kind of comments I never want to see again. Sadly Mummy from the Heart and my reviews blog Honest Mummy Reviews feel tainted and kind of dirty. They’ll still keep going as that is where I earn an income but much of the joy has disappeared.

At the moment I won’t be placing many more pictures of my children on my blogs but who knows, it might change with time. I’m still processing it all. I just felt compelled to share this sad tale with you as a reminder of what can happen online. Stay alert, be aware that not everyone is good, and protect your children with whatever safeguards are necessary. They are our number one priority after all.

Have you ever had any nasty experiences online? How do you safeguard yourself and your family in your online world?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Michelle Pannell of the United Kingdom. Photo credit to the author.

Michelle Pannell

Michelle’s tales of everyday life and imperfect parenting of a 13-year-old boy and 9-year-old twin girls and her positive Christian outlook on life have made her name known in the UK parenting blogosphere. Her blog, Mummy from the Heart, has struck a chord with and is read by thousands of women across the world. Michelle loves life and enjoys keeping it simple. Time with her family, friends and God are what make her happiest, along with a spot of blogging and tweeting, too! Michelle readily left behind the corporate arena but draws on her 25 years of career experience from the fields of hotel, recruitment and HR management in her current voluntary roles at a school, Christian conference centre, night shelter and food bank. As a ONE ambassador, in 2012 Michelle was selected to travel on a delegation to Ethiopia with the organisation to report on global poverty and health. Then in 2014 she was invited to Washington, DC, where she attended the AYA Summit for girls and women worldwide. When asked about her ambassadorship with the ONE Campaign, she stated, "I feel humbled to be able to act as an advocate and campaigner for those living in poverty."

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INDONESIA: What You Didn’t Know About the #WorldMoms

INDONESIA: What You Didn’t Know About the #WorldMoms

WMB 2015 Singapore Meet Up

There they were…

I walked up to them with a big smile on my face, feeling all excited.
I’m sorry I got lost!

I gave Ruth a big hug. She smiled the most genuine smile and said it’s fine. Susan was next. We hugged as if we’ve met before.

From afar, it may have looked like we were a bunch of women who were just catching up.

These two ladies, who had such big smiles, were so warm and welcoming.  Sophie, Susan’s little girl, was a little gem.  She brightened up our whole time together.

The truth is, I had never met them before.

Well, not in person, until that late June day where I was en-route to see my fiancé, and I had a long layover  in Singapore.

Indonesia to Singapore is not that far, only a short flight away, but it was the first time I got to meet Ruth Wong and Susan Koh, my fellow contributors at World Moms Blog. They warmly welcomed me to Singapore and even made their way to meet me at the airport. It was truly amazing to experience meeting them for the first time.

Without a doubt, the one thing that brought us together there that day was…World Moms Blog.

It was sometime in 2011 when I decided to email World Moms Blog and ask if they would be interested to have a new writer from Jakarta, Indonesia. Jen replied excitedly and, as they say, the rest is history. World Moms Blog was the first international website I dared to write for.

Ruth and I have been working closely together for the past couple of years to organize World Moms Blog’s behind-the-scenes secret santa for our contributors or what we call “Fairy Moms”.  Working on this project helped me get to know her better and was a fun way to get to know more of the World Moms.

And connecting with Susan led to our discussions on my issue with uterine fibroids. From her, I learned about the surgery options and the recovery period.

World Moms Blog has given me so much.

Not just a platform to allow myself to be a better writer, it has brought in friends from many different parts of the world. From New Zealand (Karyn) to Canada (Kirsten) to South Africa (Simona) and India (Purnima), to name just a few! Many of us are actively in touch behind the scenes of the site, and maybe that is not very known. World Moms Blog made the world a little smaller for me and has allowed some great friendships to blossom among its global contributors.

The time in which I really needed my fellow World Moms was the period just before and during when I came out publicly about my childhood sexual abuse.  My friends at World Moms Blog were there, lending me their love and support at a time when I needed the most. This amazing group of mothers has become a tremendous support system for me.

Witnessing how much World Moms Blog has grown over the years and seeing the social impact that these women have brought into the world — from covering stories about child workers in Morocco to the Chibok girls of Nigeria who were captured, I can only say how proud I am to be a part of this amazing network of women.

I need them. The world needs more of this unique love and support across geographical, cultural, religious and political divides. I am proud to write at World Moms Blog. I am proud of what we are accomplishing together.

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by contributor, Maureen Hitipeuw of Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Photo credit to the author. 


Founder of Single Moms Indonesia, community leader and builder. Deeply passionate about women empowerment.

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PHILIPPINES: When your heart expands

PHILIPPINES: When your heart expands


I haven’t written for World Moms Blog in a while, I’ve had the privilege to work with two wonderful organizations in our country in the past few months, which is why I’ve been lying low around here. Most of my work has been online: blog coaching, doing digital strategy, etc. To run down what’s happened since the beginning of 2014:

  • I rebranded my website. It’s now called “Make it Blissful,” and is dedicated to the quest for meaningful living.
  • I started doing more workshops, as part of my shift to entrepreneurship. I’ve been doing monthly workshops since December 2013, which I would do quarterly in 2013.
  • I worked on several websites, two of which are advocacy-related and geared at fund-raising efforts for our countrymen who were affected by the deadly Typhoon Haiyan last year. The websites I created for them were ProjectHopePH and check them out when you have time!)
  • I’ve coached more than ten ladies since the beginning of this year, on how to launch their own online platforms and communities.
  • I started teaching some blogging classes (non-credited, short course only) at a local college.
  • And, to date, I’m a contributing writer for several mom-centric and women-centric blogs, such as The Work at Home Woman, The Mom Writes, Glam-O-Mamas, and of course, The World Moms Blog.


Yes, you could say I’m busy. I’ve had to do all this while homeschooling my son as well, which is no easy feat. We have a very flexible, crafts and arts-based homeschool setup, though, because I’d rather he play more than study. Some days I feel like I should slow down — and I do — so that I can play with him some more.


Sometimes I wonder if I’m too busy. I stay at home most days of the week, save for on-location meetings for clients who aren’t as Web-savvy (read: they don’t or can’t meet over Skype!). Still, even at home, I have to deliberately say “no” at times to things that compete for Vito’s attention. While my son understands that Mom has to work, even though she’s at home, I know myself and when I am getting too wrapped up in work instead of working with my son.

There will always be a juggle for me. I’ve decided to be a work-at-home mom, after all. These days though, as my son gets older and more curious about the world he lives in, I have to be mindful of our sacred times together. As a woman whose “office” is limited to a small deskspace and a laptop, I also have to be careful that I don’t get sucked into my microworld of obligations.

Yes, of course, I have to deliver the best work to my clients — and I’m very grateful for the clients I have. But, I cannot and will not lose out on the daily challenges and memory-crafting moments that the universe has blessed me with as a mother.

And so, this is why I’m glad I can still write openly and freely about motherhood here on WMB. My fellow mom-bloggers here have been so supportive of my work, and were so sweet to let me have a “blog-iatus” (i.e. “hiatus”) from writing here so that I could catch my breath. I’m very glad to be back , albeit I’ll no longer have my editor role. That’s what’s great about this community: Moms support one another, no questions asked.

So, thank you for reading this, whoever you are. It means so much to me that I can keep on blogging here, from my small workspace here in the urban jungle of Manila. Isn’t blogging awesome?

This is an original post by Martine de Luna for World Moms Blog. You can find her on her blog, Make it Blissful, and work with her at Martine de Luna – Digital Creatives. Photo credit to the author.

Martine de Luna (Philippines)

Martine is a work-at-home Mom and passionate blogger. A former expat kid, she has a soft spot for international efforts, like WMB. While she's not blogging, she's busy making words awesome for her clients, who avail of her marketing writing, website writing, and blog consulting services. Martine now resides in busy, sunny Manila, the Philippines, with her husband, Ton, and toddler son, Vito Sebastian. You can find her blogging at

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NETHERLANDS:  Interview with The European Mama

NETHERLANDS: Interview with The European Mama

Olga1-300x214Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?

I live in the Netherlands. Neither me, nor my husband are from there. I was born in Poland, but have been living abroad for a while (among others in Canada, Germany and now the Netherlands). My husband is German.

What language(s) do you speak?

Theoretically, I speak 5 languages – Polish, German, English, Dutch and French. However, to be frank I speak 3 of them really well (Polish, German and English), my Dutch is on its way to improvement, and I like to say that I speak half of French. I don’t know why but my French only works when the person I’m talking to doesn’t know any other languages. However, I have two French cousins and I wish I could speak it better. I speak Polish with the children, my husband speaks German and they learn Dutch at daycare.

When did you first become a mother?

I had my first child in 2009. It was also the year we got married, I was trying to graduate from university and we had an international move to arrange! It was a crazy year! 2 years later, my second daughter was born, and I am now a happy mom to three children, as my baby boy was born only a month ago. (more…)

Olga Mecking

Olga is a Polish woman living in the Netherlands with her German husband. She is a multilingual expat mom to three trilingual children (even though, theoretically, only one is trilingual since she's old enough to speak). She loves being an expat, exploring new cultures, learning languages, cooking and raising her children. Occasionally, Olga gives trainings in intercultural communication and works as a translator. Otherwise, you can find her sharing her experiences on her blog, The European Mama. Also take a while to visit her Facebook page .

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CALLING ALL BLOGGERS!: Our “Blogiversary” Link Up Nov. 2, 3, and 4th! (Updated!)

This November marks the 1 Year Blogiversary of World Moms Blog!  

How best to celebrate?  

The World Moms said, “Let’s have a link up!”

Bloggers, this upcoming Wednesday, Thursday and Friday link up with World Moms Blog and help us celebrate!  Here’s how! (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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