This weekend World Moms Blog editors met in person and on Skype to work on our organization’s strategic plan. Senior Editor, Elizabeth Atalay of Documama, hosted Kyla P’an of Growing Muses and myself in Rhode Island, USA, where we had a packed agenda full of brainstorming, organizing, meetings and calls with our international counterparts around the world.
Before we had even put the pedal to the metal and got started, we received news from India that our site had been featured in the Times of India on Mother’s Day and topped the list of online resources for mothers. That was the perfect morning rally we needed going into a full day of strategic planing and global meetings!
First, Kudos to Senior Editor, Kyla P’an, who made us peg down a weekend for the planning session. Kyla joined World Moms Blog as an editor in 2011 when I went on “maternity leave” with my, now, 3-year old. Like Senior Editors, Eva Fannon, Kirsten Doyle and Purnima Ramakrishnan, she’s been editing weekly with us ever since. To have such a rock solid, committed team behind our site has been critical for our survival…and our sanity. 🙂
We started off our retreat on Friday night with a bonding dinner at an amazing vegetarian restaurant in Providence Rhode Island, The Grange, and toasted to our well-planned agenda for the next day!
In the morning, we got an exciting, motivational phone call in to fellow editor, Nicole Melancon in Minnesota, USA. And then, Elizabeth and her beautiful golden lab, led us on a hike in the woods. After our blood was flowing, we headed back (ok, rushed to make our 10 o’clock!) to Elizabeth’s house for the first of our planned meetings and vision boarding.
Coming out of the weekend with clear objectives seemed to unleash a whole new upper level of excitement we have for running this organization. And being able to share our ideas with the editing team and getting all the contributors involved in our planning felt very democratic, a reminder of how much of a global movement World Moms Blog is.
In the late afternoon, we took a break in between calls for an inspiring walk near the Atlantic and then out for an early dinner. Then back to work on our evening calls with our editors in Asia, who had already begun their Sunday morning. The energy that all of the women around the world have brought to this strategic planning effort has humbled me. If things couldn’t get even more global, Kyla, Elizabeth and I ended the evening by watching “Baraka”, a wordless documentary on culture around the world from the 1990s.
Before we parted ways on Sunday morning, we glued the final pieces on our vision board and had an in-person meeting with Meg Wirth from Maternova, a company that helps get the products mothers need to increase maternal health worldwide. Online, we know Meg well from her support of our 8 month #Moms4MDGs campaign, and it was great to be able to sit down with her over a cup of coffee and hear more about her life, her passion and how Maternova came to be. Did you know they’ve made an impact in the lives of over 115,000 mothers in over 35 countries? (Interview with Meg to come!)
Alas, I boarded my train back to New Jersey with our vision board in tow. Now that we’ve set our goals and objectives, we certainly have our work cut out for us. And, without revealing any specific, amazing plans until they’re ready to be unveiled to the world, there will be some exciting changes and projects in the pipelines, so do keep up to date with World Moms Blog!
Want to stay up to date with World Moms Blog? Head over to our right sidebar to fill out the form for our newsletter — you may even win a World Moms Blog tote bag during our next mailing!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Founder, Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA.
Photo credits to World Moms Blog.
Last year at this time, I admit, I was burnt to the ground in exhaustion, and I thought about shutting World Moms Blog down.
It is a really tough thing for me to admit.
With a one-year old at the time home all day, who was down to one nap, and a 5-year old in only half-day kindergarten, I felt like I couldn’t keep on top of anything else. I couldn’t. Only by burning the midnight oil and hiring a babysitter here and there. Things got really busy, and the website was, at the time, plagued with technical difficulties that I was treading water to keep up with.
I was a mom first. And I felt like a failure when it came to managing the website. I felt like I couldn’t be the leader that the site needed and the stay-at-home mother of my children. My instinct was to shut the whole thing down. Really.
Friends asked me “how I did it all”, and to be honest, I cringed when they said that because I didn’t feel like I could squeeze in just enough time to keep things running. It only made me think of all of the things that I hadn’t done yet. Or the ideas to make World Moms Blog better or to bring in a cash flow that I didn’t have the time to work on.
Even my proclaimed-by-me-work-a-holic husband had found the time for us to spend together, and he was now asking me to find the time for us. Last year at this time was the roughest of rough spots when it came to being a mom, wife and leading World Moms Blog. I felt like we were a Forbes Best Website for Women that was beginning to unravel from lack of good leadership by me.
World Moms Blog editors and contributors gave me the encouragement it took to keep us going. They loved the site and our community, and they pitched in and weren’t letting go, when I was falling.
In early 2013, Purnima won a BlogHer International Activists scholarship that would fly her to the USA. This was the motivation to keep us going until August when we would meet in Chicago at the BlogHer conference. But long before then, we were well back on track. Then the NY Times Motherlode called us a “must read”. I cried. We can do this.
Then, Forbes Woman listed World Moms Blog as a Best Website for Women for the second year in a row. Our contributors and I were on cloud 9. We worked together and they helped me bring World Moms Blog into 2013!
The blog was founded by me, but exists today because of the World Moms editors and contributors who nudged me on, knowingly and unknowingly, to get through the tough time and continue to volunteer their best work. And to the organizations who told us in their own way that our work is valuable to society.
The paragraphs above were not the paragraphs I set out to write. They were written after I decided that the year in review post was finished. They are the words inside that I wasn’t sharing with my blogging community, peers and readers. I don’t just get by easily. I have no secret to doing it all. Some things will fall through the cracks. I stayed up very late for many nights in 2013. But, we made it.
We hired technical help and made more volunteer editing positions available to our contributors. We also reorganized our editing and scheduling system, which empowered our regional editors. These moves also helped relieve the pressure and free up my time for my life and for leading the blog. And then October came, and both my daughters were at school, and I had office hours.
This year was my toughest, time-wise. I got through it, we all got through it, and we’re headed enthusiastically into the future. I can assure you, we’ve come along way, and World Moms Blog is here to stay! If I had a magic ball last year to tell me where World Moms Blog would be today, when I really needed it most, the paragraphs to follow are what it would have told me. So glad everyone helped me through the tough time and our year turned out more than incredible…thank you, everyone.
This year World Moms Blog made it onto Forbes Woman’s “Best Websites for Women” list for the second year in a row, and we were called a “must read” by the NY Times Motherload. Did that really all happen??!! But oh wait, there’s more…our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, won a BlogHer International Activist Scholarship to come to the US and speak, and Mama B.’s post from Saudi Arabia on women’s rights won a BlogHer Voice of the Year award!
Also, as our founder, I received a scholarship as a “Global Influencer” to the Social Good Summit this year, where some of our moms were onstage for Shot@Life, and for the first time EVER, we were invited to the UN by the ONE Campaign and the GAVI Alliance. The UN!!! A dream come true!!!
Here in 2013, famous sex therapist, Dr. Ruth posed with our Lady World Moms Blog logo and World Moms Blog’s Middle East & Africa editor, Susie Newday, while Susie was reporting from the Israeli Presidential Conference in Tel Aviv.
And there were too many global contributor meet ups to mention — Jakarta, NYC, Walt Disney World, Toronto, Dar es Salaam and more! Our World Moms are truly, beyond grateful for this catapulting momentum!!!
Here we are with a new addition to our writing team and the former Miss World Africa, Nancy Sumari of Tanzania and Carolyn Miles, the CEO of Save the Children!
#Moms4MDGs — Nancy Sumari, Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children, Nicole Melancon, Elizabeth Atalay, Jennifer Burden and Jennifer Barbour just after a discussion on children refugees from the Syrian conflict. September 23, 2013 in NYC.
Here’s when Purnima from India was in Chicago, USA for the BlogHer Conference, and we met with Sheryl Sanberg of Facebook!
We attended the Disney Social Media Moms weekend in May at Walt Disney World in Florida. Guess who also happened to be in the park? One of our editors from Africa, Kim from Mama Mzungu! It would be awesome if all of you could have been there! Here’s a photo of World Moms Blog editor, Nicole Morgan of Sisters from Another Mister, me and Kim at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!
There are too many World Moms Blog contributor meet ups to mention, so here’s a compilation of some that happened in 2013! We should make a whole page for these, shouldn’t we?! My heart sings looking at this collage:
Also, the World Moms Blog community helped provide over 100 birth kits this year for CleanBirth.org to help better maternal health in Laos. We attended many conferences including Moms+Social in NYC, where I was honored to present a panel. A group of our moms also attended and helped lead advocacy training at the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life Summit in Washington, DC, USA, where we lobbied the United States Congress for aid for global health. World Moms Blog was also a finalist for the Bloganthropy award, which led us to the Champions for Kids conference in Arkansas, US this year, too.
Our #Moms4MDGs campaign on the web and on Twitter has been amazing. We have been working with non profit organizations to raise awareness on how to help end world poverty and support global health initiatives. And we’ve brought many new people into the conversation through social media. There are still 3 months of the 8 month #Moms4MDGs campaign to help the UN raise awareness about their Millennium Development Goals. We’ve made our promise to keep the conversation going after Moms + Social! We hope you will join us!
2013 has been a great year for us in so many ways. Thank YOU to our readers for being along for the ride. You are our inspiration!
As we take a much needed “blogcation” break to recharge for 2014, check out some fantastic great reads on World Moms Blog that you may have missed!
Did you catch this story from Nihad on her motherhood experiences since the coup in Egypt?
Or when Melanie in Japan posted about trying to protect her children from pornographic images in Tokyo?
Can an Ave Maria played at 6pm on the radio in Brazil help a mother get through the toughest part of her day?
Do you approach danger the same way Karyn in New Zealand approaches danger with her kids?
What would it be like having been raised in a communist state and now raising your daughter in a non-communist state? Read Olga Mecking of Poland’s motherhood experience!
Does what Mama B. in Saudi Arabia thinks is appropriate and inappropropriate for girls the same as what you think is appropriate?
Despite cultural Asian norms, should Ruth in Singapore find a nursing home to help her care for her mom with dementia?
What values do you think bond Hispanics from many different countries together? Read what Eva Fannon in the USA has come up with!
Does your child’s dad play a part in helping you out? Tina in the Phillipines sent a shout-out to all the World Dads this year!
Need to cry and just let it out? Our editor Susie Newday in Israel interviewed her good friend Neta on the realities of living with metastatic breast cancer.
More in the mood to change the world with World Voice, our social good and human rights column edited by Elizabeth Atalay? Check out these things you can do with your child to celebrate world human rights by Jennifer Prestholdt in the USA!
And, check out the latest dates for our moms’ campaign, #Moms4MDGs, to help raise awareness for the UN’s goals on world poverty and global health!
Wondering what our contributors are up to behind the scenes? Here’s a look into World Moms Blog at the UN this year!
Last, but not least, need a motherhood pick me up? Then search no further from this self-examining, truthful motherhood post by Polish Mom Photographer — you’ll be glad you did!
We’ll be sharing more great posts from 2013 on our World Moms Blog Facebook Page and Twitter, too, this week chosen by our Social Media editors! And there are way too many great posts from 2013 to mention — so have a poke around our site!
Meet us back here on Monday, January 6th to kick off 2014 running with our moms’ resolutions on World Moms Blog! See you then!
World Moms Blog’s Reenergized and Now Fearless Leader Going into 2014 with the Always Awesome WMB Editing & Contributing Team, Jennifer Burden 🙂
P.S. I really can’t wait to see what the mothers at World Moms Blog will accomplish in 2014!
At World Moms Blog we’ve been so “Go! Go! Go!” that I haven’t had time to reflect on our year, and now that I have, it was really “WOW!!” Here are some amazing and memorable highlights!
World Moms Blog contributors and editors met up for the first time in Washington, DC in January, around the UN Foundation’s Volunteer Summit for Shot@Life. I was also invited to speak at the event on grass-roots fundraising and party planning for social good during the summit.
In March, our Indonesian contributors, Maureen and Shaula Bellour, also met for the first time ever in Jakarta for coffee. (more…)