CANADA: When Moms Travel Solo

CANADA: When Moms Travel Solo

425627_10150543652137779_1010618688_nIn less than a week, I am going to travel to South Africa to see assorted friends and family members. I will escape the dreary November weather and get an extra month of summer in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I will spend lazy days with my mom and my brother, hang out with the woman who has been my best friend since we were ten, and meet someone who, until now, has been my friend in the online world only.

It will be fantastic. I haven’t seen the folks “back home” for almost four years, and as small as the world has become thanks to the wonders of technology, there’s just nothing quite like being in the same room as a parent, a sibling, a friend. In any case, I am desperate for the break. Events of the summer have well and truly hammered me, and I am exhausted. I have worked myself into a state of near-collapse, and I am looking forward to just stopping.

There’s just one thing. I am not taking my husband or kids with me. I recognize that this month away will be good not only for me, but for the kids from a life-learning perspective. But the thought that I will kiss my family goodbye and then turn and walk away from them makes my heart twist.

I haven’t even started packing yet, and already I am tearing up as I think of them going to bed on the night of my departure without their goodnight kiss from Mommy.

The thing is, I am not used to going anywhere without my husband and kids. Although I have been to South Africa by myself twice since the kids were born, both trips were prompted by deaths in the family. This is the first time I am going away by myself for an extended period, for the sole purpose of having fun. No one has died. I do not have to attend a funeral or pick up ashes from a crematorium. I don’t have to visit a lawyer to hear a will read, or deal with the bizarre amount of admin generated by the death of a family member.

Like most moms, I have succeeded in turning the concept of guilt into an art form. I feel guilty when I sneak out of the house for a quick solo trip to the convenience store, never mind getting onto a plane to travel to the other side of the world. But for the sake of my own sanity, I have had to put a lid on the guilt – otherwise I wouldn’t even get as far as the boarding gate.

I have to constantly remind myself that the boys will be OK – and I know they will be. I have been preparing them for my departure without making too big a deal of it. I have promised them that I will bring them a really cool gift from Africa. I am making a countdown calendar for my autism boy. Teachers at both of their schools have promised to look out for them and make extra allowances for them. We have started planning fun activities to do together after I get back.

It is not lost on me that I am fortunate to have such a supportive husband. I don’t feel that I need his permission for this trip, but I do know that many moms wanting to undertake a similar venture would face resistance, or even downright refusal.

My husband wants me to go, and he wants me to have a good time. I suspect that he and the kids are looking forward to spending some “boy time” together.

There will be a tricky moment at the airport when I will have to fight the urge to cry in public. After my husband and children have said their goodbyes and left, I will have to duck into a stall in the washroom to let some tears flow. And then I will board the plane and fly to South Africa to spend time in the land of my birth, with loved ones I haven’t seen for a long time.

When I come back to my adopted country, the Canada I am so proud to be a citizen of, I will be refreshed and rested, ready to take on real life, and excited to be in the warm embrace of my husband and sons.

Would your family be supportive of you taking a long trip without them? What strategies have you used to help your kids, both before and during your travel?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Kirsten Doyle of Canada. Photo credit to the author.

Kirsten Doyle (Canada)

Kirsten Doyle was born in South Africa. After completing university, she drifted for a while and finally washed up in Canada in 2000. She is Mom to two boys who have reached the stage of eating everything in sight (but still remaining skinny). Kirsten was a computer programmer for a while before migrating into I.T. project management. Eventually she tossed in the corporate life entirely in order to be a self-employed writer and editor. She is now living her best life writing about mental health and addictions, and posting videos to two YouTube channels. When Kirsten is not wrestling with her kids or writing up a storm, she can be seen on Toronto's streets putting many miles onto her running shoes. Every year, she runs a half-marathon to benefit children with autism, inspired by her older son who lives life on the autism spectrum. Final piece of information: Kirsten is lucky enough to be married to the funniest guy in the world. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to check out her YouTube channels at My Gen X Life and Word Salad With Coffee!

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Oman: Motherhood – A Perspective

Oman: Motherhood – A Perspective

As a child, I’ve always loved being around younger children. I’d take care of them and moms in my family where always happy to leave their children with me to babysit.

As I studied to become a speech and language therapist, my love for children continued. I had this great empathy for them and I wanted to specialize in pediatrics in order to work closely with them, and so I did.

As I had my three children, the love just increased, but also the stress that comes with it. The stress that you don’t feel with other children when you have a stress-free young life. The stress that you manage to control when you work with other children at work, but it can easily appear the moment you enter your home.

This is the dangerous part of parenthood. It is when you are too stressed that you tend to take it out on the little ones, the most vulnerable ones, the children.

I admit I lost my temper hundreds of times, I failed them another hundreds of times, I wasn’t the pleasant mom always. I would go to bed at night feeling guilty for whatever happened on different occasions and for whatever went wrong.

Life teaches us, and as we strive to be better people, we also tend to accept that we are allowed to make mistakes, even as adults. I didn’t realize that, as a mom initially. I believed I have to be perfect. I couldn’t understand how you can be so good and competent with other children, while you keep losing yourself with your own children.

Things do change with learning.

I learned to stop blaming myself, and realized that it is fine to make mistakes. I believe that the more I remember myself within my hectic life, the more I become a better person and hence a better mom. It can only be possible by managing myself well. It can be through realizing that, as mothers when we do tend to lose ourselves into our daily routine we forget who we are, what makes us happy and what cheers us up. We lose our hobbies, we forget to indulge ourselves in what brings us joy. We stop reading, going out with friends, going to the gym, laughing, getting a pretty haircut, having a cup of hot chocolate while thinking of nothing.

That time spent for me as a person, lets me to resume my mom role happier, more content and I can give more and more. Life is about giving and receiving.

We do not eat our hearts for what we did, but we learn to forgive ourselves, work on improving ourselves and giving ourselves some quality time in order to be able to give to others part of our beautiful self.

This is an original post from our #WorldMom, Ibtisam from Oman for World Moms Blog.

Picture Credit to the author.

You can find more of her wonderful perspective on her blog:


Ibtisam Alwardi

Ibtisam (at Ibtisam's musings) is an Omani Mom of three, living in the capital city of Oman ,Muscat. After working for ten years as a speech and language therapist in a public hospital, she finally had the courage to resign and start her own business. She had a dream of owning a place where she can integrate fun, play and 'books', thus the iPlay Smart centre (@iplaysmart) was born. Currently she is focusing on raising awareness through social media about parenting, childhood, language acquisition. She started raising awareness on (the importance of reading) and (sexual harassment) targeting school-aged children. Ibtisam enjoys writing, both in Arabic and English, reading and working closely with children. She plans to write children books (in Arabic) one day. Contact Ibtisam at ibtisamblogging(at)

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NEW JERSEY, USA: How many moms does it take to raise a child?

NEW JERSEY, USA: How many moms does it take to raise a child?

wmb nadege2Well, let’s see… so far, I have counted four.

First, there is robot mom. She is on auto pilot because she is up twenty two  hours a day, doing pre-programmed tasks such as: feed baby, burp him, change his diaper, rock him to sleep for an hour. She repeats these tasks in a different order all day long.

Robot mom yawns all the time, does not shower every day, only wears PJs and looks like a zombie. Her conversations are very predictable, usually about substances coming out of the baby’s body.

Robot mom runs on batteries. They are rechargeable with anxiety. That’s why she does not fall asleep standing up;  she is too busy worrying about the color of baby’s poop, or projectile vomiting. Yet again, it always comes down to something  smelly firing out of that tiny little bundle.

After about six months, anxiety does not recharge the batteries anymore. Plus, the baby is exhausted as well from all the throwing up, pooping and screaming, so he starts to sleep a little. It’s time for mom number two to kick in: insecure mom.

Insecure mom deals with babies that sleep-ish up to eight year olds. She has no clue what she is doing, and is constantly reminded by her friends and family members. “You shouldn’t give him carrots at his age”, “Does she still wear diapers?”, “He is a bit small”, “How many? Only two teeth are out? That’s strange”, “Your daughter looks funny with so little hair”, “What do you mean he does not know how to read?!!”  And so on. Insecure mom is at her best with her first child. By the time her second child comes along, she has learned to tell everybody to bugger off. She has realized that past the age of five, kids do go to the toilet, so who cares whether it happens at two, three or four? She has accepted that she cannot stretch her child to grow bigger, that there are no medicines to grow teeth, and that nobody wants to do hair implants on toddlers so yeah, whatever…

Insecure mom feels guilty about everything.

Guilty for the things she does wrong, like losing the plot occasionally, using TV to get a few minutes of peace, being caught saying “What the f@*&!” by her four year old, who then seems to only remember THAT word (never happened to me!!!)

Guilty for the things she does right, like punishing the kids for being rude, using a firm tone when they spit their food back in their plate, and generally for being firm but fair.

And guilty for anything in between.

After a few years of not trusting herself, insecure mom realizes that her kids are growing up to be fine, well adjusted and happy children. So she turns into cool mom!

Cool mom is going to enjoy a few years of honeymoon. The kids are big enough to understand rules and respect. They can express themselves clearly, so unless they run to you screaming, there is really no need to panic. If you don’t hear them, they are likely being mischievous, but they have learned the difference between stuff that they cannot do that are a big NO-NO (like drawing on the walls with markers) and the stuff they cannot do but, “Meh!” (like playing video games with the volume off so you won’t know). They give you priceless, magical moments where they tell you about their friends, their views on life. Nothing is more enjoyable than this complicity between you and them. They think you totally rock, although please don’t try to hug them in front of others!

Enjoy! Because this mom does not stay for long. After that, the kids become teenagers. Everything  you thought you knew about them is just gone. Woosh!!! You have to start from scratch. The only part you don’t have to repeat is potty training. Other than that, you will have to deal with tantrums and other toddler-like behaviors: not sharing their phone with their siblings, refusing to eat, slamming doors, boyfriend / girlfriend issues (I am not sure about teenagers, but toddlers have a lot of boyfriend / girlfriend drama going on!). Except, you can’t put them in time out or tower over them with your grumpy voice and your look-like-you-mean-it. I mean, let’s face it, they are a foot taller than you are…

So you have to be cop-mom: lay down the laws, stick to the rules. And call for back up! Or maybe remote mom: move to a deserted island with your alien children until they become humans again. I have no clue, I am only entering phase three of my motherhood journey. That’s why phase four looks a little scary. But like with robot, anxious and cool moms, we’ll all manage when we get there. Because at the end of the day, we will try our best. And that’s the best we can do!

Do you feel like you have evolved, or reached milestones, in your parenting journey?  How has it been similar or different to mine? 

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Nadege Nicoll.  She was born in France but now lives permanently in New Jersey with her family.  Nadege also writes a daily blog for moms who need to smile at everyday life. She can be found on Twitter, Facebook and her website

Drawing credits to Jake Nicoll, the author’s son.

Nadege Nicoll

Nadege Nicoll was born in France but now lives permanently in New Jersey with her family. She stopped working in the corporate world to raise her three children and multiple pets, thus secretly gathering material for her books. She writes humorous fictions for kids aged 8 to 12. She published her first chapter book, “Living with Grown-Ups: Raising Parents” in March 2013. Her second volume in the series just came out in October 2013. “Living with Grown-Ups: Duties and Responsibilities” Both books take an amusing look at parents’ inconsistent behaviors, seen from the perspective of kids. Nadege hopes that with her work, children will embrace reading and adults will re-discover the children side of parenthood. Nadege has a few more volumes ready to print, so watch this space…

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INDONESIA: Working Mom’s Guilt

INDONESIA: Working Mom’s Guilt

Office DeskCome here, baby…

He snuggled closer to me, allowing me to inhale a faint smell of his shampoo on his thick, getting-too-long hair.

For a boy who is no longer a baby who can be dead stubborn about his ways sometimes, I am lucky he still wants to snuggle close to his mother.

His working mother that is.

Yes, I returned to the corporate world last December after being a work-from-home mom for almost a year.

While I enjoyed returning to my old job, excited that my previous employer offered it to me, and happy to see my old friends again, there’s part of me that feels guilty – again.

Same old cycle of guilt…the working mom’s guilt. (more…)


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

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ISRAEL: Sometimes The Right Thing Is To Be A Bad Mother

ISRAEL: Sometimes The Right Thing Is To Be A Bad Mother

As parents, I think we each have our shining moments, average moments and moments that we, unsuccessfully, try hard to forget.

And we each have those moments when we are torn. Torn between our own needs and our kids needs, be they real or imagined.

I had one of those heart “tearing” moments this past week. I have been exhausted, not feeling well and in need of some kind of relaxation, not to mention in need of some one on one time with my husband. On the spur of the moment, on Saturday night we made the decision and the reservations to go away for one night on Tuesday night. We made plans for our three kids who live at home and our other two are grown up and soldiers are in the army. I was literally counting the moments.

On Monday night, my eldest son, who is just shy of twenty-two, was hospitalized through the army. He had an ear infection that was draining and not clearing up with oral antibiotics and he was in a lot of pain. And I was torn.

I was exhausted and feeling under the weather. And while I felt I should go see how he was, as a nurse I also knew that he was okay and that it wasn’t urgent. He also kept telling me I didn’t need to come in. So my husband went to see him. Without me. (Which has to be a first for me in situations like this.) (more…)

Susie Newday (Israel)

Susie Newday is a happily-married American-born Israeli mother of five. She is an oncology nurse, blogger and avid amateur photographer. Most importantly, Susie is a happily married mother of five amazing kids from age 8-24 and soon to be a mother in law. (Which also makes her a chef, maid, tutor, chauffeur, launderer...) Susie's blog, New Day, New Lesson, is her attempt to help others and herself view the lessons life hands all of us in a positive light. She will also be the first to admit that blogging is great free therapy as well. Susie's hope for the world? Increasing kindness, tolerance and love. You can also follow her Facebook page New Day, New Lesson where she posts her unique photos with quotes as well as gift ideas.

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