NETHERLANDS:  Milestones


130812811_5175751024_zI remember the day I gave birth to my firstborn very well.

After a long exhausting delivery, a baby boy was placed in my arms.

I remember feeling overwhelmed, I remember shaking from exhaustion.

But my fatigue and pain faded to the background, the moment I held him for the first time.

It wasn’t just a child that was born that day, a mother was also born and a love beyond comprehension.

Something in my mind and spirit opened up and I never saw the world the same way again.
From that moment on, I wept, whenever I saw the news.

With every casualty I realized that that was someone’s baby, someone’s child.

The irony is, that at the same time that an alertness and a desire to keep my baby close was awakened in me, a will and force to stand on his own was stirred up in him.

Yes, I had brought this little boy into the world, but he wasn’t mine. Yes, mine to hold, but for a short amount of time. He was born to walk his own course and to be his own person.

To emphasize this the cord  binding us together was cut.
And thus started our walk together. His, a walk of learning to take his own steps and mine, a walk of loosening grip by grip.

“Hold my hand as you cross the street.”

“You get back here, young man!”

“Yes, you can walk ahead in front of me as long as I can see you”

“You may ride your bike, but you have to stay on the curb.”
I held him, carried him, I cheered him on.

I held his hand and accompanied him, I sometimes gave him a little push when he lacked confidence.
And on many, many occasions I held him back.

“No, don’t touch that, that’s hot.”

“No, you can’t watch that, you’re too young.”

“No, you can’t go there, that’s too far.”
And now I have to let him go beyond my grasp, beyond my sight.

A part of my job is done and my role is changing.

I can no longer hold him back.

I have to let him go yet a little further.
The other day I accidentally grabbed his hand as we were crossing the street. He quickly pulled his hand away and gave me a look fit for crazy people.

My mistake, I thought, for one moment I mistook you for the little boy you once were.

My little boy is going to high school.

Can someone please hold me now?
Do you have moments that you have trouble letting your child or children go?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Mirjam of the Netherlands. Mirjam also blogs at Apples and Roses.

Photo credit: kwanie. This picture has a creative commons attribution license.


Mirjam was born in warm, sunny Surinam, but raised in the cold, rainy Netherlands. She´s the mom of three rambunctious beauties and has been married for over two decades to the love of her life. Every day she´s challenged by combining the best and worst of two cultures at home. She used to be an elementary school teacher but is now a stay at home Mom. In her free time she loves to pick up her photo camera. Mirjam has had a life long battle with depression and is not afraid to talk about it. She enjoys being a blogger, an amateur photographer, and loves being creative in many ways. But most of all she loves live and laughter, even though sometimes she is the joke herself. You can find Mirjam (sporadically) at her blog Apples and Roses where she blogs about her battle with depression and finding beauty in the simplest of things. You can also find Mirjam on Twitter and Instagram.

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SOCIAL GOOD: Add to My List of Favorite Role Models for Kids!

SOCIAL GOOD: Add to My List of Favorite Role Models for Kids!

Sometimes the best role models for kids are…other kids! I stumbled upon these two amazing young girls on the planet along the way so far.  And, I’m curious to see what inspiring kids of all ages in the world that you’d add  —  let’s make a list!

1) Maddy in the USA 

Hurricane Sandy came in and scooped up homes, businesses, boardwalks and even a beloved roller coaster and whipped them all into the sea. Many around the world watched footage of people in the aftermath who lost so much. One child in Florida, USA watched a video of a woman on the news from New Jersey who said she didn’t even have any dry socks. Like that, an idea was born…

Maddy is a 10-year old girl who instantly started laying plans for a sock drive for her home state of New Jersey.  She had a meeting with her school’s principal, who allowed her to put a box she created in her school for sock donations.  Over 600 pairs later, Maddy shipped three large boxes of socks up to New Jersey where they were sent to the children and adults who needed them most after Sandy!

All it takes is one kid to make a difference!

All it takes is one kid to make a difference!                      Photo credit to Maddy’s mom.


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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