Protecting Family Time From Screen Time

Protecting Family Time From Screen Time

Socially distanced but digitally connected. That pretty much sums up what happened globally when COVID-19 hit us in 2020. Who would have imagined that in order to stop the spread of the virus, we have to isolate at home, get quarantined, and go as far as having lock-downs across cities, states and countries. It was no different here in Singapore.

In April 2020, the Singapore government announced a circuit breaker, a partial nation-wide lockdown, where non-essential workplaces including schools had to close and move online. Prepared or not, eLearning became the default learning mode where students had to quickly adapt to digital learning.

But guess what, our children proved how adaptable they are as they rose to be digital natives like fish to water. I saw my daughter navigating video platforms like Zoom, and Teams with ease and I even had to take a lesson or two from her.

To cope with social distancing, she took to playing games online and chatting with friends on WhatsApp and Google hangout. Entertainment choices were at her fingertips ranging from streaming channels, YouTube, Spotify and the list goes on.

While I saw how technology was a saviour to keep us entertained and socially connected to the world outside, it could have potentially been a curse if there were no ground rules with a free for all pass. It is one thing to read news and articles about how technology can draw us and suck us into our devices, making us oblivious to the ones next to us, and it was another to see it unfolding in my family.

I was particularly disturbed that it drew us apart as a family because we were so caught up about being connected with everyone else online. What an irony.

So even though I saw many benefits from a digital lifestyle, enough was enough and we decided to dump our devices and head outdoors instead. We picked up cycling as a family and explored places on our wheels. We cycled on familiar routes in the city and got more adventurous with longer routes along the coast. It was refreshing for body, mind and soul and became a new family activity that we looked forward to on the weekends.

Being in a lock-down made us appreciate nature so much more and it was a much needed respite with all the negative news on escalating COVID cases here in Singapore and around the world. Our weekend cycling adventures gave us something to look forward to and it bonded us tighter as a family of three.

It made me realise that even though our children may appear to choose their devices over us, it’s up to us as parents to draw the boundaries and offer them an alternative. An alternative which the whole family can be involved in while building deeper connections. An alternative that is healthy, wholesome and it never hurts if it’s lots of fun too!

Parents, let’s win the war to win the hearts of our children to strengthen and protect our parent-child relationship instead of leaving them to their own devices, literally. In a world where things have thrown us off balance, we can be the stabilising force in our kids’  lives to give security and hope as we look forward to the day when we stamp out COVID.

What activities did you start with your family during COVID-19?

Susan Koh

Susan is from Singapore. As a full-time working mom, she's still learning to perfect the art of juggling between career and family while leading a happy and fulfilled life. She can't get by a day without coffee and swears she's no bimbo even though she likes pink and Hello Kitty. She's loves to travel and blogs passionately about parenting, marriage and relationship and leading a healthy life at A Juggling Mom.

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Singapore: Meditation in the Life of a Coach-Mom

Singapore: Meditation in the Life of a Coach-Mom

“Please join us in the 2016 #Heartfulness Meditation Conference in the USA. If you are a World Moms Blog contributor, or reader, or  fan, please contact us (info@worldmomsblog.com) for a free pass.”470x246_fb********************************************************************************************************************

Below is the experiential journey of our #WorldMom, Ruth Wong from Singapore, where she talks about the benefits of trying meditation as a tool to improve the mental and holistic aspects of her life. Her earlier experiences led her to #Heartfulness meditation on the Webinar workshops conducted by #WorldMomsBlog

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Before I started my training to become a life-coach, words like “Mindfulness” and “meditation” were just the latest buzzwords on the internet and social media. Little did I know that they would soon become an integral part of my life.

#heartfulness

During my training to become a coach, I was taught how to use conscious breathing, guided meditations and visualizations as powerful tools to facilitate my client’s transformation with more ease and readiness. Of course, before we can become the teachers, we are first the students, and that’s how my meditation journey began.

In the beginning, all I did was to sit by myself and do deep breathing exercises. I began to research and learn about different breathing techniques and meditation.

#heartfulness

Then over time, I listened to my heart and allowed myself to be guided by my intuition. Some days, I would do affirmations during my meditation session, other days I would be contemplating an issue and seeking answers to it, from within my own heart.

A journal would be by my side so that I can jot down the insights and ideas received during meditation.

Then there are days where I would do guided meditations by listening to recordings by my coaching mentor. What is meaningful to me is the fact that I’ve found my way to calm, and created a special, sacred space for myself where I can go inward into my heart, to find balance, get grounded and discover answers to whatever is going on in my life. And I’m thankful for this.

So I was delighted when I found out that this beautiful #WorldMoms community has started on its meditation journey too.

We have two heartfulness meditation trainers among us who have come together to facilitate meditation sessions for our world moms. I had the chance to join the session quite recently and enjoyed the experience.

It felt good to be meditating together, all of us from different parts of the world connecting online and in spirit. I appreciate the opportunity to try a new way of meditating and continue learning more about this ancient practice.

Our founder, Jennifer Burden, wanted to use the meditation session to focus on world peace; I thought that was such a wonderful idea! If you would like to try out Heartfulness meditations, begin with this relaxation video. If you would like to go to an advanced stage, drop up us an email or mention in the comments of this article.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCRb6U0_CQE

If you’ve not tried meditation, I would say, go try it! There’s really nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I am no meditation expert and won’t say one is better than another. In my own meditation journey, I’ve done different things at different moments, and found that my changing needs has taken me across the spiritual path, as I tread it.

Are you interested to try out Heartfulness meditation? Or if you have already been meditating, what type of meditation do you do?

Picture/Infographics Credit: Author/www.Heartfulness.org

Ruth

Ruth lives in Singapore, a tiny island 137 kilometres north of the equator. After graduating from university, she worked as a medical social worker for a few years before making a switch to HR and worked in various industries such as retail, banking and manufacturing. In spite of the invaluable skills and experiences she had gained during those years, she never felt truly happy or satisfied. It was only when she embarked on a journey to rediscover her strengths and passion that this part of her life was transformed. Today, Ruth is living her dreams as a writer. Ironically, she loves what she does so much that at one point, she even thought that becoming a mom would hinder her career. Thanks to her husband’s gentle persuasions, she now realises what joy she would have missed out had she not changed her mind. She is now a happy WAHM. Ruth launched MomME Circle, a resource site to support and inspire moms to create a life and business they love. She has a personal blog Mommy Café where she writes about her son's growing up and shares her interests such as food and photography.

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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. 

Maureen

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

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Back to School Around the World!

Back to School Around the World!

Although the weather in New Jersey, USA feels like the summer is still going strong, the school buses around my neighborhood are one of the signs of fall. Just last week my 7-year-old son started his adventures in public school by taking the school bus for the first time and starting 1st grade.  My daughter also started Kindergarten, our first year of school in the US at age 5, and I am barely keeping the tears back lately!!

Our family tradition is that we get a Back to School picture of both Hayley and Derek, and both, my husband and I, take the kids to school that day.

2015 WMB Back to School USA NJ Sarah

These huge milestones for my kids and our family had me thinking about other kids and moms around the world.  I wondered what “Back to School” looked like for them. Are their kids in uniform? Or play clothes? When do they start school? I invite you to join me on a World Moms Blog around the world, back to school photo journey!…

First, we’re in Belgium. Say bonjour to our contributor, Tinne’s daughters on their first day of school!

2015 WMB Belgium Back to School 500

Next, we head over to Kenya, where Tara Wambugu shares this photo of her daughter and her teacher, Miss Eva, on her first day in Nairobi!

2015 WMB Back to School Keny w Teacher 500

Next, meet us over in the USA, where World Mom, Jennifer Prestholdt’s three children, are off to school in Minnesota! Below is her son’s first day of 10th grade at Washburn High School (in red), her son’s first day of 8th grade at Lake Harriet Upper School (in neon green!), and her daughter’s first day of 5th grade at Lake Harriet Upper School!

2015 WMB Back to School Minnesota Collage

Next, we’re in the UK, where World Mom, Michelle ‘s twin girls start their first day of school of year 4 for 8 and 9 year olds in September! Her older son (not pictured) is starting Senior School this year, too. Hello, there, in the UK!

2015 WMB Back to School Michelle UK 500

Big Yellow School bus, anyone?  Here is World Mom, Jennifer Burden’s daughter, walking to the bus on her first day of third grade (8 years old) this year in New Jersey, USA!  She went back to school this September.

2015 WMB Back to School NJ

Let’s fly on over to preschool in Krakow, Poland for our contributor, Loren’s daughter’s first day! Loren just moved here from Washington, DC, and her daughter went without knowing any Polish! The report? Mom says all seemed to go well!

2015 WMB Back to School Poland 500

World Mom, Kirsten Doyle in Toronto Canada, shared this pic of her sons’ first day of school this September! They started grades 5 and 7 this year.

2015 WMB Back to School Canada 500

Susan Koh, a World Mom in Singapore, shared this photo of her daughter’s first day of school in K2! Kids there go back to school in January. Peace!

2015 WMB Back to School Singapore 500

Our contributor, Alison Fraser in Canada, has had a school built in Arusha, Tanzania through her organization, Mom2Mom Africa. The kids there also begin school in January. Here are some of the students in their school uniforms! (We are also proud that another fellow World Mom sponsors the education for one of these awesome girls!)

2015 WMB Back to School Mom2Mom Africa

Speaking of going back to school in January, World Mom, Karyn Wills, wanted to make sure we mentioned that school children in New Zealand and Australia are three quarters through their school year already, too!

Now, some more fantastic pics from a few friends of the blog in the UK!

2015 WMB Back to School UK Edie and Ruby

Edie and Ruby’s first day of school at St. Walburgas Catholic Primary School, Shipley, West Yorkshire, England.

And, another from the UK…

2015 WMB Back to School UK Reggie Matilda

Matilda and Reggie’s first day of school at The Downs School in Bristol, England.

Oh, those hats! We love them!

And, we leave you with an additional photo of Tara Wambugu’s little girl in Nairobi, Kenya. She’s all business with her lunch box!

2015 WMB Back to School Kenya 500

When is back to school in your country?  Wish to share a back to school photo with us? Head on over to our Facebook Page and leave it as a comment on this post over there! 

*P.S.  Did you catch our contributor in Jordan’s back to school advice for kids yesterday? It’s a MUST read!

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by our Social Media Manager, Sarah Hughes of the USA. You can also find her on her personal blog, Finnegan and the Hughes

Photo credits to the World Moms and friends! 

Sarah Hughes

Sarah grew up in New York and now calls New Jersey home. A mother of two, Derek (5) and Hayley (2), Sarah spends her days working at a University and nights playing with her children. In her “free” time Sarah is a Shot@Life Champion and a volunteer walk coordinator for the Preeclampsia Foundation. Sarah enjoys reading, knitting, sewing, shopping and coffee. Visit Sarah at her own blog Finnegan and The Hughes, where she writes about parenting, kid friendly adventures and Social Good issues. Sarah is also an editor, here, at World Moms Blog!

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World Moms Blog Special: In 2014 I Am Going To…

World Moms Blog Special: In 2014 I Am Going To…

6615492433_6d71a2c981Welcome to 2014! As we bid farewell to 2013 with all of its ups and downs, we are ready to look forward to the year ahead of us. Some of our World Moms have shared their resolutions. Read and enjoy, and add your own resolutions in the comments!

The European Mama from The Netherlands: Learn to read sheet music and play the piano. Have one or more of my blog posts published on a high quality website. Get paid for my posts. Learn more about blogging. Be a better parent. This mama has blogged about her resolutions.

Nicole @ Sistersfromanothermister from Florida, USA: In 2014 I need to find my center. My world seems as though it has been upside down for so long, I need to center my life to focus on what is most important. I need to take care of myself, so that I can take care of others. I need to strive for change on what I can control and let go of all that is beyond that control. And the relationship I have with my girls is all that I make it, and I cannot ‘fix that for anyone else’.

Tara B. from Washington, USA: Play more!

Mrs. P. Cuyugan from the Philippines: I need to seriously de-clutter. Our stuff is all over the house, my email inboxes (yes, all of them) are out of control, everything is just out of order. Even my thought process is messed up. I need to get rid of a lot of junk and try to sort things out and make sense of everything in my life right now. That’s my promise to myself for 2014.

Maureen @ Scoops Of Joy from Indonesia: My 2014 resolution is to focus on my health even more. I’m fighting uterine fibroids and changing my way of eating to avoid surgery so that will be the center of my 2014.

Susan Koh from Singapore: My mantra for 2014- Less Stuff, More Life. I’m aiming to find contentment with what I have, decluttering and purging what I don’t need in my life from toxic friendships to too many cereal boxes that I think I’ll need for crafts with my daughter.

Jennifer Burden from New Jersey, USA: There is one person that I could be spending more time with lately…my husband! My resolution is to make more couple time this year! And family hikes with the kids! And I was thinking the other day that I really want to drive a race car, a totally new desire for me. Not sure if the race car is for this year’s or another year’s resolution yet. I’ll let you know!

Sarah Hughes from New Jersey, USA: I want to step back this year and slow down. Less non-family responsibilities (other than work) and be absolutely 100% present in the moments with my children. Oh and I need to lose 15 pounds, it’s a must!

Karyn @ Kloppenmum from New Zealand: To eat cake, drink wine and have as much fun as is humanly possible.

Mom Photographer from California, USA: Exercise more. Organize more. Eat more. Reading books, more. Being more happy with what I have instead of thinking about and longing for what I don’t have. And funny thing, because driving a racing car is on my bucket list, Jennifer, and just as you, I am not sure if it’s doable in 2014 but definitely sometime in the future.

Elizabeth Atalay from Rhode Island, USA: I am not big on New Years Resolutions, as is evident in the same 10lbs I’ve been talking about losing for years now! That said, Family, friends and travel are paramount, but I’d like to connect the dots a bit more, and this year I intend to start making mini-documentaries as digital content,oh, and I’d like to really make a positive difference in the world through my work somehow.

Mama Aya from New York, USA: To find some time for me! I have been really burnt out lately between the kids, working full time, traveling for work, de-cluttering so that we can sell our place and move, etc. It is affecting everything in my life including my relationships with my husband/mother/friends and is causing me much stress. I resolve to do things for myself, like spend time at the gym or go for a manicure, regularly so that I can be a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend!

Mamma Simona from South Africa: My resolution last year was to stop making resolutions!

Kirsten @ Running For Autism from Canada: To give myself permission to follow my dreams instead of neglecting my passions so that others can shine. To understand that there is room for what I want to accomplish while still being supportive of my husband and children.

K10K from Belgium: I have two. (1) I will finally finish at least one of the books I am writing and find the courage to send them to a publisher. (2) I will hide an encouraging or funny little note or drawing in my kids’ lunchboxes once a week.

World Moms Blog wishes moms all over the world a happy and fulfilling 2014. So, tell us your New Years resolutions!

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

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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