NETHERLANDS: Sleepless Nights

NETHERLANDS: Sleepless Nights

19181068968_9af26a35e8_zI felt it rushing over me like waves of ice cold water.
Overwhelming me.
Heldback tears stung in my eyes.
With my knees pressed tight against my abdomen, I gripped my head with my hands.
Silent sobs began to surface from deep within.
Trying to swallow them down made the lump in my throat grow thicker.

3 am.

The silent room was in great contrast with the loud screaming of thoughts in my head.
Distant sounds of a lonesome car on the road from the open window; the silent murmur and sighs of sleeping children; the breathing of my husband sleeping next to me, blissfully unaware of my distress.
Inside my head rapid thoughts were tripping over one another, hastily pushing each other aside.

“Starting this new job was a bad idea.”

“I can’t do this.”

“This is too much.”

“I am going to fail.”


I could almost feel it like a tangible presence in the room.

It was in the clenching of my jaw, the tightening of my muscles and in the trembling of my body.

The powerful sense of emotions that I felt was almost frightening.
I felt anger, sadness and an urge to run away from it all.

And then it dawned on me.

This is what fear of failure feels like.
Now I know what that kid in my class feels.
This is the reason he fights me, why he gets so angry, what makes him respond in such a primal way.
I understand how he feels now, and I can use this to help him.

As that realisation began to sink in, I forgot about my own distress and fear and started working out a plan.

4 am.

Peaceful thoughts started flooding my mind, causing the other thoughts to quiet down and stand in line.

“I can do this.”

“I just have to hang in there.”

“It will get easier.”

I placed my head on the pillow facing my sleeping husband.
A careful smile formed round the corners of my mouth.
And in the minutes that followed, the sounds of my calm breathing joined the sounds of my sleeping family.

Have you ever felt like giving up on something? How do you motivate yourself when you feel like quitting?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Mirjam from Apples And Roses, of The Netherlands. Photo credit: Camila Manriquez. 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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TANZANIA: My “Work-Cation” in NYC

TANZANIA: My “Work-Cation” in NYC

wmb crewNothing about my New York trip was what I thought it would have been. ‘Accompanying my significant other’ was the answer I gave to the lady at the visa section.

Neither she nor I had any idea what NY – “the city where dreams are made of” – had in store.  Okay, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but the vacation I thought I was to going have, was about to have a new prefix: work.  It was to become a “work-cation.”

Before leaving for the Big Apple, I reached out to any available World Moms in the area on facebook, and almost instantly I had my first set of meetings with the WMB founder, Jennifer Burden. (more…)

MASSACHUSETTS, USA: Land of the Rude

We live in a fast-paced expressive world of almost forced informality.  Most of us think we know how to act. You’d think that by the time people reached adulthood, they would have cultivated good manners.  Simple observations would show otherwise.

Fred Astaire once said, “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”

Check this out: 9 out of 10 Americans (88%) feel that incivility is a serious problem and getting worse.  Statistics prove that more than 8 in 10 Americans, both with kids and without kids, agree that bad parenting — the failure to instill good behavior in kids — is the major cause of bad manners (Bozell Worldwide/US News & World Report Civility in America Study 1999)

What is going on?  There’s road rage, air rage, cellphone rage, sports rage, parking rage, bank rage, desk rage, and checkout rage.  We are impatient — and when someone slows us down, we get rude and angry. (more…)

Courtney Cappallo (USA)

Courtney Cappallo is a mom of two girls, ages 7 and 4-years-old. She is living her dream life by residing on Cape Cod and being able to stay at home with her two little beauties. Courtney is currently homeschooling both of her daughters for 2nd grade and preschool, respectively.

Courtney uses a mix of Classical Education and Montessori. She is a strong believer in teaching to the five senses. Courtney’s homeschooling efforts are unique, as she uses the latest technology of the Smartboard. She is also taking on the task of learning Spanish as a second language, as well as, teaching her two children and husband Spanish.

Prior to becoming a homeschooling teacher, Courtney was the Director of Marketing for Simon Property Group, which is the largest U.S. real estate company. Courtney was Simon’s Director of Marketing for the Burlington Mall, Arsenal Mall and Cape Cod Mall. Courtney is a graduate of Villanova University and is proud of her small town roots from growing up in Oxford, Pennsylvania, which only has two traffic lights! She can be found making homeschooling lessons and more at Table of Four !

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BRAZIL: “Teaching” Children to Respect Nature: Between Fear and Awe

A teacher once told me a story about a little girl who was refusing to drink water at home because she had learned at school how scarce this resource was becoming on our planet. “We’re doing it all wrong”, sighed my friend.

Animals, plants and other organisms are getting extinct at alarming rates, habitats are being destroyed, the planet’s average temperature is rising, the seas are overfished, pollutants have reached even the most pristine locations.

I could write dozens of posts on each of these and other environmental issues, with gruesome details that make my hair stand on end. Yet, in the midst of so many problems, how can we teach children to respect the environment without making them outright scared?


Ecoziva (Brazil)

Eco, from the greek oikos means home; Ziva has many meanings and roots, including Hebrew (brilliance, light), Slovenian (goddess of life) and Sanskrit (blessing). In Brazil, where EcoZiva has lived for most of her life, giving birth is often termed “giving the light”; thus, she thought, a mother is “home to light” during the nine months of pregnancy, and so the penname EcoZiva came to be for World Moms Blog. Born in the USA in a multi-ethnic extended family, EcoZiva is married and the mother of two boys (aged 12 and three) and a five-year-old girl and a three yearboy. She is trained as a biologist and presently an university researcher/professor, but also a volunteer at the local environmental movement.

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