Our family of three recently started adapting a new normal.
We’ve finally moved in to a home of our own, something that my husband and I have dreamed of doing ever since we started on our life journey together. Here, in the Philippines, we’ve been living with family members since we were married.
To see “our home” become a reality fills us both with so much joy. It also gives us far more responsibilities than we have ever had to take on. Of course, we anticipated this, but you never really know what things will be like until you actually find yourself there, right?
Mr. C works full time, which means that the bulk of the financial responsibilities fall on his lap. I, on the other hand, am in charge of keeping house, and turning this place into a happy home. Our son’s job is to fill our space, and our hearts, with happiness and love. He is also being taught how to do chores that he can manage at his age.
It’s been four months since we moved, and I feel that we are all doing well, so far.
Of course, it goes without saying that there have been times over the last four months where it felt like we were drowning. Or at least, I felt like I was drowning.
Managing an entire household, no matter how large or small, can be overwhelming. It’s super overwhelming for me, in particular. See, our current setup is different from what I grew up with.
I’ve never had to clean the house before. When I was younger, we had several helpers who stayed with us at home. My mom took in working students, and there were at least three of them staying with us at any given time. They helped with the daily chores, which meant that my siblings and I didn’t have to.
After I became a mom, I slowly started learning how to do these household chores on my own, from cooking and cleaning to doing the laundry. I also learned how to drive, so that I could start running errands. But because we were still living in my parents’ house, it was okay if things fell through the cracks once in a while. There was someone in that household who could help me do the things that I needed to do.
Now, in our new home, we are basically on our own. No helpers, by choice!
The three of us each have to pull our own weight around the house. It’s tough, but it’s also very fulfilling. I wish I could say that I have fallen nicely into a Pinterest-worthy routine, but the truth is that I have not. The reality is that, as I type away, I have two weeks’ worth of laundry sitting in the trunk of my car, waiting to be taken to the laundromat. There are also dirty dishes in the sink, and fallen leaves in the back patio and garage.
That’s okay. Yes, it is. See, the one important lesson I’ve learned as a new homemaker is this: If you want to keep your sanity, do not sweat the small stuff.
These things will get done. It may take longer than you had expected, but that doesn’t mean it will never happen. I know that I will eventually get the hang of all of this. I will soon learn to do laundry on a regular basis. I will figure out an efficient way to clean the bathrooms (which, I don’t do just yet, by the way, my husband does the cleaning. Thank God for him.) I will find a routine that works, and I will manage this household like a pro. Soon.
For now, I am just enjoying the fact that I can have coffee on my own couch, in my underwear, on a quiet morning, and not have to worry that someone will walk in and see me there. This family lives in a full house no more, and I do not sweat the small stuff.
What are your daily routines like, and how you manage to do everything you set out to do? Do you have helpers in your home?
This is an original post by World Moms Blog contributor, Mrs. C. of the Philippines.
Photo credits to World Moms Blog.
“I know nothing about politics.”
“I just don’t have time to vote.”
“The person who I wanted to run didn’t make my party’s ticket, so I’m not voting.”
“They’re so-and-so’s friend, so I’ll vote for them.”
“My one vote won’t make a difference!”
These are quotes that I’ve heard too many times by intelligent women. Are you surprised to hear them, or perhaps you have heard them, too? Maybe, like me, you have even said one in the past. I understand.
Politics gave me a headache when I turned 18 and was first eligible to vote. I asked friends for advice on who they were voting for. I often felt like it seemed to be something that other people just knew more about. I had stances on issues, but wasn’t sure which candidates would vote for what I supported. I really didn’t know what to ask the candidates or how to engage. I felt insecure about the whole thing. That was way back then.
I had to look at it like this — if I was giving a job interview for a position, would I ever hire someone because someone told me to, or because they were nice or because they were my neighbor’s cousin? Or maybe because they had more signs around town? No, way! As a voter, my job is to help fill government positions.
It didn’t take long until I realized that politics wasn’t something I should be running from, but rather, running toward. Over the years I have gone to Capital Hill to lobby Congress; picked up the phone to call the offices of my Governor, Senators and Representatives; sent e-mails; and tweeted to let them know what issues I wanted them to vote on. Have I ever voted outside my party? Yes. Remember, it’s all about the job interview and who the best candidate is to support the issues that you care about most.
With election day around the corner in the U.S., I’ve started a list of general questions that can be tailored based on the issues that you support.
1) Why do you want this job?
Every candidate should have a quick “elevator speech” about why they are running. Hear them out.
2) Who is funding your campaign?
Knowing what organization or people a candidate is accepting campaign funds from is important. Look out for candidates who may choose to act based on their top donors’ best interests. And see if those interests are aligned with what you value.
3) How well do you work across party lines?
Asking a candidate to explain a time in which they helped achieve success when working across party lines will tell you a little about how comfortable they seem working with people who think differently from them. It’s important that they work to get things done for the best interest of the people, not just in the best interest of their party.
4) Where do you stand on the issues?
This is homework you, yes YOU, have to do. Figure out the top 5 issues most important to you. What do you want to see changed, supported or kept in place? Next, ask or find out where the candidates stand on those issues. Here are some of mine:
How do you stand on the national/local environment? Can you provide examples of when you sought change to keep our environment clean or protected?
How do you stand on issues concerning women and girls?
Can you provide some examples of when and how you championed equality efforts?
What plans do you have to help disadvantaged children?
What is your track record on supporting global health programs?
5) What charitable organizations have you volunteered for or donated to this calendar year?
I’d like to know this about a candidate. It helps me get to know where their interests and passions lie.
6) What sets you apart from the other candidates for this position?
This is an important question. Your candidate knows what makes them different, so hear them out. Ask for working examples of how they stand apart. But remember, when they tell you that their opposition stands or doesn’t stand for x, y and z, follow up, and fact check.
Help me add to the list! What would you ask?
And, tell us the issues that you value most when voting!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Founder and CEO, Jennifer Burden.
Related post: Have you read Mama B’s post about the first time women in Saudi Arabia will be voting in December 2015?
Saudi women have the right to vote for the first time in their country. A woman proudly holds up her filled out voting registration form. The first voting day will take place on December 12, 2015.
In 2011 King Abdullah (God rest his soul) declared that Saudi women would have the right to vote and run in the municipal elections in 2015. When I first heard the news of women being allowed to vote and nominate themselves I imagine many women felt as I did, overjoyed, excited and, slightly doubtful that the day will come.
It’s one thing to have it said, and an entirely other thing to have it happen. Over the last few weeks women have, for the first time in Saudi history, registered to vote!
Every article or news piece I have read about this event has had a ‘however’ attached to the end of it. You won’t find any ‘however’s’ in this one though. Every situation has a ‘however’, but the change that has happened for women in our country over the last ten years alone shows me that these ‘however’s’ right now are just rain on a very well deserved parade.
Saudi women are held up to the litmus test of the west that totally ignore (or are ignorant of) the fact that Saudi women have been campaigning for this right and other rights for over a generation. The foreign media also seems to be ignorant about the role society and culture play in these advancements.
It’s not as easy as flipping a switch or changing a law (contrary to popular belief there actually is no law against women driving in Saudi Arabia, it’s just not culturally accepted). It is more like rewiring a circuit board. (Now, I would lie if I told you I had any idea what that involved, but i am quite sure you cannot just do it willy nilly and have to take into account all the other hundreds of wires before messing with one.)
A message board in Saudi Arabia provides voting registration information for women.
The thing people also don’t give us credit for is how hard-working we Saudi women are. And believe us, there is no one more adamant on us getting our rights than ourselves. Small changes are happening that have a big impact on our society’s perception of the role of women outside of the home, in businesses and in government.
For the first few months after women joined the Shoura council, during the televised portions, when any of the women were talking, the camera men didn’t know where to focus. Fast forward to a year later, and the cameras are clearly focused on the strong female representatives broadcasting their voices and their faces* clearly.
There is not one road block stopping the progress of women’s rights in Saudi, but rather, there are many small holes and bumps and detours to get around and navigate. For the first time since women being granted the right to get an education, we are seeing fundamental change that cannot be taken away from us. It is exhilarating.
There has been contagious buzz in the air since registration opened. The Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRA) launched a campaign, website and an app with all the information needed to register to vote or run in the municipality elections. The philanthropic women’s society, Alnahdha, held one of the biggest campaigns to spread awareness around the elections and how to register. They held workshops and partnered up with local businesses and other NGOs to spread the message of “your vote makes a difference” campaign.
Saudi women taking part in the campaign to spread voter registration information to women.
Small business even got on board. Many taxi services such as Easy Taxi and Careem offered free rides for any women who wanted to register to vote. Uber carried flyers and information about voting in their cars.
A lunch tray in Saudi Arabia advertises women’s voting registration.
Registration closed on the 10th of September, and the vote is on the 12th of December. According to MOMRA 22% of the registered voters are women and 16% of the candidates running are women.
Thinking of my daughter now, I pray that she will be shocked she was alive when women were still not allowed to vote. I pray she can’t imagine what it was like to not have full power over your life and your decisions because of your gender.
And for the first time I believe without a doubt that change is not only coming, it is here, just pay attention. It’s moving fast!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by World Mom, Mama B. in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Photo credits to the author.
It’s our 4th Blogiversary!!!! For the past 4 years we’ve been writing our hearts out, watching some of our mothers meet across continents, attending conferences, receiving fellowships to report on the world’s most vulnerable and accepting awards and mentions of our site around the globe. We have learned so much from these global connections!
Today, we asked some of the WorldMomsBlog.com contributors about what attracts them to our community. We are thrilled with what they had to say and are so grateful for their volunteerism to our mission of holding hands in global motherhood, easy at times and challenging at times. Here’s what they’re saying around the globe about World Moms Blog…
What attracts you to the World Moms Blog Community?
“What attracts me to the WMB community? The community! The group of moms that I have met, both in real life and online, have been incredible! The women are supportive of each other both, on the blog and off, and I have been amazed at the friendships that have been created by this group of moms, most of whom have never even met face to face. I have also been inspired by the caring and affection that the group has shown each other in happy and sad times. I am lucky and proud to say that I am part of the team!” — Maman Aya of the USA
“I remember when I first visited WMB via Facebook. I was amazed at the diversity and how well written the posts were. I kinda fantasized that I would one day be a part of it. There wasn’t a Mom from the Netherlands back then. (Little did I know.) Now that I am a part of it, I have discovered that it is more than just a great blog, it is also a wonderful community. With an amazing and inspiring leader.” — Mirjam Rose of the Netherlands and of “Apples and Roses”
“This amazing world of mothers coming together to share, learn, teach and truly make the world a better place. Nothing beats our united nations of Moms!!” — Nancy Sumari of Tanzania and of “Mama Zuri Chronicles”
“They say it takes a village to raise a child, and World Moms Blog has become part of my village. We band together to help and support one another, to learn from each other, to celebrate the good things that happen in our lives, and to be a source of strength for each other during the bad times.” — Kirsten Doyle in Canada of “Running For Autism”
“I love being part of a global community of mothers, hearing from all different cultures and point of views on the common threads all women face. And our globally focused social good reports — in my mind, sharing best practices and ideas in global development is key to solving the most pressing issues, especially for women and girls. My absolute favorite moments are when we are connecting in real time from all over the world!” –– Elizabeth Atalay in the USA of “Documama”
“Despite being scattered across the globe, with many of us World Moms Blog contributors never having met in person, I feel so incredibly supported by this amazing group of women with similar interests, goals and values in life. It is such a wonderful group of women, and I am so happy to be part of this global community.” — Alison Fraser of Canada and of “Mom2Mom Africa”
“More than anything, the mutual love, respect and support shown to everyone (irrespective of race, nationality and beliefs) and the feeling that I’m contributing to something positive to help counteract all the negatives in the world. I also love that we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and can share amusing things as well as our take on important world events. I feel we’re making a difference by writing about things that aren’t common knowledge. I learn something new from my fellow moms every day, and that is priceless!” — Mama Simona in South Africa
“The daily reminders that I have more in common with people the other side of the world than I have different and that there is no one right way to mother. It is reassuring and empowering.” — Natalia Rankine-Galloway of the USA and of “Culture Baby“
“I am attracted to WMB because it is making a difference in the lives of mothers in a special way. WMB tells the untold stories of parents, gives a voice through the “World Voice” column to silent sufferings and helps us bond closer and create a sense of sisterhood and comradeship. I have made a lot of amazing friends, as well as, travelled internationally as a WMB reporter… and I am so loved by them and blessed for this opportunity.” — Purnima Ramakrishnan in India of “The Alchemist’s Blog”
“I love being a part of the World Moms Blog community because I love being surrounded — even if only virtually — by strong women making a positive impact on the world. I am inspired and learn something everyday when I read the posts from every corner of the globe. I cannot say enough about the generous support this community has shown for the mothers in Laos that my organization, CleanBirth.org, works to empower. Congrats on 4 years and here’s to many, many more!” — Kristyn Zalota of the USA and “Cleanbirth.org”
“I love being part of the World Mom’s Blog community because it offers a unique insight in motherhood all over the world and because of the feeling of companionship and togetherness. Together we can make a difference.” — Tinne of Belgium and of “Tantrums and Tomatoes“
“I love WMB for the amazing community of fabulous women from all over the world. It has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of WMB and a life-changing experience.” — Nicole Melancon of the USA and of “Thirdeyemom“
“What attracts me to the World Moms Blog community is the diversity of its members. There is such a big variety of backgrounds, nationalities, experiences, and yet, it feels such a close net community.” — Nadege Nicoll of the USA and of “Nadege Nicoll”
“I am attracted to WMB as a blogger/writer, with a family of six living as expats in Mexico. We love world culture and architecture, and every year we intend on seeing more of our beautiful world. I hope to share some of our adventures with WMB.” — Tina Marie Ernspiker of Mexico of “Los Gringos Locos“
“I loving being a part of a community of mothers that come together with so many different perspectives, yet, one main goal of making the world a better place for our children!” — Sarah Hughes of the USA and of “Finnegan and the Hughes“
“I love World Moms for our global community of togetherness, that no matter where in the world we are – we are interested in how others are parenting, support each other, bring important issues to light, advocate as best we can and often times just bring a much-needed side of humor to get us through the day.” — Nicole Morgan of the USA and “Sisters from Another Mister“
“I love WMB because it’s a constant reminder that moms all over the world are actually the same. All throughout our differences, we all have moments of worry and struggle, and we all know without doubt that our little rascals are worth it.” — K10K of Belgium and of “The Penguin and the Panther“
“The World Moms Blog community has made me brave. They’ve taught me so much about parenting, the world, my kids, my relationships and myself. They have made it possible for us to use social media to help mothers and babies who need it most and have been a source of inspiration. We have supported and challenged each other in both, bad and good times. I have gotten to meet so many of them in person and virtually. I am so grateful for this community of women beyond words!!!” — Jennifer Burden of the USA, Founder, World Moms Blog
Happy Anniversary to all of our contributors, editors and to you, our readers, who keep us going! Without your readership, our words would go silent. We are truly grateful for the entire World Moms Blog community!
How can you help support us? Think of a friend who likes all things international and motherhood and share our site with her! Sign up for our Newsletter!
What attracts YOU to the
World Moms Blog community?
(We’d love to know…)
Photo credit to World Moms Blog.
Dear Mom Who Wants To Do It All,
I’m writing this as much for myself as for you. I sense your worry. I feel your fatigue. I can see the endless to-do lists in your notebook and the jam-packed schedules in your planner. I can hear you cry out with frustration, wondering “How.in.the.world.can.I.do.it.all?! There’s just too much to do and too little time!”
I don’t have the answer to your question but I do know this. You…and I? We don’t really have to, you know, do it all. We don’t! Really.
The world may tell us otherwise though. But I’m here to remind you (and myself) that we don’t. Yes, we may want to do it all but most of the time we don’t have to. Sometimes, all we have to do is just be. Just be a wife. Just be a mom. Just be yourself. Just be.
Strip down your to-do lists to the bare essentials.
Simplify your schedules to make more time for the essentials that make life truly rich and worth living. The essentials like your family.
Today, I challenge you (and myself!) to embrace the fact that you really can’t do it all… But you can do any or all of the following:
Say yes to your child when she asks you to play with her.
Read not just 1, but 3 (or more!) books when your child asks you to read to him.
Hug your spouse/partner and whisper sweet nothings into his ear.
Take 5 minutes to just breathe…deep breaths.
Give thanks for all the blessings you have but may take for granted.
When you really think about it, not doing it all seems so much more attractive, doesn’t it? So how about it? Will you join me in my quest to focus on ‘the essentials’ of life? To try to not want to ‘do it all’ but do what’s needed? I hope we can ‘talk’ about this in the comments!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Tina Rodriquez-Santiago, Truly Rich Mom, in The Philippines.